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  1. Region golf: St. Petersburg girls sweat one out

    Preps

    TEMPLE TERRACE — The St. Petersburg girls team was announced as the Class 3A-4 region runnerup Monday, securing their first team state tournament berth in school history.

    Soon, though, the Green Devils' joy turned to nervousness.

    The Green Devils — and team champion Steinbrenner — were announced before all golfers had finished. And as St. Petersburg coach Ed Pogorelc watched the leaderboard, he realized it might not have been over after all. Hillsborough was in striking distance. ...

  2. Bucs retain hope thanks to weak NFC South

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Here's how bad things are in pro football's loser's bracket, otherwise known as the NFC South.

    The 1-5 Bucs awoke Monday after their bye week to discover that despite slumbering through the first six games in the Lovie Smith era, they are only two wins out of first place in their division. That's because the Panthers (3-3), Saints (2-4) and Falcons (2-5) all lost on Sunday.

    In lieu of a real victory, it was something to celebrate at One Buc Place....

    “There’s life when you take a little time off to not play a game and you end up in better position than when we started Sunday … we’re excited about that,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith says of being idle Sunday while all three of the other NFC South teams lost.
  3. Lightning-Flames preview

    Sports

  4. African journalists' visit to St. Petersburg canceled due to Ebola fears

    Health

    ST. PETERSBURG — The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has canceled the upcoming visit of 14 journalists from African countries, citing Ebola-related fears from faculty, students and staff.

    The journalists, part of the U.S. Department of State Edward R. Murrow program, were scheduled to arrive in St. Petersburg on Oct. 31 for a five-day visit. Two of those journalists are from the Ebola-affected nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Salem Solomon, a Tampa-based journalist, wrote in an op-ed appearing in the Tampa Bay Times criticizing the university's decision....

  5. Josh McCown back to throwing at practice

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The bye week was good for quarterback Josh McCown, who returned to practice Monday and had his first extensive throwing session since tearing a ligament in his right thumb in Week 3 at Atlanta.

    McCown, 35, still wore a wrap but didn't appear to have any trouble making short and intermediate throws in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.

    "He threw the ball fairly well today," coach Lovie Smith said. "And we're encouraged by his progress."...

    Josh McCown, left, started the first three games and was 0-3 with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He left the loss at Atlanta on Sept. 18 with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
  6. USF's Andre Davis earns AAC honor

    College

    TAMPA — Less than 48 hours after his record-setting day in USF's historic comeback win at Tulsa, senior WR Andre Davis was named American Athletic Conference offensive player of the week by the American Athletic Conference and collegesportsmadness.com Monday.

    It was the first such honor for Davis (six receptions, 154 yards, three TDs), who eclipsed Carlton Mitchell's school record with his sixth career 100-yard receiving effort. He is tied with DeAndrew Rubin for USF's all-time record for TD receptions (14)....

    USF’s Andre Davis, breaking free for a 51-yard touchdown reception against East Carolina on Oct. 11, adds three TDs Saturday against Tulsa.
  7. Affair revealed as police conclude Davis Islands shooting investigation

    Crime

    TAMPA — Late one night in August, Mishay Simpson shot Andrew Noll after he walked into her Davis Islands home unannounced. Simpson, the wife of semiprofessional golfer Rhett Simpson, later told investigators that Noll was a former friend who had been stalking her and threatening to hurt her family.

    When the home's alarm went off and she heard someone coming up the stairs, she grabbed a 9mm Ruger. When the door opened, she fired....

    Mishay Simpson, 28, told police the intruder was an ex-friend.
  8. 'America's Got Talent' to hold auditions in Tampa

    News

    America's Got Talent, but do you? The NBC reality series will hold auditions Nov. 2 at the Tampa Convention Center for Season 10. Competition is open to all ages and talents from opera singers to banjo players, tap dancers, fire breathers, knife jugglers and magicians. In the season finale last month, magician Mat Franco beat singer Emily West for the championship. Franco won a $1 million prize and will headline the America's Got Talent show in Las Vegas. Hopefuls in Tampa should a have a 90-second set prepared to perform in front of the series' producers in hopes of making it to the main stage. Register at americasgottalentauditions.com for online and open call auditions. Open calls will be held at the convention center, 333 S Franklin St. (813) 748-1291. — Arielle Waldman, Times staff writer...

    TP_346419_JONE_TALENT_04 (OCTAVIO JONES | Times 11/12/2011, Tampa) America's Got Talent judge Nick Cannon(cq),center, belts out "Tampa Bay got talent" while surrounded by contestants during the taping of NBC's "America's Got Talent" promotional trailers. America's Got Talent contestants audition at the Tampa Bay Convention Center in hopes to win $1,000,000 during the competition on Saturday, November 12, 2011. [OCTAVIO JONES, Times]
  9. No wrong-way drivers found, but Hillsborough crackdown leads to other arrests

    News

    TAMPA — Additional state troopers patrolling Hillsborough County encountered no wrong-way driving incidents during the first of three traffic crackdowns, authorities said Monday.

    However, the addition of 30 troopers from around the state to Hillsborough for four days ending Sunday did lead to 18 drunken driving arrests, 18 drug and narcotic arrests and 161 speeding citations, among other violations, according to the Florida Highway Patrol....

  10. Ebola response highlights government cuts to public health

    Health

    The Ebola threat is calling attention to a problem years in the making: cuts to the programs and staff intended to prepare for just such a public health emergency.

    Gov. Rick Scott, who has demanded federal aid to prepare for Ebola, announced Monday that the Florida National Guard is establishing two "rapid response teams" to help hospitals. But he has also overseen major cuts in the state's own Department of Health. The department had 15,170 staff positions this year — a 13 percent drop from 2010, according to legislative documents....

  11. Florida's Foley says no plans to fire Muschamp

    College

    GAINESVILLE — For those who thought Florida's abysmal performance in Saturday night's 42-13 loss to Missouri would lead to Will Muschamp's firing this week, that's not the case after all.

    On Monday afternoon, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley publicly ended that speculation, saying Muschamp is going nowhere — at least right now.

    Foley reiterated what he's said the past several months and heading into fall camp: Muschamp will be evaluated on his body of work this season. And since the season isn't over, neither is the evaluation process....

    Will Muschamp, left, will be evaluated on his body of work for the season, AD Jeremy Foley says.
  12. Police: man arrested for allegedly stabbing stepfather to death

    Crime

    HUDSON — Pasco County Sheriff's detectives have arrested a man in the stabbing death of his stepfather over the weekend, authorities said.

    Keith Connors, 21, faces a first-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbingJeffory Fuqua, 42, of Hudson who was found dead around 6:30 p.m. Saturday outside his apartment at 12 Wind River Lane in the Harbor Oaks Apartment complex in Bayonet Point....

  13. 'America's Got Talent' to hold auditions in Tampa

    Events

    America's Got Talent, but do you? The NBC reality series will hold auditions Nov. 2 at the Tampa Convention Center for Season 10. Competition is open to all ages and talents from opera singers to banjo players, tap dancers, fire breathers, knife jugglers and magicians. In the season finale last month, magician Mat Franco beat singer Emily West for the championship. Franco won a $1 million prize and will headline the America's Got Talent show in Las Vegas. Hopefuls in Tampa should a have a 90-second set prepared to perform in front of the series' producers in hopes of making it to the main stage. Register at americasgottalentauditions.com for online and open call auditions. Open calls will be held at the convention center, 333 S Franklin St. (813) 748-1291. — Arielle Waldman, Times staff writer...

    TP_346419_JONE_TALENT_04 (OCTAVIO JONES | Times 11/12/2011, Tampa) America's Got Talent judge Nick Cannon(cq),center, belts out "Tampa Bay got talent" while surrounded by contestants during the taping of NBC's "America's Got Talent" promotional trailers. America's Got Talent contestants audition at the Tampa Bay Convention Center in hopes to win $1,000,000 during the competition on Saturday, November 12, 2011. [OCTAVIO JONES, Times]
  14. New study reiterates viability of inverted pyramid for St. Petersburg Pier

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A new engineering study delivers good news to those who have fought to save the inverted pyramid and to the design teams planning to reuse the iconic structure in the city's latest version of its Tampa Bay landmark.

    According to the $7,500 engineering study by the Structures Group of Tampa, the 1973 structure stands up well to the state's current structural building codes, which went through an extensive update after Hurricane Andrew....

  15. Group offers cash, free dinner to Duke Energy protesters

    Energy

    Still hoping for a refund from Duke Energy Florida for the $3.45 its customers pay each month for a nuclear plant the utility decided not to build?

    Don't expect Duke to fork over the money.

    But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is offering at least 500 Duke customers what the utility has not: Show your electric bill at a scheduled "pitchfork" protest at noon Oct. 29 outside the power company's St. Petersburg headquarters and get $3.45 or a free box lunch....

    Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano