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  1. Not so sure about this

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Easter Bunny (a.k.a. Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Damaris Hoffman) paid a visit Friday to All Children's Hospital.

    The Easter Bunny hopped room to room, visiting with patients and families and giving each child a stuffed animal.

    Hoffman, in her 13th year volunteering with the Easter Bunny Foundation, is a corrections officer at the Pinellas County Jail. The foundation, based in Orlando, partners with sheriff's offices nationwide to visit hospitalized children during the Easter week....

    Princess-Tessa Smith, 2, of Clearwater keeps a safe distance from the Easter Bunny (a.k.a. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Damaris Hoffman) after the bunny gave her a stuffed rabbit Friday via mom, Tessa Smith, center, in the lobby of All Children’s Hospital. Princess-Tessa’s 7-month-old sister, Nefertiti, is a patient in the hospital. The Easter Bunny hopped room to room, visiting patients and families and giving each child a stuffed animal. Hoffman, in her 13th year volunteering with the Easter Bunny Foundation, is a corrections officer at the Pinellas County Jail.  
  2. Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, April 19

    TV and Radio

    Arena Football
    Tampa Bay at Orlando 7:30 p.m. 1250-AM
    Los Angeles at Iowa 8 p.m. CBSSN
    F1: Chinese Grand Prix qualifying (taped) 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
    F1: Chinese Grand Prix3 a.m. Sunday NBCSN
    Angels at Tigers 1 p.m. FS1
    Astros at A's 4 p.m. MLB
    Yankees at Rays 7 p.m.Sun Sports; 620-AM
    Diamondbacks at Dodgers 8 p.m. FS1
    College baseball
    USF at Houston 1 p.m. 1010-AM
    North Carolina at Virginia 1 p.m. FSF
    LSU at Mississippi 2 p.m. Sun Sports
    South Carolina at Auburn 5 p.m. CBSSN
    Baylor at Kansas State 8 p.m. ESPNU
    College football
    Alabama spring game 2 p.m. ESPNU
    Auburn spring game 3 p.m. ESPN
    College lacrosse
    Maryland at Notre Dame noon ESPNU
    College softball
    LSU at South Carolina 4 p.m. ESPNU
    Florida at Texas A&M 6 p.m. ESPNU
    PGA Europe: Malaysian Open (taped) 6:30 a.m. Golf
    PGA: RBC Heritage 1 p.m. Golf
    PGA: RBC Heritage 3 p.m. Ch. 10
    Champions: Greater Gwinnett Championship 3 p.m. Golf
    LPGA: Lotte Championship 6:30 p.m. Golf
    NBA playoffs, conference quarterfinals
    East, Game 1: Nets at Raptors 12:30 p.m. ESPN
    West, Game 1: Warriors at Clippers 3:30 p.m. Ch. 28
    East, Game 1: Hawks at Pacers 7 p.m. ESPN
    West, Game 1: Grizzlies at Thunder 9:30 p.m. ESPN
    NHL playoffs, conference quarterfinals
    West, Game 2: Blackhawks at Blues 3 p.m. Ch. 8
    East, Game 2: Blue Jackets at Penguins7 p.m. NBCSN
    West, Game 2: Wild at Avalanche 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
    EPL: Fulham at Tottenham 7:45 a.m. NBCSN; 1040-AM
    EPL: Stoke City at Cardiff 10 a.m. NBCSN
    EPL: Sunderland at Chelsea 12:30 p.m. Ch. 8
    MLS: New England at Chicago 4 p.m. NBCSN
    Mexican: Queretaro at America 5:45 p.m. Univision
    Mexican: Veracruz at Monterrey 8 p.m. Unimas
    Mexican: Tigres at Club Leon 9 p.m. Telemundo
    ATP: Rolex Masters (taped) 12:30 p.m. Tennis
    TV: CBSSN: CBS Sports Network; FS1: Fox Sports 1; FSF: Fox Sports Florida; NBCSN: NBC Sports Network.

  3. Rays rally to beat Yankees

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — At some point, manager Joe Maddon has insisted, the line drives will have eyes, the ground balls will find holes and the zeros on the scoreboard will be replaced by heroes at the plate.

    It happened Friday as the Rays not only snapped out of their collective batting slump but ended their four-game losing streak with an 11-5 come-from-behind win over the Yankees before 26,079 at Tropicana Field....

    Ryan Hanigan, right, congratulates Sean Rodriguez for his two-run homer that puts the Rays up 8-5 in the eighth.
  4. Rays: Maddon doesn't have clubhouse ideas; Jerry Springer appearances

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Yankees

    When/where: 7:10 tonight, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Chris Archer (1-1, 4.50)

    YANKEES: RH Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.94)

    On Archer: The righty is coming off his worst start in the majors, seven runs and 12 hits against the Orioles on Monday. He is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in three starts against the Yankees....

  5. Pinellas: District baseball preview


    ST. PETERSBURG — Northeast coach Rob Stanifer wanted to send a message.

    It was early March and the Vikings were struggling yet again, this time in a home game against Berkeley Prep.

    "I had enough so I saw the bats over there lined up against the fence,'' Stanifer said. "You can't really throw bats and it hurts too much to kick them, so I gathered them all up and put them in the trash can. The next inning we scored three runs. Before that, the bats belonged in that trash can.''...

    Northeast outfielder Chris Clark is hitting .354 with three home runs and 18 RBIs. The senior also has 20 stolen bases.
  6. District softball: Delay does Lakewood no favors


    ST. PETERSBURG — After securing its first playoff appearance in the Class 5A, District 10 semifinals, Lakewood was looking for more in the final against Bradenton Bayshore.

    The Spartans (15-11) were confident, especially after rallying to beat the Bruins last month to secure the top seed in the district. Lakewood played well in the title game but had its momentum halted in the sixth inning after a rain delay postponed Thursday's game. It didn't take long for Bayshore (20-4) to capitalize Friday, scoring three runs in the sixth for a 3-0 victory....

  7. Baseball: Hillsborough district preview


    TAMPA — The Monday night game against Tampa Catholic, which Tampa Prep lost 8-2, had been over for nearly 15 minutes. But after his team's postgame huddle in leftfield broke, a disappointed Luis Medina lingered.

    The sophomore catcher, who has a team-high .453 batting average, also had a near-flawless fielding percentage. But against the Crusaders, Medina had two throwing errors, one of which allowed a runner at third to steal home in the sixth inning....

    Tampa Prep sophomore Luis Medina is hitting .453 but says, “When I don’t produce at the rate I want, I’m very frustrated with myself.”
  8. PolitiFact: Kerry statement that Ukrainian officials requiring Jews to register is false


    The statement

    "In the last couple of days, notices were sent (by officials in Ukraine) to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews."

    Secretary of State John Kerry, Thursday in a speech in Geneva

    The ruling

    On Facebook and Twitter, the story caused people to fear the history of the Holocaust was repeating itself.

    It seems to have originated in Donetsk, a region and a city in eastern Ukraine. On April 7, pro-Russian activists took control of Donetsk's government building. Almost two weeks later, USA Today reported, "Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine."...

  9. State tennis: Wiregrass Ranch's Agie Moreno earns individual 3A title

    Tennis Preps

    Wiregrass Ranch sophomore Agie Moreno made North Suncoast history Friday, becoming the first player from a public Pasco County school to win an individual tennis state championship.

    A day after winning the team singles title and helping the Bulls tie for first as a team, he knocked off Fort Myers' John Carlin 6-1, 4-6, 10-3 to claim the overall Class 3A championship.

    "I was very excited that I could be part of that moment," Moreno said....

  10. Ben Bishop's rehab progresses for Lightning

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ben Bishop on Friday took another step in his rehabilitation of an injured left elbow as he took shots for the first time since he was hurt April 8 against the Maple Leafs.

    Granted, the Lightning's No. 1 goaltender skated on his own and the shots came from goaltenders coach Frantz Jean. But, Jean said, "(Friday) was a very, very good day."

    There still is no timetable for Bishop's return other than a hope he will be ready if the first-round playoff series with the Canadiens is a long one....

    GOING DOWN: Lightning center Nate Thompson falls with the puck nearby during the second period.
  11. Softball: River Ridge gives Ernie Beck one last district title


    NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge softball coach Ernie Beck is retiring after this season, so this week's district tournament was his last.

    And the way the Royal Knights played, one of his best, too.

    Despite entering as the No. 3 seed, River Ridge rolled over all three opponents, including Dunedin 8-0 in Friday's Class 5A-8 championship.

    The Royal Knights (25-3) did it in their usual style, with a relentless, timely offense and the marksmanship of pitcher Makenzie Goluba, who allowed two hits and struck out 13....

    Coach Ernie Beck of River Ridge will retire after this season.
  12. On the hunt for treats

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Easter came early for orangutans Goyang, 14, and Josie, 30, who shared a coconut made to look like an Easter egg during the annual orangutan egg hunt at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo on Friday.

    Zookeepers put different types of vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, coconuts and other treats throughout the habitat for the orangutans to find during the enrichment activity.

    This enrichment activity helps stimulate the orangutans both mentally and physically....

    Orangutans Goyang, 14, left, and Josie, 30, share a coconut made to look like an Easter egg Friday during the annual orangutan egg hunt at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Zookeepers put different types of vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, coconuts and other treats throughout the habitat for the orangutans to find during the enrichment activity, which helps stimulate the orangutans both mentally and physically.
  13. Lightning in 2-0 hole after loss to Canadiens

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning coach Jon Cooper would not characterize Friday's game with the Canadiens as a must-win. "If this was Game 4 and we were down three, I would call that a must-win," he said. "But this one we really need." But Tampa Bay failed badly in a 4-1 loss at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to fall behind two games to none in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. A 2-0 deficit is not impossible to overcome, but it's not going to be easy. According to the NHL, only 37 times in the previous 291 series that have been 2-0 has a team come from behind to win the series. One of them was the 2002-03 Lightning, which lost its first two to the Capitals in the East quarterfinals but won the series in six. If history is to repeat, the Lightning must find a way to generate some offense, or a least some consistent time in the offensive zone....

  14. Despite struggles, Rays hope Erik Bedard can help

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were hoping for more but probably not expecting a lot from veteran pitcher Erik Bedard when he started Friday night's game against the Yankees.

    Having pitched for five teams over 11 major-league seasons, the hope is Bedard, 35, could use his experience to settle down a pitching staff that has three starters on the disabled list. He's a savvy lefty who changes speeds but not expressions. ...

  15. Clearwater man arrested in medication robbery



    Deputies: Medicine was stolen forcefully

    Pinellas deputies arrested a Clearwater man Friday who they say grabbed a woman by the neck and stole her medication earlier this month as she left a pharmacy.

    After he was arrested at his home in the 2200 block of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, authorities said Anthony James Henderson, 37, admitted to the robbery outside the Trust Pharmacy in Palm Harbor, detectives said. ...