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Tropical Storm Isaac has been difficult to track, but its potential to affect Florida has caused the Republican National Convention to change its plans. Events for Monday have been canceled, though the committee will convene briefly. As Alan Greenblatt reported for It's All Politics, this is now the second-consecutive Republican National Convention to be delayed by a storm.

Update at 8:55 p.m. ET. Nomination Delayed:

TS Isaac Could Turn Hurricane by Thursday

Aug 22, 2012
National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm Isaac is in the Atlantic near the Island of Guadalupe. It could head to Tampa Bay by Monday as a hurricane.

Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, says Isaac may not be a tropical storm for long...

"It is moving into an area which is favorable for strengthening and we would expect Isaac to become a hurricane probably sometime late Thursday or on Friday," he says.

Feltgen says it's still too early to tell if Isaac will hit Tampa Bay early next week- the start of the Republican National Convention.

She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Smart Cars beside her with a foot or so to spare.

Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.

tampa-xway.com

The Republican National Convention is bringing lots of changes across the Tampa Bay area. And one of those changes we might want to plan ahead for is coming to the Selmon Expressway.

If you travel the Selmon Expressway, start planning your RNC detours soon.

The express way local lanes will be closed between Willow Avenue and 50th Street Monday at 12:30 a.m. through Friday at about 5 a.m. that week of the convention. 

The reversible lanes will remain open and operate as normal.

Gardening For Good In Pompano, Fla.

Aug 13, 2012

When chef Trina Spillman — trained at Le Cordon Bleu — discovered that more than one-third of the children in Broward County didn't know where their next meal was coming from, she was shocked. So she took action.

Through her Need to Feed Gardening Initiative, Trina has planted community gardens, opened a community cafe and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. She holds Summer Hat Luncheons.

Courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Ernesto is now fading away into interior Mexico after making landfall late yesterday on the Yucatan Peninsula. But what about our chances to see a big storm? Those odds are going up - at least for now.

The word from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is we could see as many as 17 named storms before hurricane season ends in November. That's up from their initial prediction of nine storms.

The Florida Legislature has essentially gutted Florida Forever, the state's main land-buying program, starving it of any money needed to buy new environmentally-sensitive land during the past three years. And with no end in sight to the state's budget woes, that likely won't change any time soon.

Still Cleaning Up After Debby

Aug 6, 2012

The good news is it looks like tropical storm Ernesto won't touch Florida.

The bad news is people in the Tampa Bay area are still working to recover from the damage done by tropical storm Debby in late June.

And The Federal Emergency Management Agency -- FEMA -- wants people to know that there's just under a month left to register for federal disaster assistance for Debby damage.

FEMA Public Information Officer Renee Bafalis encourages people to register even if they have insurance coverage:

The massive Gulf oil spill may be receding into our collective memory. But a group of people want to keep the specter of offshore oil drilling fresh in people's minds. So they plan to gather at Florida's beaches at noon Saturday.

This will be the third straight year "Hands Across the Sands" is taking place. People will gather hands on dozens of beaches to not only protest offshore drilling, but promote the use of clean energy.

The world's oceans used to be thought of as a limitless resource to be exploited. But the world's booming population and a huge increase in the number of fishing vessels has proved the ocean's bounty to be finite. A new solution to setting limits for individual fishermen has been developed. It's called catch-share. It basically sets a limit on the number of fish that can be taken for groups of fishermen - and those shares can be traded.

Specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be will be in Highlands, Hillsborough and Polk counties beginning Wednesday to provide information and advice on cleaning up and rebuilding homes after Tropical Storm Debby.

FEMA mitigation specialists will be on hand to explain disaster-resistant ways to repair and rebuild damaged homes, offer suggestions on cleaning mold and mildew, and providing information on flood insurance.

Tropical Storm Debby survivors in Polk and Sarasota counties can now apply for federal disaster assistance.

Beach Advisory for Pinellas Beaches

Jul 18, 2012

The Pinellas County Health Department issued a saltwater beach advisory for five Pinellas beaches:

  • Sand Key Park, Clearwater
  • Honeymoon Island, Dunedin
  • Indian Rocks Beach (1700 Gulf Blvd)
  • Madeira Beach, Archibald Park
  • Redington Shores (182nd Avenue W.)

These five locations could be a potential health risk to swimmers because of enteric bacteria that can cause human disease, infections, or rashes.

The next water sampling is scheduled for July 30th.

The federal government today announced a major expansion of a project to protect the headwaters of the Everglades. It relies on landowners voluntarily protecting their land.

The announcement today sets aside $80 million for farmers and ranchers who voluntarily conserve wetlands around the Kissimmee River basin in Central Florida. It should protect about 23,000 acres of wetlands that feed into the "River of Grass."

Ikea

The furniture store known for saving you some green is itself a little greener.

This morning, the Swedish chain Ikea officially plugged in 4,956 solar panels on the roof of its Tampa store, for nearly 1.2 meagwatts of power.

That's the same as...

-  1.8 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually

- Eliminating 242 cars each year, or...

Courtesy of NBC 2

A Moore Haven teenager is lucky to be alive after he tried "something he saw on TV" to repel an attacking alligator and it didn't work.

Kaleb "Fred" Langdale is reportedly joking with his sister now that she "won't be the only leftie in the family." 

The 17-year-old was swimming in the Caloosahatchee River yesterday when a 10-foot alligator starting charging toward him in the water. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF

President Obama is set to sign a massive transportation bill Friday. It would keep the lion's share of money from a settlement with BP over the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf states. And a lot of that money could be coming to the Tampa Bay area.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson dropped by USF St. Petersburg today to tout the recently-passed RESTORE Act. While that means most of the money from any settlement will stay in the Gulf region, he says potentially tens of millions of dollars could flow to the Florida Institute of Oceanography.

El Niño Might Thwart Hurricane Season

Jul 5, 2012

Last month's Tropical Storm Debbie formed earlier than most big storms, and that had some people worried about this year's hurricane season. But El Niño may be coming to the rescue.

You've probably heard of El Niño. It's that weather phenomenon where parts of the Pacific Ocean warm up...and change the weather all across the United States.

Weather forecasters are saying El Niño may be forming out in the Pacific right now.

If that happens, Bay News 9's meteorologist Juli Marquez said, "it may prevent as many storms or hurricanes from forming or intensifying."

The bald eagle population is increasing in Florida, which continues to be one of the top spots in the lower 48 states for bald eagles to nest and raise their young.

That's the word from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Based on its 2011 aerial survey, they estimate there are 1,457 active bald eagle nests in Florida, nearly a 9-percent increase since 2008, when the state implemented a bald eagle management plan. That's up from just 88 active nests in 1973.

Hernando County Neighborhood Swallowed by Sinkholes

Jun 27, 2012

"It's crazy. It's absolutely crazy."

Anthony DiGiorgi has lived in his Springhill home for 12 years. He says sinkholes have always been a concern, but Tropical Storm Debby has made things much worse.

"It looks like it's going to get worse. There's no doubt about it. I can see impressions in the road that weren't there before."

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