Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
After Hurricane Michael, a family pushes toward rebuilding, divided between emotion and economics
Peggy Wood snatched a legal pad and added to a scattered list of things she used to own. She imagined she was at her old desk in the Driftwood Inn, and jotted what she saw. Each item was a chain link in a new insurance filing after Hurricane Michael ruined the Inn she and her family spent four decades building.The Woods had received a little more than $2 million in insurance payments by January, mostly from flood policies. They still hoped for at least another $1 million from wind coverage but did not know how much it would cost to rebuild the sprawling motel and its outbuildings, 24 units in all. Would they have enough? This was the post-storm math they had to master if they wanted to own a motel again.
Ron DeSantis proposes record $91.3 billion budget, more spending on students
Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing a boost in per-student spending, an overhaul in how the state rewards teachers, improvements to the state’s aging transportation network and more money to save the Everglades in a record budget proposal announced Friday. DeSantis' $91.3 billion proposed budget, dubbed “Bold Vision for a Brighter Future”, is the largest ever proposed, yet he said it was largely in line with last year’s budget. His budget represents a $2.6 billion increase over this year’s budget and 147 additional positions.
Tampa Downtown Partnership study: Market for parking has not kept up with evolution of downtown
Downtown Tampa used to be a 9-to-5 business zone where the office towers and sidewalks emptied out at dusk, but a lot has changed over the last 15 years. There are more residents, now, as well as more parks, more restaurants, more visitors, and more nightlife. There's one thing, though, that has not kept up with the changes, and that's downtown's market for parking. Downtown's parking inventory is stilled skewed heavily toward the central business district's population of monthly parkers, and that skews the market, creates inefficiencies and leads to a patchwork of mismatches between supply and demand, according to a first-of-its-kind parking analysis from the nonprofit partnership.
Memphis banks on Penny Hardaway to save the day
Penny Hardaway is in his first season as head basketball coach at Memphis, his hometown alma mater, which visits USF Saturday afternoon. He has always been a star in the city he never truly left, its basketball Elvis, and he is trying to return Memphis to its non-probation glory days. Attendance at Memphis' arena has tripled. Hardaway has signed the top recruit in the nation. Hardaway, the favorite son, moves needles, sells tickets, incites fever.
Tampa Bay is tackling Shakespeare in a big way. How do you keep it relevant?
It has been more than 400 years since William Shakespeare penned his first play, but his work has lived on for centuries in countless productions around the world. Count Tampa Bay among them right now. Shakespeare’s themes are universally relatable and mostly rooted in the human condition — love, greed, guilt, hubris. And Shakespeare wasn’t the first to write about these themes; the ancient Greeks had these topics covered long before the Bard was born. Even so, attitudes about race and the treatment of women have changed over the centuries. So how do you make Shakespeare relevant?