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Times staff,

If you have a news tip, please call our City Desk at 727-893-8215.

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Hernando County: 352-754-6101

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  1. Coal-dependent Seminole Electric Cooperative seeks options as EPA crackdown looms

    Energy

    Barely two years into her role as CEO of Tampa's Seminole Electric Cooperative — a provider of electricity to 1.4 million Floridians and businesses across 42 counties — Lisa Johnson faces a looming challenge.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cracking down on carbon emissions, is targeting coal-fueled power plants in a federal initiative called the Clean Power Plan. In Florida, that could force the early closing of most of the remaining coal plants in the state. Seminole Electric provides wholesale electric power to its nine-member distribution electric cooperatives. They, in turn, deliver electricity to their mostly rural and often lower-income customers....

    Seminole Electric Cooperative CEO Lisa Johnson says the Clean Power Plan challenges coal plants, like this Seminole Generating Station.
  2. 2015 a 'growing year,' Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer says

    Bucs

    TAMPA — With his team coming off a 2-14 season but armed with what he hopes is a franchise quarterback in 2015 No. 1 draft pick Jameis Winston, Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said Sunday fans should consider 2015 a "growing year."

    However, he said the Bucs have the potential to go far and allowed that "anything can happen."

    "This is a growing year,'' Glazer said before the start of the Bucs' training camp practice. "With a rookie quarterback, everybody in this community is really excited about that, the team is excited about that, and with Jameis, we're going to put it on his shoulder and see how he goes. But it's one step at a time. We're not trying to do it all at once here.''...

  3. PolitiFact: Donald Trump says African-Americans are 'worse now than just about ever' under President Obama

    National

    Famously blunt GOP frontrunner Donald Trump portrayed himself Sunday as the target of vicious attacks from his competition, four days ahead of the first primetime debate of the 2016 cycle.

    But it didn't take long in an interview, one of three he gave by phone, for Trump to insult one figure who definitely won't be on stage Thursday: President Barack Obama.

    ABC This Week's Jonathan Karl asked Trump about comments on Twitter in November that Obama has done "such a poor job as president, you won't see another black president for generations."...

  4. Shooting suspect crashes car during pursuit by Pinellas Sheriff's deputies

    Crime

    TARPON SPRINGS — A suspect in a shooting suffered life-threatening after she crashed the car she was driving into a concrete barrier as sheriff's deputies gave chase Sunday, authorities said.

    Early Sunday morning, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies got information that a driver, Brittney Dinkins, was a suspect in a Clearwater shooting. When the shooting took place was not disclosed. ...

  5. Rays rally to salvage finale against Red Sox

    The Heater

    BOSTON — Okay, so not everything worked out perfectly for the Rays on Sunday afternoon.

    James Loney was doing the postgame interview with Todd Kalas as one of the stars in the 4-3 win over Boston when Chris Archer made the now standard move of dousing him with a cooler of water. But with David DeJesus traded, Archer needs a new splash partner, and fellow starter Erasmo Ramirez, armed with a cooler full of Gatorade, wasn't quite up to the task....

    Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier slides into third base with a triple against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) BXF109
  6. Heavy rain and flooding batter Tampa Bay region, but there's an end in sight

    Weather

    Nearly three weeks into a spate of soggy weather typically associated with a tropical cyclone, forecasters said there may be an end in sight — kind of.

    "Looks like slow improvement," said Ernie Jillson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "By Tuesday, we should see it coming back to typical summertime activity, but that could still give you a 50 to 60 percent chance of rain each day."...

  7. Results vary, but bullying and lack of student respect remain problems at Hillsborough schools

    Blog

    The Hillsborough County school district has released school-by-school results of the past year's climate survey, allowing for comparisons from one school to another.

    Giant caveat: This year, because students were so over-burdened with state testing, the district decided to give the survey to a sample of students and not all 207,000. Officials said they are confident the sample was large enough, especially for identifying districtwide trends. But responses came from only about 30 percent of the students....

  8. One dead, one critical after I-4 car crash

    Accidents

    A passenger was killed and the driver was in critical condition after a single-vehicle crash Sunday morning on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    The driver, was who was identified as a 16-year-old from Lakeland, was driving east erratically on I-4 approaching the County Line Road overpass around 8:21 a.m., authorities said. He lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway, colliding with the guardrail at the overpass, according to the Highway Patrol....

  9. Tampa pedestrian killed in Bearss Avenue crash

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A pedestrian was killed Saturday evening when he was struck by a car while trying to cross Bearss Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Larry Donald Wright, 69, was crossing the eastbound lanes on Bearss Avenue around 10:13 p.m. when he entered the path of a car driven by Shawn James Zapatka, 42, traveling east on Bearss Avenue in the right turn lane west of Fisher Road, authorities said....

  10. Gandy Bridge reopened after closure due to flooding

    Public Safety

    Gandy Bridge was reopened after getting closed again Sunday morning following flooding from record amounts of rain, according to Tampa police.

    Florida Department of Transportation announced the reopening of the bridge around 11 a.m., after closing it around 9 a.m. due to flooding in both directions, authorities said. Gandy Bridge was also closed around 11 p.m. Saturday because of flooding, according to Tampa police. ...

  11. Photo gallery: 10 photos from Ted McLaren

    Blog

    Tampa Bay Times picture editor Ted McLaren is moving on to pursue a career in biological sciences. As this is his last day with us, we thought it would be fitting to post a gallery of 10 of his photos from his years as a staff photographer here.

    To see more photos from this photographer, or to license or purchase a reprint of any of these images, please visit the Times image archive....

    (June 23, 2006) Jacob Clark, 9, gets a burst of fresh water from Lifeguard Christa Walters shortly after climbing out of the pool at the High Point YMCA.
  12. Rowdies tie Carolina

    Soccer

    CARY, N.C. — The Rowdies tied Carolina 1-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, snapping a three-match pointless streak.

    Tampa Bay (1-3-1) held a 1-0 lead over Carolina (2-2-2) after Georgi Hristov's goal in the 29th minute, but Mark Anderson scored three minutes later for the Railhawks.

    Tampa Bay's best chance to score the winner came in the 78th minute when Darnell King outran Carolina's defense, but Railhawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald made the save. ...

  13. Apollo Beach man dies after losing control of his car

    Accidents

    APOLLO BEACH — A 59-year-old man died Saturday afternoon after he lost control of his car during a rainstorm, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kirk Kovel, of Apollo Beach, was traveling eastbound on Apollo Beach Boulevard when he lost control of his Chevrolet Corvette at the curve just west of Fairway Boulevard around 2:46 p.m., authorities said.

    Kovel hit the shoulder then over corrected, spinning across the road into the path a Hyundai Sonata driven by of Annette Yucha, 30 of Riverview, who was heading westbound on Apollo Beach Boulevard. ...

  14. Pepper spray released inside Westfield Countryside harms 15 people

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — Fifteen people were treated for respiratory-related problems Saturday night after someone shot pepper spray into an elevator shaft at Westfield Countryside, according to the Clearwater Fire Department.

    People began coughing and reacting negatively around 8:15 p.m. inside the mall's JCPenney, authorities said. Of the 15 people treated on scene, four had to be transported to the hospital. ...

  15. Starbucks says man harassed customers parking in disabled spaces

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — In December, Rob Rowen complained to a driver outside the Starbucks Coffee Co. store at W Azeele Street and Dale Mabry Highway.

    "If you do not move your car," he said, "I will tell everyone inside that you are not handicapped."

    In January, Rowen knocked on a woman's window.

    "You need to move your car," he told her.

    She called the cops. So did he.

    In February, Rowen chided another customer about parking in the handicapped space....

    Rob Rowen outside the Starbucks in Tampa where he raised concerns about disabled parking.