A live video stream from the Capitol building in Tallahassee:
TAMPA — "It's Groundhog Day."
That was Hillsborough County school spokesman Stephen Hegarty's assessment of his district's Tuesday morning attempt to run computerized state testing.
"Several (schools) are having no problems," Hegarty said. "Others are calling in saying they have problems. We are advising them to discontinue for the day."
The Hillsborough district was among the few that had not suspended testing after experiencing problems during Monday's round of Florida Standards Assessments....
By his count, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he's been involved in seven citywide campaigns since coming to Tampa in the 1980s, so he sounded a touch wistful — "my last vote in my last mayoral campaign" — as he left the polls Tuesday.
But the mayor's wife, Dr. Cathy Lynch Buckhorn, saw the bright side.
"It's much less stressful," she said, than it was in 2011, when Buckhorn fought his way out of a five-candidate primary, then headed into the runoff with almost nothing left in the bank. "I wasn't out holding as many signs as the last time."...
TAMPA — While it's always risky to predict what the Hillsborough County School Board will do, members are scheduled Tuesday to discuss a job offer for Jeff Eakins.
Eakins, who will become acting superintendent when MaryEllen Elia leaves Thursday for a four-month vacation, could become superintendent when Elia's contract expires June 30. For that to happen, Eakins and the board would have to agree on a contract by June 9....
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Polls open. If you arrive at the polling place after 7 p.m., you will not be allowed to vote.
211,158 — Registered voters eligible to vote in Tampa’s election
15,753 — Absentee ballots mailed in before Election Day
2,592 — Votes cast during early voting
8.7 percent — Turnout so far from absentee and early voting...
TAMPA — Polls opened at 7 a.m. today so Tampa voters can decide five City Council races and, in all likelihood, re-elect Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Turnout is expected to be light, perhaps even in the teens, but Buckhorn said that doesn't make the election any less important.
"Everyone has an obligation to vote," Buckhorn said after voting with his family at the Marjorie Park Marina on Davis Islands. "If they don't vote, don't complain. ... It may seem like an election that doesn't have a lot of drama, but those votes still count. I have seen elections, I have been in elections, where literally dozens of votes made the difference."...
03/02/15 TV and Radio
Baseball, spring training Pirates at Blue Jays 1 p.m. MLB College basketball Iowa at Indiana 7 p.m. ESPN North Carolina at Georgia Tech 7 p.m. ESPNU Mississippi at Alabama 7 p.m. SEC Georgetown at Butler 7 p.m. FS1 Rhode Island at Dayton 7 p.m. CBSSN Maryland at Rutgers 7 p.m. Big Ten Texas A&M at Florida 9 p.m. ESPNU; 620-AM Kentucky at Georgia 9 p.m. ESPN West Virginia at Kansas 9 p.m. ESPN2 Auburn at Missouri 9 p.m. SEC North Carolina State at Clemson 9 p.m. Sun Sports Villanova at Creighton 9 p.m. FS1 Michigan at Northwestern 9 p.m. Big Ten NBA Rockets at Hawks 7:30 p.m. NBA NHL Sabres at Lightning 7:30 p.m. NBCSN; 970-AM Soccer EPL: West Brom at Aston Villa 2:30 p.m. NBCSN CONCACAF U-17 championship: Mexico vs. St. Lucia 6 p.m. FS2 Mexican Cup: Atlante at Merida 8 p.m. ESPND CONCACAF Champions League: Pachuca at Montreal 8 p.m. FS2, Galavision Mexican Cup: Queretaro at Santos 10 p.m. ESPND
03/02/15 Public Safety
PORT RICHEY -- An unknown suspect robbed a food delivery man at Taste of Philly restaurant on U.S. 19 Tuesday evening, according to Port Richey police.
The delivery man, who works for the restaurant, was walking into Taste of Philly to turn in the evening's cash receipts around 8:10 p.m., Port Richey Police Captain Bill Ferguson said.
A suspect came from behind and pointed a handgun at the victim, Ferguson said, and told the victim, "Give me all the money."...
One of the first public images of Jameis Winston's accuser comes more than an hour into the documentary The Hunting Ground. Zephyrhills native Erica Kinsman appears as a little girl in a photo, wearing a garnet and gold Florida State University cheerleading outfit.
By the end of her scene, Kinsman is in tears.
The controversial film — which the Tampa Bay Times viewed Monday in an advance screening — reveals little new information about the 2012 sexual assault allegations against FSU's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. But it does put a name and face on the woman at the other end of the accusations and shares a candid comment from a Tallahassee prosecutor....
03/02/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman didn't sleep much Sunday night, the eve of the trade deadline.
"Couple hours," Yzerman said. "Up late, up early."
That was because Yzerman struck two separate deals — contingent on each other — before sunrise to land the veteran defenseman the Lightning needed for a deeper playoff run. And Yzerman felt he did so without "mortgaging a lot of our future."...
TAMPA — Lettuce and tomato on a Cuban sandwich?
Tampa politics doesn't have much that could qualify as a purity test, but this might be it.
So when voter Danny Thro got a campaign mailer from City Council member Mike Suarez that had a picture of a Cuban with lettuce and tomato, he paused.
"I'm a vegetarian and imagine a Cuban sandwich to be my weak spot if I ever go back to eating meat," Thro said Monday in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. "Maybe that's why I looked so closely."...
03/02/15 The Heater
PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Alex Cobb can't wait to see the Pirates on Saturday afternoon.
It's nothing personal, just a matter of the Rays' top starter, after throwing bullpen sessions for months and batting practice for two days, itching to get back in a competitive environment.
"I'm ready to go," Cobb said after Monday's session. "I'm over throwing bullpens, I'm over throwing live BP, where most of the guys aren't even swinging. I'm just ready to compete, try to get some real outs, have some real fielders. That's the only time you get your real feedback. And you even get a little bit of adrenaline going during spring training. You can work off that, too."...
03/02/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — If all the seeds hold true in the upcoming American Athletic Conference women's tournament, USF will get another crack at its daunting New England nemesis in less than a week.
In the wake of Monday night's humbling proceedings, some fans may deem that cruel bracketology. For the Bulls, it's consolation.
"Hopefully we play them two more times," junior guard Courtney Williams said....
TAMPA — Police were investigating a fatal shooting at the Hope Food Mart on 22nd Street N in central Tampa Monday night.
Authorities said the shooting followed an argument between two young men around 7 p.m., though three to four parties were present. When authorities pulled into the gas station, they found the shooter waiting for them. He was cooperating with investigators.
No names have been released because the investigation is ongoing. The victim was identified though, and authorities were in the process of notifying relatives. ...