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Transportation fix for Hillsborough still up in the air

After voting down a proposal supported by Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill that would have increased the sales tax to support transportation improvements for the next 30 years, County Commissioners are going to reopen the discussion.

Among the new opportunities may be to collect a sales tax for less time, or to hone in on more specific transportation fixes.

Read the complete story.
 

Citi Group moves more jobs to Tampa from Connecticut

Citi Group's most recent move of employees to Tampa reflects the larger trend of financial services jobs leaving the expensive Northeast and finding better economics in Sunbelt cities.

Tampa has long been a major service support hub for New York-based Citi, one of the world's largest banking companies with more than 230,000 employees. Once dubbed Wall Street South, Tampa is home to substantial back-office operations of such major financial companies as J.P. Morgan Chase, Capital One, USAA and Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

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St. Pete murals paint narrative about local arts centric urban culture

Be careful when you're driving through downtown St. Petersburg because you're likely to be distracted by the fabulous array of murals popping up on flat surfaces everywhere.

Better yet, park the car and get out and walk to get the best perspective on the local urban lifestyle.

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Fracking in Florida? UF scientists dig deep to uncover potential

What would be the effect on Florida's environment if fracking becomes widespread?

Two researchers from the University of Florida -- a geophysicist and a geologist -- explain what they think could happen.

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Make Tampa more bicycle, pedestrian friendly

Tampa and other cities in the Tampa Bay region have invested tax dollars in recent years to make streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, but much remains to be done in our traditional car-centric culture.

A collaborative effort by local, state and national transportation thought leaders and urban designers could help transform the region.

Read the complete opinion column.

Download Florida Stories app to take walking history tour of Ybor City

A new app created by friends of Ybor City is now available for download. Smart phone users can follow along with an oral history about Jose Marti's experiences in Tampa in the 1800s.

The app represents a partnership among the Florida Humanities, the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, Visit Tampa Bay and Tucker Hall. Long-time Historian Gary Mormino provides the narrative.

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Tampa Bay Times wins 2 more Pulitzer prizes

The Tampa Bay Times won two more Pulitzer prizes, this time for stories published in 2015.  

The Pulitzer for local reporting went to Times Reporters Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner for a series of stories on "Failure Factories,'' the headline describing Pinellas County schools left behind after desegregation.

The Pulitzer for investigative reporting went to Times Reporters Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier, and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for a series of stories on Florida's failure to properly serve the state's mentally ill.

Read the complete story.
 

Which large U.S. airport is favorite among fliers?

The airline passenger experience doesn't get any better than at Tampa International Airport. A USA Today poll finds fliers prefer Tampa's airport over all others. 

Next among the top picks? Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Chicago Midway and Atlanta.

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New park opens on north edge of downtown Tampa

The newly opened Perry Harvey Sr. Park on the north edge of downtown Tampa honors the rich history of music and performances that dominated the Central Avenue business district, a once thriving main street to black-owned businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues.

The park is situated next to ENCORE! Tampa and includes a new skateboard area expected to draw visitors from around the globe.

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Cal Ripken Foundation builds new baseball park in Tampa neighborhood

A new baseball field complete with play areas, lighting and all the amenities of any other park opens in the lower-income neighborhood of Sulphur Springs in central Tampa. 

The $1 million investment represents a private-public partnership involving local businesses and professional teams as well as the Cal Ripken Foundation based in Baltimore and the City of Tampa.

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Shoutout to the world: Investments in Tampa are on the rise

Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn are two of the primary leaders behind calling attention to the recent rise in investments in Tampa and the surrounding region.

Apartments, office space, retail, neighborhoods -- all are emerging fast in a race to capitalize on investment opportunities.

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Will hops do for Florida what grapes do for California?

Researchers at the University of Florida are busy developing a form of hops that could thrive in Florida's warm climate as the next cash crop for agriculture.

Hops are a key ingredient in beer-making, one of the fastest-growing industries in Florida.

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Living well, health top priority for downtown Tampa development

Plans for a WELL-certified neighborhood in downtown Tampa surrounding the Amalie Arena are creating buzz around the globe as investors consider what it means to be green, clean and seen as the healthiest of places to live, work, play and stay.

Strategic Property Partners, the development group created by Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik, is picking up accolades from the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council).

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Sofwerx, Thunderdome Project troll for innovation, entrepreneurs

James "Hondo'' Geurts is heading up a new idea lab in Ybor City that is designed to troll for innovations that could make military life safer for Americans stationed all over the globe. 

The idea is to attract innovative thinking and new solutions for problems that can result in injuries and death. 

Read the complete story.
 

Utah company brings giant waterslide to Tampa

Who needs hills when you have bridges? A Utah company looking for a high spot around urban Tampa picked North Boulevard Bridge to install a 1,000-foot water slide for fun and entertainment come May. 

Expect a one-day block party and more the day of the event. 

Read the complete story.
 
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