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New Port Richey Fire Rescue

Woman Dies After Fire On Casino Boat Off Port Richey Coast

A female passenger has died hours after a casino boat caught fire off Pasco County, forcing her and about 50 other passengers and crew to jump into the chilly waters to escape.

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City of St. Petersburg

John Williams arrived from Detroit in 1875.  Peter Demens arrived from St. Petersburg, Russia, 13 years later.  Williams built a grand hotel.  Demens brought in a railroad. 

Legend has it that the city's name was decided by the flip of a coin:  Williams wanted Detroit and Demens wanted St. Petersburg.  Demens won the toss.

The City of St. Petersburg was incorporated on February 29th, 1892.

- Learn more about the history of St. Petersburg

In the last few weeks, USF President Judy Genshaft found herself in the fight of her career, taking on powerful lawmakers who wanted to slash USF's budget and make USF's branch campus in Lakeland into an independent school.

Florida Matters had a chance to talk with President Genshaft recently while she was in the middle of the budget fight. We've reported on that before.

Soon millions of people will shop for health insurance on their own.

The health care overhaul requires nearly everyone to have health insurance, after all, and employer coverage has been slowly, steadily declining.

P.L. Bartow Steam Power Plant Demolished

Feb 28, 2012
Bay News 9

If you've come across the Gandy Bridge from Tampa to St. Petersburg, you've seen them -- the three smokestacks of the P. L. Bartow Steam Power plant.

Now, they're gone.  At exactly 10 this morning, those smokestacks came tumbling down.

The explosives go off first, followed by the rumbling of a power plant and its three smokestacks falling down like trees being cut down in a forest.

The power plant has not been used since 2009 when Progress Energy replaced it. The new plant makes more electricity and reduced emissions by 80%, according to the company.

Courtesy of South Florida Sun Sentinel

The latest Florida Department of Education ranks  Palm Beach County's Hagen Elementary School a "B" school.

But teachers there want to improve performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or FCAT and they are even willing to resort to a white lie,  says the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Loly Garriga and her husband were forced to separate for five years during Castro's regime in Cuba.

Now, they've found a home in Lakeland, Florida and Garriga has written about her experiences in a new book, "Strides of Destiny."

WUSF's Robin Sussingham profiled Garriga in this video as part of WUSF's "Not in Out Town" series, funded by NIOT.

AP

Scientists breed dangerous animals in a wild, semi-tropical locale. They promise that they'll NEVER get out.

Sounds like the start of "Jurassic Park," right?

Actually, it's a plan by several Florida zoos, including Lowry Park in Tampa, to breed rhinos, elephants, giraffes and other hooved animals on land owned by the state of Florida.

St. Petersburg Times

They've been part of the Tampa Bay landscape for more than 50 years.  The three large smokestacks at the old P. L. Bartow Steam Power Plant will be imploded today.  Demolition crews plant to bring them down at 10:00 am.  They expect it to take all of ten seconds.

The plant is located on Weedon Island in St. Petersburg.  The old steam plant was closed in June 2009 and replaced with a natural gas-fired plant.

The original plant was dedicated in September 1958.  

We've known for a while that the Florida House was willing to spend money to save Hillsborough Correctional Institution (HCI). And now, the Senate has put up money for HCI as well.

Still unanswered is whether Gov. Rick Scott will keep the popular women's prison open.

Steve Newborn

LAKE PLACID - It all starts with the man who designed the Brooklyn Bridge. His grandson - John Roebling II - inherited more than 1,000 acres in Highlands County, and gave it to Richard Archbold, an aviator and explorer of exotic places such as Madagascar and New Guinea. It's now Archbold Biological Station.

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