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  1. Drones smuggle contraband over prison walls

    Nation

    BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — During the graveyard shift at 1:44 a.m., security cameras at the prison here picked up the blinking lights of an unidentified flying object approaching the facility's fence. …

    Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., seen from a nearby woods. A drone operator was arrested last week, nearly a year after an attempt to smuggle goods into the prison by air, underscoring the headache that hobbyist drones are now creating for law enforcement. [New York Times]
  2. Retrieving remote control boat, Tampa man dies in student living complex pond

    Publicsafety

    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. …

  3. USF Bulls baseball finds success amid grief

    College

    TAMPA It remains in sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference, and its home run rate keeps climbing with the humidity. Its pitchers are producing strikeouts the way the Reds' manager produces expletives. …

  4. S.C. paper wins top Pulitzer for reporting on domestic abuse

    Incoming

    NEW YORK — The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., won the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday for an examination of the deadly toll of domestic abuse, while the New York Times collected three awards and the Los Angeles Times two.  …

    Feature photography: This Sept. 5 photo by New York Times photographer Daniel Berehulak, part of a winning series,  shows James Dorbor, 8, suspected of being infected with Ebola, being carried by medical staff to an Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia.
  5. The trooper who caught Timothy McVeigh by a fluke

    Humaninterest

    Like all the local legends in the little town of Perry, Oklahoma, Charlie Hanger has a portrait hanging on the wall of the Kumback Cafe, between the photo of outlaw Pretty Boy Floyd (said to have once eaten the biggest steak in the place) and the state champion wrestling teams. …

    Twenty years ago this week, Charlie Hanger arrested a man for carrying a concealed gun. He would turn out to be the Oklahoma City bomber.
  6. Gators cornerback J.C. Jackson arrested in connection with robbery

    Colleges

    GAINESVILLE — Florida cornerback J.C. Jackson was arrested Sunday morning and held on $150,000 bond after he was accused of participating in an armed robbery. …

  7. Hillary Clinton staying away from Florida for now, but supporters get rolling

    Stateroundup

    Florida Democrats are ready for Hillary, even if Hillary Clinton is not yet ready for them. …

    Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a roundtable discussion with members of the small business community at Capital City Fruit on April 15 in Norwalk, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
  8. Vision for Clearwater veterans memorial to become a reality

    Veterans

    CLEARWATER The city of Largo has a dignified-looking veterans memorial in one of its parks. So does Dunedin. The same goes for Oldsmar. But up until now, a veterans memorial in Clearwater's Crest Lake Park has existed only as a idea in an artist's rendering. …

    A  rendering shows a memorial the Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance intends to build in Clearwater. 
  9. District softball roundup: Countryside, Seminole dispatch top seeds

    Softballpreps

    PINELLAS PARK — With district semifinals this good, Thursday's final could almost be anticlimactic. …

  10. Islamic State group takes 3 Iraqi villages, presses into Ramadi after Tikrit loss (w/video)

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Two weeks after a critical victory at Tikrit, where a combination of U.S. airstrikes, government troops and Shiite Muslim militias overwhelmed an Islamic State force that had held the city for nearly a year, the Iraqi government faced a new challenge Wednesday, a sign of how much remains to be done to defeat the militants. …

  11. Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet move to mediation in Sunshine lawsuit

    Stateroundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After weeks of behind-the-scenes legal combat, Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members will dispatch their lawyers to mediate differences with Florida news outlets in a lawsuit accusing all four officials of violating the Sunshine Law. …

    A scheduled videotaped deposition of Gerald Bailey, the ousted commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has been postponed.





  12. State tennis: Wiregrass Ranch repeats, Armwood's Hall wins

    Tennispreps

    ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Last year, the Wiregrass Ranch boys tennis team scraped and scrapped for every point, squeezing everything it could from the hard courts at Sanlando Park to tie for the state championship. Tuesday, the Bulls made a little time for relaxing. …

    Agie Moreno’s singles win secured Wiregrass Ranch’s second straight state title.
  13. Column: There's no such crime as 'driving while white'

    Columns

    The shooting of Walter L. Scott in South Carolina prompts the question: When is the last time you heard of a white man in a Mercedes-Benz being pulled over for driving with a broken taillight? …

  14. Man arrested on arson charges at downtown Tampa apartment complex

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man was arrested on arson charges Sunday morning after he illegally entered his neighbor's downtown apartment and tried to set a fire, authorities said. …

  15. Medicaid expansion plans face long odds in final weeks of session

    Stateroundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gail Jones has the same thought whenever she gets into a car: "Please, Lord, don't let me crash. I don't have health insurance." …

    Gov. Scott supported a plan for federal Medicaid expansion funds, until last week.
  16. Toilet H-O-R-S-E, anyone? Family business R.J. Kielty Plumbing has a ball

    Retail

    HUDSON Things can get stressful for the 150 men and women working at R.J. Kielty Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. ¶ After all: "There are a lot of people who try to flush cat litter," says dispatch manager Crystal Schuler. And remote controls. And underwear.  …

    Dispatch manager Crystal Schuler, left, plumbing service manager Jesse Francher, HVAC manager Joe Rogers and manager Tanner Kielty play a game of “toilet horse” in the company’s Hudson showroom.
  17. Region tennis roundup: Special motivation for Holy Names

    Tennispreps

    TAMPA —Academy of the Holy Names easily advanced to its seventh straight Class 2A state tournament Thursday after winning all five singles matches against Lakeland McKeel Academy at Hillsborough Community College. While going to the state tournament has become routine for the Jaguars, this year's trip has special meaning. …

    Holy Names’ Caroline Lozo honors teammate Sydney Wynne by wearing her initials.
  18. Perspective: Planes already flying without pilots

    Perspective

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Mounting evidence that the co-pilot crashed a Germanwings plane into a French mountain has prompted a global debate about how to better screen crew members for mental illness and how to ensure that no one is left alone in the cockpit. …

    iStockphoto.com
  19. Deep-sea treasure hunter pleads guilty to contempt of court

    Business

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A deep-sea treasure hunter who spent years as a fugitive after refusing to testify about gold he discovered in a historic shipwreck pleaded guilty Wednesday to contempt of court.  …

    Tommy Thompson lived for a time on Florida’s east coast.
  20. Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Scramble for a loose kayak

    Perspective

    Editor's note: The three members of the second Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are filing weekly dispatches of their 1,000-mile, 10-week journey to highlight the value of keeping an open pathway through the state for wildlife. Here is the story of the seventh week (published March 1, 2015).  …

    Fire warms the expedition team and colors a canopy of pines above a riverside campsite in Apalachicola National Forest, which at three times the size of Pinellas County is the largest national forest in Florida and an essential hub for the statewide wildlife corridor. The team paddled the Apalachicola River system for five days downstream to Apalachicola Bay, which has been deprived of freshwater taken by Georgia in recent decades as Atlanta has grown. Temperatures dropped into the mid 20s leaving ice on tents and kayaks for three straight nights. Clear skies and a new moon allowed the stars to shine brightly.

 [Carlton Ward Jr
CarltonWard.com]

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