It's been a rough few months — okay, years — for Tampa Bay Bucs fans. Lost games. Lost seasons. Fired coaches.
Even the good (signing the No. 1 draft pick, Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston) has happened in the shadow of bad (while he was the focus of a protracted sexual assault investigation)....
Bernie Sanders' campaign released a new ad in the waning days before the Iowa caucuses using Simon & Garfunkel's anthem America as its soundtrack. The ad has no narration, just video of regular folks working on farms, talking around the dinner table and interacting with the presidential candidate as the song plays and its signature lyrics "They've all come to look for America" appear.
Candidates have gone to the musical well for decades to connect with voters. Some pairings have become part of our political lore. Some have led to cease and desist orders....
01/15/16 Human Interest
Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth is teaching a civics course in the Honors College at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
To kick off the semester, Ruth gave his students a 20-question diagnostic quiz — to "assess the health of the patient," as he put it. The quiz, he said, tells him how much the students already know (or don't know) about the functions of democracy, what's happening in government at the state and national levels, as well as general interest events in the news lately....
In Florida, even the death penalty is very ... Florida.
Renegade. Immune to national trends. Often tested, never defeated.
Until this week. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida's unique capital sentencing system, saying the state gives too much power to judges, and not enough to juries, to sentence someone to death. The ruling threw Florida's nearly 400 death row cases into disarray....
Wednesday's Powerball drawing, worth more than $1.5 billion, or roughly how much Donald Trump spent on hair products last year, has Tampa Bay residents lining up for tickets and dreaming of embarrassingly large yachts.
Yes, the odds of winning are long.
Long, like the distance from Pluto to the sun.
But somebody's going to beat the odds, and plenty of times, that somebody has been one of our neighbors....
01/11/16 Human Interest
Lottery history is riddled with rags to riches — and back to rags — tales of people who struck gold only to see it all slip away.
Wednesday's Powerball jackpot, likely to exceed $1 billion, has us thinking back on winners whose luck didn't stick....
The College Scorecard, an online tool to help families assess and compare colleges and universities in areas like cost, graduation rates and student debt, rolled out last month with new updates and more information.
The scorecard is an Obama administration project that puts troves of federal data about American colleges and universities online in a searchable format. It has been scaled back from President Obama's original promise of rating schools based on affordability and return on investment — a contrast to other private rankings that emphasize prestige and endowment size. ...
10/13/15 Human Interest
It's a little harder to recognize America's cultural landscape after you read this headline: "Playboy to Drop Nudity as Internet Fills Demand."
(Which might also be read as "Playboy to Drop Nudity Blah Blah Blah.")
But the words mean what they say. The venerable men's magazine announced it will stop publishing photos of naked women, its response to the ubiquity of Internet pornography as well as the evolving habits of news consumers. ...
TAMPA — The man accused in last week's shooting death of a transgender woman also is a "person of interest'' in a second slaying that happened Sunday, according to Tampa police.
Keith Lamayne Gaillard, 18, is being held in the Hillsborough County jail on a first-degree murder charge in the death of India Clarke, whose body was found July 21.
Gaillard also is being looked at in the homicide investigation of Tyrone Sean Davis, who was found dead Sunday in Temple Crest Park. Davis' family said they believe he was gay....
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday vacated the death sentence of a Pasco County man convicted of killing his onetime girlfriend in 2006 and ordered that he be set free.
The court said the state's case against Derral Wayne Hodgkins was "purely circumstantial" and skewered prosecutors for mischaracterizing crucial DNA evidence.
Bjorn Brunvand, the Clearwater defense attorney who defended Hodgkins in his 2011 trial, praised the ruling....
The Pasco Times is about to become a "newspaper within a newspaper."
Beginning May 2, we will introduce a reimagined Pasco Times, a weekly Friday section that will bring a more analytical and insightful look inside government, business, economic development, schools, crime and more. We'll tell stories of interesting characters in our community and keep you in the loop about upcoming events. ...
10/22/13 Human Interest
Charles Arnade used to drive to the post office dressed in a Speedo, mesh tank top and flip-flops. He'd emerge engrossed in his mail and begin to walk home, forgetting about his car parked nearby with the engine running.
That story about the venerable Dr. Arnade was shared by his son Tim, who returned to San Antonio last weekend with his siblings to pay tribute to their mother, Marjorie, who died almost a year ago. Dr. Arnade, a Fulbright scholar and charter member of the USF faculty, died in 2008, a year after the couple sold their stately white house overlooking the city park....
DADE CITY — Jan Glidewell rolled into the St. Petersburg Times newsroom, a high school dropout with an unapologetic swagger. He was hired against the advice of the paper's executive editor and retired 30 years later a local icon.
He reported on serial killers and hookers, dirty politicians and kidnapped children. When he became a columnist, readers on the North Suncoast found an unlikely breakfast table companion, a nudist hippie airing liberal political commentary and tales of his five marriages....
Rep. Mike Fasano's popularity with his constituents was starting to look like a disadvantage after he announced his interest in becoming Pasco's next tax collector.
Fasano said last week that he would like to replace Mike Olson, who died last month after 32 years in office, prompting numerous emails from residents beseeching him to keep his job in the Florida House.
"We need you up in Tallahassee to be a voice for the people of Pasco County," one email read....
A judge dealt another blow Friday to the company seeking to build a politically unpopular 30-acre landfill near Dade City.
The administrative law judge, Bram Canter, wrote in a 50-page recommendation that Angelo's Aggregate Materials' permit application be denied by the state Department of Environmental Protection, which already rejected the permit once based on concerns over sinkholes.
Canter wrote that without an adequate geotechnical investigation, Angelo's failed to insure that the integrity of the structural components of the proposed household garbage landfill would hold up and not pollute the environment....