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  1. Pasco County mulls preserving former Ft. King ranch

    Environment

    LAND O'LAKES — Nearly three decades after Freeman Polk unsuccessfully attempted to auction his massive Fort King Ranch, the thousands of acres north of State Road 52 just might have a new buyer — Pasco County.

    A Pasco advisory committee is recommending the county acquire the nearly 3,600 acres formelry known as the Fort King Ranch north of State Road 52.
  2. A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

    Teachers

    LAND O'LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.

    Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, left, hold contract talks Nov. 9, with district negotiators. The sides are nearing an agreement.
  3. Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The Lightning entered Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks determined to avoid its first losing streak of the season.

    Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) gets to the puck ahead of Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan during the first period, in which Chicago had the better of play and a 2-0 lead.
  4. Basketball: USF Bulls bounce back with rout of Howard; FSU, Miami win

    College

    TAMPA — Three nights after running out of steam in a loss at Indiana, USF had enough to steamroll Howard of the MEAC.

  5. Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

    Business

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers' heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.

    Some smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide. Keep St. Pete Local is an independent business alliance in St. Petersburg that has more than 600 members.
  6. Zimbabwe's incoming leader returns home to cheers

    World

    HARARE, Zimbabwe — Poised to become Zimbabwe's next president, a former confidant of ousted leader Robert Mugabe on Wednesday promised "a new, unfolding democracy" and reached out to the world, saying international help is needed to rebuild the shattered economy.

    Supporters of Zimbabwe’s president in waiting, Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile,” raise a stuffed reptile  in the air Wednesday as they await Mnangagwa’s arrival at the ZANU-PF party headquarters in Harare. He will be sworn in on Friday.
  7. Hernando deputies make arrest after finding body of dead woman Wednesday

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County sheriff's deputies arrested a 32-year-old man Wednesday who they say killed a woman.

  8. Mother and two children hit by car in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — A mother of two was in critical condition Wednesday night after a car struck her and her two children as they attempted to cross S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa police said.

  9. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said it's too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy pressures Dolphins QB Matt Moore (8) during Sunday’s game.
  10. Man charged with homicide a year after head-on crash

    News

    TAMPA — Esther Jean, 31, died in a head-on crash nine days before her 32nd birthday. More than a year later, the man who survived has been charged with vehicular homicide.

    Jacob Robin Albarracin is charged with vehicular homicide.
  11. Here's when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

    Retail

    Although the crowds might still be unruly and the lines long, Black Friday as "The Day" is slowly waning.

    Shoppers at Kohl's in Brandon wait in line during Black Friday 2016. Because of online shopping, the day has waned in importance in the retail world, but many consumers still like to mosey through the mall. "There's still a social experience and sensory experience that's not replicated on a computer screen," said UF professor Steve Kirn. "Those perfumes they spray, it smells pretty good." [Times files]
  12. Death of Tampa man struck by patrol car during chase is investigated

    News

    TAMPA — A 24-year-old Tampa man died four days after he was hit and critically injured by a patrol car while running from Tampa police, according to police and an attorney for the man's family.

  13. As rules change, many Florida immigrants face a choice: Do they stay or go?

    National

    Lys Isma was born in Haiti, but she's used to driving in Miami with a license, going to college and living without fear of being deported.

    A demonstrator chants into a megaphone during a protest ahead of the arrival of President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach on Tuesday. The Trump administration has moved to slash the number of refugees, accelerate deportations and terminate the provisional residency of more than a million people, among other measures. [Saul Martinez | Bloomberg]
  14. Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has watched plenty of film on Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.

    Nikita Kucherov, left, awaiting a faceoff with Patrick Kane (88) Wednesday, says everything Kane does is “easy and smooth.”