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  1. Region softball: Boca Ciega dispatches Robinson

    Softballpreps

    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. District softball roundup: Countryside, Seminole dispatch top seeds

    Softballpreps

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

  3. UConn easily dispatches Maryland, vies for third straight title

    College

    TAMPA — At least one college basketball juggernaut remains upright today. A night after Kentucky's men were introduced to mortality, Connecticut's women remained a sleek, sturdy model of infallibility in Sunday's national semifinals at Amalie Arena. …

    Connecticut Huskies forward Morgan Tuck (3) on the court against Maryland Terrapins during the Women's Final Four in Tampa Sunday evening. (04/05/15).
  4. District boy soccer: Northeast dispatches Seminole

    Preps

    SEMINOLE— Seminole brought the energy looking for an upset, but failed to maintain the intensity in overtime. …

  5. 911 calls reveal both sides of deadly road rage incident

    Crime

    BEVERLY HILLS, Fla. — In 911 calls from an apparent road rage incident, a north Florida man tells a dispatcher he has his gun "cocked and loaded" because "some maniac" was trying to run him off the road. …

  6. District volleyball: Osceola dispatches Springstead in five games

    Volleyballpreps

    TRINITY — To almost no one's surprise, Tuesday's first Class 6A-10 district semifinal went the distance. In a match where two even teams couldn't hold momentum for long, Osceola had it when it mattered, beating Springstead 25-15, 11-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-13. …

  7. District tiebreaker: Berkeley Prep dispatches Tampa Catholic to move on

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — Tampa Catholic and Fort Meade were moments from kicking off for the first quarter of a three-way tiebreaker to determine the Class 3A-4 district runner up. But Berkeley Prep, the host team for Monday's shootout, was out of sight. …

  8. Dispatcher resigns amid investigation of failure to send help for trapped baby

    Publicsafety

    TAMPA — A Tampa police dispatcher who refused to send help to a woman who called 911 after her baby was locked inside a hot car has resigned. Darrell Brown, 25, was under investigation for violating a police department policy on attentiveness to duty when he quit Oct. 2.  …

  9. The latest Dispatches: Burn survivor's words are the balm that soothe

    State

    Set for Floridian in Sunday's Times from award-winner John Woodrow Cox: TAMPA — "Joe Versaggi," he said, lightly bumping fists with the young man in the hospital bed. "Burn survivor." …

    Joe Versaggi.
  10. Tampa police dispatcher faces discipline for handling of trapped baby

    Publicsafety

    TAMPA — A Tampa police dispatcher is facing discipline after he failed to send help to a woman who called 911 after her baby got locked inside a car, officials said. …

  11. Tiffany Lawrence remembered as more than a police dispatcher

    Obituaries

    TAMPA — To an officer on patrol in Tampa, Tiffany Lawrence's voice was one of the most reassuring sounds that could come through the radio. …

    Tiffany Lawrence, 31, had family roots in law enforcement.
  12. Dispatches from Next Door: Burn survivor's words are the balm that soothe

    Humaninterest

    TAMPA — “Joe Versaggi," he said, lightly bumping fists with the young man in the hospital bed. "Burn survivor." …

    Joe Versaggi, 71, has always loved to fly. He was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and flew on hundreds of death-defying missions that he survived. But eight years ago, the Cessna a friend was flying crashed and left Joe with burns covering 35 percent of his body. He now volunteers at Tampa General Hospital, where he splits his time between driving the courtesy shuttle and talking to the survivors in the burn unit.
  13. Baseball: Sunlake pulls ahead late, dispatches Mitchell

    Baseballpreps

    TRINITY — The Mustangs and Seahawks seemed evenly matched, with comparable win-loss records and pitching stats. For the first five innings Tuesday night, those similarities were obvious. Then Sunlake (9-5) broke away in the sixth, and the game was over.  …

  14. Allegiant Air flight runs low on fuel over closed airport, makes emergency landing

    Airlines

    An Allegiant Air flight ran dangerously low on fuel last week as it circled an airport in North Dakota that was actually closed so the Navy's Blue Angels could practice for a forthcoming air show. …

    An Allegiant Air flight had to make an emergency landing in North Dakota last week when it ran low on fuel while flying to an airport that was closed. It's the latest in a number of problems with Allegiant Air, including several emergency landings at St. Pete Clearwater International Airport. This photo was taken there in June. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  15. Region baseball: Focused Pasco dispatches Land O'Lakes

    Baseballpreps

    LAND O'LAKES — For most of this season, Pasco has been up and down, here and there and pretty much all over the place. The Pirates won a few games by the mercy rule, and lost a few that way, too, including the district championship. …

  16. Dispatches from next door: A new stage in life

    Humaninterest

    TEMPLE TERRACE — The young woman gripping the microphone glided onto the stage, her 4-inch black heels thumping the thin carpet. "Check, check, check," she said. "Mike one." That evening in Temple Terrace, she prepared to headline a concert for kids in a church hall no bigger than a double-wide mobile home. It had low ceilings with fluorescent lights and the stage was just a raised section of floor. But up there, as she tested the rattling acoustics in a nearly empty room, Terri Saffold beamed as if that was where she most belonged. As if she had never been far from a church's holy stage. But Terri had. …

    Gospel rapper Terri Saffold, a.k.a. Terri Vee
  17. Boys basketball: Nature Coast dispatches rival Springstead

    Preps

    BROOKSVILLE — Both sides of the gym were packed with fans Tuesday night for a game everyone expected to be close. "Coming into the game, it's a big rivalry," Nature Coast coach David Pisarcik said. "Records go out the window when you face a team like this one." …

  18. Dispatches From Next Door: The cabana boy grows up

    Humaninterest

    CLEARWATER BEACH — His rusting Nissan puttered up the Memorial Causeway Bridge, its engine wheezing. Mike McIntosh peered at purple clouds swirling just south. "I don't like weather looking like this," he said, his voice a slow-grinding blender. That wind, Mike knew, would make a hard day harder. He coughed and flicked his cigarette out the cracked window.  …

    Mike McIntosh has worked at Clearwater Beach for nearly two decades. But time and tide stop for no man, and Mike can’t be the cabana boy forever.
  19. FSU puts 4 on All-ACC team; Miami shut out

    College

    Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey believes the Seminoles have the most talented team in the country. …

    Junior defensive back Jalen Ramsey is one of four Florida State players named to the All-ACC preseason team.
  20. Florida education news: Testing, finances, overdue repairs and more

    The Gradebook

    PRIORITIES: On his first official day, Hillsborough superintendent Jeff Eakins talks about his goals for the school district. COMMUNICATION: Pasco Pine View Middle leaders scale back their aggressive scheduling and curriculum plans after listening to parent concerns. …

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