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Monday's Axios Tampa Bay stories

DeSantis threatens to issue "millions" in fines over local vaccine mandates

Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the state will fine cities and counties $5,000 for each employee required to get vaccinated, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: It is the Republican governor's latest threat against local officials who have implemented mask or vaccine mandates in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Craig Pittman's new book compiles 30 years of chronicling Florida's weirdness

Photos courtesy of Craig PIttman

Craig Pittman launches his latest book tomorrow at Tombolo Books in St. Pete in conversation with the journalist and author Tamara Lush.

  • "The State You’re In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and other Wildlife" is a "love story involving the most tattooed woman in the world, a deep dive into the state’s professional mermaid industry, and an investigation of a battle between residents of a nudist resort and the U.S. Postal Service."
  • Tickets are $5.

Why it matters: Pittman has covered the wild side of Florida for more than 30 years, and the book is a collection of columns that have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times and other outlets.

Tampa Bay Rays slash ticket prices to lure fans to Tropicana Field

Willi Castro of the Detroit Tigers beats the throw to Rays shortstop Joey Wendle to steal second base on Sept. 10. Photo: Duane Burleson/Getty Images

To lure more fans to the Trop, the Rays are offering $10 tickets and discounted concessions for the final 10 home games of the regular season.

  • Thousands of tickets will see their prices reduced, starting Thursday, per the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Concession specials include $5 beers, $4 sodas and $5 popcorn and candy.

Our thought bubble: Honestly not too far off from some of your proposals last week to lure in more fans. (We're not holding our breath for the Rays-subsidized party bus, though.)

Something that won't help: Rays phenom Wander Franco left Friday’s 10-4 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park with right hamstring tightness and was placed on the 10-day injured list over the weekend, MLB.com reports.

Tampa Bay makes a big splash in the Keys' Swim for Alligator Lighthouse

The Alligator Reef Lighthouse. Photo: Brenda Altmeier/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Tampa Bay dominated the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse over the weekend.

  • The 8-mile open-water swim in the waters of Islamorada raises college scholarship funds for Keys students interested in competitive swimming.
  • The yearly race also raises money to restore the 148-year-old Alligator Reef Lighthouse and other aging Keys lighthouses.

Our winners: Connor Signorin, 29, of Tampa, beat out more than 460 participants to finish in a little over three hours — 3:05:37, to be exact, per the AP.

  • Brooke Bennett, a three-time Olympic gold medalist from Clearwater, finished as the top woman at 3:19:20.
  • Andrew Lashlee and Robert Skaggs of Tampa were the fastest in the two-person relay division at 4:03:58.