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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 Tuesday, Feb. 9

    News

    • It will be a good morning and day to stay off the water, as possible gale force winds could produce 10 to 16-foot seas, according to 10Weather WTSP chief meteorologist Jim Van Fleet. It will windy onshore as well for the morning commute, and cool, as temps may not crack 60.

    • The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary is here and Times Political Editor Adam C. Smith and Washington Bureau Chief Alex Leary are tracking the news. Will Jeb Bush climb back into contention? Will Marco Rubio be hurt by his debate performance? Follow our live blog for the latest news from the presidential campaign trail....

    It's the big day in New Hampshire. [Getty Images]
  2. Lopsided loss at Ottawa ends Lightning's hot run

    Lightning Strikes

    OTTAWA — The Lightning didn't bother trying to sugarcoat Monday's clunker, a 5-1 loss to the Senators.

    "Just a mailed in effort," center Brian Boyle said.

    It was surprising considering Tampa Bay had been one of the league's hottest teams, still winners of 10 of its past 12. But you wouldn't have guessed it by watching Monday, when the Senators outplayed and outworked Tampa Bay thoroughly....

    Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison goes down after a hit from Senators wing Bobby Ryan.
  3. Senators' Kyle Turris relates to Jonathan Drouin's trade request

    Lightning Strikes

    OTTAWA — While the Lightning will play in Jonathan Drouin's hometown of Montreal tonight, the suspended wing continues to work out and skate on his own somewhere in the city.

    That has been Drouin's routine since he did not show up for the Jan. 20 game for AHL Syracuse, leading to the indefinite suspension without pay. Drouin, who requested a trade in November, doesn't want to suffer a deal-altering injury, so he waits in limbo, with no timetable on when — or if — the No. 3 pick from 2013 gets his desired fresh start....

  4. Lightning-Canadiens preview capsule

    Lightning Strikes

    . tonight

    Lightning at Canadiens

    When/where: 7:30, Bell Centre, Montreal

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

    Key stats: The reeling Canadiens (26-24-4) are coming off a much-needed weekend sweep. They snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Edmonton and Carolina, thanks to strong play by G Ben Scrivens, acquired from Edmonton in December. Montreal, in an 8-20-2 skid, is still without MVP G Carey Price, out since November with a lower-body injury. The Canadiens beat the Lightning 4-3 in a shootout Dec. 28 in the teams' first meeting. G Ben Bishop, who will start, is 10-1-3 with a 1.62 goals-against average in 15 career games against Montreal....

  5. Truck driver with tall load hits overpass in Pasco County

    Public Safety

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Crews were working to repair an Interstate 75 overpass overnight after it was struck by a truck at 5:16 p.m. Monday.

    The truck was towing a crane near the 282 mile post, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, when it struck Overpass Road south of State Road 52. The overpass was closed as were northbound lane of I-75 while inspectors ensured the structure could handle traffic Monday night. The damage appeared severe, according to an FHP release. ...

  6. Jeb Bush shows signs of second wind ahead of New Hampshire primary

    State Roundup

    PLAISTOW, N.H. — Jeb Bush's stump speech started to take on a defensive, pleading tone in the days following his sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses last week.

    "I know I've been written off, I know the end is near, I know all that stuff," the onetime overwhelming favorite for the Republican presidential nomination told a couple of hundred people in a school cafeteria in Concord. "You know what gives me confidence? New Hampshire. … I trust you all. I've shown my heart. I've shown the depth of knowledge."...

    Jeb Bush leaves a Rotary Club luncheon at the Nashua Country Club on Tuesday in Nashua, N.H. He hopes to finish ahead of two other governors in the race. 
  7. Hillsborough prosecutors continue to seek death penalty amid statewide confusion

    Criminal

    TAMPA — In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Florida's death penalty sentencing statute, Hillsborough County prosecutors are proceeding as if nothing has changed.

    On Monday, prosecutors announced their intention to seek the death penalty against a 30-year-old woman accused of murdering her parents-in-law in their Riverview home last November. Marisol Best, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, is the latest to join the list of defendants who could face the death penalty in Hillsborough....

    Hillsborough prosecutors said Monday that they will seek the death penalty for Marisol Best.
  8. Yacht StarShip to launch pirate-themed water taxis along Tampa riverfront

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Imagine dinner at Ulele, then a water taxi ride to a concert or hockey game at Amalie Arena.

    Troy Manthey already has, so he's launching three such water taxis later this month.

    Manthey, 49, owns Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises and announced this week he's expanding his fleet with three pirate-themed (think Gasparilla) water taxis that will go into service on Feb. 27.

    "We always knew Tampa would support something like this as the waterfront evolved," said Manthey, who moved Yacht Starship to Tampa from Biloxi, Miss., in 2001....

    Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises plans to launch a three-vessel water taxi service along Tampa's riverfront on Feb. 27.
  9. HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Andrea Wallace and Travis Bianco

    Preps

    Andrea Wallace, Sunlake

    Andrea Wallace didn't think much of her basketball talent when she tried out for the team as a freshman.

    "I looked for my name under the JV list," the sophomore said. "I didn't think there was any way I would make varsity. But I did. There were times when I was asking myself, 'Why am I on varsity?' I didn't say a word to anyone at first. I was afraid they would bite me."...

    Sunlake basketball player Andrea Wallace. (courtesy of Reesa Hendrix Pledge)
  10. Arrest made in connection with battery of girl in Countryside Mall restroom

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — Officers arrested an 18-year-old man Monday accused of attacking a 6-year-old girl inside a Westfield Countryside Mall restroom on Friday, police said.

    Ricky Blake Thompson, who lives near Ocala, faces a charge of battery.

    A tip to law enforcement identified Thompson as the man in the mall surveillance photos released by Clearwater police last week. When detectives contacted him, Thompson said he was at Macy's on Friday night to pick up his young son when he had to use the restroom....

  11. Boys soccer: Tampa Catholic savors long-awaited return to state final four

    Preps

    The past week was one of the most memorable in Tampa Catholic's athletic history.

    Nate Craig-Myers, one of the most sought-after football recruits in the country, signed his national letter of intent to attend Auburn in front of classmates while ESPN televised the event.

    Two of the biggest basketball prospects in the country, Thomas Dziagwa and Kevin Knox, set school career and single-game scoring records while leading the Crusaders to a district title....

  12. Duke Energy lowering rates by nearly $6 per month

    Energy

    ST. PETERSBURG — Duke Energy Florida expects to lower residential electric rates $5.83 monthly for the typical customer beginning with its April billing in a plan submitted to state utility regulators.

    The savings are based on the falling price of natural gas, which is used to generate most of the Florida's electricity. For Duke, that means a typical customer will pay $108.32 per month for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity....

  13. Lucky's Market could be coming to Tampa Bay soon

    Retail

    There's been a lot of buzz about some of the new grocery stores coming into Florida.

    One of these is Lucky's Market, where you can sip a glass of wine or a beer while you shop. (Not kidding.) They even have a handy cup holder on the shopping carts.

    The Boulder-based organic supermarket chain, which has a tag line of "organic for the 99 percent," has two stores in Florida, one in Gainesville and another in Naples. After hearing rumors that Lucky's Market may be heading into the Tampa Bay area soon, I had to see what all the fuss is about....

     Also near the front of the store is Lucky’s Cafe, where you can purchase a snack or a $2 pint of beer or $3 glass of wine to “sip and stroll.” 
 (Justine Griffin   |   Times)
  14. Hernando planning commission okays shrimp boat expansion, but not everything applicant seeks

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County planning commissioners on Monday found themselves with a challenge — finding a balance between two competing tenants of the county's comprehensive plan — as they debated an application to expand commercial boat traffic in a Hernando Beach canal that currently sees little commercial activity.

    The growth plan says the county should promote working waterfronts, an encouragement to support commercial activities where appropriate along the coast. The plan also says that the county should avoid approving land uses that erode the character of residential neighborhoods....

  15. Was Peyton Manning's performance the worst ever by a Super Bowl winner?

    Bucs

    Peyton Manning's a sure-fire Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. But on Sunday night, the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 despite him, not because of him.

    Was his performance the worst ever by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback? Let's find out.

    In Friday's Super Bowl preview, we used a statistic — adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) — to discuss the disparity between the Panthers' passing offense and the Broncos' passing offense. In that piece, we suggested that even though Manning was awful in 2015, the Broncos could overcome his low ANY/A....

    When the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday, Peyton Manning became the first quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl with two teams. He won his first when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. [Getty Images]