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Wunderbar! Fly Tampa to Frankfurt nonstop

Frankfurt for the holidays in 2015? Make your plans now to fly direct out of Tampa to Germany, and enjoy the splendor of a country that knows how to celebrate and decorate around Christmas.

Tourists and business reps traveling both ways are expected to take advantage of the new nonstop flights linking Florida and Europe.

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USF snares $20M grant to study oil's effect on Gulf of Mexico

The University of South Florida's College of Marine Science will get another $20 million to study the effect of oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico thanks to a recent grant award.

Scientists and researchers will compare currents, winds, how oil spreads and the damage caused during past spills in an effort to better predict and react to future spills.

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Sipping cocktails gets OK on Tampa Riverwalk

Visitors to the Tampa Riverwalk no longer face citations or arrests just for carrying an open container of liquor or other alcoholic beverages following a special wet zoning approval by the Tampa City Council.

The idea is to allow a fun atmosphere involving responsible drinking, particularly for younger adults who frequent events and concerts along the Riverwalk. Mayhem and disorderly conduct still aren't allowed.

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Plans showcase redo of Tampa International Airport

Passengers coming into and out of Tampa International Airport are in for some major changes in coming years as the airport undergoes renovations designed to make travel even more accessible and convenient. 

The makeover is expected to cost nearly $1B before it's complete in 2017.

Read the complete stories here and here

Downtown Tampa med school moves closer to reality

Efforts to build a new medical school in downtown Tampa on donated land near the Amalie Arena and just a few blocks from CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation) moved forward with a vote of support from trustees overseeing USF Health programs.

A new medical school would require approval and substantial funding from the Florida Legislature, the state university system and philanthropists willing to make additional donations started by Jeff Vinik's decision to give USF land needed for the project.

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Philanthropist Tom James commits $75M toward museum

Tom James, one of the Tampa Bay region's most successful businessmen and biggest philanthropists, is pledging $75 million toward building a new museum large enough to house his life-long collection of mostly Western and wildlife art.

James says he hopes to identify a location and get the building started by June 2015.

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Former St. Pete mayor gives advice on revitalizing America's cities

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, a Republican who now leads the Edwards Group in developing key parts of the city, is on the stump nationally advocating for how to revitalize cities in crisis.

Baker's success at turning around urban neighborhoods in St. Pete is considered a role model for other cities.

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Tampa Bay area sees increase in philanthropy in 2014

Observers of philanthropic giving in the Tampa Bay region are hopeful of a increase in giving following three multimillion dollar gifts to local public and private colleges.

USF, USFSP and the University of Tampa are each beneficiaries of some of the region's largest donations ever.

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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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