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  1. For one night, school tests move off stage and art is its own reward

    K12

    TAMPA — Willie Pittman arrives early at Blake High School, eager to see his 10-year-old niece, Rynisea Crawford, cheer with her squad from Just Elementary.

  2. Tampa Bay Lightning ticket, apparel restrictions frustrate Chicago Blackhawks fans

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Ashley Iovinelli of Woodridge, Ill., recently joked that she would do whatever it takes to see her beloved Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup final.

    Stickers supporting the Tampa Bay Lightning during the Stanley Cup playoffs have been placed along the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa.
  3. Justice Department will seek community input on TPD ticket policies

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Community members will get a chance to weigh in on the federal government's review of the Tampa Police Department's policies related to stopping and ticketing bicyclists, most of them black, authorities said Monday.

  4. Appellate court again takes issue with a Tampa judge's sentence

    Criminal

    TAMPA — For the third time in a year, an appellate court has issued an opinion rebuking Hillsborough Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe for improperly sentencing a defendant.

    it's not the lengthy sentences Hillsborough Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe hands down that are landing him in trouble. It's his penchant for basing sentencing decisions on factors that judges are expressly forbidden from taking into account. [Times files (2013)]
  5. Romano: Private sector no panacea for public services

    Politics

    Somewhere along the line, we collectively decided to hate our government.

  6. Steven Stamkos focuses on his mission: Stanley Cup championship

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The doors to the Lightning locker room open and a ravenous media — a rambling herd of microphones, cameras and notebooks — race to the stall on the far side of the room.

    Steven Stamkos, front, on making the Stanley Cup finals: “This is what you play for as a kid.”
  7. Broken stormwater pipe closes lanes of Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park

    News

    A hole in the road closed multiple lanes of traffic on Park Boulevard at 78th Street in Pinellas Park on Monday.

  8. Trigaux: Veteran market watcher looks past weak economic signs, sees S&P 500 doubling

    Business

    America's GDP shrank in the first quarter. Awaiting more solid economic ground, the Federal Reserve keeps delaying its promise to start raising interest rates. And a few economic watchers of the 18,000 Dow are starting to whisper words like "bubble" and "recession."

    Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, sees the S&P 500 doubling.
  9. Olive Garden debuts sandwiches made from its famous breadsticks

    Food & Dining

    PINELLAS PARK — Brittany Toner didn't intend to order Olive Garden's new Breadstick Bun Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich, but there it was. Like nearly all sentient beings, Toner, 17, has always been a sucker for OG's unlimited breadsticks. She has been known to eat 10 of the buttery, warm oblongs, sometimes making a …

    Olive Garden offers two new sandwiches: chicken parmigiana, foreground, and meatball.
  10. 'Rabbi to the stars' coming to Clearwater for talk

    Events

    Chabad of Clearwater is bringing Rabbi Chaim Mentz — best known as Paula Abdul's rabbi — for a talk called "Secrets from the rabbi to the stars." Mentz, who established the Chabad center of Bel Air in Los Angeles, is known for his charm and wit and built his congregation through his weekly TV show Basic …

    Chabad of Clearwater is bringing Rabbi Chaim Mentz ?€” best known as Paula Abdul?€™s rabbi ?€” for a talk called ?€œSecrets from the rabbi to the stars?€ on June 14.

credit: courtesy of Chabad of Clearwater
  11. Five teens charged with inciting riot at Pasco detention center

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — Five teenage girls at a juvenile justice facility were charged Monday with inciting a riot after they attacked staff members, Pasco County sheriff's reports show.

  12. As hurricane season starts, Pinellas sheriff urges procrastinators to sign up for coastal re-entry passes

    Local Government

    Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has a scenario for coastal residents and business owners to consider now that hurricane season is under way.

    Only 17,000 out of an esti?mat?ed 88,000 people have their emergency access permits.
  13. Clearwater Beach, St. Pete are a thrilling ride in virtual tour at travel conference

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — I've sat in the sand on Clearwater Beach and have swum in the gulf on St. Pete Beach.

    The virtual tour includes a visit to the Dal? museum in St. Petersburg.
  14. Legislators offer up concessions as session opens

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A contrite Legislature returned to the capital Monday with a series of concessions and the goal of quieting the bitter intra-party feud over health care that sent lawmakers into overtime.

    State House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, calls the house to order to start the special session Monday in Tallahassee. Florida legislators are starting a 20-day special session where they are expected to pass a new state budget. [Associated Press]
  15. Tampa police seek information in 14-year-old's shooting death

    Crime

    TAMPA — Marcus Harris stood Monday on the street corner outside his family's Diana Street home, tears welling in his eyes.

    Wanda Harris, 43, right, consoles her brother Edward Harris III while he grieves over the recent killing of his 14-year-old son Edward IV on Monday, June 1, 2015. Harris’s son was gunned down just a block from his home on Diana Street in east Tampa on Sunday.