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Rick Baker emphasizes education issues during fundraiser in south St Pete

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Upon taking the stage Tuesday night, Rick Baker made a promise to the hundreds of supporters in attendance at the Morean Arts Center for Clay. Baker vowed he wouldn’t speak as long as he did on the steps of City Hall two weeks earlier when he officially announced a bid for Mayor of St. Petersburg. He kept to that promise, clocking in with an address that lasted a little more than 22 minutes. While some of it was a rehash of the themes…

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Bob Buckhorn apologies for military conference joke

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Over the course of six years as mayor, Bob Buckhorn has said things that have offended some people, but he has rarely (if ever) been forced to apologize. Until now. Unless you’ve been avoiding local (now national) press over the past couple of days, you know the mayor has been (metaphorically) under fire since the Tampa Bay Times’ Howard Altman reported Friday afternoon on a number of reporters who took offense with a crack Buckhorn made at a military conference last week at the Tampa Convention Center.…

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Tampa City Council wants lawmakers to explain bill that would have gutted CRA’s

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A proposal by Lithia Republican Jake Raburn (HB 13) calling for an end to all community redevelopment agencies (CRA’s) died in a legislative committee in the Florida House last month. And members of the Tampa City Council are happy about that. Raburn’s bill didn’t go as far as a related proposal by Brandon Republican Tom Lee in the Senate (SB 1770). That bill would have placed much stricter requirements on CRA’s, but it also stalled in a committee as well. At Thursday’s Tampa…

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Augie Ribeiro to decide ‘in near future’ on St. Pete City Council run

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Augie Ribeiro, the wealthy trial attorney who made a late run for state Senate District 19 in 2016, is now considering a run for the District 6 seat on St. Petersburg’s City Council. “I am considering running for this seat,” Ribeiro wrote in an email to FloridaPolitics.com Monday afternoon. “I will be deciding in the near future if it is the right time and position to serve the public,” he says, adding that “District 6 encompasses many of  the same constituents as in…

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Poll shows Rowdies soccer stadium referendum cruising to victory

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During a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board, Rick Baker said there were no plans for direct mail or other campaign spending to win a May 2 referendum to negotiate a 25-year lease with the city to expand Al Lang Stadium. That’s because Baker, the former St. Petersburg mayor and president of the Edwards Group who is quarterbacking the pitch for Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards, is confident St. Pete residents will support the stadium expansion as part of an…

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Tampa Bay Partnership on board with Jack Latvala-Dan Raulerson bill creating regional transit agency

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Legislation that would create a regional transit agency connecting four Tampa Bay-area counties breezed through committees in both the House and Senate last week. The proposed agency would be created in advance of a much anticipated Florida Dept. of Transportation transit study scheduled to be completed next year. “It’s a real project. It’s not just talk. And so we realized that in order to get this started, we needed to have the right kind of planning and the right operational structure…

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Michael LaForgia leaving Tampa Bay Times to join New York Times investigative reporting team

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Another award-winning Tampa Bay Times reporter and editor is moving on. On Thursday, the paper announced Michael LaForgia is heading to The New York Times to become part of its investigative reporting team. The 33-year-old LaForgia has been the investigative editor for the Tampa Bay Times since August, and with the paper overall since 2012. He has been twice part of a team that won a Pulitzer for Local Reporting. The first Pulitzer was in 2014, when LaForgia and Will Hobson won…

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