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  1. Pasco doubles up on deputy dispatches; cost to neighborhoods rise

    Publicsafety

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

    Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is mandating two deputies answer all calls for service in light of shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. The deployment change means neighborhood groups will have to pay twice as much for extra-duty deputies. Nearly half of the groups have cancelled their contracts with the Sheriff's Office because of the unexpected cost increase. 
BRENDAN FITTERER   |   Times 
  2. 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 films a video on a fan's phone during 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 

  3. Turkey criticizes U.S. over cleric accused of coup plot (w/video)

    World

    ISTANBUL — A top Turkish official on Friday accused the United States of "standing up for savages" by not immediately handing over a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who the government claims orchestrated last week's failed coup. Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama said there was a legal process for extradition and encouraged Turkey to present evidence.  …

  4. Editorial: Pipes and promises

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg officials know they have a long-term challenge on their hands to fix the city's aging, leaky sewer system. Two successive summers of sewage dumps following heavy rains have made that clear. The city has a set out on a comprehensive, long-term plan to make upgrades and repairs and increase capacity. In the meantime, it must not neglect to make smaller, more immediate fixes that, added up, can help the system function better and restore residents' confidence. …

  5. Depression under Holiday home stops growing, but crews monitor status

    Publicsafety

    Crews continue to monitor a depression that formed under a home in Holiday on Monday, forcing the evacuation of several nearby homes. …

    A surface depression formed underneath a home at 5005 Genesis Ave. in Holiday on Monday. The size of the depression remained unchanged overnight. [Pasco County Government]
  6. Hillsborough Avenue lanes reopen after brush fire caused by lightning

    Fire

    TAMPA — Eastbound lanes on West Hillsborough Avenue have reopened after they were closed due to a brush fire touched off by a lightning strike in the Countryway area of Hillsborough County. "There was a lot of lightning in the area," said Rebekah Taylor, a duty officer with Florida Forest Service. …

    A brush fire that formed in the Westchase area of Tampa on Sun., July 10, 2016, has closed the eastbound lanes of West Hillsborough Avenue. [Ashley Brooke via Facebook]
  7. Highlands County boy, 12, 'severely' injures hand after firecracker explodes

    Publicsafety

    LAKE PLACID — A 12-year-old boy has severely injured his right hand and may lose portions of his fingers after a firecracker exploded in his hand Monday night, authorities said. …

  8. Review: Hochschild's 'Spain in Our Hearts' brings history alive

    Books

    In the obscure corners of history lie lessons we shouldn't forget, if in fact we ever learned them in the first place.  …

    American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War included, from left, Dave Doran, Marion Merriman and her husband, Bob Merriman, an economics professor who led the Abraham Lincoln Battalion.
  9. Largo police warn of dangers as 'trendy zombies' swarm park playing Pokémon Go

    Crime

    Nintendo's new Pokémon Go game is tricking plenty of people into doing cardio. That's the good news. The bad news: the growing popularity of the distracting smartphone app has police warning users to stay safe. …

    The popularity of Nintendo's new Pok?mon Go smartphone app has police warning users to keep their safety in mind while hunting the fictional, digital creatures. Here are some local Pok?mon: A Squritle on First Avenue S in St. Petersburg, a Dodu in downtown St. Petersburg, and a Pidgey in a Publix. These are three examples how the Pok?mon appears on phone screens in the Tampa Bay area. [Sara DiNatale and Scott Pollenz   |   Times photos]
  10. Furry Tarpon Springs fugitive reunited with owner after puppy's mugshot goes viral

    Humaninterest

    TARPON SPRINGS — The booking photo of a furry, four-legged fugitive that helped a Tarpon Springs woman reunite with her pet on Monday has gone viral across the internet this week, appearing on national news outlet web pages and in Facebook posts throughout the country. …

    Tarpon police say Willow wandered away from home on Monday, so she was booked and photographed before owners came to claim her. [Tarpon Springs Police Department via Facebook]
  11. When a cry for help shows up on Facebook, who answers, and how?

    Humaninterest

    It was the third message that finally got my attention. "I EXPECT MORE . . . BUT YOU MAY HAVE TO BE INCARCERATED," it screamed on the networking site LinkedIn last November. "FOR YOUR OFFENSE TO OUR CROWN . . . DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONAL." …

    Some online posts we read may seem to spring from mental illness.
  12. Colbert, Stewart, Maher, Bee: It's the RNC!

    Media

    A few months ago, Bill Maher, the host of HBO's topical comedy series Real Time With Bill Maher, proposed to the network that it add special live episodes on Wednesday and Thursday nights to follow the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. …

    CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert, holding a varmint, tapes a segment Sunday on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The convention begins today.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
  13. Third trial under way for St. Petersburg man accused of strangling woman

    Criminal

    LARGO — There's no question that Ann Griffith, 42, was choked so violently with a lamp cord on Jan. 4, 2003, that her neck was broken. …

     Left to Right:  Defense attorney Richard Watts talks in court with his client, defendant Leo Berube before jury selection  began Monday, 6/27/16, at the Pinellas County Criminal Courts Complex, Largo. This will be the third trial for Berube for the same crime. He is charged with strangling a woman with a lamp cord in 2003.
  14. New Hernando system allows victims to text 911 for help; rest of Tampa Bay will follow

    Publicsafety

    BROOKSVILLE — While a gunman massacred patrons at an Orlando nightclub last month, a hostage texted his mother asking her to call 911. Call 911. It's what authorities tell people to do when there's an emergency. But what if just making a sound could also endanger one's life? …

    On Wednesday, Hernando County became the first in the Tampa Bay area to begin accepting text messages to 911. When someone sends a text message to 911, the conversation appears on the call-taker's screen as a chat window. Call-takers can send predetermined messages in response, or can type messages. [Josh Solomon | Times]
  15. Trump fundraising is far-reaching — even going overseas

    National

    Sir Roger Gale was puzzled when a string of emails from Donald Trump's presidential campaign landed in his inbox. As a Briton and a member of Parliament, Gale is barred by U.S. law from giving Trump money, much less voting for him. "I've gotten rid of most of that rubbish," he said in an interview. …

    Solicitations for Donald Trump have led to a pair of complaints.
  16. Daniel Ruth: Filch phrases, add Rickroll, stir

    Columns

    Stop the presses! Fast-breaking news! Get me rewrite, baby! …

  17. Domestic calls fraught with danger for officers

    Publicsafety

    The 24-year-old woman who called in the middle of the night two Saturdays ago told the Hillsborough Sheriff's dispatcher she had been fighting with her boyfriend at their Riverview apartment. He pulled her hair and ripped her robe, she said. And he might have a gun. …

  18. Tampa Bay police chiefs launch Consent Florida campaign to thwart sexual assaults

    Crime

    TAMPA — Local police departments are taking on rape culture. The Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association announced a new public awareness and training campaign Thursday called Consent Florida that aims to put a dent in some troubling statistics on sexual assault. …

    Bradenton police Chief Melanie Bevan says the program also involves training officers.
  19. Documents reveal chaos, confusion in Pulse nightclub shooting

    News

    Documents released Tuesday by the city of Orlando reveal how first responders were confronted with mass confusion during the Pulse nightclub shooting. In a flood of 911 calls from inside the club, patrons described their efforts to escape the man who moved from room to room, shooting. …

    Orlando police officers direct family members away from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, scene of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
  20. Clearwater officer says goodbye to Major, his 'faithful partner' and protector police dog

    Publicsafety

    CLEARWATER — Major, a canine patrol unit dog, was a fierce protector. …

    Major, a K-9 unit dog for Clearwater police, was put down on Friday. His partner, Sgt. Michael Spitaleri, wrote a heartfelt letter to say goodbye to the beloved pup. (Clearwater Police Department)

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