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Metro Development Group

Wesley Chapel has transformed from a town of sprawling cattle ranches to a hot spot of suburban growth.

Now, there will soon be a new addition – the nation’s first Crystal Lagoon, a 7.5 acre manmade body of turquoise water.

Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House and Senate are poised to approve rival versions of a new $87 billion state budget.

Office of the Governor

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is partnering with the South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and a private university from the Caribbean island to offer jobs to Hurricane Maria's evacuees.

Former Cook Gets 7 Years For Putting Lye In Yum Yum Sauce

Feb 8, 2018
Polk County Sheriff's Office

A disgruntled Lakeland restaurant worker has been sentenced to seven years in prison for putting deadly plumber's lye into the Yum Yum sauce.

The owner of the Hibachi Express franchise checked surveillance video after tasting the sauce during a routine inspection and immediately feeling his mouth burn.

A University of Florida researcher has found three species of mosquitoes feeding on Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. Lawrence Reeves, a post-doctoral researcher at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab in Vero Beach, says he and his team have recovered python DNA from the blood meals of those mosquitoes, and that it may be possible to detect the presence of the snakes using the technique. We'll learn more about his research and plans going forward.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Rays are celebrating two decades of baseball this upcoming season, and the team is embracing its past while thinking positively about the future.

On Wednesday, Rays leaders touted a new 20th anniversary logo and other plans to celebrate the occasion. But absent was mention of the team’s future in St. Petersburg, the loss of star players like Evan Longoria, and poor fan attendance.

State Could End Recognition Of Confederate Holidays

Feb 7, 2018
Google Street View.

Florida could remove the birthdays of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis from a list of legal holidays under a bill that has cleared its first committee.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office / Facebook page

Authorities in Hillsborough County say a man and woman were injured when shots were fired in a Home Depot parking lot in Brandon during an undercover gun buy involving two sheriff's deputies.

SpaceX

SpaceX's big new rocket blasted off Tuesday on its first test flight, carrying a red electric sports car aiming for an endless road trip past Mars.

At the corner of State Road 7 and Coral Bay Boulevard in Margate there’s what looks like any ordinary luxury apartment complex being developed. 

It may still be a construction zone, but the 100 units have all steel appliances, granite countertops in the kitchen and tile flooring. Outside there will be walking trails, a swimming pool and outdoor fitness stations. 

Cell phones and social media went nuts early Monday after a routine monthly test message for tsunami warnings from the National Weather Service for Florida, the U.S. east coast and parts of the Caribbean got recirculated as an official alert.

Hurricane victims don’t have to repair their homes or find new places to live alone. Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida who are getting FEMA help have many federal and state resources available to further support their recovery.

Reform-minded Florida lawmakers are disagreeing over how to address sexual harassment. House Republicans have significantly expanded their measure. And that could make it more difficult for the two chambers to agree.

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano and incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva met with leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida as lawmakers attempt to craft a gambling proposal, Galvano told The News Service of Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is directing the Transportation Department to implement new hurricane-evacuation and fuel-supply plans, including increasing emergency gas storage.


Orlando Police Dept.

A Riverview man is in jail for allegedly threatening to kidnap pop singer Lana Del Rey before a concert.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

One hundred years after the sinking of the USS Tampa during World War I, a new mural was unveiled on Saturday honoring the more than 130 men - including 24 from Tampa Bay -who  were killed when the ship was sunk by a German submarine.

Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Authorities have released surveillance photos of a man who robbed a poker room cashier at a Tampa casino.

Wikipedia Commons

It’s tax season, and identity thieves are eager to claim your tax refund as their own. Filing your return early might help you avoid becoming a victim.

The newly-rekindled Veterans and Military Families Caucus is endorsing a series of bills to further help veterans and their families in the state of Florida. 

Florida Facing Affordable Housing Crisis

Feb 2, 2018

In the wake of natural disasters, stagnant wages and a growing separation of wealth, Florida is suffering from an affordable housing catastrophe and concern is growing statewide.

Church Gun Bills Teed Up In House, Senate

Feb 2, 2018

Measures that would help clear the way for people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns at churches and other religious institutions are ready to go to the House and Senate floors.

In a ruling that could have reverberations on this year's crucial elections, a federal judge Thursday ruled that Florida's current ban on former felons voting is unconstitutional and needs to be changed as soon as possible.

Sunshine State Time? Florida Wants To Stop Changing Clocks

Feb 2, 2018
Alex The Shutter, Flikr

Floridians would stop changing their clocks twice a year if some state legislators get their way.

Florida could start sharing voter information to make sure people aren't registered in other states under a bill approved by the Florida House.

WLRN.org

State workers could no longer make charitable donations through their paychecks under a bill passed by the Florida House.

The U.S. Army / Flickr

Talk about one heck of an explosive donation.

House Eyes Tax Help For Agriculture Industry

Feb 1, 2018

Florida’s Hurricane Irma-battered agriculture industry, growing anxious as it awaits federal disaster relief, could land some help from the state House as part of a tax-cut package.

Google Maps

The Tampa Bay Rays fired the team physician after a video posted on YouTube included accusations of sexual abuse with a teenager who worked for him about a decade ago.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A Plant City man who has spent two decades in the U.S. illegally is being deported.

Luis Felipe Blanco-Reyes, 41, lived with his pregnant wife and six children. He worked and is the sole provider for his family.

Although Blanco-Reyes had been granted a humanitarian stay in the past, immigration authorities told him he's got to go back to his native Mexico.

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