12/04/13 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — If you are coach Jon Cooper, you are cringing at some of the statistics the Lightning has churned out lately.
• It has been shut out in consecutive games and three times in its past five.
• In those five games, the Lightning has allowed just six regulation goals and still is 2-2-1.
• Excluding Tyler Johnson's empty-net goal Nov. 27 against the Flyers, Tampa Bay has not scored in 135 minutes, going back to Victor Hedman's tally against Philadelphia five minutes into the third period....
12/04/13 Local Government
A boil water notice that had been issued for parts of Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach was lifted Wednesday night.
The notice was issued Tuesday as a precaution after low water pressure levels were reported. Tests showed there was no contamination in the water and the notice was lifted at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
TALLAHASSEE — FSU QB Jameis Winston was selected as the ACC's overall and offensive player of the year Wednesday, one day after he was named league rookie of the year.
Winston is the first redshirt freshman in the 61-year history of the league to win player of the year, receiving 47 of 65 votes from members of the ACC Sports Media Association. Boston College RB Andre Williams was second with 13 votes. Pitt DT Aaron Donald was voted the ACC defensive player of the year. ...
TAMPA — Construction of a new $120 million oil recycling plant at the Port of Tampa was suddenly halted last month because "the costs estimated for plant completion have increased to more than 100 (percent)," according to a company statement.
NexLube Tampa LLC also said in the Nov. 22 media release that it temporarily suspended construction to "evaluate its options due to the substantial increase in projected costs."...
Texans (2-10) at Jaguars (3-9)
When/where: 8:25; EverBank Field, Jacksonville
TV/radio: NFL Network; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM
Line/OU: Texans by 3; 43
The Battle for Bridgewater. Draft position hangs in the balance — and possibly the chance to get Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater — though the Jaguars have won three of four, including 13-6 over Houston two weeks ago. Houston has won five of six in the series and nearly upset New England on Sunday. Watch for the Texans' Ben Tate, who had three rushing touchdowns Sunday and two last year at Jacksonville in a 27-7 win....
12/04/13 Local Government
TAMPA — Residents of the East Lake community who say they suffer from dirty tap water and high costs for the most fundamental of services from a private utility may someday get relief.
Hillsborough County commissioners took a vote Wednesday that essentially puts the county in a position to buy the Pluris Eastlake utility franchise and replace the pipes and treatment system that serve nearly 1,000 homes in the community east of Tampa. The unanimous vote was greeted by cheers from audience members who waved signs, such as one that read: "All we want for Christmas is Pluris gone."...
LAND O'LAKES — By all accounts, Stacy Renee Slabach should not have been behind the wheel that day. Her dismal driving history already covered seven pages in the state's official records, including four DUIs — two in the same week. In 2010, her license was suspended forever.
So when a Pasco sheriff's deputy stopped her two weeks ago for driving 12 miles an hour over the speed limit on State Road 54 in her mother's Hyundai Elantra, Slabach went to jail. She was booked on a charge of driving with a revoked license....
TAMPA — As the Hillsborough County School District once more contemplates a multimillion-dollar school security plan, it is losing its longtime security chief.
After 20 years on the job, David Friedberg says he will step down as early as January, allowing for a transition to the next chief.
"I have two grandchildren. I have a third on the way," Friedberg, 60, said Wednesday. "I have accomplished pretty much all I have set out to do in the last 20 years with the school district, and I think this is the opportune time." ...
12/04/13 Music & Concerts
When local alt-rock station 97X launched its first year-end rock festival in 2001, it adopted the moniker Next Big Thing — the idea being that the festival would showcase not only the hottest rock acts of any given year, but also those that might be radio mainstays in the years to come. • The station doesn't always pick 'em right — hello, Stroke 9 and Flickerstick! — but more often than not, Next Big Thing's youngest bands do go on to, well, much bigger things. Scrolling through the lineups of Next Big Things past, it's striking just how many now-huge artists played early in the day — before noon, in some cases — before blowing up the following year. • With 97X Next Big Thing returning to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Saturday, we decided to look back at some of the festival's best early-day bets over the years — and predict which young acts from this year's lineup might be all the rage in 2014. Our advice: If you're going, plan to get there early. — Jay Cridlin firstname.lastname@example.org...
12/04/13 Public Safety
TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District will pay more than $500,000 to the family of a special-needs child who drowned behind her Riverview middle school, subject to a vote Tuesday by the School Board.
Jennifer Caballero was an 11-year-old student with Down syndrome at Rodgers Middle School when she vanished from a crowded physical education class on Oct. 22, 2012.
After a frenzied search involving school staff and Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies, her body was recovered from a retention pond near the school that evening....
Plan your weekend
Next Big Thing More often than not, this annual year-end rock festival put on by local alt-rock station 97X picks some young bands that go on to, well, much bigger things. Think OK Go and fun. This year, the lineup includes Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jimmy Eat World, Stone Temple Pilots with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and up and comers Saints of Valory. Saints of Valory scored Next Big Thing's opening slot on Saturday, an honor that has become something of a vote of confidence from 97X. Gates open at noon Saturday for the festival at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Tickets are $65 though Friday via Ticketmaster, $80 at the gate if available. At 9 p.m. Friday, there will be a free Next Big Thing kickoff party featuring an acoustic performance by the Dirty Heads at Hogan's Beach, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. For details on 97X Next Big Thing, see 97xonline.com. ...
St. Pete Beach Corey Area Art and Craft Festival: A spectrum of craft/art media by 100 hand-selected crafters will be on display and for sale including folk art, pottery, handmade clothing, painted wood, personalized gift items, quilts and hair accessories. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 155 Corey Ave. (561) 746-6615.
St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show: The Mahaffey Theater yacht basin and Albert Whitted Park will be filled with hundreds of sail and power boats. This year's event includes a 40,000-square-foot clearspan tent housing marine gear, children's activities, seminars and clinics. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $10 at gate, 15 and younger free. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S. Toll-free 1-800-940-7642....
TAMPA — DT Gerald McCoy said while the Bucs have been eliminated from playoff contention, they still have much to play for in the final four games this season.
"We're not going to the playoffs. It's a fact. So what?" McCoy said. "Are we going to lay down, or are we going to finish off strong? We have four more weeks to leave our mark on 2013. What are we going to do with it? It's up to us."...
12/04/13 The Heater
ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday's surprising trade that landed the Rays frontline catcher Ryan Hanigan and late-inning reliever Heath Bell for two minor-leaguers certainly looks promising now.
"Great job," manager Joe Maddon said.
But for it to actually pay off, the Rays are counting on two veteran players, both several years into their 30s, to make significant rebounds from recent poor performances....