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Open-carry bill gets early support in Florida House hearing

TALLAHASSEE — Gun owners in Florida with concealed-carry permits are one step closer to getting the right to openly carry those weapons in public, under legislation that cleared a House subc …


John Morgan vandalized his Morgan & Morgan billboards in search of a 'purple cow'


Will there be a great pumpkin shortage? Crop experts say buy for pies now


  1. Column: How Trump won Twitter


    Donald Trump has mastered Twitter, embarking on a White House candidacy that forgoes costly, conventional methods of political communication and relies instead on the free, urgent and visceral platforms of social media. Over the past two months, on Twitter alone, he has been mentioned in 6.3 million conversations, eight …

    New York Times
  2. Oktoberfest season hits Tampa Bay with lots of ways to get your oompah on


    Thousands of people are expected to hoist large steins of beer at Tampa's Oktoberfest in Curtis Hixon Park this weekend. There are now nonstop Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt and Tampa. And people are beating down the doors to get into the new Hofbrauhaus in St. Petersburg.

    L-R: Jonathon Alderman, 34, of Lakeland, winces as he sets a new record for the stein hoist at the Oktoberfest Tampa event on October 13, 2013 at the Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa. Alderman held the filled liter glass of beer for 25:05, beating his old record by two minutes. Alderman has won this event at Oktoberfest Tampa for the last two years. The waterfront park was transformed into a giant beer garden with live music, German food, and activities for kids and adults.
  3. NBC's first sports bar may open at Universal CityWalk today


    It appears NBC is set to open its first sports bar, the NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk, with a massive HD stadium screen more than 100 feet wide at the entrance.

    . Rendering of the world's first-ever NBC Sports Grill & Brew is coming to Universal CityWalk. Opening this fall, the all-new restaurant is designed to reflect the excellence and excitement of NBC Sports' coverage.
  4. Will there be a great pumpkin shortage? Crop experts say buy for pies now


    NEOGA, Ill. — There should be enough pumpkins for Halloween this year, but that might not be the case for the canned pumpkin used in pies come Thanksgiving, according to crop experts in Illinois, the country's top pumpkin-producing state.

    Christopher Markus, 3, of South Elgin, Ill., picks out a pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch & Fall Festival in South Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. His family comes to the event every year. [Laura Stoecker | Daily Herald via AP]
  5. Review: 'Big Stone Gap' corny, but a passion project for Patrick Wilson


    Big Stone Gap (PG) isn't everyone's cup of sweet tea. It's a homespun tale populated by broadly drawn characters and solid actors — Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia — sounding like they gulped hush puppy batter.

    Ashley Judd and St. Petersburg’s Patrick Wilson co-star in Big Stone Gap, based on the novel by Adriana Trigiani.
    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, left, and William Gholston, right, pressure Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

    Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Listen to Episode 4 ...

    Our weekly Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast is back, with Episode 4 now online and myself and Rick Stroud talking about the Bucs' 37-23 loss to Carolina and looking ahead to this week's home game against the Jaguars. Is this the week the Bucs get Lovie Smith a home win? Listen in, and subscribe on iTunes -- thanks for making this part of your Bucs week ......


    Disappointed Rays see busy off-season, bright future ahead

    Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman and manager Kevin Cash wrapped up what both called a disappointing 80-82 season today with a media session at the Trop.

    "Anytime we're sitting here before you guys and not talking about a postseason series, it's a disappointment,'' Silverman said. "We came into spring training believing we had a team that would compete for the playoffs and possibly extend our season deep into the playoffs, and that didn't happen. There are a number of reasons for that.''

    Among the more interesting points:

    * While acknowledging injuries are a factor for all teams, Silverman said it was a bigger issue for the Rays due to the number of injuries and that they "don't really have the luxury for bad breaks.''

    * Silverman said he sees "a really good foundation" between the major- and minor-league teams, and Cash said the experience gained by the young players, and the staff, will benefit them going forward."

    * Silverman said he expects it to be a busy offseason at least in terms of talking, and they have a number of positions to address. Shortstop looks to be the biggest hole, and he made clear they would be open to dealing a starting pitcher.

    * Though principal owner Stuart Sternberg indicated last month the payroll may go down from $72-million, Silverman said they are just now having those conversations as they look at it over a several year window. He did note that the top 10 teams average $100- million more than the Rays.

    * One reason for their losing record was a run differential of only plus-2. Both Cash and Silverman put the onus on the offense to improve and feel that it can especially as they stick with the more aggressive approach.

    * Silverman said the oft-discussed pitching philosophy was hatched out of necessity and will be further studied as they shape their rotations and bullpens going forward.

    * Silverman said they were probably lucky to be 40-30 at one point, and that he felt the actually played better later in the season and didn't have the same results.

    * The Rays will open spring training Feb. 19 in Port Charlotte, first spring game is March 2 at home vs. #Nationals.

    * Asked his prediction for who wins the post-season, Cash chose the Blue Jays....


    Rubio criticizes government regulation of Uber, Airbnb

    NEW YORK (Associated Press) -- Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is warning of too much government meddling with Internet-based "on-demand companies."...