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  1. Dispatch from a hurricane shelter: 'I only saw the best'

    The Gradebook

    Conditions varied from shelter to shelter during Hurricane Irma. Here at the Gradebook, we've heard the good and the bad. But we thought we would share this account from Ruth Salvaggio, who hunkered down at Sunlake High. A copy of her letter (below) came with a handwritten note: "I thought the media would like to hear an encouraging story that came from Irma." …

    Principal Michael Cloyd greets Carmen Silva at the Sunlake High shelter on Sept. 8, two days before Hurricane Irma hit Florida. Silva was the first evacuee to show, and she planned to have eight family members join her.
  2. Police seek suspect in second armed robbery at Tampa Family Dollar in 3 days


    Tampa Police are investigating a second armed robbery at the same Family Dollar store within three days. In the latest incident, an unidentified masked man is seen on surveillance video entering the store, at 4900 N 40th St., on Wednesday around 9:06 a.m., police said. …

    Police officers in Tampa are investigating a second armed robbery at the same Family Dollar store within three days. [Screengrab via video]
  3. Fueling ire: When generators crank up, noise complaints come in


    When the worst of Hurricane Irma's howling winds subsided, the generators began to emit their telltale drone, like 4,000-watt cicadas emerging from slumber. The calls to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office soon followed. …

    People in Naples wait in line for generators three days after Hurricane Irma.
  4. Miami woman delivers own baby when help can't come


    The call came in at 3:23 a.m. Sunday. A woman from the Little Haiti neighborhood, just outside of downtown Miami, told a dispatcher that she was in labor. …

  5. Tampa closing westbound lanes on Gandy Bridge, Courtney Campbell causeway; will pull officers from streets after


    TAMPA — Tampa officials said about 4:45 p.m. Sunday that police were closing the westbound lanes of the Gandy Bridge and Courtney Campbell causeway in response to deteriorating weather and driving conditions caused by Hurricane Irma. …

  6. Largo prepares to pull emergency vehicles off road


    LARGO — A city news release called for residents to shelter in place as Hurricane Irma barrels toward the Tampa Bay area. …

    As conditions worsen, Largo officials warn residents that if the winds are too strong, emergency vehicles will be unable to respond.CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times.
  7. Autopsy confirms Lakeland girl sleeping near generator died of carbon monoxide poisoning


    The autopsy results of a 7-year-old Lakeland girl who died while a generator was running in her living room confirms that she died of carbon monoxide intoxication, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. …

  8. Lakeland girl, 7, dies after generator left inside home


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 7-year-old girl who died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator that was left operating inside the home. …

    The home and the generator that deputies say led to the death of a 7-year-old in Polk County.
  9. Four Americans targeted by France acid attack


    PARIS — Four young American tourists were attacked with acid Sunday at a train station in the French city of Marseille and a 41-year-old woman has been arrested as their alleged assailant, the Marseille prosecutor's office said. …

  10. Irma's wrath: more than half of Florida still in the dark


    Much of Florida will be waking up to a second day in the dark Tuesday after Hurricane Irma's devastating slash through the state. …

    In Ybor City palm tree frawns litter 7th Avenue in Tampa after Hurricane Irma passed through as a category 1 storm through the Tampa Bay area on Sunday, September 10, 2017.
  11. A woman was found dead in a hotel freezer. Video shows her last-known moments.


    Police have released hotel surveillance video showing Kenneka Jenkins's last known footsteps through a Crowne Plaza outside Chicago last weekend, when the teen staggered in the early morning hours through empty halls and a deserted kitchen - toward the freezer she would be found dead inside nearly 24 hours later. …

  12. Duke Energy Florida president answers questions about utility's response to Irma


    ST. PETERSBURG — After more than a week since Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of Floridians, Duke Energy announced it will finish its restoration efforts Tuesday. …

    Duke Energy Florida President Harry Sideris greets St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman on Tuesday at a news conference where both spoke about Hurricane Irma recovery. The event was held at a Florida Department of Transportation lot next to Maximo Park in St. Petersburg, where the city is collecting Irma yard debris which will be mulched and sold to a local tomato farmer. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  13. Police, fire agencies shutting down most responses as weather deteriorates


    With stronger winds from Hurricane Irma came suspension of police and fire services, meaning in most cases firefighters and police officers won't be available to assist residents. …

    Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced that most agencies were stopping responses to all but the most serious calls as the weather deteriorated.k KATHRYN VARN / Times
  14. Fennelly: Irma left NFL little choice


    It was the right move. It was the only move. The NFL took the long way home, but it will make the Bucs and Dolphins play in Week 11, in what was once their bye week. Sixteen straight games without a break isn’t easy. I’m sure the Bucs didn’t want this. None of us wants Irma. …

    The Bucs take the field before their preseason game against the Redskins.
  15. Tampa Bay public safety agencies will turn to social media in major storms


    Stranded with her children as flood waters rose around her Houston home early Sunday, Maritza Gonzalez Willis sent out a desperate plea on Twitter. …

    Maritza Willis of Houston tweeted a desperate plea for help when Harvey's floodwaters began to rise around her home. Public safety agencies in the Tampa Bay area say they will monitor their social media accounts during storms when 911 systems are overwhelmed and cell phone service is interrupted, but residents should still try 911 first.

  16. St. Louis sees a second night of violent protests after police acquittal


    ST. LOUIS — Protests turned violent for the second night on Saturday in reaction to the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man, as a small group of demonstrators refused to disperse, breaking windows and throwing objects at police, who moved in with armored vehicles and in riot gear.  …

    Protesters gather on a street in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in response to a not guilty verdict in the trial of former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley. On Friday, Stockley, a white man, was acquitted in the 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man, following a high-speed chase. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) MORJ108
  17. St. Louis cop's acquittal triggers second day of protests


    ST. LOUIS — Noisy demonstrators marched through two malls in an upscale area of suburban St. Louis on Saturday to protest the acquittal of a white former St. Louis officer in the shooting of a black man, picking up after a night of mostly peaceful demonstrations that escalated into scattered acts of vandalism and violence. A few hundred people walked through West County Center in Des Peres, an upscale community west of St. Louis, loudly chanting slogans such as "black lives matter" and "it is our duty to fight for our freedom" to decry the judge's verdict Friday clearing ex-St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith. Here are the two big questions in the case: …

    A flag is set on fire as protesters gather, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in St. Louis, after a judge found a white former St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase in 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) ILKS141
  18. St. Louis braces for more protests over cop's acquittal


    ST. LOUIS — Hundreds of people protesting the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the fatal shooting of black man marched for hours in mostly peaceful demonstrations, until a broken window at the mayor's home and escalating tensions led riot police to lob tear gas to disperse the crowds.  …

    A flag is set on fire as protesters gather, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, in St. Louis, after a judge found a white former St. Louis police officer, Jason Stockley, not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith, who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase in 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) ILKS141
  19. Officials will use Irma to convince voters to renew Penny for Pinellas tax


    LARGO — As Election Day approaches, Pinellas County's elected officials will point to Hurricane Irma as a big reason why voters should renew the next round of the Penny for Pinellas 1-cent sales tax. …

    Barb Haselden, a St. Petersburg resident and tax critic, said the timing is perfect for Pinellas leaders to tie the Penny for Pinellas sales tax to Hurricane Irma. Haseldn said, if passed, the next round of tax money should be spent only on infrastructure projects to better prepare the county for future hurricanes. Haselden is also a 2018 Republican candidate for the District 6 seat of the Pinellas County Commission. [Source: Pinellas Supervisor of Elections]
  20. Editorial: A national catastrophe


    Few could have imagined the scope and scale of the suffering now under way in Texas, where the catastrophic winds, rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey already have destroyed entire neighborhoods and pushed tens of thousands of people from their homes. The immediate task is for the federal government and the state to provide the resources to save as many lives and as much property as possible. But Florida and other states along the Gulf of Mexico should learn a lesson from these searing images. The nation needs to harden itself against the threat of rising seas and better manage the growth of coastal areas. …

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