Tampa’s newest section of the Riverwalk doesn’t officially open until 5 p.m. today, but who could blame René Girven for going by early for a sneak peek?
“I live in the Element, and I’ve been watching this project since its inception,” said Girven, 47, a regular walker and biker in downtown. Kept out by a single strand of yellow caution tape, she was tempted by the idea of a quick, unauthorized stroll....
03/26/15 TV and Radio
Arena Football Cleveland at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. 620-AM Autos Trucks: Kroger 250 practice 10 a.m. FS1 Sprint Cup: STP 500 practice noon FS1 Sprint Cup: STP 500 qualifying 4:30 p.m. FS1 F1: Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying 5 a.m. (Saturday) NBCSN Baseball, spring training Red Sox at Braves 1 p.m. ESPN Diamondbacks at Angels 4 p.m. MLB Mariners at Royals 9 p.m. MLB College baseball Cincinnati at USF 6:30 p.m. 1010-AM Mississippi at Arkansas 7 p.m. SEC Southern Miss at Rice 7 p.m. FS2 College basketball, NCAA Tournament South Region semifinal: UCLA vs. Gonzaga 7:15 p.m. Ch. 10; 1040-AM East Region semifinal: N.C. State vs. Louisville 7:35 p.m. TBS South Region semifinal: Utah vs. Duke 9:45 p.m. Ch. 10; 1040-AM East Region semifinal: Michigan State vs. Oklahoma 10:05 p.m. TBS College basketball, Women's NCAA Greensboro Region semifinal: North Carolina vs. South Carolina 7 p.m. ESPN Oklahoma City Region semifinal: Iowa vs. Baylor 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Greensboro Region semifinal: Florida State vs. Arizona State 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Oklahoma City Region semifinal: Stanford vs. Notre Dame 10 p.m. ESPN College basketball Division II women's final: California (Pa.) vs. California Baptist 8 p.m. CBSSN College hockey, Division I tournament Yale vs. Boston U 2 p.m. ESPNU Minnesota vs. Minnesota-Duluth 5:30 p.m. ESPNU Quinnipiac at North Dakota 8 p.m. ESPNU Golf PGA Europe: Hassan Trophy 7 a.m. Golf Champions: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic noon Golf PGA: Valero Texas Open 3 p.m. Golf LPGA: Kia Classic 6 p.m. Golf NBA Pistons at Magic 7 p.m. FSF Trail Blazers at Suns 10 p.m. NBA Soccer Euro qualifier: Ukraine at Spain 3:30 p.m. ESPN2, ESPND Euro qualifier: England vs. Lithuania 3:30 p.m. FS2 Euro qualifier: Russia at Montenegro (taped) 5:45 p.m. ESPND Tennis Miami Open 7 p.m. Tennis
TAMPA — Police were investigating an armed robbery Thursday night at a Food Mart on Nebraska Avenue that sent one victim to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.
Police responded to a call at the Nebraska Food Mart, 7508 N Nebraska Ave., at 9:50 p.m. and found an elderly man facedown in the parking lot.
Lt. Michael Stout said three men, two of them armed and wearing masks, walked into the store and found a clerk mopping the floor. One suspect pistol-whipped the clerk, Stout said. Together, the suspects emptied out three registers before fleeing. ...
03/26/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — The Lightning felt it probably deserved a better fate in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Predators.
"Let's not kid ourselves. We played a good team, and we thought we were the better team," captain Steven Stamkos said.
For the most part, Tampa Bay was, holding the 100-point Predators to 19 shots. The Lightning had the puck for what coach Jon Cooper estimated was three-quarters of the game. It killed off five power plays, including a double minor....
03/26/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — C Cedric Paquette returned to the lineup Thursday, convinced the upper-body injury that has bothered him since February — and had sidelined him the previous six games — is behind him.
"I'm ready to go," Paquette said.
And, for at least one day, C Vladislav Namestnikov stayed with Tampa Bay, though coach Jon Cooper said that could change today. Namestnikov, on an emergency recall, has to be returned to AHL Syracuse or he'll be the third of four allotted post-trade-deadline callups. But with LW Brenden Morrow day to day with an upper-body injury, Namestnikov remained, playing in the 3-2 loss to the Predators and scoring....
TAMPA — Lee Bentley has been on the job for 21 months as the region's top federal prosecutor and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December, but Thursday delivered the fanfare.
U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch attended Bentley's ceremonial investiture as U.S. attorney for Florida's Middle District. It was an occasion marked by moments solemn and jovial.
Lynch didn't speak publicly but sat beside Bentley and his family in a room packed with judges, lawyers, law enforcement agents, and local dignitaries. ...
TAMPA — A day after confirming the departure of point guard Anthony Collins and low-post reserve Dre Clayton, USF announced Thursday that well-traveled shooting guard Shawn Smith transferred into the program.
A Jacksonville native, Smith (6 feet 4, 205 pounds) spent the 2013-14 season at Texas A&M before transferring to Lee College, averaging 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the junior college program on Houston's outskirts. He can play right away for the Bulls and will have two years of eligibility remaining....
03/26/15 Auto racing
No. 27 Honda
Age: 28 Hometown: Nazareth, Pa.
Notable: His runnerup finish last season at Birmingham was the closest he got to ending a victory drought dating to 2011, and he was ninth in points. He led 20 laps in last year's Indianapolis 500 before finishing third.
No. 11 Chevrolet...
03/26/15 Human Interest
More than 4,000 Duke Energy customers in the East Lake area lost power Thursday evening, according to the utility's online outage map.
Outages were reported just before 8 p.m., according to the site, and Duke Energy expected to reestablish power about 10 p.m. in some areas and 11:30 p.m. in others.
A reason for the outages was not provided, though the company said outages are most commonly caused by adverse weather, trees, animals, equipment failure or vehicle accidents....
SPRING HILL — A lot of factors contributed to the passage of the historic Rosewood compensation law 21 years ago.
Witnesses were still alive to share their harrowing accounts of the racially motivated 1923 massacre that left at least six black and two white residents dead. High-powered lawyers got behind the bill. They produced crucial evidence of the loss of property, as well as lives....
03/26/15 Human Interest
EVE EDELHEIT | Times
Kristi Opheim, a junior at Viera High School in Melbourne, dances during the Rockettes workshop at the Florida State Thespian Festival at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Thursday. Students from around the state attended the festival, which is in its 25th year. The festival runs through Sunday.
03/26/15 The Heater
Still has it
It has been fewer than five years since Rays manager Kevin Cash played in the majors, so it shouldn't be surprising that Cash (left) squatted behind home plate to warm up reliever Kirby Yates before the ninth inning of Thursday's game against the Yankees. "I was really good at that, warming up pitchers," joked Cash, 37, a catcher for all but five of his 246 major-league games from 2002-10. "It's the other things I wasn't good at."...
TAMPA — The Tampa City Council said goodbye Thursday to two-term member Mary Mulhern, known for her liberal politics, independent streak and readiness to speak her mind.
Since winning a seat against a veteran council member who raised more than four times as much money, Mulhern, 56, has championed the arts and environment, opposed the purchase of downtown surveillance cameras and questioned what she described as the militarization of police ahead of the Republican National Convention. She also opposed bans on panhandling that did not address the underlying problems of poverty and homelessness....
ST. PETERSBURG — A 63-year-old woman found unresponsive inside a burning town home was rushed to the hospital and remained in critical condition Thursday evening, authorities said.
St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue crews found smoke pouring from the front door when they arrived just before 7 p.m. at the two-story residential town home at 5822 16th Lane S.
They found the woman on the second floor, where she had been overcome by smoke, said Lt. Steve Lawrence, Deputy Fire Marshal. She had no burn wounds, he said, and was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. ...
For the second year in a row, the Villages in Central Florida is the fastest-growing metro area in the country, according to U.S. Census data released Thursday.
The popular retirement mecca grew at a 5.4 percent clip between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000.
The Villages, a community located about 50 miles northwest of Orlando, is known for its golf carts, which are used almost as much as cars, and for the sometimes frisky behavior of its 55-and-older residents. ...