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  1. East Region: Florida silences doubters, dispatches East Tennessee State 80-65

    College

    ORLANDO — When analyst Seth Davis pegged fourth-seeded Florida as a potential first-round upset victim on CBS's Selection Sunday Show, the Gators were watching on their locker-room big screen TV. The volume was cranked up. They heard what Davis said.  …

    Florida Gators guard Canyon Barry (24) shoots underhand foul shots in the first half during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 16, 2017 on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
  2. Region volleyball: Palm Harbor University dispatches Cinderella

    Volleyballpreps

    By Rodney Page Times Staff Writer PALM HARBOR — Both Palm Harbor University and East Bay brought its "B" games to Tuesday night's Class 8A region quarterfinal. For the Hurricanes, that was good enough. …

  3. 6A-7: Weeki Wachee dispatches Hernando in four

    Home Team

    CRYSTAL RIVER – No. 3 Weeki Wachee upset county foe and second-seeded Hernando in four sets (25-18, 25-27, 25-10, 25-20) Tuesday night in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinal  to advance to the  championship match Thursday night.  …

  4. Justice Department to dispatch team to Turkey for cleric inquiry

    World

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department will dispatch a team to Turkey in coming days to pursue allegations by the Turkish government of criminal activity by Fethullah Gulen, an Obama administration official said Friday. …

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, is surrounded by his personal security and local officials after Friday prayers at Marmara University Theological School mosque in Istanbul.
  5. No. 11 Wisconsin dispatches No. 8 Michigan State with easeAssociated Press

    College

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — By the time Alex Hornibrook's first start was over, there wasn't much question about whether he could handle one of the toughest road tests in the Big Ten.  …

    Wisconsin’s Corey Clement, who had two rushing touchdowns, goes to the air to avoid a Spartan.
  6. For former New York fire dispatcher, memories of 9/11 are etched forever

    Humaninterest

    BROOKSVILLE John Lightsey reported for duty at central dispatch for the New York City Fire Department at 7 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. He didn't go home for four days. …

    Lightsey, an inventory officer for Hernando County Fire Rescue, displays his Hispanic Medal of Honor Society Award.
  7. Pasco doubles up on deputy dispatches; cost to neighborhoods rises

    Publicsafety

    After shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is mandating his deputies work in pairs when they answer calls for service. …

    Sheriff Chris Nocco made the decision in response to killings of police officers.
  8. Before battling Charlie Crist, Rep. David Jolly must first dispatch Mark Bircher in GOP primary

    Stateroundup

    U.S. Rep. David Jolly will almost certainly battle former Gov. Charlie Crist this fall in the 13th Congressional District in what will be a nationally scrutinized race. …

    Republican Rep. David Jolly is seeking re-election in the 13th Congressional District. [Miami Herald (2015)] 
  9. Orlando nightclub shooter told 911 dispatcher: 'I did the shootings'

    Crime

    The gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando last Sunday called 911 and admitted to a dispatcher that he "did the shootings," according to a transcript released Monday by the FBI. …

    People hold candles at Sunday's candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub as they gather at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. [Associated Press]
  10. Dispatches from budding rap star G-Eazy's tour bus in Tampa

    Music

    TAMPA — G-Eazy hunches on his tour bus, elbows on thighs, mouthing lyrics he just wrote on his iPhone, as a woman's voice pops through a black Marshall speaker. "I don't charge Bebe for this verse, right?" the rapper asks his crew. …

    Rapper G-Eazy hands off the microphone as he leaves the stage following his show at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, June 17, 2016. The rapper is currently on his Endless Summer tour, which he is co-headlining with Logic. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  11. Pinellas firefighters battling large commercial fire in Oldsmar

    Fire

    OLDSMAR — Fire crews from across Pinellas County were called in to battle a massive fire at a commercial facility on Thursday night. The fire was reported at 8:16 p.m. at a commercial building at 100 Dunbar Ave. Smoke and flames could be seen escaping the building, according to news reports. …

  12. 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]
  13. Tillerson to go to Russia but will skip NATO meeting next month

    Politics

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Russia next month, a week after a NATO summit meeting he is skipping, State Department officials said Monday. …

    China's President Xi Jinping, right, meets with U.S. State of Secretary Rex Tillerson at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday. [Associated Press]
  14. Former Pinellas teacher acquitted in ex-husband's slaying faces wrongful death lawsuit

    Civil

    Two months ago, a jury acquitted Cara Ryan of murdering her ex-husband, a former St. Petersburg police officer. But Ryan may go to court again for the 2015 shooting — this time because of wrongful death lawsuit recently filed by the daughter of Sgt. John "J.J." Rush. …

    Cara Ryan, a former Clearwater High School teacher, was acquitted of second-degree murder in January in the 2015 shooting death of her ex-husband. Now the daughter of former St. Petersburg police Sgt. John "J.J." Rush is suing her in civil court. [SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES]
  15. 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. …

  16. 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. …

  17. 911 calls show confusion during Fort Lauderdale airport shooting (w/video)

    Publicsafety

    FORT LAUDERDALE — One call came from a terrified woman hiding in a Fort Lauderdale airport restaurant as people ran past, fleeing a gunman. Another came from a woman hiding in some bushes. A group of people called as they hid in a storage unit.  …

    People flee on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on Jan. 6 after a gunman opened fire at  a baggage claim area. [Associated Press]
  18. Take that! Pyongyang lambastes Trump as too much like Obama

    World

    TOKYO — North Korea has a criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump he probably wasn't expecting: He's too much like Barack Obama.  …

     Then President-elect Donald Trump looks over at then President Barack Obama on Jan. 20 before being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. [Associated Press]
  19. Defunct Clearwater private jet company Avantair goes from boom to bankruptcy to federal court

    Airlines

    In early 2012, Avantair was the darling of the charter plane industry and Tampa Bay business executives, a publicly traded company with a fleet of 56 executive airplanes and hundreds of employees based at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. …

    Avantair, a fractional jet ownership company with headquarters in Clearwater, collapsed in 2013. Workers were furloughed, planes grounded, lawsuits filed and customers left out to dry.
  20. 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.

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