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Weekend rewind: 5 best tiny homes at St. Pete festival; March Madness recap; and more

LUIS SANTANA | Times The Next Gen tiny home made my Tamp Bay Tiny Homes a 24' home complete with a gas range and simulated fireplace that starts at $56,000 at the St. Pete Tiny Home Festival featuring the latest and greatest of tiny home living at St. Petersburg College on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
Published Mar. 25

Baseball games at Tropicana Field were already going to be different in 2019 than year's past, even before releasing their latest announcement. The team said during the offseason that the Trop would be the first North American sports team to go cashless and that it was lowering its capacity from 31,042 to around 25,000 for a more intimate experience. The latest announced change is that the Rays plan to light the inside of the Trops's roof blue for home games this season. Team officials say they believe the change will improve playability, with fewer balls getting lost in and above the new brighter lights and will provide a more natural look, similar to a blue sky.

DOJ: Trump campaign did not coordinate with Russia in 2016

Let's be honest — if you were anywhere near the internet on Sunday afternoon, you probably already know that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation did not find evidence that President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. But, in case you didn't, here's the rundown:

Attorney General William Barr partially summarized Mueller's investigation findings into a four-page letter. In the letter, he said — in more complex language — that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, much to the president's delight, as he shared in a tweet. Mueller's investigation has still left open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey and left an incomplete explanation on his son's meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Click here to see how Florida politicians immediately reacted to Barr's letter. Read the text in full here.

Paul Casey wins the Valspar Championship

When players were told they could use nicknames on their caddie bibs this week at the Valspar Championship, Paul Casey chose "The Champ.'' Next year the bib will read: "The Champ X 2," as he became the first player in tournament history to defend his title Sunday. Casey shot a final-round 72 for an overall score of 8-under 276 on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course, holding off Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthiuzen by a shot.

It's March. It's Madness. Here's how Florida's major universities fared this weekend.

It was an eventful — and perhaps forgetful — weekend for major Florida universities' basketball programs. All women's teams crashed out of their respective tournaments, starting with UCF's 60-45 first-round defeat Friday. On Sunday, USF fell 71-54 to James Madison in the NIT, the same day Miami lost 57-55 to Arizona State and FSU fell 72-64 to South Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, It was a mostly similar fate for the men's programs, with UCF dropping a nail-biter against No. 1 seed Duke a day after Florida failed to amass 50 points in a 15-point loss to Michigan on Saturday. The only two Florida teams to survive the weekend was the men's teams of USF (who didn't play) and FSU, who easily slid past Murray State and into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. The Bulls will play in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday at 7 p.m. against Utah Valley in the Yuengling Center. FSU will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Thursday in California.

Contact Josh Fiallo at Follow @ByJoshFiallo.


  1. Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden told employees Wednesday morning that health problems have forced him to step down at the end of his fifth term, in January 2021.
    After 21 years in the job, Belden plans to retire when his term ends Jan. 3, 2021
  2. Firemen and ambulance attendants remove a body from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where an explosion ripped the structure during services Sept.15,1963 . Associated Press
    Fifty-six years ago, a bomb blew apart the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four girls and injuring dozens more.
  3. Danielle Harris of Pinellas Park leans against a large photo of Terri Schiavo and her mother, Mary Schindler, during a vigil outside the Woodside Hospice Villas in 2003. Associated Press
    “Terri Schiavo is now a martyr,” one then-state representative said upon learning of her death.
  4. Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, posted this photo and open letter to Judge Thomas Palermo to her Instagram account on September 10, the day after she lost custody of her 4-year-old son Noah McAdams. The boy's parents wanted to treat his leukemia with natural health care remedies instead of chemotherapy. [Instagram] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Instagram
    The couple refused chemotherapy for their son, instead seeking alternative treatments including dietary plans, alkaline water and THC and CBD oil treatments
  5. Joe Walsh. [Associated Press]
  6. The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies have been searching a wide area of ocean between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville. [Associated Press]
  7. Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor) recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a Bipartisan Congressional Veterans Advisory Board meeting at the Dunedin Public Library on Monday. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE   |   Times]
  8. Priscilla Shirer plays high school principal Olivia Brooks in “Overcomer,” a new film from the Kendrick Brothers. Photo courtesy of Sony/Affirm Films
  9. The men who create the toys received each Christmas season by many children in Polk County are far from being unblemished elves. [Polk County Toys For Tots/Facebook]
  10. Aug. 16• Archive