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  1. PCAC volleyball: Palm Harbor University dispatches Tarpon Springs in final

    Volleyballpreps

    CLEARWATER — Palm Harbor University won its third straight PCAC championship Wednesday night, but Tarpon Springs did not make it easy. The Hurricanes had to come back from an opening-game loss to defeat the Spongers 24-26, 25-14, 15-8 at Countryside. PHU made it to the final by sweeping St. Petersburg earlier in straight games. Tarpon Springs needed three games to get past Clearwater in the other semifinal. …

  2. District volleyball: Mitchell survives Sunlake; Land O'Lakes dispatches Springstead

    Home Team

    SPRING HILL – Sunlake had played plenty of good matches this season, taking its Class 7A, District 8 opponents to the brink on a few occasions.   None of those hard-fought matches amounted to anything like the Seahawks did against top-seeded Mitchell in Tuesday night’s district semifinal. The Mustangs won a battle of attrition in five sets (25-22, 15-25, 23-25, 29-27, 15-10) to clinch their eighth consecutive trip to the playoffs.   The Seahawks (5-10) came in winless this season in district play but stunned the short-handed Mustangs (19-8) by jumping in front two sets to one. Mitchell was missing two of their best players, with seniors Morgin Tew and Mariella Haimes both sidelined with severe leg injuries. Add to that the loss of junior Mya Jones to illness, and the Mustangs were backed into a corner.   “You really have to feel for those girls,” coach Heidi Michaels said. “Both of them are among the best in the area. We had some big holes to fill.”   Sunlake sophomore Caroline Schoonover, who came into the match with a team-high 123 kills this season, made her presence known in the fourth set, pacing the Seahawks with seven kills. She and junior Kamea Nash had Mitchell a point from postseason elimination with a 24-22 lead.   “That is the best 5-10 team you’ll see,” Michaels said. “Our district is so strong, and their record was not a good indication of just how good (Sunlake) is.”   The Mustangs would not roll over. With junior Kennedy DeLuca (13 kills, one ace) and senior Jessie Mooney (10 kills, one ace) dominating at the net, Mitchell not only roared back to win the fourth set in dramatic fashion but took that momentum into the fifth set. The first seed never again relinquished the lead.   In the match that was supposed to be close, Land O’Lakes and Springstead did not disappoint.   After splitting the season series, the Gators dispatched the Eagles in four sets (24-26, 25-22, 28-26, 25-18) to earn a ticket to the postseason and a date on Thursday against Mitchell.   Land O’Lakes (17-8), headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and the eighth time in school history, was led by junior Rachel Michner (16 kills, one ace) in the front row.   Although Springstead (16-6) controlled the match statistically in both kills (47-44) and aces (16-6), the inability of the Eagles to limit their miscues seemed to be their undoing. The host team led early in every set, burning through leads of 9-0 in the second set, 12-5 in the third set, and 5-1 in the fourth set.   Among the standouts for Springstead were junior Jennifer Aten (nine kills, 10 aces), senior Sami McLeod (15 kills, three aces), and senior Alexis Thompson (11 kills, one ace). The trio was a force at the net all night long with Aten nearing a rare double double.

  3. 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.
  4. Rockets dispatch Thunder in five

    Sports

    HOUSTON — James Harden had 34 points and his supporting cast helped the Rockets overcome a 47-point game by Russell Westbrook to get a 105-99 victory over the Thunder on Tuesday to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.  …

  5. Region tennis: St. Petersburg girls dispatch Steinbrenner 4-1

    Tennispreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Throughout the regular season and into the postseason, St. Petersburg has relied on its depth to win matches. That pattern didn't change in Tuesday's Class 4A region semifinal against Steinbrenner at the St. Pete Tennis Center. The Green Devils won four of five singles matches to defeat the Warriors 4-1.  …

  6. North Korea decries U.S. carrier dispatch as parliament meets

    Military

    PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea's parliament convened Tuesday amid heightened tensions on the divided peninsula, with the United States and South Korea conducting their biggest-ever military exercises and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heading to the area in a show of American strength.  …

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his parliament called the escalation of U.S. presence nearby “outrageous.”
  7. 911 calls on nursing home dying: 'Oh my God, this is crazy'

    Publicsafety

    Associated Press …

  8. "He is schizophrenic:" Deputies release 911 call, body-cam footage of Pasco shootout (w/video)

    Crime

    PORT RICHEY — A woman called Pasco County emergency dispatch on Thursday to report that her son had shot someone inside their garage. The son was having a "schizophrenic episode," she told dispatchers, and was now outside. "Hurry," she said, according to a recording of the call released Monday. …

    Brian DiSario, who engaged in a standoff with Pasco deputies Thursday, is seen in a frame from a deputy's body camera footage. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  9. 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. …

  10. 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 forward Devin Robinson (1) drives to the basket for a dunk during the first half of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Amway Center on March 16, 2017 on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
  11. 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.  …

  12. 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. …

    Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen denies a role in the coup attempt.
  13. Police on spot over Vegas discrepancies

    News

    Pressure mounted Wednesday for Las Vegas police to explain how quickly they reacted to what would become the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history after two hotel employees reported a gunman spraying a hallway with bullets six minutes before he opened fire on a crowd at a musical performance, killing 58 people, then himself.  …

  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Brooksville council begins study of law enforcement options

    Localgovernment

    BROOKSVILLE — The City Council has jumped headlong into a discussion about the future of the Brooksville Police Department — specifically, whether to maintain it as is or change the way law enforcement services are provided in an effort to relieve the city's budget woes. …

    Brooksville Mayor Robert Battista said the City Council has no plans to make a decision immediately.
  17. 'All I could see were bruises,' tearful mother testifies at Deandre Gilmore trial

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed. …

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  18. 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.
  19. 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]
  20. 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)] 

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