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  1. Turning Point, Week 16: Packers receiver Jordy Nelson outproduces entire Bucs offense

    Bucs

    For the Bucs' sake, let's hope Santa Claus wasn't watching Sunday, because if he was, he saw a whole lot more bad than good against the Green Bay Packers, winners of a 20-3 snoozer.

    Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson caught all nine passes thrown his way for 113 yards and a touchdown. [Associated Press]
  2. Slain Tarpon Springs officer remembered as good cop, family man

    Crime

    TARPON SPRINGS — By day, "Charlie K" was a good dad. By night, he was known as a good cop.

    Flowers are placed on a police car near the scene of the shooting of Officer Charles Kondek in Tarpon Springs on Sunday. Kondek, a 17-year veteran of the local police department and originally from New York, was shot and killed in Tarpon Springs early Sunday responding to a call shortly after 2 a.m. [Monica Herndon   |   Times]

  3. Suspect in Tarpon officer's death has extensive criminal past

    News

    GIBSONTON — Police officials on Sunday called Marco Parilla Jr. a coward, a bad guy and a cop killer.

    Family members recalled Marco Parilla Jr., the suspect in a Sunday’s killing of a Tarpon Springs police officer, as a quiet and fun-loving child.
Photo courtesy of Juana Melendez
  4. Some Catholics dismayed by pope's role in Cuba deal

    Human Interest

    MIAMI — The key role Pope Francis played encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro left fractures among his flock in South Florida, where many older Roman Catholics equate the Castro brothers with the devil.

    President Barack Obama discussed the Cuba situation with the pope at the Vatican in March. Pope Francis had suggested that a mutual release of prisoners could thaw U.S.-Cuba relations.
  5. Space Station astronaut captures beautiful image of Tampa Bay

    Space

    It seems so peaceful from up there.

    On Sunday, NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts ( @AstroTerry ) posted this photo of the Tampa Bay area taken aboard the International Space Station.

     

    NASA astronaut Terry Virts tweeted this image of the Tampa Bay area from aboard the International Space Station on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. It was one of several images of Florida. [Photo by Terry Virts via Twitter]
  6. Tampa technical school closes doors in middle of session

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Evan Mikowski isn't sure he'll become a paramedic after all.

  7. Florida man cited for feeding homeless honored in Washington

    Human Interest

    Fort Lauderdale

    90-year-old is honored in D.C. for helping homeless

    A view from above It seems so peaceful from up there. On Sunday, NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts (@AstroTerry) posted this photo of the Tampa Bay area taken from the International Space Station. He wrote, “Beautiful coastline of #StPete #Florida.’’ Virts is commander of the current expedition aboard the space station and it’s not all fun for him. He is also serving as a test subject for medical research on the effects of weightlessness on human physiology. To see other images of Florida that Virts tweeted on Sunday go to tbtim.es/byi.
  8. Jones: Bucs' lousy offense sinks to new depths vs. Packers

    Bucs

    Worst offense

    For much of Sunday's loss to the Packers, the Bucs were actually close in terms of the score. It was 10-3 headed to the fourth quarter. Yet you never had the feeling the Bucs were anywhere close to being able to win.

    Doug Martin and the Bucs rushed for 16 yards. They ended up with only 109 yards of total offense. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  9. PolitiFact Florida: Rubio largely right that Cuba promised no democratic reforms

    Politics

    Sen. Marco Rubio has taken the lead opposing President Barack Obama's overhaul of U.S.-Cuba relations. His main complaint: The United States isn't getting enough out of the deal, especially when it comes to democratic reforms.

    Sen. Marco Rubio on Cuba: “The White House has conceded everything and gained little.”
  10. Suspect charged in Tarpon Springs police officer's slaying (w/video)

    Crime

    28280345



    TARPON SPRINGS

    Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, is escorted into the Pinellas County Jail after being arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. Tarpon Springs police Officer Charles Kondek was fatally shot while investigating a complaint about a loud car stereo in a neighborhood near Spring Bayou.
  11. Dunedin's Honeymoon Island undergoing beach renourishment

    Environment

    DUNEDIN — Come spring, even more Honeymoon Island visitors than before will be able to watch shore birds frolic among beach plants and sea turtles nest along a sandier coast, officials say.

    Beach renourishment is ongoing at Honeymoon Island State Park. Crews place tons of boulders that will hold sand in place just offshore from the north beach parking area on Dec. 16. The park attracts more than 1 million visitors yearly.
  12. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Barack Obama on Guantanamo, Iran

    Politics

    President Barack Obama took on critics of his foreign policy Sunday in a year-end interview with CNN, defending decisions to better relations with Cuba and Iran while arguing that "shooting first and thinking about it second" does not project strength.

    President Obama said he has been “consistent in saying that where we can solve problems diplomatically, we should do so.”
  13. Puzzle Pieces: Dozier's neglected cemetery yields more bodies than expected, but names are harder to find

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — There wasn't much left of the boys.

     University of South Florida assistant professor Dr. Erin Kimmerle watches over excavation efforts in the Boot Hill cemetery at Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. on February 5, 2014. [EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN   |   Times]
  14. FSU clears quarterback Jameis Winston of code of conduct violations

    College

    Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared of four university conduct violations Sunday after a retired judge determined that 2-year-old sexual assault allegations amounted to a convoluted he-said, she-said case.

    Florida State Seminoles quaterback Jameis Winston leaves his student conduct code hearing this month in Tallahassee. The hearing continued Wednesday morning. [Getty Images]
  15. Lightning strike injures several after Bucs game at Raymond James Stadium

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Lightning struck an SUV in the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium shortly after Sunday's Buccaneers-Packers game, sending seven people to the hospital, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

    Rick Halvorson of Wisconsin walks around his vehicle Sunday after it was hit by lightning in a parking lot after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game with the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium. Seven people were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, and others said they would go on their own. “We were about 100 feet away from the car and we saw the pile of people laying around the car,” Rick Halvorson said. “It was loud, very loud.”