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Tampa, Hillsborough business leaders get behind sales tax increase for transportation

Business leaders in Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City are getting behind a proposed sales tax referendum that would support transportation needs with a half a cent sales tax increase added to every dollar spent.

The idea is to generate enough money to expand bus and rubber trolley services, fix local roads, and add bike lanes and sidewalks to meet demand of a growing population.

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BP Oil settlement leaves some claims unpaid, cities wanting

Florida cities and counties are expressing disappointment at lower settlement offers being extended by BP Oil to pay for damages claimed from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

While the City of Tampa looks to get nearly half of what it sought -- $27 million of $60 million -- smaller cities are seeing lower percentage settlements.

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Hillsborough transportation plan calls for public input, meetings scheduled

In an effort to win voter approval, Hillsborough County officials are planning 100 more meetings to get public input on which roads and what transportation options should get additional public funding.

The goal is to increase funding for transportation needs by one cent on the dollar in additional sales taxes.

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President's initiative expands Internet access to low-income families

Public housing residents in Tampa will soon have free access to the Internet under ConnectHome, a federal program designed to help children from low-income families catch up with their peers.

Tampa was one of 28 cities in the nation selected by the Obama Administration to take advantage of the program.

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Florida artists picked to create Tampa's newest public art

Three new pieces of public art erected in downtown Tampa will honor the city's vibrant history, including the cigar industry, railroads and the impact of World War II on the local economy.

The artists selected to do the works are Michael Parker of Ruskin, FL, Steven Dickey of Tampa, FL and Jamie Lee Sealander of Venice, FL. 

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Tampa bike sharing grows with success, adds USF

Coast Bike Share says more than 10,000 members have signed up to regularly ride the blue rental bicycles around downtown Tampa and nearby neighborhoods in just the first seven months of operation.

The program's success is leading to the opening of a dedicated call center and expansion onto the USF Tampa campus.

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New Florida law allows growlers at local craft breweries

Local brewpubs and craft breweries can now offer patrons larger 64-ounce growlers of beer thanks to a new law that passed the Florida Legislature and went into effect July 1. 

The response has been quick and favorable as beer aficionados line up to refill containers.

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Daily exercise on the job keeps Skanska employees happier, healthier

Skanska, Florida's largest construction firm, is reducing injuries on the job and seeing employees more engaged with their own health following a new stretching exercise program that starts every morning on the job.

The program helps workers stay flexible and communicates potential hazards faced each day. The result? Happier, healthier employees and less costs to doing business.

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Will new investor take over Kress in downtown Tampa?

One of downtown Tampa's most historic buildings, the Kress, is back on the market after a development contract fell through. 
The building, across Florida Avenue from Le Meridien Hotel, is widely considered to have huge potential for becoming a signature destination for people moving to Tampa as well as for visitors.

The brick exterior and tall ceilings are just the beginning of what makes the building so significant in the history and in the future for Tampa.

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Airport business PEMCO soars after financial difficulties

PEMCO, a company that buys, renovates and sells older airplanes at Tampa International Airport is making a successful comeback following years of bankruptcy-forced reorganization.

The airport-based company operates two 150,000-square-feet hangars round the clock.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announces candidacy for President

Joining a crowded field of GOP candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush enters the race for president from his home base in Miami.

Bush, the younger brother and son of two former presidents, says he'll lead a campaign based on his own heart and experiences in private business as well as the public sector.

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Vinik builds on reputation for thoughtful investments

When Jeff Vinik jumps into an investment, whether its in the stock market or buying a hockey team, he studies hard and pays attention to details. 

So it's no surprise that his Strategic Property Partners group is diving deep into a well of knowledge and bringing in the best and the brightest to tackle development of 40 acres in downtown Tampa.

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Tampa airport picks local restaurants for new openings

Local Tampa Bay area restaurants including Columbia, Four Green Fields, Guy Harvey Rumfish Grill, the Cafe by Mise en Place and Buddy Brew Coffee made the short list for the opportunity to open new restaurants as part of Tampa International Airport's $943 million renovation now underway.

The local newer brands won out over chains and older brands as foodies who can offer innovation and creativity in their experiences reflecting the diversity of our region.

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Florida maps 50-year plan for roads, transportation

Balancing a growing population with preserving Florida's natural environment remains a challenge as the state Department of Transportation begins developing a 50-year plan to meet the demands for roads and other transportation moving forward.

An anticipated 70 percent surge in people moving to Florida is prompting a closer look at what will be needed to avoid complete gridlock.

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USFSP starts classes in brewing beer, running breweries

With the craft beer brewing industry growing as a key economic driver in the Florida economy, USF St. Pete steps up to offer classes in the art, science and business of owning and operating breweries.

USFSP recognizes a niche that needs to be filled in the $2.5 billion industry employing more than 40,000 residents.

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