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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 sptimes.com/connect/ for details on other ways to contact us.

E-mail: local@tampabay.com

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  1. Boys basketball: Tampa Prep 52, Shorecrest 47

    Preps

    TAMPA — With a roster that includes nine seniors, Tampa Prep has one of the more experienced teams in the Class 3A playoff bracket.

    How far the Terrapins get in the postseason might be determined by the health of two key underclassmen: freshman guard Jaren Phillips and sophomore forward Trey Sibert.

    Both returned from injuries, giving Tampa Prep its full complement of players who were available at the start of the season. (Connecticut forward Juwan Durham is out after tearing his ACL in October)....

  2. Friday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Autos
    Sprint Cup: Daytona 500 practice5 p.m.FS1
    Sprint Cup: Daytona 500 practice6:30 p.m.FS1
    College basketball
    Ohio at Buffalo7 p.m.ESPNU
    Dayton at Rhode Island7 p.m.ESPN2
    Women: USF at Cincinnati7 p.m.1040-AM
    Women: Villanova at St. John's8 p.m.FS2
    UCLA at Arizona9 p.m.ESPN
    Monmouth at Rider9 p.m.ESPNU
    College hockey
    Maine at Notre Dame6:30 p.m.NBCSN
    Minnesota at Ohio State6:30 p.m.Big Ten
    Western Michigan at Nebraska-Omaha7:30 p.m.CBSSN
    North Dakota at Denver10 p.m.CBSSN
    Golf
    PGA Europe: Tshwane Open7:30 a.m.Golf
    Champions: ACE Group ClassicnoonGolf
    PGA: Pebble Beach Pro-Am3 p.m.Golf
    High school soccer, boys state final
    Class 4A: Naples Gulf Coast vs. Miami Belen Jesuit9 p.m.BHSN
    NBA
    All-Star Celebrity Game7 p.m.ESPN
    Rising Stars Challenge9 p.m.TNT; 620-AM
    NHL
    Kings at Rangers7 p.m.NBCSN
    Predators at Lightning7:30 p.m.Fox Sun; 970-AM
    Soccer
    German: Schalke at Mainz2:30 p.m.FS1
    ...

  3. Bucs leery of building through free agency

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It already has been a shock-to-the-system offseason for the Bucs, who have a new head coach in their old offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter; an entirely new defensive staff; and general manager Jason Licht controlling the draft, free agency and the final 53-man roster.

    But the surprises might be just beginning, folks.

    The team that raised ticket prices by more than 20 percent and has the fifth-most salary cap space in the NFL with $52.8 million won't be players for the big-ticket talent in free agency again this year....

    GM Jason Licht says bringing in the wrong free agent at an inflated salary can be disruptive.
  4. Lightning's Stamkos: Answers will come at trade deadline

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — If he wanted to, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos could quash any potential drama leading up to the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

    Stamkos has a full no-move clause, meaning he holds all the cards. Even if the Lightning wanted to trade him, the team would need his permission.

    So if Stamkos plans to stay with the Lightning at least through the end of the season, like many expect, he can just say it: I'm not going anywhere....

    Steven Stamkos avoids “speculating and saying things that someone can twist.’’
  5. After Flint, St. Petersburg mulls more tests for lead in water supply

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — Despite assurances from St. Petersburg's top water official that the city's drinking supply is safe, City Council members said Thursday that more testing should be done to ease the minds of worried residents.

    The specter of lead contamination in Flint, Mich. — which has raised concerns nationally about the overall quality in drinking water — haunted a 23-minute presentation by Water Resources director Steve Leavitt....

  6. Montanari to have heart surgery, out of St. Petersburg council mix for few months

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of the City Council's newest members will be missing from the dais for the next few months.

    Ed Montanari said Thursday he will have heart surgery this month. The Feb. 23 procedure will repair his mitral valve and will be done at the Cleveland Clinic.

    "Our city has been blessed with a great staff and I am confident that the issues that need to be addressed in my absence will be covered," Montanari said in a memo to his council colleagues and Mayor Rick Kriseman. ...

    “Get checked out even if you don’t have any symptoms,” said council member Ed Montanari.
  7. Tampa police search for second person of interest in Club Rayne shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police are searching for another person of interest in the strip club shooting that left two dead and six others wounded over the weekend.

    This is the second man police have asked the public to help identify through video surveillance photos released from the scene of Saturday's shooting at Club Rayne at 8123 N. Nebraska Ave.

    The club was crowded Saturday when police said shots rang out. Marvin Douglass Lancaster III, 21, died at the club. Christopher Houston, 20, died of his injuries late Monday night....

    Tampa police seek help to identify this person of interest in the Club Rayne shooting over the weekend.
  8. Garrison out 3-5 weeks, a blow to Lightning defense

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — The Lightning already appeared in need of help on defense for its playoff push, entering tonight's game against Nashville just one point ahead of ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

    Then came Thursday's news that veteran defenseman Jason Garrison is expected to be out 3-5 weeks with a lower body injury.

    "He's one of our best players defensively," defenseman Anton Stralman said. "A tough loss."...

    Defenseman Jason Garrison, left, celebrating with Victor Hedman, has been “a rock for us,’’ coach Jon Cooper says.
  9. Lightning boosts season ticket rates

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The Lightning announced Thursday that season tickets for next season will increase by an average of 7 percent.

    The team, coming off its run to the Stanley Cup final, said it has the third-lowest average ticket price in the NHL ($49.33) in 2015-16, and no season ticket member will see an increase of more than $6 per game per seat for 2016-17, with the exception of the Chase Club members....

    Tampa Bay Lightning fans climb the steps as the doors open for a sell out crowd as the Lightning take on the Philadelphia Flyers for the home opener at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (10/8/15).
  10. USF loses co-offensive coordinator Hope, may add King

    College

    TAMPA — USF co-offensive coordinator Danny Hope, credited with helping develop the Bulls' resurgent "Gulf Coast Offense" in 2015, is resigning after one year for family reasons.

    Meantime, former Bucs quarterback Shaun King is expected to join Willie Taggart's staff as quarterbacks coach, as early as Monday.

    Various online reports indicated former Cincinnati offensive line coach Darren Hiller will replace Hope. While USF did not confirm those reports, Taggart said in a news release he hopes to complete his staff "very quickly."...

    OT	162745	- - DELIVER TO:	sports	- -	7/28/2003	- -	Lake Buena Vista	- -	9. Shaun King (10) passes Monday (7/28/2003) morning during training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista.	- -	Times Photo by:	Brendan Fitterer	- -	Story By:	Roger Mills	- -	SCANNED BY:	BTF	- -  RUN DATE:
  11. 'The Lion King' cast takes break from stage to visit the real big cats of Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Amanda the tiger stretched her body, lunged into the walls of her metal enclosure and roared at the group passing by her cage at Big Cat Rescue.

    Outside, the man who plays the king of the jungle on stage flinched.

    "That gate is secured right?" said Aaron Nelson, who plays Simba, the lion prince-turned-lion king star of Disney's The Lion King. "It sounds like the roar we use in the show."...

    From left, Aaron Nelson (Simba), Wade (Sarabi), and Ramsey (Mufasa) listen to tour guide Jeff Kremer. Cast members have enjoyed many of the area’s attractions during their stay here.
  12. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

    Human Interest

    Unfractured Grace

    When Tampa orthopedic surgeon Mark Frankle's colleagues sought to donate to a community mental health organization in memory of his late wife, Mary, "No organization fit the mission," he said. So last year Frankle, psychiatrist Jamie Fernandez and some close friends formed the Tampa Bay Foundation for Mental Health. "More spending, less stigma," Fernandez said, noting that 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness. The first grant funded Connections, a docent training program for USF undergrads to offer Tampa Museum of Art tours to people with dementia, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. ...

    AMY SCHERZER | Times photos  Hondo Guerts, left, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg and Tampa Jewish Community Center executive director Jack Ross visit at the annual President?•s Dinner on Jan. 31at the Hilton Downtown Tampa.
  13. Amish Baking Co. cooks up success at the Florida State Fair

    News

    TAMPA

    Raini Perry takes a smooth, warm slice of strawberry and whipped cream-topped doughnut and quickly puts the forkful into her mouth.

    "I'm in heaven," she said, "fluffy heaven."

    Perry, 14, from Jacksonville is getting her first taste of a Florida State Fair-favorite: the Amish doughnut from the Amish Baking Co. stand outside the Expo Center.

    The tent is one of two at the Florida State Fair this year, serving up giant, warm and sticky Amish doughnuts and handmade soft pretzels. ...

    Raini Perry, 14, of Jacksonville celebrates her first time at the Florida State Fair with a warm Amish doughnut topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The Amish Baking Co. debuted two products this year.
  14. Hannah's Shoebox finds fit at University of Tampa

    News

    Colette Glover-Hannah and her tween daughter, Elois Hannah argued in the middle of Macy's shoe department.

    At age 11, Elois wore a size 11 and struggled to find a shoe that would fit.

    Though she wasn't looking for anything too high, she had only one option and tried it on.

    Wobbling down the aisle toward her mother yelling, "They fit," their fight began.

    "She's having a break down and I am having a break down," Hannah said. "I said, 'you're not going to buy those and when you get home you're on punishment for being disrespectful.'...

    Colette Glover-Hannah, owner of Hannah’s Shoebox, is part of a new business incubator at the University of Tampa.
  15. Temple Terrace city manager to retire

    Local Government

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Gerald Seeber, hired three years ago as Temple Terrace's city manager, has announced he is retiring in three months.

    "I've been doing this for 40 years,'' Seeber said after last week's council meeting. "I started in January of 1976, and I've had a great run.''

    He said in a news release that he and his wife want to spend more time with their grown children and other relatives....