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  1. Asking for transportation money means playing by DOT rules, some officials say

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay leaders say there are some challenges to asking for one-year allotments for transportation in the state budget — not the least of which is potentially crossing the state Department of Transportation, which oversees the bulk of the money.

    Some officials say going through DOT's five-year plan is a better way to ask for transportation money than through the state legislature.
  2. Judge sides with Gov. Scott in removal of Orlando prosecutor Ayala back in court

    State Roundup

    ORLANDO — A judge says Florida's governor can remove a prosecutor from a death penalty-eligible case and has denied a request to delay the proceedings.

    Orange/Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, left, chats Monday, March 20, 2017 with State Attorney Brad King, District 5, the newly appointed prosecutor. [Red Huber | Orlando Sentinel/TNS]
  3. NFL overtime proposal takes aim at a problem that doesn't exist

    Bucs

    NFL owners will vote today on a proposal that would limit overtime during the preseason and regular season to 10 minutes.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Study: Florida taxpayers have third highest return on interest

    Economic Development

    Florida taxpayers get the third best "bang for their buck" in the country when it comes to government services. According to a study released Tuesday by WalletHub, Florida residents pay relatively low taxes compared to the quality of government services they receive.

  5. Gradebook podcast: Getting a real look inside schools, not the 'dog and pony version'

    Blogs

    Reporter Jeff Solochek speaks with Shawn Frost, president of the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, about a bill that would allow board members to visit schools. Right now, in some instances, elected school board members are barred from such visits, which Frost says can prevent them from seeing what's really …

    In this 2012 photo, Candy Olson, then a Hillsborough County School Board member, takes part in a music class at Mitchell Elementary. Board members aren't always welcome for school visits in some Florida counties. A bill supported by the Florida Coalition of School Board Members aims to change that.
  6. UPDATE: Rays finalize deal to to acquire Peter Bourjos from White Sox

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 11:00: The deal is now official, Bourjos acquired for cash considerations or a player to be named.

    Though he is a class xx(b) free agent, the Rays will delay the decision on whether he makes the opening day roster by paying him the $100,000 retention bonus. That also gives them the option to …

  7. Temple Terrace woman faces charges of running into car three times

    Accidents

    LUTZ — A Temple Terrace woman is facing charges after she left the scene of a crash and later admitted she struck a car on purpose Monday in Lutz because she was angry it was in her way, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  8. We Tried That: Professional cake decorating

    Cooking

    What we tried: While some kids dream of being astronauts or actors or athletes, I always wanted to be a cake decorator. My mom would park me in front of the Publix bakery, feed me one of their free sprinkled sugar cookies, and let me watch as the bakers piped borders and dropped sugar roses onto large sheet …

    In her business kitchen in St. Petersburg, Cakes by Carolynn owner Jill Whelan, left, shows Times correspondent Carlynn Crosby how to ice a double layer cake.
  9. 2017 Sunset Music Festival lineup: Major Lazer, Above and Beyond, Zeds Dead and more

    Blogs

    This year’s Sunset Music Festival is going hard on island vibes.

    Major Lazer
  10. Female student stabs another at Chamberlain High, police say

    Crime

    TAMPA — One female student stabbed another at Chamberlain High School on Tuesday morning, police said.

  11. Federal data show Florida ranks among top states in growth rates of personal income, earnings

    Personal Finance

    Times Staff Writer

    Challenging its reputation as a low-wage state, Florida registered strong gains in personal income growth Tuesday, ranking third in growth last year among all states, according to data out Tuesday from the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Florida construction workers saw a 13.5 percent earnings bump in 2016 over 2015, a sign of a booming industry facing a tightening supply of skilled labor. Here, a construction worker walks along the beams of the Bainbridge Ybor City luxury apartments, slated to open this summer in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  12. Rubio blasts Democratic moves to filibuster Gorsuch

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio today blasted the growing possibility of a Democratic filibuster against Neil Gorsuch, a preview of the next round of fighting to reach Capitol Hill.

  13. Study: Tampa Bay home prices post fifth-biggest jump among major metros

    Real Estate

    WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices jumped in January from a year earlier at the fastest pace in nearly 2 ½ years as a tight supply of houses for sale spurred bidding wars in many cities.

    Tampa Bay came in with the fifth-highest jump among metros - up 8.1 percent from a year ago - in Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday.
[Associated Press file photo]
  14. Tall ship replica in St. Pete is the stage of a 'spectacle opera'

    Stage

    Clearly, something's afoot. But there is no sign. No buckskin-clad actor passing out handbills or selling glow-in-the-dark swords. Think a little harder and the conclusion becomes obvious: This must be some kind of traveling theater company, probably about to put on a rock opera of some kind that involves aerial acts in …

    Members of the Caravan Stage Company who are also crew members of the Amara Zee, an 85-foot-long replica of a 19th century Thames River sailing barge, rehearse for upcoming performances April 4th through 8th. Audience members can watch from Poynter Park in St. Petersburg. The crew and ship have traveled the world. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times