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  1. State lawmakers end budget stalemate, but clash with Rick Scott looms

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers reached a tentative deal on an $83 billion budget Tuesday that could end the session on time but could put them on a collision course with Gov. Rick Scott.

    Florida's proposed budget is now in the hands of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
  2. Pinellas Commission gives preliminary nod to tax money for Blue Jays

    Ml

    CLEARWATER — After a confusing debate, the Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday voted to help Dunedin move forward with an $81 million upgrade of the Toronto Blue Jays spring training complex.

    The county gave preliminary approval to spend $46.5 million in bed-tax money to help upgrade the Toronto Blue Jays spring training facility.
  3. Senate advances bill to let FPL customers pay fracking costs

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida Power & Light's quest to have customers pay for natural gas fracking projects in other states overcame a key hurdle Tuesday as the Senate Rules Committee passed the controversial measure and overlooked opposition from residential and commercial customers.

    Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, had his bill on fracking advance in the Senate on Tuesday. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Late change as Rays switch to Pruitt as starter due to weather

    Blogs

    The Rays made a late switch announced just before game time and opted to have rookie RHP Austin Pruitt start rather than RHP Erasmo Ramirez, a move they said was due to uncertainty in the weather forecast in regards to rain interrupting play.

    Pruitt, who has been working as a long reliever, last pitched on …

  5. Caleb Brantley's attorney: Ex-UF player refuses to settle with complainant (w/video)

    College

    The attorneys for former Florida defensive lineman and NFL draft prospect Caleb Brantley said the attorneys representing the complainant have tried to settle the battery case.

    Defensive lineman Caleb Brantley (57) rests after running through a drill during Florida's NFL Pro Day in Gainesville, Fla., Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  6. Firefighters have contained 'suspicious' fires in Pasco County; State Road 54 reopened

    Fire

    TRINITY — Both directions of State Road 54 were re-opened Tuesday night after firefighters contained "suspicious" fires that burn 32 acres, according to Pasco County officials.

  7. IBM hosts subdued shareholders meeting in Tampa

    Corporate

    TAMPA — This tale of two annual meetings held simultaneously in Florida Tuesday by a pair of corporate giants couldn't have a more stark contrast.

    The annual IBM stockholders meeting was held Tuesday at the Tampa Waterside Marriott.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  8. Editorial: Up to the Senate to bring sense to Florida's budget

    Editorials

    With 10 days left in the Florida Legislature's annual session, the public posturing and backroom negotiating over the state budget is in full bloom. Just as in Congress, the Republicans in charge are fighting among themselves. And just as in Congress, the most ideologically driven conservatives are making the most noise …

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran is the consummate Tallahassee insider repackaging himself as an outsider crusading against big government and wasteful spending as he positions himself for a potential race for governor next year.
  9. Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush-led group reportedly wins bidding for Miami Marlins

    The Heater

    In consolidating their efforts earlier this month to purchase the Miami Marlins, Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter made for the ultimate political pairing - one titan of actual politics and one of baseball politics, the former governor of Florida and the most recognizable face in the game. The fact Bush was now a failed …

    Today came reports that the Jeb Bush/Derek Jeter group had been tabbed to buy the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria. Bloomberg News first reported the sale, and the Miami Herald later reported the purchase price to be $1.3 billion. [AP photo]
  10. Editorial: Tampa should move carefully on revising tree protections

    Editorials

    Tampa's tree ordinance is a model for the nation. For four decades, it has protected the city's tree canopy during boom times and bust, contributing to the city's appeal and providing millions of dollars in benefits, from avoiding energy costs to removing pollutants from the water and air. As the Tampa City Council …

  11. If Richard Corcoran is anti-hometown projects, why is this project earmarked for $4.3 million?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Nothing is immune from the bruising budget battle between the House and Senate in Tallahassee — not even victims of unsolved murders.

    The Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Sciences, or IFAAS, would provide a range of services to law enforcement and medical examiners around the state. The current initiative is to create a physical space for indoor and outdoor facilities. This will include lab space for research, applied forensic services in case work, education in the areas of forensics, anthropology, geochemistry, legal medicine, forensic intelligence, aviation reconstruction and cyber forensics. [IFAAS]
  12. Val Kilmer coming to Tampa for 'Citizen Twain' screening, Tampa Bay Comic Con

    Blogs

    Tampa's about to get all the Iceman it can handle.

  13. Florida zookeeper in Tampa hospital after saving rhino from wildfire

    Bizarre News

    TAMPA — A Naples zookeeper who saved a rhinoceros from a 7,000-acre wildfire Friday is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after sustaining second-degree burns on 18 percent of his body, his doctors and fire officials said.

    Zookeeper Donovan Smith was hospitalized with burns after trying to keep "Walter" his rhinoceros and two big cats safe Friday during what has become a 7,000 acre fire in the Naples area.  [Photo from GoFundMe]
  14. Police seek help identifying young woman found in north St. Petersburg

    Public Safety

    St. Petersburg police are asking for help identifying a young woman who was wandering north St. Petersburg "confused and lost."

    Police found this girl "confused and lost" near the corner of 42nd Avenue North and 3rd Street and are seeking help identifying her. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg Police Department]