TAMPA — Try as he might to forget last year's matchup with Plant, Sickles linebacker Jake Hampton won't let the memory fade. He walks around with a photo of the 54-6 final score as the background of his cell phone.
And he's not the only one who won't let himself forget.
"I look at it pretty much every day," Sickles coach Brian Turner said of the scoreboard picture. "That was humiliating, and on TV, too, however many people watching."...
10/08/15 Real Estate
TAMPA — After nearly two years of trying, City Hall appears to have a buyer with a big plan for a high-profile corner in Ybor City.
The City Council next week is expected to consider a contract to sell a third of a block at E Seventh Avenue and Nick Nuccio Parkway for $792,000.
The buyer is a partnership between homebuilder Ariel Quintela and Darryl Shaw, the CEO of BluePearl Veterinary, a Tampa-based company with emergency animal hospitals and specialty veterinary clinics in 17 states....
ST. PETERSBURG — Five people were arrested following an armed robbery at a bar and a subsequent car chase early Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The suspects are accused of robbing patrons inside the Twin Horse Saloon at 2747 53rd Ave. N shortly after midnight. Deputies said that one man held a gun to the bartender's head and they all beat patrons, taking cash and cell phones. No one in the bar was seriously hurt....
TAMPA — An advisory council comprised of students, faculty and staff at Hillsborough Community College will no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings — and the college isn't happy about it.
The Institutional Advisory Council voted in September to drop the pledge from its meetings, according to their minutes, which describe a discussion about academic freedom and "structured dissent." ...
GAINESVILLE — Not long after coach Jim McElwain took over at Florida, he turned a borrowed phrase into one of the Gators' mantras.
Restore the order.
"The order for a long time (was), there were the Gators — we were right up there at the top of the order," McElwain said. "Yet, for some reason, the order has been skewed."
When UF was at its peak, it captured 10 SEC East titles in an 18-year span. But the Gators have been shut out since then — with SEC newbie Missouri taking advantage of the division's new hierarchy. The Tigers have won the SEC East each of the last two seasons and embarrassed UF last year in a 42-13 rout at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium....
Saturday belongs to the dogs when the SPCA holds its annual PetWalk fundraiser in Vinoy Park, but Friday is for felines, with an outdoor screening of the wildly popular Internet Cat Video Festival in Vinoy Park.
SPCA Tampa Bay did a similar festival in May but it promises this is an all-new collection of cat antics because there is a seemingly bottomless well of kitty comedy on the Internet. ...
The bottom line: The Cadillac Escalade is for those who need a luxurious family vehicle that also carries some cachet. (Don't need that? Try the Chevy Suburban.) As long as gas prices don't rocket, big is back.
When we tested the newly redesigned 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV (extended wheelbase) last year, we said the changes would put the big SUV back on the A-list for those who like their luxury large. Recently, we drove the regular Escalade — in the fully loaded Platinum trim — and it's still a case of livin' large. ...
TAMPA — Accused of killing a man in a drive-by shooting on Interstate 4 in 2013, Jerome Hayes took the stand on Thursday, the only witness to testify for his defense.
Hayes, 51, a small, tense man with a shaved head, told jurors that when he pointed his 9mm Glock at another car and fired three rounds, he had no intention of killing someone. Rather, he said, it was a "spur of the moment" decision intended to scare the green Ford Mustang's driver, a man Hayes said he thought might have been following him....
A Wesley Chapel health care software company said it plans on adding 500 jobs after recently securing $18 million from several private equity firms.
CareSync said this week its "user base" has increased 20-fold in the last four months in response to the company's development of a chronic care management program.
Company officials said that it planned to add the jobs in the next 18 months. A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached to comment Thursday....
Toro Y Moi: The indie-soul singer is one of the original icons of the chillwave music movement. 9 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
FitLine Zip Line in Downtown Tampa: Fitlife Foods is setting up two 25-foot zip lines carrying people through downtown Tampa on Franklin Street from Zack to Madison streets. There's also a 100-yard interactive game, activities and contests. . 11 a.m., Start Point, Corner of Zack and Franklin Street, Tampa. $10 zip line or rock wall, $15 both. (813) 451-6750....
It's difficult for me to decide which scene in American Horror Story: Hotel's premiere disturbed me the most.
With every season of AHS, I yearn for that pivotal scene that pushes the boundaries of cable TV censorship. If I'm rendered speechless and think "what the heck did I just watch?" after, then Ryan Murphy and his team have succeeded.
Hotel's season premiere had about three of those scenes....
Zephyrhills Christian at Keswick Christian
Rodney Page: Zephyrhills Christian 28-21
Kelly Parsons: Keswick Christian 24-21
Bob Putnam: Zephyrhills Christian 21-13
Land O’Lakes at Tampa Catholic
Rodney Page: Tampa Catholic 36-6
Kelly Parsons: Tampa Catholic 45-12
Bob Putnam: Tampa Catholic 28-14...
Lazydays, a Seffner-based company that bills itself as the world's largest RV dealer, announced that it will acquire the RV America chain and its three dealerships in Colorado.
The acquisition includes three dealerships in the Denver area, one of which has the world's largest indoor RV showroom in Johnstown, Colo, according to a news release. All three dealerships will retain the RV America names for now and will transition to Lazydays RV sometime next year. ...
10/08/15 Public Safety
CLEARWATER — Clearwater High School was placed on a precautionary lockdown Thursday morning after a student lied about seeing a gun on school property, police said.
Clearwater police received a report about a student seeing another student with a gun in the school bathroom. The student who allegedly saw the gun called a parent who picked the student up "without advising the school administration or police about the incident," police said....
10/08/15 Public Safety
DADE CITY — The car alarm signaled trouble, and Phillip Tyler knew what to do. He dialed the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to report the attempted auto burglary.
The call, about noon on a Friday to the sheriff's nonemergency number, went unanswered and then unattached.
"I got disconnected twice,'' said Tyler, 51, of Holiday. "It's not the first time.''
It took three hours, and two phone calls to the assistant county administrator in charge of public safety, before a sheriff's corporal called back to take the report....