Cold expected to relent by afternoon
Parts of the Tampa Bay area were expected to dip to freezing temperatures this morning as the region endures an unseasonable cold snap. Shelters were being opened Sunday for people without heat. Portions of Hernando and Citrus counties were expected to see lows in the 20s while Brandon and areas of Pasco County were expected to see lows in the 30s, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker. But the cold should relent by this afternoon, with highs in the 60s today and 70s Tuesday, Linker said. On Wednesday and Thursday, another cold front — not as severe as this weekend's — will drop the region's low temperatures back into the 50s. By Friday, Linker said, mild weather more typical of March in Florida should resume. The cold fronts are the result of "a cold air mass over the whole eastern U.S.," extending south from the Great Lakes, he said.
Family's lovebird dies in house fire
Firefighters battled a smoky blaze Sunday at an Old Seminole Heights home that killed a pet bird. Tampa fire crews at 3:18 p.m. arrived at 7518 Dartmouth Ave. to find heavy smoke pouring from the one-story home. The blaze was quickly extinguished. A mother and her two children were not at home at the time. Three dogs outside were not harmed. A lovebird inside the house was killed, however. Fire officials said the family will be staying with relatives.
Husband arrested in wife's attack
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies have arrested the estranged husband of a Tampa woman who was attacked last week while driving to work. Deputies arrested Alexis Testa-Yero, 43, Sunday on a warrant for aggravated battery after searching a relative's house and finding him hiding in a shed nearby. Testa-Yero had been on the run since Wednesday after he hid in the back seat of his ex-wife's car and tried to choke her with a rope while she was driving to work about 6 a.m., deputies said. The two struggled, causing the Nissan Altima to slam into a fence, flip and land on its wheels at 4502 Paris St. in West Tampa. Testa-Yero ran off after trying to choke her again, investigators said. The woman, Tania Martinez, 36, also of Tampa, was treated at the scene by paramedics.
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University of South Florida nursing student Ashley Ramsey has been named Miss Tampa 2013. The 23-year-old senior was crowned Saturday night at the Busch Gardens Moroccan Palace Theater by outgoing Miss Tampa Olivia Stacey, a pageant spokesman said. Ramsey will receive a $5,000 scholarship. No stranger to pageants, Ramsey served as Miss Zephyrhills 2009.
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A marine unit from Eckerd College recovered the body of a man who jumped Sunday afternoon from the Sunshine Skyway, authorities said. A passerby on the bridge notified the Florida Highway Patrol of the incident about 4:15 p.m. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office sent patrol cars to the scene, and detectives were working to identify the body and notify relatives.