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  1. 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.
  2. District softball roundup: Countryside, Seminole dispatch top seeds

    Softballpreps

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

  3. 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. …

    Members of the UConn band, Aaron Ovsiew, 19, Marlon Sailor, 22, Kathleen McHugh, 21, and Joseph Nosack, 22, cheer during the Women's Final Four on Sunday April 5th, 2015 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. UConn beat Maryland 81 to 58. 

MONICA HERNDON | TIMES
  4. District boy soccer: Northeast dispatches Seminole

    Preps

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

  5. 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. …

  6. Authorities respond to reports of alligator at East Lake High School

    Publicsafety

    Authorities early Thursday responded to reports of an alligator in between buildings at East Lake High School. A trapper went to the scene about 7 a.m., according to a Pinellas sheriff's dispatcher. The gator was promptly caught, WTSP-10 News reported. The first bell at East Lake is at 7:05 a.m. …

    East Lake High School student Kiki Coulouras took this photo of an alligator on campus Thursday morning. [Photo by KIKI COULOURAS]
  7. 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. …

  8. Dispatcher resigns amid investigation of failure to send help for trapped baby

    Publicsafety

    TAMPA — A Tampa police dispatcher who refused to send help to a woman who called 911 after her baby was locked inside a hot car has resigned. Darrell Brown, 25, was under investigation for violating a police department policy on attentiveness to duty when he quit Oct. 2.  …

  9. Tarpon Springs police to share data with Pinellas Sheriff's Office

    Publicsafety

    TARPON SPRINGS — The city's police department is moving forward with a plan to integrate crime information and 911 calls with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. …

  10. 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.
  11. Tampa police dispatcher faces discipline for handling of trapped baby

    Publicsafety

    TAMPA — A Tampa police dispatcher is facing discipline after he failed to send help to a woman who called 911 after her baby got locked inside a car, officials said. …

  12. Tiffany Lawrence remembered as more than a police dispatcher

    Obituaries

    TAMPA — To an officer on patrol in Tampa, Tiffany Lawrence's voice was one of the most reassuring sounds that could come through the radio. …

    Tiffany Lawrence, 31, had family roots in law enforcement.
  13. Dispatches from Next Door: Burn survivor's words are the balm that soothe

    Humaninterest

    TAMPA — “Joe Versaggi," he said, lightly bumping fists with the young man in the hospital bed. "Burn survivor." …

    Joe Versaggi talks with Kris Ward, 20, who was burned in a grease fire, as girlfriend Keyaira Herring, 19, listens.
  14. Baseball: Sunlake pulls ahead late, dispatches Mitchell

    Baseballpreps

    TRINITY — The Mustangs and Seahawks seemed evenly matched, with comparable win-loss records and pitching stats. For the first five innings Tuesday night, those similarities were obvious. Then Sunlake (9-5) broke away in the sixth, and the game was over.  …

  15. Islamic State releases recording said to be by its reclusive leader

    World

    Amid reports that its reclusive leader had been injured and possibly incapacitated, the Islamic State terrorist group released an audio statement Thursday that it said was from the man himself, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. …

  16. Deal should make credit report errors easier to fix

    Personalfinance

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The three major nationwide credit-reporting agencies have agreed to fix disputed information on credit reports more quickly, wait longer before adding potentially damaging information on medical debt and scrutinize certain data furnished by outside entities, according to a multistate settlement announced Wednesday.  …

    FILE - In this March 5, 2012, file photo, consumer credit cards are posed in North Andover, Mass. The three largest credit reporting agencies will change the way they handle records in a major revamp long sought by consumer advocates. The changes were announced Monday, March 9, 2015, after talks between Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) NY108
  17. Region baseball: Focused Pasco dispatches Land O'Lakes

    Baseballpreps

    LAND O'LAKES — For most of this season, Pasco has been up and down, here and there and pretty much all over the place. The Pirates won a few games by the mercy rule, and lost a few that way, too, including the district championship. …

  18. More than 100 units damaged in huge fire at ExtraSpace Storage in Valrico (w/video)

    Fire

    VALRICO — Nancy Velasquez was ordering a coffee and sandwich at a Latin supermarket when the cashier asked if she had heard about the fire. "I just dropped my coffee and came," the 54-year-old woman said. …

    Fire engulfed a large storage unit facility Wednesday morning near Highway 60 and Miller Road in Valrico. [WTSP 10 News]
  19. Dispatches from next door: A new stage in life

    Humaninterest

    TEMPLE TERRACE — The young woman gripping the microphone glided onto the stage, her 4-inch black heels thumping the thin carpet. "Check, check, check," she said. "Mike one." That evening in Temple Terrace, she prepared to headline a concert for kids in a church hall no bigger than a double-wide mobile home. It had low ceilings with fluorescent lights and the stage was just a raised section of floor. But up there, as she tested the rattling acoustics in a nearly empty room, Terri Saffold beamed as if that was where she most belonged. As if she had never been far from a church's holy stage. But Terri had. …

    Gospel rapper Terri Saffold, a.k.a. Terri Vee
  20. The science behind the dress (w/video)

    Nation

    Nearly three months after the infamous blue and black dress (or was it white and gold?) tore the Internet apart, three teams of scientists have provided a closer look at the science behind the viral phenomenon. In their papers, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, the teams have proposed reasons that different people saw different colors, and what the whole thing means for our understanding of visual perception. …

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