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Hillsborough journalist Sarykarmen Rivera displays a photo of herself and her family on Tuesday that was taken in her hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico.LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Puerto Ricans in Tampa Bay wait with dread as Hurricane Maria approaches island

TAMPA — As Hurricane Maria swirled in the Atlantic Ocean, Sarykarmen Rivera got a call from her parents in Puerto Rico. They had an ominous message. We think it's going to make a direct hit here. "I try to be the strong daughter, but I have to admit I started sobbing when I hung up the phone," Rivera, a Riverview j …


Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, in Tallahassee during a Senate committee meeting.

Another Bright Futures boost? Florida lawmakers propose higher ed expansions

Veto be darned.

Gov. Rick Scott may have nixed a huge higher education bill in June, but Florida lawmakers are already renewing their push to overhaul the state's higher education system in the coming legislative session, starting with the tuition bills of top students....


Duke Energy workers cut tree limbs off a power line on Sept. 11 following Hurricane Irma.

Tampa Electric rules, Duke Energy drools, Hillsborough commissioners declare

TAMPA — The pile on of Duke Energy continued Wednesday in Hillsborough County, where commissioners boasted how quickly most of their constituents had power after Hurricane Irma....


Hurricane Irma toppled a large tree in front of Westshore Elementary School. This image and others are being assembled as the Hillsborough County School District prepares its claim to FEMA.

Four Hillsborough schools will get chillers with money that was earmarked for air conditioners at Lee Elementary

First: This is what Hurricane Irma did to schools in Hillsborough County. This slide show, shared at a meeting Wednesday of the School Board's facilities committee, does not, of course, include the fire that consumed Lee Elementary on Sept. 12....