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Ironman.com

Polk County saw one of the greatest bicycle racers ever continue his successful transition to the world of triathlons, as Lance Armstrong won the Ironman 70.3 Florida race in Lake Eva Park in Haines City Sunday.

The seven time Tour de France winner posted his first win in four races this year with a time of 3:45:38, ten minutes ahead of second place finisher David Kahn.

USF Athletics

The University of South Florida softball team is one step closer to the Women's College World Series after beating the University of Florida 1-0 Sunday, advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals for just the second time in school history. 

National Baseball Hall of Fame

The Hillsborough County Commission has agreed to lease land to the City of Tampa for the Al Lopez Baseball Museum.

The museum would be located at 19th Street and 9th Avenue in Ybor City.

Photo by Carmel Delshad

This is the first time Egyptians living abroad can vote in the presidential elections from outside Egypt. But the deadline to cast that ballot is May 17, 2012.

This is also the first presidential election since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The landmark election has some Egyptians living in Tampa excited.

Khaled Mostafa left Egypt 12 years ago. Yet, within the last year, he has visited three times to participate and protest in the revolution that overthrew longtime Pres. Mubarak.

Aimee Blodgett / USF News

Unless you’ve been in the USF Sun Dome in the last week or two, then you really haven’t been in the Sun Dome!

The arena has reopened after a 36 million dollar renovation—but it’s almost like a completely new building. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media takes you inside the new and improved Sun Dome, and hears from USF President Judy Genshaft and Athletic Director Doug Woolard, who expressed some interesting thoughts about the possibility of an eventual on-campus football stadium.

Mike Birbiglia never wanted his Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross to end...so he didn't let it.

That's the premise of this new short film, written and directed by Birbiglia and produced by Ira Glass of "This American Life."

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

According to a Time magazine blog, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg is the third worst sports stadium in the United States. 

On a list that includes such fabled facilities as L.A.'s Dodgers Stadium (10th worst) and Boston's Fenway Park (8th), the home of the Tampa Bay Rays finished behind only Long Island's Nassau Colliseum (nickname: Nassau Mausoleum and site of a government asbestos investigation) and the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis (site of a snow-induced roof collapse in 2010).

An ultra-long wait to get through customs and fatigue didn't dim the light of Cuban conductor Enrique Perez Mesa. He is unassuming and funny.

He's in town for performances with The Florida Orchestra as part of its multi-year cultural exchange and makes his U.S debut this weekend. And the orchestra's Henry Adams was gracious enough to translate for us.

Mesa helped me understand how the Cuban system of teaching music compares to the one in Venezuela known for raising up famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Mesa says students in Cuba have to undergo a series of hard tests and compete for full tuition at the state-funded arts program which educates with the goal of its students having a career in music or other arts. 

For students of the violin or piano, that may mean a study of 20 years.

He likens it to the "Palacio de Bellas Artes" in Mexico.

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds economic mobility differs significantly across the United States. The report finds Americans are more likely to move up the economic ladder if they live in the northeast.

The Daily Show Coming to Tampa for the RNC

May 9, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Comedy Central

The 16 Emmy Award-winning "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" will be airing from the Straz Center in downtown Tampa during the week of the Republican National Convention in August.

All tickets for the tapings of the show were distributed within an hour of the announcement, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The shows will air on Comedy Central at 11 p.m. August 28-31 with expected feature reports from the convention's location at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Bill Ratliff, the former news anchor for WFLA Channel 8, died this afternoon, according to TBO.com

The story quotes a family spokesman as saying Ratliff passed away after complications from surgery.

Ratliff worked for News Channel 8 for 27 years, from 1982 to 2009. He served as the morning news anchor and managing editor at the station and co-anchored "News Channel 8 Today" and "The News Channel 8 Midday Report."

Almost 300 USF students recently joined "The Buried Life," a group of TV reality stars to help set a new Guinness World Record. This week’s University Beat on WUSF Public Media takes us to the event, which asked the question: what’s the one thing you want to do before you die?

Big East Conference

As if the continuing changes to Big East Conference membership wasn't enough, now the man leading the Conference is stepping down. 

John Marinatto announced his resignation as Big East Commissioner this morning, just three years after taking the job. 

Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

There's a perception in Major League Baseball that fans in the Tampa Bay region are not supportive of the Rays and don't come to the ballpark. So far, attendance at Tropicana Field for 2012 tells a different story.

The Tampa Bay Rays are averaging 20,017 which on its own is not great - 28 out of 30 teams. Cleveland (14,624) and the Chicago White Sox (19,911) are averaging fewer fans at home games.

Eric LeGrand: The Buccaneer's Classiest Pick

May 2, 2012

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand.

Legrand hasn't played a down since 2010 when he was paralyzed during a game with Army. Buccaneer's coach Greg Schiano was his coach then.

This would have been LeGrand's draft year and that was apparently weighing heavily on Schiano's mind. So the new NFL coach signed LeGrand, who has become a national inspiration after his horrific injury.

Legrand was told he would never breathe on his own. But he is.

Wikipedia

Some Tampa Bay Rays baseball fans might be envious of the Miami Marlin's new ballpark with its retractable roof and real grass. However, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. In fact, the grass is brown and the roof leaks.

Floridians: Who We Are and Where We Come From

May 1, 2012

Floridians are not from here. That's one stat Florida Trends has dug out of the latest census data.

According the "Florida Trends" research, here are five stats about who Floridians are:

1) Florida is number 2 in the nation for the lowest percentage of residents born in the state -- 35.2 per cent. Only Nevada's 24.3 per cent is lower.

2) More Floridians move to the state from New York than anywhere else -- most that 55,000 in 2010.

USF Athletics

While 253 players had their names called at this year's NFL Draft, their off the field stories may not be as interesting as that of an undrafted USF football player who signed a free agent contract with his hometown team.

Courtesy Sarasota Ballet

Here are a few things you may not know about Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb:

  • He was born in the North of England and his life story is "eerily" similar to "Billy Elliot," though he's never had any communication with the movie producers.
  • He's never seen "Black Swan" and says "Dancing with the Stars" has had a bigger impact.
  • Says he might have reconsidered whether his company should go to  Ballet Across America III it had it been at the Met in New York, rather than at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Because of the youth of the company.

Tonight is The Sarasota Ballet's final performance of several world premieres by company dancers in "Theatre of Dreams."

City of Sarasota

Love it or hate it, Sarasota's "Unconditional Surrender" statue will be missing from the city's waterfront for awhile. Just how long is not clear.

The nearly 3-story high statue that resembles a famous Alfred Eisenstaedt photo of an impromptu kiss between a sailor and a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day, was struck by a car on Thursday.  The statue has stood along Sarasota Bay for years and is on loan to the city.

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