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  1. Tallahassee police hand over 300 police reports linked to FSU athletes

    College

    The Tallahassee Police Department has released more than 300 police reports involving FSU athletes.

  2. Mayor of St. Louis suburb asks for calm after white officer shoots black teen (w/video)

    BERKELEY, Mo. — The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley urged calm Wednesday after a white police officer killed a black 18-year-old who police said pointed a gun at him, reigniting tensions that have lingered since the death of Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson.

    Toni Martin-Green cries out Wednesday at the gas station where her son was killed by a police officer after, authorities said, he raised a 9mm gun.
  3. Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Mass; calls Iraqi refugees (w/ video)

    Religion

    VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica and a phone call to some Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants.

    Pope Francis carries a statue of the baby Jesus as he attends the Christmas night Mass at the St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 24, 2014 in Vatican City. [Getty Images]
  4. Tampa Theatre third local venue showing Seth Rogen's 'The Interview' (w/video)

    Movies

    TAMPA — If watching the now-controversial movie The Interview on the small screens of the online world didn't grab you, Tampa Theatre has delivered a last-minute Christmas gift.

  5. Stolen guns, like one used to kill Tarpon Springs officer, routine at crime scenes

    Crime

    The gun investigators say was used to kill Officer Charles Kondek in Tarpon Springs early Sunday was stolen four months earlier from an unlocked Honda Accord on the outskirts of Jacksonville.

    It’s not known how Marco Antonio Parilla Jr. got the gun police say killed Kondek.
  6. Romano: A political twist on the traditional Christmas sing-along

    Human Interest

    Sung to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:

    Marco, the loudmouthed whiner

    Had a very frequent cry.

    And if you ever heard it

    You might poke him in the eye.

    All of the other loudmouths

    Used to laugh and call him names.

    They always made poor …

    Is Sen. Marco Rubio being a loud-mouthed whiner about the United States renewing relations with Cuba? [Getty Images]
  7. Police recover gun they say was fired after fatal Tarpon Springs officer shooting

    Crime

    TARPON SPRINGS — Authorities have located the 9mm handgun used in the second shooting that transpired early Sunday morning after a Tarpon Springs police officer was fatally gunned down, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

  8. CDC Ebola error in lab may have exposed technician to deadly virus

    Health

    A laboratory mistake at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta may have exposed a technician to the deadly Ebola virus, federal officials said Wednesday. The technician will be monitored for signs of infection for 21 days, the incubation period of the disease.

    CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden promised last summer to improve the CDC’s safety procedures.
  9. Largo to consider banning e-cigarettes in city buildings

    Local Government

    LARGO — When city library patrons recently complained about people using electronic cigarettes inside the building, officials couldn't do much. There were no city rules against it.

    Dominic Crupi, 24, of Clearwater smokes an e-cigarette at Vape Joe in Largo in February. 
  10. In Takata shakeup, president is removed as founding family member expands role

    Autos

    Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, which is at the center of a global recall crisis, said Wednesday that it had removed its president and that its chairman, a grandson of the company founder, would also take on the role of president, consolidating control over the company.

    Stefan Stocker was named Takata president last year.
  11. Hillsborough's controversial sex offender court is disbanded

    Courts

    TAMPA — For 14 years, criminal cases involving accused rapists, molesters and child abusers in Hillsborough County have been heard by a single judge in the sex offender division.

    Judge Chet Tharpe, who presided over the sex crimes court for 14 years, is known for dramatic pronouncements and sometimes lengthy sentences.
  12. The Cuban question unites and divides Tampa residents

    National

    TAMPA — They come every Saturday morning, miles from their suburban homes to a Cuban-owned coffee shop in West Tampa. Men sit at one end of the table, women at the other.

    Jose Marti Park in Tampa features a statue of the revolutionary poet revered by both Communist and anti-Castro Cubans.
  13. Police union sets up memorial fund, sells T-shirts to honor slain Tarpon Springs officer

    Crime

    TARPON SPRINGS — Before his death early Sunday, Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek had just been elected by his fellow officers to be their union representative. His position with the Police Benevolent Association made him the voice of his co-workers in their contract negotiations.

    Flowers are placed on a police car near the scene of the shooting of Officer Charles Kondek in Tarpon Springs, Fla. on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. 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]
  14. Council member Jeff Starkey has made it his mission to address crime in New Port Richey

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Before running for a seat on the New Port Richey City Council two years ago, Jeff Starkey had never considered entering the political fray.

    Running on an anti-crime platform, Jeff Starkey was  easily elected to the New Port Richey City Council.
  15. Merry madness at new American Girl Orlando store (w/video)

    Retail

    ORLANDO — When you're a dude at the American Girl store, you lay low, seek shadows, hug walls. Hiding's cool, too. Samuel Gaskin, visiting from Las Vegas, is motionless on a bench, sitting directly beneath a wall-sized portrait of a young lass cradling a rubber-faced 18-inch doll that's dressed exactly like her. …

    American Girl began as a mail-order business, but experienced tremendous growth. Founded by a Wisconsin company, it was bought by Mattel for $700 million in 1998.