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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. What you need to know for Thursday, Feb. 11

    News

    • Expect continued cool temperatures for today and into the weekend (60s today, 70s on Friday and Saturday), but it should at least be pretty with plenty of sunshine, says 10Weather WTSP chief meteorologist Jim Van Fleet....

    Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will debate tonight on PBS. [Getty Images photos]
  2. State soccer: Tampa Catholic loses to Ransom Everglades in 2A final

    Preps

    MELBOURNE — In the 65th minute of a back-and-forth affair, Tampa Catholic senior Michael Streeter had the chance to tie the 2A state championship game against Ransom Everglades for the third time with a free kick just outside the box.

    The wall of defenders was too close to him, though, and Streeter said he didn't have a good enough view to get the ball up and over. His shot bounced off the crossbar and out....

    Tampa Catholic’s Bryson Boylan gets past Aidan Godoy. The Crusaders take a 1-0 lead but fall in the back-and-forth final.
  3. Thursday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    College basketball
    St. Francis at Robert Morris5 p.m.ESPNU
    Women: Penn State at Michigan State6:30 p.m.Big Ten
    Florida State at Syracuse7 p.m.ESPN; 1010-AM
    UConn at Temple7 p.m.ESPN2
    VCU at UMass7 p.m.ESPNU
    Eastern Kentucky at Morehead State7 p.m.CBSSN
    Women: Mississippi State at Texas A&M7 p.m.SEC
    Women: Syracuse at Virginia7 p.m.Fox Sun
    Women: Ohio State at Iowa8:30 p.m.Big Ten
    Iowa at Indiana 9 p.m.ESPN
    Radford at North Carolina-Asheville9 p.m.ESPNU
    Oregon at Cal9 p.m.ESPN2; 1040-AM
    Illinois State at Evansville9 p.m.CBSSN
    Women: Tennessee at Vanderbilt9 p.m.SEC
    Gonzaga at Portland11 p.m.ESPNU
    Oregon State at Stanford11 p.m.FS1
    Golf
    PGA Europe: Tshwane Open7:30 a.m.Golf
    PGA: Pebble Beach Pro-Am3 p.m.Golf
    High school soccer, boys state final
    Class 3A: Ponte Vedra vs. Immokalee9 p.m.BHSN
    NBA
    Pelicans at Thunder8 p.m.TNT; 620-AM
    ...

  4. In final season, Vinny Lecavalier looks to recreate glory from Lightning days

    Lightning Strikes

    Vinny Lecavalier has still got it.

    You could see that Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston, where Lecavalier, 35, made a wicked spin-o-rama move behind the net before sending a no-look feed to new Kings teammate Marian Gaborik, who finished from the right circle. The highlight-reel play was reminiscent of many that Lecavalier, a former Lightning captain, dazzled with a decade ago with buddies Marty St. Louis and Brad Richards....

    Vinny Lecavalier says of leaving the Flyers for the Kings: “Obviously I wanted a change. … I couldn’t have picked a better place to go.”
  5. Tech Data emerges as key LGBT rights activist as antidiscrimination bill dies

    Corporate

    CLEARWATER — Just a day after an antidiscrimination bill it promoted died in the Florida Senate, Tech Data Corp. launched a new effort aimed at making the company more welcoming to gay and lesbian employees.

    The tech wholesaler on Wednesday held the first meeting of an employee group it says will help workers raise concerns about how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees are treated. It's part of a larger effort to make the 9,000-employee company more inclusive, executives say....

  6. Pasco Sheriff: Brooksville man arrested attempt to run over deputy

    Crime

    A man Pasco County authorities say tried to run over a sheriff's deputy on Saturday has been arrested in Winter Springs.

    J'Rokton Dominque Williams, 26, of Brooksville faces a charge of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

    Pasco deputies initially spotted Williams, wanted on multiple felony warrants, at a Hudson Domino's Pizza on Saturday. They pulled up behind his car and approached him, but Williams reversed his car and accelerated toward a deputy, the Sheriff's Office said. The deputy fired at Williams' tires, but he drove away. ...

  7. Plant City police searching for Sunshine Bank robber

    Crime

    PLANT CITY — Police are looking for a woman who robbed a Sunshine Bank Wednesday evening.

    The woman walked into the bank at 400 James L. Redman Parkway and demanded cash around 5:30 p.m., according to Plant City police. She left the bank on foot.

    The woman is white and believed to be 40 to 45 years old. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue denim jeans, white shoes and a black beanie hat. She was also carrying a large vinyl or leather bag with handles. ...

  8. Sea turtles stunned by cold weather arrive by the dozen to Clearwater Marine Aquarium

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — Sickly sea turtles stunned by the cold weather have been arriving by the score at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, stretching the aquarium's turtle team thin.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, two dozen turtles were taken in for rehabilitation. More than 140 turtles have been taken in this year, less than half still alive. Many have the debilitating fibropapilloma virus, which produces external tumors that can hamper a turtle's ability to swim, eat or see and requires heightened care....

  9. Superintendent looking into testing criticism lodged by teachers

    K12

    A regular complaint during testing in Pasco County schools has been that teachers struggle to maintain their courses because students rotate in and out to take their exams.

    That criticism baffled superintendent Kurt Browning, who couldn't fathom why all students in a class would not be testing at the same time.

    Kids coming and going "certainly is going to be a problem for a teacher," Browning said....

  10. Cross retrieval just another achievement in a banner year for Hudson High senior Anderson Combs

    K12

    HUDSON

    It has been a little more than a month since Anderson Combs dove into Spring Bayou and came up with the sacred Epiphany cross and the blessings that are said to come with it.

    Combs, 17, was one of 49 boys, ages 16 to 18, to vie for the cross during the annual Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs — an event that symbolizes John the Baptist's baptism of Jesus Christ. Combs is the third parishioner from St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Port Richey to retrieve the cross....

    Anderson Combs, 17, of Hudson celebrates after retrieving the Epiphany cross from Spring Bayou during the Tarpon Springs celebration in January.
  11. Pasco Business digest for Feb. 12

    Business

    Business digest

    Briefly

    MEDICAL OFFICE SIGNS LEASE AGREEMENT IN NPR: Carol L. Kinnard, a transaction specialist at Hold-Thyssen, a commercial real estate services firm with offices in Tampa, recently negotiated a long-term lease agreement for a build-to-suit medical office at Deer Park Center, 1540 Deer Park Drive in New Port Richey. Florida Hospital North Pinellas (Adventist Health Systems) and Innovative Healing Systems sought a presence in the Trinity market for wound care services, and Kinnard represented the tenants in negotiations with the landlord, TB Deal LLC, to build a 5,000-square-foot free-standing professional office building. Kinnard also brokered the sale of a quarter-acre parcel of undeveloped land at the southeast corner of State Road 54 and Swan Drive for $40,000. The Palm Harbor-based sellers, Lalit K and Anubha Gupta, sold the property to the Colonial Hills Civic Association, which will use it to enhance the entryway into the community....

  12. State soccer: Jesuit falters vs. nationally ranked Ponte Vedra

    Preps

    MELBOURNE — Coming into Wednesday's Class 3A state semifinal, the Ponte Vedra boys soccer team wasn't just undefeated, it was practically untouchable, winning 23 of its 25 games by at least two goals with nine matchups shortened by the mercy rule.

    With the Sharks standing between Jesuit and its ninth state championship appearance, the Tigers were staring at a tall task when play began at Melbourne High School....

    Jesuit Tampa's Benny Ortiz (20), left, and Ponte Vedra's Carson King (15) after Ponte Vedra won the high school Class 3A Semifinal State Championship boys soccer game at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. (Gary Lloyd McCullough, Special to the Times)
  13. Corey Dickerson expects to add 'thump' to Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Corey Dickerson made his first appearance Wednesday with the dozen or so Rays who have been working out at the Trop, but he needed no formal introduction. The sound of the ball coming off his bat and rattling around when it eventually crashed down in the seats made it clear.

    Dickerson is the biggest piece in a major reconstruction the Rays did to a lineup that finished 14th in the American League in runs last year, joined by Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Steve Pearce and, depending on how the catching situation works out, potentially Hank Conger....

    Rays newcomer Corey Dickerson is expected to bring some power to a lineup that finished 14th in the AL in runs in 2015.
  14. Hillsborough jury deciding fate of woman accused in brutal death of 3-year-old boy

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A jury will reconvene today in the case of a woman on trial for the death of her boyfriend's son.

    The trial of Kara O'Connell, 26, on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse started last week. The case went to the jury around noon Wednesday. The jurors did not reach a verdict by the end of the day and were sent home by the judge.

    O'Connell is accused of brutally abusing 3-year-old John Taylor Baxley along with her then-boyfriend, Justin Garwacki, who is also the child's father. When Hillsborough sheriff's deputies found the boy in 2010, they said he had stopped breathing and had a broken arm, a wound on his forehead and several bruises....

    Justin Garwacki faced similar charges, but agreed to testify against Kara O'Connell in exchange for a plea deal. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
  15. On its way to wrinkles elsewhere, bootleg Botox hunkered down in St. Petersburg warehouse

    Criminal

    TAMPA — An illegal Botox operation that peddled $1.9 million in foreign-labeled anti-aging drugs to American clients used a St. Petersburg warehouse as a distribution center, according to a federal plea agreement.

    The products, which also included wrinkle fillers Juvederm and Restylane, went primarily to physicians and clinics in Georgia and Alabama.

    Douglas Joseph Huber, 50, of Smyrna, Ga., admitted in a plea agreement filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tampa to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. He's scheduled to enter a formal guilty plea Feb. 25. The offense is punishable by up to a year in prison....