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The Heights to rise in Tampa Heights near Ulele

Developers of The Heights, an emerging designed entertainment complex across from Blake High School on the Hillsborough River, reveal plans for multiple restaurants, bars, a public food market and an open air stage for live performances.

The on-again, off-again project appears to be making substantial progress as renovation continues on the historic Armature Works building.

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Tampa Bay area artists strut their stuff at Art Basel

Artists from Tampa and St. Petersburg traveled to Miami's annual Art Basel in early December to showcase their works to a larger audience.

Those who went found inspiration and exposure for growing the local arts community.

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Tampa Bay area artists strut their stuff at Art Basel

Artists from Tampa and St. Petersburg traveled to Miami's annual Art Basel in early December to showcase their works to a larger audience.

Those who went found connections, inspiration and exposure for growing the local arts community.

Read the complete story.

What's next for downtown Tampa? A med school, major development

Tampa Bay Lightning Owner and Philanthropist Jeff Vinik plans to announce his big plans to "do something absolutely incredible'' for downtown Tampa on Dec. 17, just 2 weeks after USF trustees voted to build a new medical school on land donated by Vinik.

The much anticipated reimagining of the Channelside area around the Amalie Arena is expected to be a major game changer in attracting additional developers and investors to downtown.

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Moving on up! Fulbright Board taps Betty Castor as top leader

Betty Castor, former USF President and Florida Commissioner of Education, will lead the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board in 2015 after serving a board vice chair for the past year.

Castor, a popular Tampa pol, who narrowly lost a race for U.S. Senate in 2004, is the mother of U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

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Trending nationally: Opening med schools in downtowns

A proposal to build a new medical school in downtown Tampa is part of a national trend that seeks solutions for providing health care to diverse urban populations while providing a patient pool for students and research, and spurring development in the urban core.

The University of South Florida and Developer Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, along with the City of Tampa plan to ask the Florida Legislature for funding that would help make the school a reality.

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Tampa Bay business leaders reach out to Chile for trade opportunities

Business and community leaders from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, travel to Chile this week to consider opportunities for increased trade between the Tampa Bay region and South America.

The group plans to meet with public and private leaders in Santiago and other Chilean cities under the auspices of the Tampa Bay Export Alliance.

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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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