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Third National Flag of the Confederacy to be removed from Hillsborough County Center

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The Hillsborough County Commission voted unanimously this afternoon to remove the Third National Flag of the Confederacy from the County Center in downtown Tampa today, along with the flags of the other countries that also hang in the lobby that used to occupy Florida: Spain, France, and Great Britain. The American flag also hangs in the lobby. The motion to do so came from County Commissioner Les Miller, the only black member of the board. After the unanimous vote to…

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Mitch Perry Report for 7.13.15 — Will Jim Webb’s candidacy go anywhere in the Dem primary?

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Scott Walker comes out of semi-hibernation tonight to officially announce his candidacy for president. We’ll have plenty to talk about the man who is doing well in nearby Iowa, but has many questions surrounding his candidacy as he officially gets into the race. Meanwhile, the only candidate in either party to announce via press release, former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, did his first major television interview yesterday since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. On Fox News Sunday, Webb…

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Stacy White wants Hillsborough voters to decide whether to keep flag out of County Center

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In an event captured live on all of the cable news networks Friday morning, South Carolina lowered the Confederate battle flag from outside its State House, where it had flow for more than 50 years. The flag had long been a subject of public protests and disagreements in South Carolina, but it took the savage killing of nine black people at a church last month to inspire Gov. Nikki Haley and the South Carolina Legislature to support the removal of…

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Hillsborough County half-percent sales tax for transit plan goes public

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Cautious optimism seemed to be the mood espoused by many members of both the public and lawmakers this afternoon after Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill and Bob Clifford with transportation consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff delivered many (but not all) of the fine details of a proposed half-percent sales transit tax that could go before Hillsborough County voters in the fall of 2016 today. “We are ranked the 11th worst area for traffic congestion in the United States, and that’s something that I don’t…

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Hillsborough County Commission picks Janet Dougherty as the next EPC chief

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She didn’t even make the initial list of finalists, but now Janet Dougherty will soon become only the third executive director of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Agency (EPC). The 53-year-old Hillsborough County native comes with 25 years of experience in local and state environmental policy and business management, and she wasn’t even on the short list recommended by the EPC’s selection committee last month. But the door opened up for her after Scott Emery, the EPC wetland enforcement manager, had to…

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Activists call for fighting legislation in Tally at Tampa Pride event

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Members of the GLBT community and their allies flocked to Ybor City under idyllic conditions on Saturday, as Tampa hosted its first gay pride event in over a decade. In his public remarks, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner referred to what he called one of the “darkest moments in this country’s history” – the June 15, 2005 vote by the Board of County Commissioners to ban “gay pride” events. “I think it was a day when most of us felt a loss…

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