Florida's education accountability system stands at a crossroad.
Its supporters remain committed to testing student knowledge and holding schools and teachers responsible for the results. The years-long endeavor has improved academic performance statewide, including among historically overlooked minorities.
"It is the right thing to do," said education commissioner Pam Stewart. "Students are at the forefront. They're the most important thing I consider every day."...
BLAINE, Minn. — The Rowdies fell to Minnesota United 1-0 on Saturday night in front of 8,932 at NSC Stadium.
After seeing his second yellow card of the match in the 41st minute, Rowdies defender Ben Sweat was sent off, leaving Tampa Bay with 10 men.
Forward Christian Ramirez scored the lone goal of the match in the 44th minute for Minnesota (9-2-5 fall season) after a defensive miscue by the Rowdies (4-9-3)....
10/03/15 TV and Radio
Autos Sprint Cup: AAA 400 2:30 p.m. NBCSN; 102.5-FM NHRA: Keystone Nationals (taped) 8 p.m. ESPN2 Baseball Blue Jays at Rays 3 p.m. Sun Sports; 1250-AM Marlins at Phillies 3 p.m. FSF Angels at Rangers 3 p.m. TBS College volleyball South Carolina at Mississippi State noon SEC Mississippi at Texas A&M 2 p.m. SEC Florida at Arkansas 4 p.m. SEC LSU at Auburn 6 p.m. SEC Golf PGA Europe: Dunhill Links Championship 7:30 a.m. Golf Web.com Tour Championship 3 p.m. Golf Horses Bourbon Stakes 5 p.m. Ch. 8 NFL Jets vs. Dolphins 9:30 a.m. Ch. 10 Panthers at Bucs 1 p.m. Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM Browns at Chargers 4 p.m. Ch. 10 Vikings at Broncos 4 p.m. 1040-AM Packers at 49ers 4:25 p.m. Ch. 13 Cowboys at Saints 8:30 p.m. Ch. 8; 620-AM, 1040-AM NBA preseason Lakers at Jazz 9 p.m. NBA NHL preseason Islanders at Capitals 5 p.m. NHL Soccer EPL: Liverpool at Everton 8:30 a.m. NBCSN German: Koln at Schalke 9:30 a.m. FS1 EPL: Manchester United at Arsenal 11 a.m. NBCSN German: Borussia Dortmund at Bayern Munich 11:15 a.m. FS2 Mexican: Guadalajara at Pumas 1 p.m. Univision MLS: Dallas at Houston 5 p.m. ESPN2, ESPND MLS: Real Salt Lake at Colorado 7 p.m. FS1 MLS: Los Angeles at Seattle 9:30 p.m. FS1 Volleyball FIVB World Tour finals 2:30 p.m. Ch. 8 WNBA playoffs Final: Indiana at Minnesota 3 p.m. Ch. 28
GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Jim McElwain spent all week talking up No. 3 Ole Miss and what a tough challenge the conference's top team would pose for his rebuilding Gators.
What McElwain and the rest of the SEC learned Saturday night was that UF's dormant days seem over.
In the first top-25 showdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since October 2012, No. 25 UF dominated early and rolled late to a 38-10 victory....
10/03/15 Lightning Strikes
SUNRISE — The Triplets were down to one Saturday night.
With RW Nikita Kucherov (lower-body injury) already sitting out as a precaution, the Lightning lost All-Star C Tyler Johnson to an undisclosed injury in the second period of a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Panthers.
Also, LW Alex Killorn (undisclosed) left early in the third, forcing the Lightning, which started the game with 11 forwards, to play with nine....
GAINESVILLE — While the first top-25 showdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in three years had much on the line, it also featured several side stories that made an impact on the final score — and could become important later in the season. Here are five things you might have missed:
1. Tight end Jake McGee finally broke through. The 6-foot-6, 244-pound graduate transfer had 71 catches in three seasons at Virginia before transferring to Florida, where he added a big, pass-catching target. But he broke his leg in last year's season opener and was sidelined for the rest of 2014. He had 10 catches over UF's first four games but had his biggest Saturday, when he leapt for a 2-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. It was McGee's first touchdown since he scored at Maryland on Oct. 12, 2013, in his final season at Virginia....
10/03/15 The Heater
Rays vs. Blue Jays
When/where: 3:10 today, Tropicana Field
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 1250-AM, 1550-AM (Spanish)
Tickets: $7-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.
Promotion: Raymond Halloween mask for kids 14 and under
10/03/15 The Heater
Nathan Karns was absolutely dealing in that May 3 Sunday matinee against the Orioles, zipping through five innings while allowing two singles and a walk and needing 66 pitches to get there. The Rays were leading 2-0, and there was no reason for anyone in the building to think the 27-year-old rookie wouldn't head back to the mound for the sixth.
But in the Rays dugout, first-year manager Kevin Cash saw it differently. He had to. His bosses had developed a strategy to maximize the contributions of the replacements in their injury-ravaged rotation. A key element was pulling the starters before they went through the opposing lineup a third time if they had a lead so they could put the game in the hands of their more experienced bullpen....
Team of the Week
Admiral Farragut: The season could not have started any worse. Head coach Ryan Hearn was suspended for a violation of department policy and missed the season opener, a 22-18 loss to Carrollwood Day. Since then, the Blue Jackets have won five straight.
Admiral Farragut trailed Indian Rocks Christian by 10 Friday night with two minutes to go. But a touchdown with a minute left, then a 50-yard fumble return by Dontell Green with 48 seconds remaining gave the Blue Jackets a 34-31 lead. An IRC field goal sent the game into overtime, but quarterback Austyn Causey converted a two-point pass to give his team a 42-41 win in a crucial Class 2A, District 6 game....
10/03/15 The Heater
ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Chris Archer insisted he didn't feel anything wrong in making a premature exit after five innings from Saturday's game: "I just didn't feel like myself."
That was a relief for the Rays, and there was excitement to follow, as 2B Tim Beckham delivered a two-run bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth to give them a 4-3 walkoff win over the Blue Jays....
10/03/15 The Heater
The Rays' first season under new management ends today in disappointment with a second straight losing record, not particularly successful but certainly interesting as they navigated a seemingly endless string of injuries, with 26 disabled list stints, and 145 roster moves. Here is a look at some of the highs and lows:
Most Valuable Ray
Kevin Kiermaier's play in centerfield was outstanding and breathtaking, and his improvements at the plate allowed him to become an everyday player. 3B Evan Longoria battled through several rough stretches to finish with solid numbers, leading the team with 21 homers and 73 RBIs. RHP Chris Archer stepped to the front of the rotation when other top starters were injured and turned into an All-Star and an ace. ...
10/03/15 Local Government
HERNANDO BEACH — Dollar General stores have been popping up all over Central Florida in recent years. But in this Hernando County waterfront community, the chain is hardly being welcomed with open arms.
Some residents are preparing to take on the retail giant, which boasts 12,200 stores in 43 states. They argue that the 9,100-square-foot store proposed for 1.4 acres on Shoal Line Boulevard, just south of Companaro Entra, amounts to blight and is not compatible with the community's character....
Sitting in a tent Saturday that smelled faintly of barbecue, Pasco Circuit Judge Shawn Crane reviewed court costs racked up by a Navy veteran charged with drug possession and criminal mischief.
Fines waived. Case closed.
It was an unusual setting, with legal assistants in metal folding chairs. But Crane, who wore jeans under his robe, had company.
About 400 people volunteered for Operation Stand Down, a three-day event for homeless and low-income veterans, which continues today. Crane saw about a dozen veterans and reviewed 52 cases. Elsewhere in Veterans Memorial Park, guests were offered everything from hair cuts to insurance referrals....
Here is a listing of today's television news shows.
Ch. 10, 8:30 a.m.: 10News Sunday Morning With the Tampa Bay Times — Business reporter William R. Levesque explains how Allegiant Air upended the standard airline business model to become a powerhouse even amid questions about its safety.
Ch. 13, 9 a.m.: Fox News Sunday — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah....
10/03/15 Public Safety
ST. PETE BEACH — Authorities searched into the night Saturday for a 9-year-old boy who went missing on the beach in the afternoon.
Cameron J. Bullard was last seen playing in the water near the 18th Avenue beach access with family and friends. He is about 4 feet tall and 60 pounds, said Cpl. Spencer Gross, spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. One of the boy's parents last saw him at about 3:20 p.m. wearing white shorts and a gray T-shirt with a Michael Jordan logo....