Clearwater police have identified the 10-year-old boy fatally shot in his apartment home this morning as a Belleair Elementary School student. The boy was home with his mother at the time of the incident, and his father and brother were not present. Police Chief Dan Slaughter did not release details on the circumstances or whether the shooting was accidental, self-inflicted or criminal. Stay with tampabay.com for updates on this story.
BIG SPORTING EVENTS ARE A LUCRATIVE VENTURE FOR AIRBNB
Hotel rooms in the bay area began booking up months in advance of this Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship. But there are still dozens of accommodations options available on Airbnb, ranging from rooms in residents' Carrollwood and West Tampa homes for $30 a night to entire houses for rent in South Tampa for $2,000 a night.
CROSS-BAY FERRY NOT RUNNING SATURDAY, AFTER ALL
With crowds expected in downtown Tampa this weekend for college football's national title game, city officials have recommended that visitors and residents make the most of alternate forms of transportation to get to events, including using the Cross-Bay Ferry from St. Petersburg. But it turns out the influx of fans for game increased demand for ock space d near the Tampa Convention Center, and as a result the ferry won't be running Saturday.
ACTRESS SUES WARREN SAPP, ALLEGES BATTERY AT 2015 SUPER BOWL
Nearly two years after Warren Sapp was arrested at the Super Bowl in Arizona on charges of soliciting a prostitute and assault, the Hall of Famer and former Bucs star is facing a separate civil lawsuit alleging he knocked a woman over as he was being escorted from an ESPN party that same weekend.
DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG ENJOYS A NEW PARK, FOR NOW
Now that the "cheese grater building" Pheil Hotel has been demolished and the ground cleared of all but several large trees, workers have sodded and landscaped the entire 400 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. Black, estate-style fencing will rim the perimeter and keep pedestrians out while allowing the kind of pastoral views rarely seen in city centers. But this urban oasis won't last long.
CLAPPER: RUSSIA MEDDLED, BUT DIDN'T CHANGE VOTE TALLIES
The nation's top intelligence official told the Armed Services Committee today that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America's 2016 presidential election but stopped short of the explosive description of "an act of war," telling lawmakers such a call isn't within the purview of the U.S. intelligence community. James Clapper declined to discuss Russia's meddling beyond earlier statements, but he said Russia's hacking "did not change any vote tallies."
YELLOW DOT PROGRAM COULD SAVE LIVES IN HILLSBOROUGH
Hillsborough may soon provide a new way for residents to relay important information to first responders during an emergency. County commissioners voted to explore joining the Yellow Dot program, an initiative in which drivers place a yellow sticker on a car's rear window to alert first responders that the glove box holds a card with emergency contacts or pertinent medical information.
LOCAL TIES REMAIN STRONG FOR CLEMSON TRIO FROM BAY AREA
The Clemson roster is filled with playmakers from the Tampa area that many knew back when they first showed flashes of greatness. Among them are Deon Cain, Artavis Scott and Ray Ray McCloud, and for all three, their social conscience extends well beyond the field. Read about three student-athletes who give back.
SEARS TO SELL CRAFTSMAN BRAND TO STANLEY BLACK & DECKER
After 90 years, struggling department store operator Sears is selling its well-known Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. Stanley plans to grow the brand by selling Craftsman tools in more stores outside of Sears. Today, only 10 percent of Craftsman products are sold outside of Sears-owned stores. Sears will continue to sell Craftsman products at its stores.
SEMINOLE HEIGHTS ARTIST FINDS HIS CALLING IN DETAILS
Meet Jason Hulfish, a 46-year-old whirling dervish who 10 years ago quit his "corporate America job" to pursue a full-time gig as an artist. Candy and sweets mural at the Mini Doughnut Factory? No problem. Gigantic gaping shark head at the Key West Winery? Sure. Pink princess bedroom complete with slides on a castle for the Make A Wish foundation? Yes. For Hulfish, jobs rolled in and word spread.
OBAMA'S INAUGURAL POET BRINGS 'POETRY OF WE' TO WRITERS IN PARADISE
Four years ago, Richard Blanco, then 44, was the youngest ever poet selected for a presidential inauguration. He was also the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay person to read a poem at the presidential swearing-in ceremony. This month, Blanco, who grew up in Miami and graduated from Florida International, will be back in the state as keynote speaker at Eckerd College's Writers in Paradise conference. Blanco talks about life and work since the Obama inauguration in an interview with the Times.
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