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  1. Fish and Wildlife dispatcher arrested on arson, aggravated stalking charges

    Crime

    PLANT CITY — The first fire at the house on Howard Street erupted the day after Christmas, at 2:42 a.m. Someone had poured gasoline and lit a flame. Three adults and an infant were sleeping inside. …

    The Fish and Wildlife agency fired Ryan Elliott Butler, 29.
[Photo courtesy of Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office]
  2. Pinellas County 911 calls rerouted to St. Petersburg Police dispatchers following outage

    Publicsafety

    ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County's 911 system went down about 10 a.m. Wednesday, but the call load was quickly transferred to the St. Petersburg Police Department so emergency callers were not affected, a county spokeswoman said. …

  3. Volleyball: Berkeley Prep dispatches rival in straight sets

    Volleyballpreps

    TAMPA — Berkeley Prep kicked off the season in style, easily dispatching visiting Tampa Prep 25-13, 25-15, 25-17 in both team's season opener on Thursday. …

  4. Rescue crews search for missing jet skier near Honeymoon Island

    Publicsafety

    DUNEDIN CAUSEWAY — Rescue workers were searching for a missing jet skier near Honeymoon Island State Park late Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. …

  5. Runaway donkey; mean sister, and clucking chickens: Listen to these wacky 911 calls in Florida

    Publicsafety

    A donkey tears down the center of a highway to chase a small horse in heat. A man is appalled that a boy mooned him from inside a school bus. A 6-year-old is distraught her little sister used all her lip balm. …

    Hillsborough 911 dispatchers take calls on all manner of strange topics. [Times photo]
  6. Albuquerque 911 dispatcher who hung up on caller quits

    Nation

    An Albuquerque, N.M., 911 dispatcher who in June hung up on a teenage girl seeking help after her friend was fatally shot resigned on Tuesday after audio of the incident was released. …

  7. Region softball: Boca Ciega dispatches Robinson

    Softballpreps

    GULFPORT — Boca Ciega scored three runs in the fifth inning Thursday and used a strong outing from starting pitcher Caylie VanAuken to earn a 6-2 win over Robinson in the Class 5A region semifinal. Boca Ciega will host Lemon Bay today at 4 p.m. …

    Boca Ciega’s Caylie VanAuken turns in another solid start on the mound, finishing with 12 strikeouts in the Pirates’ 6-2 win.
  8. Last of 3 funerals for 8 slain Ohio family members held

    Nation

    WEST PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Traffic stopped for miles as black hearses left a church and snaked past mobile homes, weathered shops and green fields, leading a procession of mourners in more than 150 vehicles.  …

    Mourners arrive Tuesday at Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, Ohio, for funeral services for six of the eight family members slain in Pike County on April 22.
  9. Military disciplines about 16 in Afghanistan hospital attack (w/video)

    Military

    WASHINGTON — About 16 U.S. military personnel, including a two-star general, have been disciplined for mistakes that led to the bombing of a civilian hospital in Afghanistan last year that killed 42 people, a senior U.S. official told the Associated Presson Thursday.  …

  10. District softball roundup: Countryside, Seminole dispatch top seeds

    Softballpreps

    PINELLAS PARK — With district semifinals this good, Thursday's final could almost be anticlimactic. …

  11. District boy soccer: Northeast dispatches Seminole

    Preps

    SEMINOLE— Seminole brought the energy looking for an upset, but failed to maintain the intensity in overtime. …

  12. UConn easily dispatches Maryland, vies for third straight title

    College

    TAMPA — At least one college basketball juggernaut remains upright today. A night after Kentucky's men were introduced to mortality, Connecticut's women remained a sleek, sturdy model of infallibility in Sunday's national semifinals at Amalie Arena. …

    Maryland cheers after scoring a three pointer during the first half of the Maryland vs. Uconn game in Women's Final Four on Sunday April 5th, 2015 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. 

MONICA HERNDON | TIMES
  13. Editorial: More answers needed on hospital attack

    Editorials

    The Pentagon has partly explained the series of errors that led to an American attack on a charity hospital in Afghanistan last year that left 42 people dead. But the heavily redacted report still is not an acceptable finding, and the Defense Department has not held itself or those officers involved adequately accountable for failing to prevent this tragedy. With the United States ever-engaged in the fight against Taliban extremists, the Pentagon needs to do more to restore faith here and abroad in America's military mission. …

    An employee of Doctors Without Borders stands inside the charred remains of the organization’s hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The Pentagon has partly explained the series of errors that led to the attack that left 42 people dead, but the heavily redacted report still is not acceptable.
  14. District volleyball: Osceola dispatches Springstead in five games

    Volleyballpreps

    TRINITY — To almost no one's surprise, Tuesday's first Class 6A-10 district semifinal went the distance. In a match where two even teams couldn't hold momentum for long, Osceola had it when it mattered, beating Springstead 25-15, 11-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-13. …

  15. Region softball: Springstead 3, Crystal River 1

    Softballpreps

    SPRING HILL — Paige Pfent has been a clutch batter for Springstead all season, and she answered the call again on Tuesday night. The Eagles won 3-1 on a walk-off two-run homer from their sophomore catcher to dispatch Crystal River in the Class 6A region semifinals. …

  16. Search continues for missing military man who disappeared off coast of Ruskin (w/video)

    Publicsafety

    RUSKIN — The search continued Wednesday for a military man who disappeared more than 24 hours earlier after he dived off his boat about 2 miles west of Little Harbor. …

  17. The smallest fingers on the trigger

    Nation

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sha'Quille Kornegay, 2 years old, was buried in a pink coffin, her favorite doll by her side and a tiara strategically placed to hide the self-inflicted gunshot wound to her forehead. …

    Zai Deshields, 4, on the lap of her mother Brandese at home Monday in Stone Mountain, Ga., has become withdrawn and regressed to baby talk since recently pulling a handgun out of a backpack while visiting her grandmother and wounding her uncle in the leg.
  18. Short film celebrates Pulitzer Prize centennial

    Business

    The Pulitzer Prize, considered journalism's most coveted award, is celebrating its centennial anniversary. …

  19. The latest Dispatches: Burn survivor's words are the balm that soothe

    State

    Set for Floridian in Sunday's Times from award-winner John Woodrow Cox: TAMPA — "Joe Versaggi," he said, lightly bumping fists with the young man in the hospital bed. "Burn survivor." …

    Joe Versaggi.
  20. District tiebreaker: Berkeley Prep dispatches Tampa Catholic to move on

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — Tampa Catholic and Fort Meade were moments from kicking off for the first quarter of a three-way tiebreaker to determine the Class 3A-4 district runner up. But Berkeley Prep, the host team for Monday's shootout, was out of sight. …

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