Tampa Bay food prices still steep but below national average

Data: BLS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Food prices across the Tampa Bay area were up 9.6% in November, the most recent data available, compared to the year prior, per a new analysis from Axios' Kavya Beheraj and Alex Fitzpatrick.

  • The cost of food eaten at home was up 10.4% here, while the price of food eaten away from home was up 8.4%, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ben Montgomery
Feb 3, 2023 - Sports

University of South Florida tennis teams to train with VR technology

A female uses virtual reality headset and raquet to practice tennis.

USF assistant coach Vanja Klaric tries Sense Arena's new technology. Photo: Courtesy USF Athletics

How about a tennis match in the metaverse?

What's happening: The University of South Florida men's and women's tennis teams have partnered with sports virtual reality company Sense Arena to use VR tools to supplement IRL training.

Ben Montgomery
Feb 1, 2023 - News

Manatee County Confederate memorial debate pushed

A photo of a monument to confederate soldiers in Bradenton, Fla.

The base of the granite obelisk commemorating Confederate generals and soldiers. It stood in front of the Manatee County courthouse until 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Manatee County commissioners postponed a vote Tuesday on whether to re-install a Confederate monument on the lawn of the county courthouse, where it was removed following a wave of protests in 2017.

What happened: The commission was poised to discuss bringing back the memorial at Tuesday's board meeting, after several residents raised the idea last month. But commissioners said the issue had been removed from the agenda at the last minute.

Ben Montgomery
Feb 1, 2023 - News

New College of Florida trustees replace president with DeSantis ally

Students during a Defend New College protest in Sarasota, Florida, US,

Students and alumni of New College of Florida protest before a meeting of the newly comprised board of trustees. Photo: Octavio Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The New College of Florida's overhauled board of trustees ousted the school's president on Tuesday night in their first swift move to reshape the liberal arts school into a more conservative college.

Driving the news: The board, with six newly seated conservatives, voted to appoint as interim president Richard Corcoran, a former Republican state House speaker and Florida education secretary. Corcoran is a close ally of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Selene San Felice
Jan 31, 2023 - News

Tampa Bay Rays get their say for Tropicana Field redevelopment

rendering of new Gas Plant District proposed by Hines and the Rays

Aerial view of the project looking south along Booker Creek, with First Avenue South in foreground. Rendering courtesy of the City of St. Petersburg

The Tampa Bay Rays will lead the redevelopment of Tropicana Field.

Driving the news: St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced yesterday that he selected the team's proposal after mulling over four finalists since early December

Selene San Felice
Jan 31, 2023 - News

4 Tampa Bay road projects would be expedited under DeSantis plan

Illustration of a steam roller rolling out a hundred dollar bill and stretching it out.  

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While he's in the driver's seat for another legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis is gassing up transportation funding.

Driving the news: DeSantis announced his "Moving Florida Forward" transportation infrastructure proposal on Monday.

Nearly half of Tampa Bay's most-registered vehicles are pickup trucks

Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Axios Visuals

Four of the 10 most-registered vehicles in Tampa Bay are pickup trucks — vehicles that have been supersized and redesigned for comfort in recent decades, a far cry from the utilitarian and economical machines of previous years.

Driving the news: In the 1980s, about half of pickup trucks were categorized as small or midsize. But by the 2010s, small pickups had nearly vanished.

Ben Montgomery
Jan 27, 2023 - News

Painting the faces of Gasparilla pirates past

A man applies another man's pirate makeup while a third man watches on, smiling.

A man applies makeup for costumed pirates at the Gasparilla festival in 1960. Photo: Courtesy of Karl E. Holland/State Archives of Florida

On Saturday, cannons will erupt, guns will fire and thousands of pirates under various flags will descend upon Tampa for their drunken promenade up Bayshore Boulevard.

Yes, but: Before this once-a-year play on piracy, there occurs an overlooked moment that's as much a part of this Tampa Bay tradition as José Gaspar.

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