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Bucs quarterback, FAMU and Tuskegee bands, in MLK parade

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston as grand marshal and the popular marching bands from Florida A&M and Tuskegee University, St. Petersburg’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade got a high-stepping shot in the arm this year. The Tampa Bay Times reports this year’s parade has new organizers, a new name – the MLK Dream Big Parade – and a new route. In November, the city parted ways with its longtime organizer after his financial interests in the parade…

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Steve Sarkisian: Time away showed me I loved coaching football

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Steve Sarkisian has been cramming for a final exam he didn’t know he’d have to take. The newly elevated Alabama offensive coordinator had all of a week after his earlier-than-expected promotion to prepare and implement the game plan for Monday night’s national championship game with No. 3 Clemson. Not to mention getting better acquainted with players, most notably quarterback Jalen Hurts, and adapting to a very different job description. “I’m embracing this more than anything,” Sarkisian said Saturday. “I would…

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Pro sports franchises: Build your own stadium, ballpark, or arena

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Mitch Perry’s story Tuesday on FloridaPolitics.com about the bill filed by state Sen. Tom Lee to dismantle state’s Sports Development Program triggered an instant thought: Well, forget about a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. I followed up with a call to Lee, a Republican from Brandon, and asked if my thought about the Rays was on the mark. “This won’t preclude the Rays or any other franchise from coming to the Legislature and asking for help with a…

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Tom Lee wants to eliminate agency designed to use taxpayers funds for constructing or improving sports facilities

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Less than three years after Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation providing for state revenues to go toward constructing or improving professional sports franchise facilities, state Sen. Tom Lee wants to eliminate the agency created to distribute those funds. “The Sports Development Program was ill-conceived and based on the false premise that these capital improvements are a boon for economic development,” the Brandon Republican said Tuesday. “Professional teams are vying for taxpayer funds to pay for largely superficial facility upgrades, many of which are already in progress or…

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Jack Latvala still upset about NFL players sitting during national anthem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two weeks ago, Republican Jack Latvala posted a statement on his Facebook page blasting Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Mike Evans for choosing to sit on the bench during the playing of the national anthem. A day later, after being barraged with a firestorm of criticism, Evans said he would no longer do so. Now, the Clearwater state Senator is calling on the public to sign a petition informing the National Football League that they proudly stand for the anthem. “If NFL players are…

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Jack Latvala message heard: Bucs Mike Evans to resume standing for anthem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After igniting a firestorm of criticism for his decision to sit down during the playing of the national anthem Sunday to protest Donald Trump’s election, Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Mike Evans said on Tuesday that going forward he will focus on “more effective ways to communicate my message,” and will stand with his teammates once again this coming Sunday. In a statement, the Bucs receiver began by apologizing to all members of the military, their families, and the fans who he offended, saying that was…

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Mitch Perry Report for 11.15.16 — The non-voters speak out

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Mike Evans is feeling the heat today — and so is his employer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Evans decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem before Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium versus the Chicago Bears to protest the election of Donald Trump as president is predictably receiving negative reviews in Tampa — the home of MacDill Air Force Base — and the country. Among those critics is Clearwater Republican Sen. Jack Latvala, who says he’s “tired of it.” Since this…

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