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  1. Region softball: Boca Ciega dispatches Robinson


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


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


    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. …

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


    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. …

  5. Deal should make credit report errors easier to fix


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


    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. [SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times]
  7. The science behind the dress (w/video)


    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. …

  8. Capitals-Rangers series is a goalie clinic


    NEW YORK — The Eastern Conference semifinal between the Capitals and Rangers has been about many things — the Capitals' ability to block nearly every puck hurled at them, the power-against-power matchup of top lines, the Rangers' quest for something to bounce their way, to name a few — but above all are the virtuoso performances in the crease.  …

    Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has a .951 save percentage and 1.51 goals-against average in 11 playoff starts this season.
  9. At least 1 dead as tornadoes move through North Texas


    CISCO, Texas — Multiple tornadoes tore through North Texas on Saturday, leaving one person dead and others unaccounted for in a sparsely populated farming and ranching area as the system slowly weakened while advancing toward Fort Worth.  …

    On Thursday, Dillan Taylor salvages items from her destroyed RV in Oklahoma City, with more storms expected for the weekend.
  10. Clinton's Benghazi emails show correspondence with adviser


    WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received monthly missives about the growing unrest in Libya from a longtime friend who was previously barred by the White House from working for her as a government employee, according to emails received on her personal account.  …

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to child care workers during a visit to the Center For New Horizons  Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Chicago. [Associated Press]
  11. Mother's Day water main break wreaks havoc in Hernando Beach


    HERNANDO BEACH — For many in Hernando Beach, Sunday's Mother's Day celebrations were a little more complicated, a bit less festive and, in some cases, downright expensive, thanks to a water main break on Shoal Line Boulevard. …

  12. Hospital apologizes to veteran after telling him to call 911 when he couldn't get inside


    SEATTLE — When Donald Siefken drove up to the Seattle VA hospital emergency room earlier this year with a broken foot, all he asked for was a little help getting inside. …

  13. Latest Zimmerman dustup linked to prior road rage incident


    LAKE MARY — George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has had a series of run-ins with girlfriends, his ex-wife and random strangers since killing an unarmed black teenager, narrowly missed getting shot Monday after a mysterious dispute.  …

    An aerial news image broadcast on an Orlando television station shows the scene where George Zimmerman was reportedly wounded in a shooting in Lake Mary. [WTSP 10 News]
  14. Retrieving remote control boat, Tampa man dies in student living complex pond


    TAMPA — A 47-year-old man died Wednesday night after trying to recover his remote control boat from an apartment complex pond, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. …

  15. University's Mark Twain project finds cache of new writing


    SAN FRANCISCO — Scholars at the University of California at Berkeley have pieced together a collection of dispatches written by Mark Twain when the author was a young newsman in San Francisco.  …

    Bob Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project, looks through a book of 1866 Sacramento Union newspapers at the Bancroft Library at the University of California a Berkeley on Monday. Scholars at the university have pieced together a collection of dispatches written by Mark Twain when the author was a young newsman in San Francisco. [Associated Press]
  16. Key Iraqi city falls to ISIS as defenders retreat


    The capital of Anbar province fell to Islamic State militants Sunday as hundreds of police personnel, soldiers and tribal fighters abandoned the city, prompting the Iraqi premier to order Iranian-aligned Shiite militias to join the fight to win back control. …

    Iraqis fleeing Saturday from their hometown of Ramadi walk on a street near the Bzebiz bridge, 40 miles west of Baghdad. Muhannad Haimour, a spokesman for the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province, said Sunday, “Ramadi has fallen,” to the Islamic State group.
  17. Delay in Lightning's party doesn't matter now (w/video)


    TAMPA It took a little longer than expected, but that doesn't matter now. Maybe the Lightning scared the thunder out of you, but who cares? It hasn't always been pretty or perfect, but that does not mean a thing. One and only one thing does matter: The Lightning is moving on. …

    Lightning center Steven Stamkos scores on Canadiens goalie Carey Price in the second period for a 2-0 lead.
  18. House's adjournment was well-planned, but some House members didn't get memo

    The Buzz

    The decision by the Florida House to adjourn early was known among a small handful of members of the lobbying corps, who positioned themselves in the chamber for the historic announcement. …

  19. Drug trade's lowest rung: Peru's cocaine backpackers


    HUANTA, Peru — The lung-searing ascents into the Andean highlands aren't what worry the untold hundreds of young men who hump backpacks loaded with drugs out of the remote, lawless valley that produces about 60 percent of Peru's cocaine.  …

    Mardonio Borda, 19, says his group of four was once confronted by five gunmen. “We only had three .38-caliber pistols. So that they wouldn’t kill us, we gave them all the backpacks.”
  20. Not all veterans struggle when they come home, new study shows


    WASHINGTON — The first examination of civic involvement of veterans, released Thursday, shows results that debunk stereotypes of the wounded former service members struggling to adjust to civilian life. …

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