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Philanthropic investor steps up for new USF med school

Jeff Vinik, the man of many hats who is reshaping downtown Tampa, is now offering the University of South Florida land for a new medical school and heart institute if it will build within his growing project connecting the city's traditional office district with the emerging Channelside community.

Vinik, a former Boston hedge fund manager and the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is considered Tampa's wealthiest and most philanthropic investor.

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Tampa, St. Pete see record number of tourists

Pent-up vacation demand following the years-long recession, problematic world troubles and near perfect weather in the Tampa Bay region are driving tourists to visit Florida in record numbers. 

The result is both Tampa in Hillsborough County and Clearwater-St. Pete in Pinellas County are swimming in tourism dollars collected primarily through hotel-motel taxes. 

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Former Clearwater mayor pushes for Greenlight Pinellas

More transportation options. Tax fairness. Improving travel. Density. Economic development. Vision.

Those are the top 6 reasons former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard outlines in a strong case for passage of the Greenlight Pinellas initiative on November's ballot.

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Sarasota Mall opens to high expectations

Sarasota's newest enclosed mall, The Mall at University Town Center, is expected to be a destination shopping experience just an hour south of downtown Tampa.

The new mall sports Saks Fifth Avenue and other high-end shops as well as the latest in consumer technology for finding stores and merchandise.

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The Infiltrator is filming in Tampa

The Infiltrator, a major film production starring Brian Cranston as former DEA agent Robert Mazur, is coming to Tampa to shoot scenes re-enacting what really happened in Florida's history.

The film's plot is all about chasing and capturing South American drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

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USF attracts $25M gift from longtime donors

Pam and Les Muma, longtime philanthropists and supporters of USF, are giving $25 million to USF's College of Business to enable a stronger academic program and greater community engagement by faculty and students.

The gift is the largest in the school's history.

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Perfect timing for Gates investment in Tampa

Big name corporate re-locator consultants and site selectors were cruising through Tampa the same week that billionnaire Bill Gates announced his financial backing for Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik's plans to redo Channesldie. 

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and EDC Director Rick Homans say the consultants who advise America's biggest corporations on where to put down roots were abuzz with the Gates news.

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Tampa Electric, Tampa Airport team up on solar energy

Tampa Electric and Tampa International Airport are teaming up to create the largest solar energy array in Hillsborough County and the entire Tampa Bay region.

The solar panels will be installed on the roof of the airport's parking garage to generate up to 2 megawatts of energy.

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Bill Gates invests in Jeff Vinik's Channel District redo

Billionaire Philanthropist Bill Gates of Seattle is investing big bucks in Tampa Bay Lightning Owner and Philanthropist Jeff Vinik's vision for remaking the Channel District into a new urban center for living, shopping, working and playing.

The vision includes new hotels, office spaces, apartments and shops along with new infrastructure and reconfiguring neighborhood streets.

Read the Tampa Bay Times story.

Read The Tampa Tribune story

TIA, Tampa Port target global exports

Increasing exports from the Tampa Bay region is a top priority for growth at both Tampa International Airport and the Tampa Port. Both entities are planning for expansions that will bolster the local economy and create jobs. 

CEOs Joe Lopano and Paul Anderson as seen as key thought leaders in Florida's future trade potential.

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GOP convention gives excess contributions to local charities

More than $5 million leftover after the GOP paid its bills for the 2012 national convention in Tampa will now go to support local charities.

Party leaders collected more contributions than were necessary to host the presidential nomination, and as tradition dictates, donated the excess back to nonprofits serving clients in the host city.

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Measuring costs of transit in Pinellas County

Pinellas County voters will weigh the costs and value of more transit options before voting on the November ballot initiative Greenlight Pinellas.

Thought provoking questions surround expectations that while an individual's taxes may increase $3 to $5 a month for more buses and the start of light rail, drivers may save even more in gasoline, insurance and wear and tear on their cars by using alternative transportation.

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Tampa prepares to launch bike share program

The much-anticipated bike sharing program in downtown Tampa is about to take off. 

Expect a sea of blue bikes to take to the streets with the arrival of cooler weather.

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Dolphin Tale 2 debuts to theater crowds

Dolphin Tale 2 starring Winter the dolphin and a new baby dolphin named Hope attract crowds to local theaters as the sequel filmed in Tampa Bay opens nationwide.

The inspirational story is set at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home to Winter.

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Immigrant Entrepreneur Gives $10M Legacy Gift To USFSP

Successful entrepreneur Kate Tiedemann, a post-World War II immigrant who made her fortune by following the American Dream decides to leave a legacy gift of $10 million to USFSP to support business education.

The gift follows Tiedemann's desire to help young and budding entrepreneurs build a solid foundation of knowledge to launch startups and achieve their own successes. 

Read the complete story.
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