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  1. Preseason football: Largo 14, Dunedin 7; Dunedin 6, Pinellas Park 6; Largo 7, Pinellas Park 6

    Footballpreps

    LARGO — Dunedin had a lot of positives this summer with reinforcements arriving in the form of players who were previously ineligible or lukewarm about the program.

    But to really signal a turnaround from last year's 1-9 record, the Falcons needed a win against a bona fide playoff contender.

    It almost happened Thursday night.

    In two halves of a jamboree, Dunedin lost to host Largo 14-7 and tied Pinellas Park 6-6....

    Dunedin’s Kendrick Harvey reaches the end zone against Pinellas Park, but a holding penalty negates the score. The Falcons, who went 1-9 in 2013, lost to Largo and tied Pinellas Park.
  2. Preseason football: Palm Harbor University 40, Jesuit 20

    Footballpreps

    PALM HARBOR — The Reggie Crume era at Palm Harbor University got off to a good start, while Jesuit could use some more work prior to the Aug. 29 season opener. The Tigers had seven turnovers, six of which were interceptions, in Thursday's preseason game. PHU wasn't perfect (three turnovers), but the Hurricanes overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and outscored the Tigers 26-0 in the second half....

  3. Rays: A day for pitching benchmarks

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Blue Jays

    When/where: 7:07 tonight; Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: LH Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.66)

    Blue Jays: RH Marcus Stroman (7-4, 3.83)

    On Smyly: Making his fourth start as a Ray; hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of them. Has thrown at least seven innings in back-to-back starts. Hasn't allowed a run in three relief appearances against Toronto....

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 2:  Newley acquired pitcher Drew Smyly #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on from the dugout before the start of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 2, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) 477587297
  4. Football team helps USF students on move-in day

    Human Interest

    SAM OWENS | Times

    USF football player Vincent Jackson and Eliana Bello, a Bull Hall move-in volunteer, lead a family Thursday toward the Epsilon residence hall in the Andros Complex on USF's campus. It's the first year that the whole USF football team volunteered to help move students into residence halls. Nearly 5,500 students moved into campus residence halls from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday in preparation for the start of classes Monday....

     USF Football player Vincent Jackson and Eliana Bello, a Bull Hall Move-In Volunteer, lead a family towards the Epsilon residence hall in the Andros Complex on USF 's campus, Thursday, August 21, 2014. This was the first year that the whole USF Football team volunteered to help move students into residence halls from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nearly 5,500 students moved into campus residence halls from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday in preparation for the start of classes this upcoming Monday, August 25.
  5. Seven Florida Gators are preseason All-SEC

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Junior DL Dante Fowler (Lakewood High) and sophomore CB Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton) were each first-team selections to the coaches preseason All-SEC team, voted on by the league Thursday. Fowler and Hargreaves were also named to the ESPN preseason All-SEC team.

    Florida was one of only three schools to have multiple defensive players selected to the first team. Senior OL Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) was a second-team selection on offense, and junior OL D.J. Humphries and junior RB Matt Jones (Armwood) were third-team selections. Junior LB Antonio Morrison was a third-team selection, and senior Andre Debose was a third-team return specialist selection. Hargreaves, a first-team All-SEC selection as a freshman last season, is among the players to watch on five postseason award lists, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List....

  6. Friday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Autos
    F1: Belgian Grand Prix practice8 a.m.NBCSN
    Sprint Cup: Irwin Tools Night Race practice11 a.m.FS1
    Nationwide: Food City 300 qualifying3:30 p.m.FS1
    Sprint Cup: Irwin Tools Night Race qualifying5:30 p.m.ESPN2
    Nationwide: Food City 3007:30 p.m.ESPN
    Baseball
    Orioles at Cubs2:20 p.m.WGN
    Rays at Blue Jays7 p.m.Sun Sports; 620-AM
    Giants at Nationals7 p.m.MLB
    Marlins at Rockies8:30 p.m.FSF
    Basketball
    Exhibition: Puerto Rico at United States7 p.m.ESPN2
    Boxing
    Light middleweights: Trout vs. Dawson9 p.m.ESPN2
    Bantamweights: Avila vs. Frias10 p.m.FS1
    College soccer
    Women: Georgia at Mississippi7 p.m.SEC
    Cycling
    U.S. Pro Challenge, Stage 53:30 p.m.NBCSN
    Golf
    PGA Europe: Czech Masters 9 a.m.Golf
    LPGA: Canadian OpennoonGolf
    PGA: The Barclays2 p.m.Golf
    Web.com: Portland Open6:30 p.m.Golf
    Champions: Boeing Classic (taped)8:30 p.m.Golf
    High school football
    Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern vs. Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes 6 p.m.ESPNU
    Preseason: Armwood at Plant7:30 p.m.BHSN
    Leeds (Ala.) vs. Huntsville (Ala.) Madison Academy9 p.m.ESPNU
    NFL preseason
    Raiders at Packers8 p.m.Ch. 10; 98.7-FM
    Bears at Seahawks10 p.m.NFL
    Soccer
    Super Copa: Atletico Madrid at Real Madrid4:20 p.m.ESPND
    Mexican: Tigres at Morelia8:30 p.m.ESPND
    MLS: Real Salt Lake at Dallas9 p.m.NBCSN
    Softball
    National Pro Fastpitch championship: Teams TBD8 p.m.CBSSN
    Tennis
    U.S. Open qualifying11 a.m.CBSSN
    WTA: Connecticut Open1 p.m.ESPN2
    ATP: Winston-Salem Open 3 p.m.ESPN2
    U.S. Open qualifying5 p.m.CBSSN
    WTA: Connecticut Open7 p.m.ESPNEWS
    WNBA, playoffs
    East semifinal, Game 1: Chicago at Atlanta7:30 p.m.NBA
    West semifinal, Game 1: Los Angeles at Phoenix10 p.m.NBA
    ...

  7. Preseason football: Wiregrass Ranch 13, Mitchell 12

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Though he had been head coach for only a few weeks, Artie Meza was quick to praise the potential of Wiregrass Ranch's offense during preseason practice.

    People would be pleasantly surprised, he said. The Bulls would be quicker and more efficient than last season.

    But after losing a fumble on the fourth play of Thursday's home preseason game against Mitchell, that seemed like an empty promise....

    Wiregrass Ranch quarterback Shane Bucenell pushes Mitchell’s Mason Castricone out of the way during a second-quarter run. Bucenell throws for 82 yards and runs for 44 and a score.
  8. Man hired to remove body from Dunedin home charged with stealing jewelry

    Crime

    A man hired to remove the body of an elderly woman from her Dunedin home was arrested Thursday after deputies said they caught him stealing her jewelry.

    Deputies responded to a death investigation just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Inside the home at 1701 Pinehurst Road they found the body of Maryellen Woods, 88, who had died of natural causes.

    A man employed by Alternate Transport Service arrived to take her body to a funeral home. ...

    Stubblefield
  9. Rays-Blue Jays preview

    The Heater

  10. Bay area's elite high school football programs reunite

    Footballpreps

    Every year when the time for scheduling a preseason game approaches, Plant High football coach Robert Weiner calls around the state looking for the best opponent for his four-time state champion Panthers.

    Last year, it was Godby, the Tallahassee tank of a team that handed Plant a 19-point loss. In 2011, the Panthers took on Miami Columbus, an eventual Class 8A state semifinalist.

    But while at a February event for high school coaches at USF with Armwood coach Sean Callahan, Weiner suddenly realized he didn't have to search far and wide this time for the best matchup in Florida. ...

    Mazzi Wilkins can’t get to the extra point of Armwood’s Nick Feely in overtime. Reeves Rogers did to give Plant a 20-19 win.
  11. Outdoors news and notes

    Outdoors

    Fishing

    State agency seeks anglers to catch tarpon

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's tarpon genetic recapture program needs anglers who fish Florida's northern counties. The information gathered by fishermen helps scientists learn more about the fish's history.

    Anglers supply the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute with DNA "fingerprint" data from tarpon then release them so they can be caught another day. Much work has been done in Southwest Florida, but researchers need DNA samples from fish larger than 30 inches hooked in northeast and northwest Florida....

  12. Blue Ocean Film Festival to draw 20,000 to St. Petersburg

    Tourism

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not Cannes or Sundance, or even the Bollywood awards.

    But city and business leaders are gearing up for a little-known film festival that is expected to draw 20,000 people to St. Petersburg in November, highlighting the city's tourism and marine science industries.

    That's almost as many as the 24,000 visitors drawn to Tampa in April for the much-ballyhooed International Indian Film Academy Awards show....

  13. Long leg of the law

    Human Interest

    MELISSA LYTTLE | Times

    Alma Herrera Edwards King, 7, and her sister Jamila Herrera Edwards King, 10, paused their bicycle ride to ask if they could pet St. Petersburg police horses Thursday evening on the Pinellas Trail. They were riding with their father, Curtis King of St. Pete Beach. Officers Ron Try, left, atop Brooklyn, and Julie Bryan, with Jacob, said yes, and chatted with the girls while telling them how to pet the 1,400-pound horses. The St. Petersburg Police Department has started patrolling problematic portions of the Pinellas Trail on horseback....

    Alma Herrera Edwards King, 7, left, and her big sister Jamila Herrera Edwards King, 10, right, stopped their bicycles to ask if they could pet the horses while out for a ride on the Pinellas Trail Thursday evening with their dad Curtis King of St. Pete Beach (not pictured). Officers Ron Try, left, atop Brooklyn, and Officer Julie Bryan, right, atop Jacob said yes, and chatted with the girls while instructing them how to pet the 1,400-lb. horses. The St. Petersburg Police Department has started patrolling problematic portions of the Pinellas Trail on horseback.
  14. Jury can't reach verdict in case of man charged with burning girlfriend to death

    Criminal

    LARGO

    Jury can't agree on first-degree murder

    A judge declared a mistrial in a first-degree murder case Wednesday evening after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether a 41-year-old Pinellas man killed his girlfriend in 2010 by lighting her on fire.

    Jeffrey Robert Grant was facing life in prison in connection with the death of Jennifer Guthrie, who was doused with gasoline and set ablaze behind what was formerly Wachovia Bank, 14147 Walsingham Road, where she and Grant had been sleeping. Both were homeless. ...

  15. Cute panther kitten has a new home to roam (w/video)

    News

    JIM DAMASKE | Times

    Yuma, a Florida panther cub, explores his new enclosure at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on Thursday. The young panther will live out his days at the park after being rescued in January near Naples when he was about 1 week old. He had been abandoned. The park held a ceremony Thursday morning with speeches explaining Yuma's circumstances, which were followed by a brief countdown for the opening of a gate allowing Yuma to enter his new enclosure. The Florida panther is an endangered subspecies of cougar that lives in forests and swamps of South Florida. For a video report, go to tampabay.com/video....

    Yuma, the Florida panther cub, explores his new enclosure at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park Thursday morning. The young panther will live out his days at the park after being rescued in January 2014 from the wild near Naples at about one-week of age. He had been abandoned. Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park had a ceremony Thursday morning with a couple speeches explaining Yuma's circumstances which were followed by a brief countdown for the opening of a gate allowing Yuma to enter his new enclosure.