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News from across the Bay: Trop money for poor neighborhoods, hurricane movie favorites

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Thursday morning news across the web on Tampa Bay-based newspapers and websites were a grab bag of random topics. From weird movie recommendations to watch in a storm to Tropicana Field funding projects in poor neighborhoods, the news is also all over the place.

In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of what the other guys were boasting on the web Thursday morning.

Tampa Bay Times

The Times seems to be fairly on top of it. Their top web story Thursday morning speculated that St. Pete City Council may consider tying development of Tropicana Field land to improving poor neighborhoods to the South of the property.

One possibility is to tie Tropicana field into the just approved Southside Community Redevelopment Area. As of now, that CRA’s boundaries stop just south of the property. Including the Trop in that fund would require redrawing those boundaries.

It sounds like a nail in the coffin to baseball in St. Pete, but if the matter were to be seriously considered, it wouldn’t necessarily end baseball immediately. According to the Times, the Rays would only need a small hunk of land to continue playing ball there.

City Council is set to talk about the Rays stadium saga at a workshop Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

The Times also addresses home prices with an article about data showing Tampa Bay home prices are slightly less than full- market value, suggesting buying a home is still a good value.

Another top story raises concerns about the Tampa Bay Lightning in the do or die Game 7 away game Friday. Goalie Ben Bishop was pulled from the game early Tuesday. His early exit leaves some fans worried he won’t be able to carry the team to a victory.

Tampa Tribune 

The Tampa Tribune boasted a lackluster array of morning top stories on its website Thursday. The top story on the paper’s local section included a photo of a decorated chair at a Plant High School graduation. Jackie Faircloth was hit by a car in November while visiting a brother at Florida State University. Her friends saved her a chair despite the fact that she won’t be walking during the ceremony.

The Tribune also offers a random smattering of suggested movies to watch if forced to hunker down during a storm. Their list includes Groundhog Day, Wet Hot American Summer, Key Largo and American Sniper. They also suggest Sharknado and Sharknado 2. For anyone who has seen even five minutes of that joke, they know you can either laugh at how horrible it is or cry.

Of course, the Trib also recommends a couple of books in case the power goes out, including the classic, Pride and Prejudice, as well as a handful of others I’ve never heard of.

Other headlines gracing include a story about bird bones found in Tampa and something about a country music band playing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater Friday.

Tampa Bay Business Journal

In its daily roundup of business news, the Tampa Bay Business Journal posted results from a report that showed Google created $7.41 billion in economic activity in Florida last year. Those numbers resulted, in part, from advertising. Another nearly $10 million was doled out to nonprofits for free advertising.

TBBJ top stories also included Duke Energy’s recent approval of a 5-megawatt solar facility near Disney. That builds on a previous announcement that the energy giant will put $1 million into a USF St. Pete solar project.

Some other top headlines Thursday morning on the biz journal include an analysis of the difference in cost of aftermarket Lightning/Rangers playoff tickets in New York verses Tampa. According to that report, tickets in New York were running about $1,050. Game six tickets in Tampa went for about $171. The report notes that there’s a huge difference between game six and seven – the one in Tampa was on Tuesday while the final game of the series in New York is a Friday night.

And for those who love to hate big banks, some not too surprising news is front and center on that same website. The Tampa Bay Business journal reports overdraft fees cost account holders $2.5 billion nationwide in just the first quarter of 2015 alone. That includes the top two banks in the Tampa Bay market, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The once considered source for hyper-local news,, has suffered a couple of years of harsh cutbacks. The St. Pete version of the web-based site hasn’t posted any new news for Thursday, but features an op-ed from St. Pete blogger Doc Webb about the Tampa Bay Rays.

In his opinion piece posted Wednesday, Webb issues a cautionary tale to leaders in St. Pete that baseball in the Sunshine City is not viable. He suggests the city consider a steeper buyout for the team to begin considering alternative stadium locations anywhere, not just in the region.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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