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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. Things to do in Tampa Bay, March 30-April 5

    Events

    George Lopez: One of comedy's best standup performers takes the stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Saturday. $54.50-$65.

    NCAA Women's Final Four: Celebrate the tournament being in Tampa at a party Friday at the Sail Pavilion on Tampa's Riverwalk with food trucks and a 9 p.m. fireworks show.

    Shen Yun: Classically trained dancers and a full orchestra perform at the Mahaffey Theater at 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Price: $50.50-$202.50....

    Anderson
  2. Monday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball, spring training
    Marlins at Mets1 p.m.MLB
    Giants at Cubs4 p.m.MLB
    Twins at Red Sox7 p.m.MLB
    College basketball
    CBI final: La. Monroe at Loyola Chicago, Game 1 of three-game series8 p.m.CBSSN
    College basketball, Women's NCAA
    Albany Region final: Connecticut vs. Dayton7 p.m.ESPN
    Spokane Region final: Maryland vs. Tennessee9:15 p.m.ESPN
    College softball
    Georgia at Tennessee7 p.m.SEC
    High school basketball
    Powerade Jamfest8 p.m.ESPN2
    NBA
    Rockets at Raptors7:30 p.m.NBA
    Suns at Trail Blazers10 p.m.NBA
    NHL
    Lightning at Canadiens7:30 p.m.Sun Sports; 970-AM
    Kings at Blackhawks8:30 p.m.NBCSN
    Tennis
    Miami Open11 a.m.Tennis
    Miami Open10 p.m.Tennis
    ...

  3. Taylor Swift and Hillsborough taxpayers may benefit from Halloween show

    Local Government

    TAMPA — One of the most unusual government gambles of late: Whether tweens and teens will forgo trick-or-treating to go see Taylor Swift at Raymond James Stadium.

    The Tampa Sports Authority, four years into a plan to make more revenue by turning concert promoter, has put $2.75 million on the line: The guarantee it offered to land a date — Halloween night — on Swift's "1989 World Tour." So far, signs look good the bet will pay off. Swift's latest album is a hit, and ticket sales are climbing toward TSA's break-even point. But there's no predicting the weather, or some other act of God....

  4. Kanaan plays spoiler role at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Auto racing

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon are frequent contenders at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

    They're the only drivers to compete in all 11 IndyCar races here and account for a combined four runnerup finishes on the downtown streets.

    What they lack, still, is a victory in St. Petersburg.

    Kanaan finished third Sunday behind Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. It was Kanaan's sixth podium (top-three run) in St. Petersburg....

  5. Tampa man dies in motorcycle crash

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A man died Sunday evening when he lost control of his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 301 and crashed, authorities said.

    Charly Crespo-Parron, 18, of Tampa was riding north on U.S. 301 at a high rate of speed when he lost control and flipped the motorcycle several times before crashing into a utility pole on the east side of the highway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Crespo-Parron was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene....

  6. Debris on track causes problems at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Auto racing

    ST. PETERSBURG — The season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was only a lap in when fans got a view of a sight they should probably get used to seeing throughout the IndyCar Series season.

    Debris.

    "Amazing the amount of stuff that fell off," runner-up and pole-sitter Will Power said. "Rabbit ears lying all around the track. It was just everywhere, right?"

    The reason for the cars' carnage was because of the aero kits that debuted Sunday....

    Marco Andretti’s car needs a front wing change after getting damaged by debris that continually littered the track.
  7. Q&A: Jeff Vinik's 'new urbanist' designers discuss reshaping Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA

    David Dixon and Jeff Speck are two of the best urban planners in the business.

    That's why Jeff Vinik hired them.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning owner is planning a $1 billion transformation of the downtown waterfront. He wants to spend the next decade turning 40 acres of empty land and existing development into a livable space that will appeal to two important demographics: millennials and empty nesters....

    Jeff Speck, left, of Speck & Associates LLC and David Dixon, right, of engineering firm Stantec are proponents of “new urbanism,” the movement to build walkable urban neighborhoods for people to live and work in.
  8. Grand Prix praised as 'beautiful' St. Petersburg tradition

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — In the cool shadow of the Mahaffey Theater, with white yachts in the bay to the left and the glittering Salvador Dalí Museum to the right, Bruce Yargeau sipped his beer and opened his arms. Below him, Indy cars thundered through the streets of St. Petersburg, zipping along the water's edge and sending echoes of the engines humming through the air.

    "It's part of St. Pete," Yargeau said. "This venue is unbelievable. St. Pete better never get rid of this race."...

    The Bucs’ Vincent Jackson gave the cue to start engines.
  9. Tampa Bay hospitals deny gender pay gap for nurses (w/video)

    Business

    Even in nursing — a field dominated by women — men make a lot more money.

    Ninety percent of registered nurses nationwide are female, yet they earn about $5,000 less every year than their male counterparts — an 8 percent dip on the average $66,973 nursing salary. That's with cost of living, hours worked, education and experience factored in, according to a study published last week in the Journal of American Medical Association....

    A national study shows males nurses make more than their female counterparts, but locals hospitals say that's not true here.
  10. Final Four flashback: How Pat Summitt escaped a hairy situation

    College

    With Tampa set to host the women's Final Four, we offer a week's worth of vignettes on past tournaments:

    The winningest NCAA basketball coach ever also may have been its most superstitious. Seems Pat Summitt never met a quirky, irrational custom she didn't like.

    Except one. Try to follow along.

    Down the stretch of the 1989 season, Summitt and two of her Tennessee assistants — Holly Warlick and Mickie DeMoss — had become enslaved to both routine and preposterous notion alike. An outfit worn during a loss was discarded; a certain shade of lipstick worn during a big victory was purchased in bulk supply....

    Coach Pat Summitt, left, and assistant Mickie DeMoss were very superstitious during Tennessee’s 1989 championship run.
  11. Week before opener, Rays have several roster questions

    The Heater

    FORT MYERS — Opening day is a week from today, and filling out the starting rotation is among the topics the Rays have to address as they have about a half-dozen spots overall to settle.

    With three of their projected five starters (Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly and Alex Colome) sidelined by injury and illness, the Rays are looking at internal and at least a few external options to join Chris Archer, Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi....

    Rays pitcher Matt Andriese, who is scheduled to start today against the Orioles, is having an impressive spring and has made himself the top candidate for the fourth spot in a rotation that will be missing three pitchers at the start of the season.
  12. Lightning says 'compete level' must improve

    Lightning Strikes

    MONTREAL — After the Lightning lost its second straight game Saturday — with an uncharacteristically low compete level — veteran center Brain Boyle put it simply:

    "We've got to right the ship quick."

    The Lightning typically does. It is the only team in the NHL to have not lost three in a row all season. And Tampa Bay needs that kind of resiliency tonight in a Bell Centre showdown with Eastern Conference-leading Montreal, which is three points ahead of the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division with each team having six games to play....

    Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov clears the puck from the goal line against the Red Wings on Saturday in a 4-0 loss, Tampa Bay’s second straight. The Lightning is the only team that hasn’t lost three in a row this season.
  13. Rays: Kevin Cash unconcerned about overexposure to Orioles

    The Heater

    If you knew that they knew …

    The Rays have games today and Tuesday against the same Orioles team they play for real next week, but manager Kevin Cash doesn't see it as a big deal either way. "I guess there's an advantage if you can pick a pitcher up doing something, tipping a pitch or showing a tendency," Cash said. "But who's to say he's not intentionally doing that, showing that tendency, and then he's going to totally reverse it come the first series."...

  14. Mom of epileptic son caught in Charlotte's Web medical marijuana bureaucracy

    Human Interest

    LITHIA

    Just as 13-year-old Branden Petro flops into the passenger seat of his mom's car, his eyes roll back. His face twitches uncontrollably. He curls into a fetal position.

    It is his third seizure on a particularly bad day. His mother, Renee Petro, 36, jumps from her seat and runs around the car. She pulls the backpack off her son and grabs his hand.

    "Squeeze my hand if you can hear me," she pleads. "Squeeze my hand, Branden. Come on baby, squeeze my hand." ...

    In a rare quiet moment, Renee Petro kisses her son, Branden, 13, who suffers from febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome. She says medical marijuana helps him.
  15. Rays expect Brad Boxberger to fill in as closer

    The Heater

    FORT MYERS — With returning closer Jake McGee sidelined for the first month of the season as he recovers from left elbow surgery, the Rays say they plan to use several pitchers in that role.

    But expect RHP Brad Boxberger to get a significant share.

    "He will be in a lot of meaningful situations," manager Kevin Cash said. "With some other guys, but for what Box did last year and the confidence we have in him, I would definitely anticipate him pitching in those leverage situations."...

    Brad Boxberger, who pitched a 1-2-3 first inning against Red Sox starters, says he’d be eager for a chance to fill in at closer.