Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Charting when the bottom fell out of Tampa Bay's housing market
On Sept. 15, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers collapsed in what is still the biggest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Within weeks, Tampa Bay's real estate market had collapsed, too. Homes that would have sold for an average profit of $31,400 at the start of that year were selling at a $9,300 loss by the time Christmas came around. And the picture would only get worse over the next several years. The rise and fall and rise of the bay area housing market is dramatically reflected in figures released this month by ATTOM Data Solutions, a California-based firm that tracks sales and prices of more than 155 million U.S. properties.
More states aim to knock air out of festive balloon launches
The tradition of releasing balloons at weddings, birthdays and memorials may soon get deflated by lawmakers in more than half a dozen states. Critics say the helium-filled balloons pollute the environment, and threaten birds and other wildlife when they fall to earth. Nationwide, there's a growing awareness of the problem, and it has energized legislation in state governments. Closer to home, the autopsy of a stranded baby dolphin discovered recently at Fort Myers Beach showed it had eaten a stomach-full of trash, including heaps of plastic and pieces of a balloon.
Boy, 3, drowns after kayak capsizes with four aboard in Manatee County
A 3-year-old boy drowned Saturday after a kayak capsized near Snead Island in Manatee County. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, one kayak with two adults and two kids on board overturned as they were heading back to shore. Authorities responded about 8:30 p.m. and rescued three people, but the fourth, the 3-year-old, was missing. About three hours later, members of St. Petersburg's Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team found him in the water dead.
Cow statue stolen from Harold Seltzer's Steakhouse in St. Petersburg
One of the cows from Harold Seltzer's Steakhouse has run astray from the herd and the owners are willing to pay for its return — likely in some form of cow. According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, the beloved bovine was bagged in broad daylight, missing since 3 p.m. Saturday. Measuring about 12 feet by 3 feet, the black and white cow is part of a staple herd that's sat outside the steakhouse's Tyrone Boulevard location since it opened as Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse in the mid-90s. The owners are offering a reward in the form of a free meal if the cow is returned.
What they're saying about the Bucs' 2019 draft class
Media outlets from Sports Illustrated to ESPN to USA Today to the Washington Post and others weighed in on the Bucs' draft class. They varied in their opinions, grading it everywhere from an A-minus to a C-plus. Or, in one case, "above average." So, some really liked it. Others, not quite as much. But none really seemed to hate it. Here is what they had to say.