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Florida News

  1. Florida Senate approves bill to let grocery outlets sell hard liquor in stores

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Floridians are one step closer to being able to buy whiskey, rum or vodka in a grocery store.

    The Florida Senate on Thursday approved a measure which would allow grocery stores like Publix to sell hard liquor on the shelves next to beer and wine instead of in a separate liquor store. [TImes file photo]
  2. Urban farming takes root in New Port Richey front yards


    NEW PORT RICHEY — "That's Broccoli George's. He started his in 2010," Jim Kovaleski says, walking by 5649 Virginia Avenue.

    Jim Kovaleski, a self-proclaimed urban farmer, picks fresh produce from his mother's front yard on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in New Port Richey. Kovaleski, who splits his year living in a small cracker style home along Virginia Avenue in New Port Richey and a tent near the Maine shoreline, is part of the growing New Urbanism movement. Kovaleski says that New Port Richey has cheap land, low taxes, free compost, an urban agriculture ordinance and a free year-round farmers market. (CHRIS URSO   |   Times)
  3. Caught in crossfire between Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran, group fights for survival

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — While the prospect of another round of military base closures is getting more talk in Washington, the Florida Legislature is taking steps to kill off a non-profit created to help keep Florida bases off the chopping block.

    A flight crew boards a KC-135 R Stratotanker at the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Airforce Base. [Scott Martin | Associated Press]
  4. Future of medical pot in Florida still cloudy after Senate discussion


    TALLAHASSEE — What began as a decisive instruction from voters that patients who need medical marijuana should have access to it is shaping up to be a complex and contentious fight in the Florida Capitol.

     Some of the medical marijuana products on display in the “Garden” at Surterra Wellness Center, 2558 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, on Feb. 27. Surterra Holdings is one of seven companies in Florida licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana products in the state.
  5. With GOP health care bill teetering, Florida Rep. Dennis Ross worries failure will splinter party

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — Amid the bustle of afternoon votes, Rep. Dennis Ross came bounding around the corner with news. "We're getting closer. Neal Dunn is now on board," he said, referring to a fellow Florida Republican House member.

    Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, discusses the GOP’s efforts to pass an alternative to Obamacare. Ross is one of a few senior deputy majority whips trying to bring on reluctant Republicans.
  6. Biotech giant Amgen to open Tampa center, creating up to 450 jobs

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Biotechnology giant Amgen is opening a facility in Tampa this October with promises to create as many as 450 jobs here by 2018.

    Amgen is opening a center in Tampa, bringing up to 450 jobs.
[Handout photo]
  7. Florida mom arrested after her 3-year-old son fires her gun in school parking lot


    DELTONA — A Florida woman faces a child neglect charge after police say her 3-year-old son fired her loaded handgun in the parking lot of a church's school academy.

    Abbie Maldonado, 30, was charged with felony child neglect after her 3-year-old son grabbed her pistol from her car and fired it in a church school's parking lot. [Volusia County Jail]
  8. Bill that attempts to freeze gambling in Florida advances in House


    TALLAHASSEE — A bill that attempts to lock Florida's gambling footprint in place for 20 years — and ice out any casino expansion — passed a key House committee along a party line vote Tuesday leaving the Legislature miles apart over how to resolve the lucrative gambling compact with the Seminole …

     Pictured is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa's new state-of-the-art poker room on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The non-smoking poker room features 46 tables, 40 TV sets, and a drinks and snacks bar.
  9. In Orlando? Try these restaurants a bit off the beaten path

    Food & Dining


    I knew as soon as I stumbled upon the back entrance to Buttermilk Bakery, a small patio flanked by succulents and filled with soft sunlight, that it was my kind of place. The new small-batch bakery, housed in a space the size of an elementary school portable, is churning out gorgeous pastries, brunch and …

    Three bao from King Bao in Orlando (from left, sweet potato croquette, fried chicken, marinated short rib) and the restaurant’s Truffle Tater Tots.
  10. Destination foodie: Theme parks expand food festivals to feed all tastes


    We've become a foodie nation, and theme parks are smart to embrace this enduring movement.

    Busch Gardens’ Food & Wine Festival is back for a third year with dozens of food stations and a hit concert lineup. This is the key lime berry parfait mousse garnished with a cinnamon churro.