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News at noon: Tampa police officers fired for cutting corners with detentions, searches, drug disposal; Florida Wonders: How has Clearwater Beach evolved over the past century?; and more

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Tampa police officers fired for cutting corners with detentions, searches, drug disposal

Three Tampa police officers were fired Thursday morning after a seven-month investigation found they failed to document detentions and searches and to properly dispose of seized drugs. Seven other officers also have been disciplined in an investigation that turned up a number of department policy violations. Questions about the officers' integrity have made it impossible for them to testify in court, Chief Brian Dugan said, leading to the dismissal of four criminal cases so far. Several other cases are in jeopardy.

Florida Wonders: How has Clearwater Beach evolved over the past century?

Welcome to Florida Wonders, a series where Tampa Bay Times journalists tackle reader questions about the people and places in the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida. This week New Port Richey resident Patti Carney wanted to know: What are some of the biggest changes, positive and negative, that have occurred at Clearwater Beach? How did Clearwater Beach get to this point, and where did it all start? Grab your flip-flops — we're headed to the beach.

A lawsuit could doom one of the few go-kart tracks in Tampa Bay

The owners of Pro-Karting Experience are in danger of running the business into a wall, according to a lawsuit filed in Pinellas County Court. Pro-Karting Experience is being sued by its landlord for being behind on rent among other charges of neglect. In the suit filed on April 23, 34th Street LLC, the landlord, claims Pro-Karting Experience owes $962,030.65 for unpaid rent and $22,243.95 for unpaid property tax. The landlord is seeking restitution for the money owed, plus an extra 5 percent for late fees and interest on unpaid taxes, as well as the tenant's eviction.

What the NFL draft told us about the direction of the Buccaneers

The 2019 NFL draft has come and gone, and though it'll take some time before we can determine whether the Buccaneers' class is a good one or a bad one, we were able to learn a few things about the team and how it thinks. Considering Tampa Bay's many needs, some fans have questioned the wisdom of spending three early picks on defensive backs. The Bucs certainly could have used an edge rusher or an offensive guard, but they couldn't afford to leave the draft without reinforcements for their suspect secondary. Here are some other takeaways.

Where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Tampa Bay

Cinco de Mayo commemorates May 5, 1862, when 5,000 underdog Mexican soldiers defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla. The battle has become a symbol of Mexican unity, and a big reason to party around Tampa Bay. From parties to tacos, margaritas and more, here are some options to get into the spirit this year.

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