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Tampa Bay Times’ Alexandra Zayas to work for ProPublica

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Tampa Bay Times award-winning investigative reporter Alexandra Zayas is departing the newspaper to work for ProPublica, the investigative non-profit organization based in New York City. The 34-year-old Miami native has been with the Times since 2005, coming to work for the paper after graduating from the University of Miami. “It’s a really exciting time to join ProPublica,” she said Monday morning, a few hours after the news of her hiring went live. “Investigative journalism is having a very important moment right now,…

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Andrew Warren slams proposed bill that would shift the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases

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Elected on a platform of wanting to reform much of Hillsborough County’s current system of justice,State Attorney Andrew Warren is voicing his strong opposition to a measure pending in the Florida Legislature that would shift the burden of proof in ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defense cases. The bill, sponsored by Fleming Island Republican Rob Bradley (SB 128), would shift the burden of proof to prosecutors during evidentiary hearings in self-defense cases. It stems from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that…

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Newsprint vendor sues Tampa Bay Times over defaulted $340K debt

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A newsprint vendor is suing the Tampa Bay Times, claiming the paper owes more than $340,000 in debt from the acquisition of the Tampa Tribune last year. Emails submitted in the suit show a story of increasing disarray with vendors at the 121-year-old Trib leading up to the May 2016 purchase. In April 2015, the Tribune issued a promissory note to Boise Packaging acknowledging an unpaid debt of nearly $600,000 for newsprint. Boise Packaging is a subsidiary of Packaging Corporation…

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Tampa Bay Times’ Paul Tash says a priority for him is to ‘reconnect’ with Donald Trump supporters

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Although the Tampa Bay Times has a national presence, its greatest impact is, arguably, its reporting on what’s going on in the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida. Yet when Paul Tash, the paper’s president and CEO, came before the usually aggressive members of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, most of those who got the chance to ask him a question focused on their concerns about the phenomenon known as “fake news” and other related aspects…

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Tampa Bay Times acknowledges its recent stories on Mosaic spill are inaccurate

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Last week, the Tampa Bay Times quoted two retired hydrology experts who slammed the phosphate giant Mosaic and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection over the massive sinkhole that exploded under a gypsum stack at Mosaic’s New Wales plant in Mulberry last summer, resulting in 215 million gallons of radioactive wastewater released into the Florida aquifer. Don Rice and Mary Hrenda told the Times that a full year before the incident, monitoring wells around the stack showed a sinkhole was developing, and that both Mosaic and the DEP should have been aware…

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Mosaic pushes back hard against Tampa Bay Times over sinkhole reporting

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Following a report from the Tampa Bay Times’ Craig Pittman regarding the sinkhole that opened up on Mosaic Fertilizer’s property in late 2016, the company sent out a scathing rebuke to media alleging Pittman “continues to provide a platform for false information.” In the report, Pittman interviewed Don Rice, a former hydrologist from the U.S. Geological Survey, who alleges the company should have seen the signs of a sinkhole forming. Jackie Barron, a Mosaic spokeswoman, said the claims made in Pittman’s…

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Hillsborough MPO head wants to slow down talk of new regional transportation authority

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Beth Alden is looking to have a serious discussion about regional transportation in the Tampa Bay area. In early 2017, the consensus among the political and business establishment is that the Tampa Bay region must come together as one cohesive regional entity to maximize its leverage before anything can be done about transportation. However, Alden, the head of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Organization (MPO), wants to put on the brakes. “Let’s not do this half-assed,” she asserted in an interview earlier this…

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