Partly Cloudy66° FULL FORECASTPartly Cloudy66° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page

Times staff,

If you have a news tip, please call our City Desk at 727-893-8215.

You can also call one of our county news bureaus directly:

Hernando County: 352-754-6101

Hillsborough County/Tampa: 813-226-3303

North Pinellas County: 727-445-4221

Pasco County: 727-869-6235

On the Web, you can also go to for details on other ways to contact us.


  1. Tampa high school girls arrested in knife fight over boy

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Two female students were injured Friday morning at King High School in what school officials believe was a fight over a boy.

    The fight, which broke out at 7:35 a.m. just before the first bell, pitted two 10th grade girls against two 11th grade girls, Hillsborough County Schools spokesman Steve Hegarty said. One of the 10th graders had a knife.

    Both of the 11th grade girls were injured, and one was taken to an area hospital with lacerations to her face and shoulders....

  2. Fire destroys mobile home in Lealman


    A woman received treatment for smoke inhalation and a mobile home was destroyed Friday morning in a fire in Lealman, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

    Firefighters were called to the Highland Mobile Home Park at 3663 58th Ave. N about 2:23 a.m. The fire ruined one mobile home and damaged two others, according to the Sheriff's Office. Two residents made it out of the fire. One, Laura Duncan, 50, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for treatment of smoke inhalation...

  3. Two suspects in custody after Plant City car theft, gunshots start chase that ends in Tampa


    TAMPA — A six hour standoff with three law enforcement agencies led to the capture of two suspects Friday morning in north Tampa.

    Police believed the pair stole a car and were somehow involved in a shooting.

    The standoff, which included an armored SWAT van, ended around 7 a.m. when the last suspect not in custody, who had barricaded himself in the attic of a home on Citrus Circle near Fourth Street, surrendered to police. ...

    A SWAT team reportedly responded to an apartment complex near 46th Street and Citrus Circle on Friday morning, just south of Busch Blvd. [Bay News 9]
  4. Hillsborough will hold community meetings on discipline


    This from the Hillsborough County school district Friday morning:

    Hillsborough County Public Schools will host eight Community Discipline Chats in areas throughout the county for parents and the community to review and provide input on 2014-2015 first semester in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and alternative to out-of-school suspension data.  ...

  5. Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX Scouting Report: And the winner will be …


    Does it feel like you've eaten McDonald's every day for the past two weeks?

    Super Bowl Sunday — finally, mercifully — is almost here. When the Patriots and Seahawks won their conference championships a State of the Union address ago, the table was set for an appetizing finale. For the second straight season, the two best teams in football were going head-to-head. We were going to be talking about superstar players — Tom Brady! Rob Gronkowski! Russell Wilson! Marshawn Lynch! We were going to be reading about legacies. And we were going to be watching sappy Tom Rinaldi ESPN specials....

    On Sunday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will appear in his record-tying sixth Super Bowl. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will look to be the first quarterback since Brady to win back-to-back Lombardi trophies. Wilson is 10-0 vs. Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. [Getty Images]
  6. Friday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    NASCAR Hall of Fame inductions8 p.m.NBCSN
    Lightweights: Dargan vs. Luis9 p.m.ESPN2
    College basketball
    Harvard at Princeton6 p.m.ESPNU
    Women: Florida State at Georgia Tech7 p.m.FSF
    Monmouth at Fairfield8 p.m.ESPNU
    Kent State at Buffalo10 p.m.ESPNU
    College gymnastics
    Georgia at Florida7 p.m.SEC
    College hockey
    North Dakota at Nebraska-Omaha8:30 p.m.CBSSN
    Minnesota at Wisconsin9 p.m.Big Ten
    PGA Europe: Dubai Desert Classic5:30 a.m.Golf
    PGA: Phoenix Open3 p.m.Golf
    LPGA: Coates Championship (taped)8 p.m.Golf
    High school hockey
    River Ridge vs. Newsome7 p.m.BHSN
    East Lake vs. Wiregrass Ranch9 p.m.BHSN
    OHL: Erie at Kingston7 p.m.NHL
    Mavericks at Heat8 p.m.ESPN
    Bulls at Suns10:30 p.m.ESPN
    Sabres at Canucks10 p.m.NHL
    Mexican: Santos at Quertaro8:30 p.m.ESPND
    Mexican: Morelia at Tijuana10:30 p.m.ESPND
    Australian Open (taped)2 p.m.ESPN2
    Australian Open, women's final: S. Williams vs. Sharapova3 a.m....

  7. Region boys soccer: Boca Ciega notches historic win


    ST. PETERSBURG — An already historic season got even better for Boca Ciega on Thursday night. Playing in only the second region game in school history, and the first since 1994, the Pirates defeated Bradenton Southeast 1-0 in overtime. It is the school's first region win and sets up a Class 3A region semifinal against Jesuit on Tuesday. .

    "This is huge for our program,'' Boca Ciega coach Colby Bidwell said. "There's a buzz around school about these guys. It's so rewarding.''...

  8. Region boys soccer: Goalie's clutch play lifts East Lake


    ST. PETERSBURG — After a collision in overtime, East Lake goalkeeper Sean Caulfield writhed on the ground in pain. He hobbled to the sideline, unsure if he would return for the game — or the season — after suffering what he said could be ligament damage to his knee.

    But it didn't take long for Caulfield to know he was going to keep playing Thursday.

    "I couldn't go out like that," Caulfield said. "I saw how hard everyone else on the team was fighting. If they were out there playing that hard, I had to be back out there fighting for them."...

  9. Lightning buries Red Wings

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — What Cedric Paquette does best typically doesn't end up on the score sheet.

    The gritty center does all the thankless dirty work in the corners and on the penalty kill. He probably blocks more shots than he takes.

    So when Paquette, 21, delivered an improbable hat trick on a big stage Thursday night, lifting the Lightning to a 5-1 win over the Red Wings, the whole bench went wild. Jonathan Drouin stood up on his seat and screamed as many in the mixed-fan sellout crowd of 19,204 at Amalie Arena tossed hats onto the ice....

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) celebrates his third goal, a shorthanded goal, completing the hat trick, during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at the Amalie Arena. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times] 
  10. District girls basketball: Strawberry Crest nabs another title


    DOVER — With arguably the best player in Hillsborough County on its roster last year, Strawberry Crest followed Aliyah Gregory's leadership all the way to its first district championship.

    Gregory has since graduated and now plays at UCF. The Chargers, who had some growing pains midseason, longed to prove the inaugural feat could be done without her. But for most of Strawberry Crest's Class 7A-7 championship matchup with Plant City on Thursday, that seemed in doubt. ...

  11. Lightning's Tyler Johnson has Red Wings ties

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Imagine this: Lightning C Tyler Johnson in a Red Wings uniform.

    Turns out, it might have been fitting. Detroit coach Mike Babcock goes way back with Johnson, having coached in the center's hometown, Spokane, Wash., from 1994-2000. Babcock said Johnson's mother, Debbie, taught his kids how to skate.

    "It's unbelievable he's not a Red Wing," quipped Babcock, whose Red Wings played the Lightning on Thursday. "I could have hand delivered that guy so easy it's not even funny. Should have mentioned that a few times."...

    Tyler Johnson has known Detroit coach Mike Babcock for so long, Babcock remembers him “being a little pip-squeak.”
  12. Multibillion dollar express tolls plan draws ire from several Tampa residents


    TAMPA — State officials are moving forward with a multibillion dollar plan to create express toll lanes on Tampa Bay-area interstates.

    But several of the 100 or so residents who showed up to an open house presentation off 50th Street during rush-hour traffic Thursday were not pleased with it.

    "I am unequivocally against this plan," said Austin Prince, a 22-year-old University of South Florida graduate, who called it "a tightening of the economic noose around the working class."...

  13. First African-American to lead St. Petersburg College music department, band dies

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Services are scheduled this weekend for Christopher C. Styles, the first African-American band director and chair of the department of music at St. Petersburg College, who died at the age of 79 on Jan. 22.

    Mr. Styles, who went by Chris, was born in St. Petersburg and dedicated his life to giving back to the community through music, said his sister, Gladys Styles Johnston. He taught music for more than 50 years and was a member of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP, the Pinellas County Urban League, the Junior Symphony, the Al Downing Jazz Association and the Florida A&M University Alumni Association. ...

    Christopher C. Styles, the first African-American band director and music department chair at St. Petersburg College, is pictured with his trumpet in 1963. He died Jan. 22 at the age of 79. He taught music for more than 50 years, starting at Gibbs Junior College.
  14. Duke Energy ices solar farm idea for mid Pinellas County


    Duke Energy Florida has iced its idea to build a solar farm in mid Pinellas County or anywhere else, at least for now.

    The decision came after state regulators in November denied Duke's request to redirect $2 million from a solar panel rebate program for customers to so-called community solar projects, where solar panels in a central location feed the existing power grid.

    The goal, company spokesman Sterling Ivey said, was to "spread the cost among all our 1.7 million customers and make it fair for all of our customers, not just the few who can afford to install panels."...

  15. Date set for movie theater shooting trial


    DADE CITY — A judge Thursday set an Aug. 24 date for the murder trial of Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa police captain accused of shooting and killing a man in a Wesley Chapel movie theater last January.

    Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa said he expects the trial to last three weeks, closing on Sept. 11.

    Reeves, 72, is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the Jan. 13 shooting of Chad Oulson, 43, at the Cobb Grove 16 Theatres. The men were at a matinee show with their wives when they argued over Oulson texting his young daughter's babysitter during previews....

    Defense attorney Richard Escobar, right, and movie theater shooting suspect Curtis Reeves listen during Thursday’s hearing.