09/19/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Arguably the most bittersweet half of football in Rodney Adams' life unfolded in Friday night's downpour.
Four days after his birthday, in his fourth game as a Bull, on fourth down, Adams had a play he'll likely remember the next four decades. The former Lakewood High standout, who turned 20 on Monday, hauled in a 30-yard TD pass from Mike White on fourth-and-10 to give USF a 14-0 first-quarter lead....
09/19/14 Human Interest
JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times
Marquishia Winters, 27, with the Edible Peace Patch Project, joins volunteers from Bloomin' Brands, Eckerd College, the city of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Education Foundation to rehabilitate the community garden at Campbell Park Elementary School on Friday. "I think it's important for children to know about healthy, home-grown food and that it is cool to garden. It's not just something your grandma does," Winters said as she spruced up the St. Petersburg plot. "I want kids to see young adults out here setting an example."...
DADE CITY — A onetime candidate for Pasco clerk of courts has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Times and two of its writers.
Roberta Cutting, who is representing herself in the suit filed this week, claims that the Times "maliciously prepared and published false statements of fact" about her during the 2012 campaign.
The suit says a story about Cutting's previous involvement with the clerk's office, where employees said she tried to improperly access a court file and where she was once a volunteer, was not accurate....
Miami at No. 24 Nebraska, 8, ESPN2, 1040-AM, 1250-AM: The Hurricanes (2-1) believe they're a better team than the one that lost at Louisville in its opener. There's no better way to find out than playing on the road in front of 90,000 fans, many of whom remember the days when UM beat their Cornhuskers regularly in bowl games. Nebraska's best test came from Division I-AA McNeese State, and it barely escaped. The Huskers (3-0) could use a solid win over a quality opponent before Big Ten play....
TAMPA — Authorities have arrested a Lutz man they say sexually molested a 14-year-old girl.
Earl "Aga" Villagomeza, 30, was arrested Thursday on three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.
Authorities began investigating him in July. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on $22,500 bail.
Authorities said Villagomeza frequented the Philippine Cultural Foundation in northwestern Hillsborough and they believe there could be more victims. Anyone with information about Villagomeza was asked to call FDLE Special Agent Al Danna at (800) 226-1140....
TAMPA — DT Gerald McCoy, held out Thursday with a broken left hand, had to watch from the sideline as his Bucs teammates took a 56-14 loss to the Falcons and fell to 0-3.
He said he understands the frustration fans are feeling.
"There's some really, really upset fans right now. … To get the fans back on our side, we can't sit and sulk in this," McCoy said Friday. "We're going to watch the film, and we've got to get back to work. In 2001, the Patriots started 1-3 and ended up winning the Super Bowl. It happens. This is an unpredictable league. You never know what can happen....
TAMPA — After watching three wobbly performances by his quarterback, Lovie Smith's patience in Josh McCown remains unshakable.
Friday, a day after the Bucs' 56-14 loss to the Falcons, the coach said McCown will start against the Steelers on Sept. 28 if healthy. McCown injured the thumb on his right (throwing) hand during the second quarter on a sack and did not return. He was scheduled to have an MRI exam Friday, and the team will have a better gauge of his status when players return to the practice facility Monday....
TAMPA — Tampa's showpiece boulevard is getting more bike lanes to make it safer for both cyclists and motorists.
The City Council this week approved spending $505,882 to create a bike lane on Bayshore Boulevard from south of Rome Avenue to just south of Howard Avenue.
Watch for construction to start in October and be done by April. That means the contractor, Florida Safety Contractors of Tampa, will have to coordinate its work with Gasparilla planners....
TAMPA — Last year, a Riverview woman collected $1,351 a month in housing assistance from the federal government while also falsely claiming federal tax refunds totaling $61,544, authorities allege.
Ronika Paris, 35, didn't tell the Tampa Housing Authority about all of her bank accounts, the government says, and so now she faces extra federal charges.
Paris, arrested Friday, was indicted by a grand jury this week on eight counts of wire fraud, eight counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of access device fraud and two counts of making false statements....
09/19/14 Local Government
Contract talks between Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and Pinellas County broke down earlier this year after hospital officials disputed figures that showed it was caring for far fewer indigent patients than in previous years.
The county uses the numbers to decide how much to reimburse Bayfront for caring for patients in the county's health plan.
The dispute will officially come to an end Tuesday, when the County Commission considers a deal that pays Bayfront $570,000 in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 to provide inpatient care for uninsured adults ages 18 to 64....
09/19/14 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said players were told not to read too much into what groups they practice with or what lines they are on during training camp.
But Stamkos centering a line with LW Ondrej Palat and RW Ryan Callahan during Friday's first practice wasn't a random selection. The trio played together a little bit last season, and coach Jon Cooper said Stamkos will be paired with several familiar faces during camp before deciding on the top line....
09/19/14 Public Safety
BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville police Chief George Turner on Friday strongly defended two of his officers who have recently come under scrutiny after a man they were trying to place in custody was shot with a Taser, stunned and eventually hospitalized.
Turner said 38-year-old Phillip Glenn Napier was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Bayfront Health Brooksville on Friday. ...
09/19/14 Life Times
Tampa Bay Wingfest
Never met a chicken wing you didn't want to devour? While listening to music? And quaffing craft beers? Well, the inaugural Tampa Bay Wingfest is the place for you to be from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in the special events building at the Florida State Fairgrounds. You'll be able to vote for your favorite or enter a wing-eating contest. Admission is free. You buy the food and drink. tbwingfest.com....
NEW PORT RICHEY — Create a "real downtown." Make better use of the waterfront. Cooperate with cities. Encourage more pedestrian traffic. Market bundles of events.
Those were a few of the recommendations from a federally funded consultant to help Pasco leaders redevelop the county's heavily populated but blighted west side.
"Pasco County has made a good start in preparing for a prosperous and sustainable future with the work that has been done," according to the report from Smart Growth America, a nonprofit agency that encourages urban, walkable communities....