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Irma causes estimated $9 million in Hillsborough property damage

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Even though Hurricane Irma was “downgraded” to a Category 1 storm by the time it ripped through the region last week, it has definitely made a financial impact in Hillsborough County. Preston Cook, Hillsborough County’s director of emergency management, said Wednesday that while the storm wasn’t nearly as fierce as initially feared, Irma damaged 287 single family homes, 140 mobile homes and 14 businesses. That adds up to a total of $8.9 million in property damages to date. The estimated…

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Janet Cruz: Hurricane prep should be bipartisan

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Much has been said about how the intensity of emotions regarding Hurricane Irma brought with it a spirit of togetherness among Floridians who got through the storm, but can that spirit pervade the state Legislature? There’s certainly a sense of bipartisanship after House Speaker Richard Corcoran announced that he was forming the Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. “It is my sincere hope that the Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness will be a good-faith, bipartisan effort at…

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In St. Pete, Duke Energy president apologizes for failing to restore power as quickly as promised

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Late last week, Duke Energy Florida promised power-deprived residents in Pinellas County that with a few exceptions, everyone who had lost electricity due to Hurricane Irma would have it restored by midnight Friday. That didn’t happen.

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Charlie Gerdes backs Gina Driscoll for St. Pete City Council

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District 6 candidate Gina Driscoll announced an endorsement Tuesday from one of her would-be colleagues on the St. Petersburg City Council.

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Ross Spano files bill declaring pornography a ‘public health crisis’

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Does Florida have a pornography problem? State Rep. Ross Spano thinks so. That’s why the Dover Republican proposed a resolution that would recognize pornography is creating a “public health crisis” in the Sunshine State. According to the proposal: “The public health crisis created by pornography and acknowledges the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.” Like other bills filed by Florida GOP lawmakers, similar legislation has already been introduced and passed in additional…

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Cleanup crews heading into unincorporated Pinellas

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Crews started heading out into unincorporated Pinellas County Monday to get cracking on picking up the trees, branches and other debris downed by Hurricane Irma.

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With the Confederate statue now moved, Tom Scaritt looks back with pride

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While most people were focusing on getting their power restored and cleaning up debris after Hurricane Irma barreled through the region, a maintenance crew hired by Hillsborough County physically removed the controversial 106-year-old Confederate monument that stood in front of the county courthouse annex since 1953.

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