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  1. DeWitt: Texas is the inspiration at Brooksville's new MOPAC BBQ


    The mahogany color of the brisket circling slowly in the smoker at MOPAC BBQ promised intense flavor once the meat ended up on a plate — or, actually, in Texas barbecue fashion, on a paper sheet spread over an aluminum tray.

    Bernard Price of Brooksville scoops mashed potatoes in a to-go container for a customer at MOPAC BBQ in Brooksville.
  2. 5 things to do under $5: Viola Davis, Highland Games parade, Billy Joel's Lords of 52nd Street


    1 USF Lecture Series: Viola Davis: The Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actor will give a free talk at the Tampa campus on Tuesday. Expect a crowd because the star of The Help, Doubt and How to Get Away With Murder has already made us cry a couple of times this year in her speeches collecting …

    Actor Viola Davis.
  3. At new West Marine store, the focus is all about the water


    SPRING HILL — The next best thing to cavorting on or in Florida waters might be a dewy-eyed wade through the depths of recently opened West Marine.

    As river, bay and gulf waters warm, Will Henster at West Marine says kayaks are in big demand.
  4. Samsung may bring back its fire-plagued Galaxy Note 7 smartphone


    SEOUL, South Korea — The star-crossed Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — the ambitious new smartphone whose problems with fires prompted an unprecedented and costly product axing, warnings from airlines and a host of one-liners from late-night comedians — may be headed back into the hands of consumers.

    Samsung Electronics said Monday that it might sell refurbished versions of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
  5. Taste of the Islands expands with downtown St. Petersburg location


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Taste of the Islands opened on 34th Street in 1992, Yvonne Thompson said she wasn't sure it had been a good idea to get into the restaurant industry.

    Chef George Brown, left, and cashier Audie Damon, give to go service with a smile at the new Taste of The Islands Restaurant, located at  364 1st Ave. NE (across from Williams Park) in St. Petersburg.  LARA CERRI   |   Times
  6. Report: Albertson's in early talks to buy Sprouts Farmers Market


    Albertsons Cos., the grocery-chain operator backed by Cerberus Capital Management, has held preliminary talks to merge with Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., according to a Bloomberg news report.

    Employees last month stock the deli cases at the Sprouts Farmers Market in Carrollwood at 15110 Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, in preparation for its opening. Albertsons Cos., the grocery-chain operator backed by Cerberus Capital Management, has held preliminary talks to merge with Sprouts, according to a Bloomberg news report. 
[CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times] 

FL, Tuesday, February 21, 2017. It's the first Sprouts Farmers Market to open in Tampa and will open to the public Wednesday, Feb. 23.
  7. Florida Senate approves bill to let grocery outlets sell hard liquor in stores

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Floridians are one step closer to being able to buy whiskey, rum or vodka in a grocery store.

    The Florida Senate on Thursday approved a measure which would allow grocery stores like Publix to sell hard liquor on the shelves next to beer and wine instead of in a separate liquor store. [TImes file photo]
  8. Private equity firm buying Checkers restaurant chain for $525 million


    TAMPA — Checkers Drive-In Restaurants is changing hands again.

    Private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners is set to buy Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants for around $525 million.
[Times file photo]
  9. Brooksville store makes charms out of castoffs


    BROOKSVILLE — From estate sales, garage sales and thrift shops to the showroom floor at Cottage Charms, castoffs become customers' cool things.

    Employee Donnie Nemon shows off a refurbished highboy. He said “the knobs were gone, the doors falling off.”
  10. Hard times for Sears as retailer casts doubt about its future


    NEW YORK — Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids, has said that after years of losing money that there is "substantial doubt" it will be able to keep its doors open. But it also insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk.

     Sears said it doubts that it will be able to remain in business. The company, which runs Kmart and its namesake stores, has struggled for years with weak sales. [Associated Press]