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Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
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Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

Panic ensued after casino shuttle caught fire, survivor recalls

By HOWARD ALTMANTimes Staff WriterPORT RICHEY —Before directing them to abandon the burning ship, the crew of The Island Lady casino shuttle moved passengers around the 72-foot wood-hulled vessel as fire began smouldering on both sides, one passenger...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Jack Latvala’s latest accuser: ‘He unbuttoned my jacket and he felt me up.’

Jack Latvala’s latest accuser: ‘He unbuttoned my jacket and he felt me up.’

When the text messages from Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala would appear on lobbyist Laura McLeod's cell phone, her heart would race, her eyes would tear up, and she'd be overcome with a familiar, nauseous feeling and the thought: "Why won't this stop?"...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Hernando County wants taxpayer grant recipients to show their math

Hernando County wants taxpayer grant recipients to show their math

by barbara behrendtTimes Staff WriterBROOKSVILLE — Hernando County has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years on taxpayer-funded grants to outside agencies and organizations, including $396,000 for the current year.Those dollars have ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Latvala's campaign fund serves as legal defense fund, too

Latvala's campaign fund serves as legal defense fund, too

Jack Latvala’s failed bid to be the next governor of Florida is finding new life as a legal defense fund. The former Republican senator from Clearwater, who still remains an active candidate for governor, wrote several checks from the fund last...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

By CRAIG PITTMANTimes Staff WriterAT THE SHELL KEY PRESERVE — From a boat puttering along in the water, the sandy beach seems to go on and on. Then, abruptly, it ends at a mass of tangled, overturned mangroves where a great blue heron sits on an expo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTINTimes Senior CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown.The new projects, all by out-of-state developers, will add mo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Florida love triangle led to a murder-for-hire plot, police say. But the wrong woman was killed.

Heartbreak and jealously were the twin engines driving the scheme, police would later say.Ishnar Marie Lopez-Ramos was in love. The object of the 35-year-old Floridian’s affection, however, was tangled up with another woman. To solve her heart’s woes...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Why the Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon affair matters to Florida voters

Why the Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon affair matters to Florida voters

Last week, State Sens. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, and Anitere Flores, R-Miami, apologized for letting their friendship evolve “to a level that (they) deeply regret.” But that doesn’t indicate any broken rules.There are no alleg...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jose Felix Diaz lands job with Brian Ballard’s lobbying firm

Jose Felix Diaz lands job with Brian Ballard’s lobbying firm

Former state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz has landed a job with Brian Ballard's lobbying firm."We are thrilled to welcome Pepi to the firm, he brings a unique combination of integrity, experience and accomplishment that takes our Miami practice to new height...
Updated: 2 hours ago