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Times staff,

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

You can also call one of our county news bureaus directly:

Hernando County: 352-754-6101

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Pasco County: 727-869-6235

On the Web, you can also go to sptimes.com/connect/ for details on other ways to contact us.

E-mail: local@tampabay.com

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  1. Rowdies knocked out of U.S. Open Cup

    Soccer

    The Rowdies were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 loss to the host Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Wednesday night.

    Pittsburgh midfielder Rob Vincent scored the lone goal in second-half stoppage time, blasting a shot into the bottom left corner of the net past goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 91st minute.

    The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams. Pittsburgh plays in the USL, a pro league one level below the NASL Rowdies. ...

  2. Thursday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball
    Red Sox at Rangers8 p.m.MLB
    Triple A: El Paso at Round Rock8 p.m.CBSSN
    College softball, World Series
    Tennessee vs. FloridanoonESPN
    LSU vs. Auburn2:30 p.m.ESPN
    Alabama vs. Michigan7 p.m.ESPN2
    UCLA vs. Oregon9:30 p.m.ESPN2
    Golf
    PGA Europe: Irish Open3 a.m.Golf
    PGA Europe: Irish Open11 a.m.Golf
    PGA: Byron Nelson Classic4 p.m.Golf
    Tennis
    French Open 5 a.m.ESPN2
    French Open10 a.m.Tennis
    French Open5 a.m. FridayESPN2
    ...

  3. Tampa Bay area prep stars continue softball success at LSU

    Colleges

    AJ Andrews and Bianka Bell started off as rivals on the softball field, each playing for different travel teams as youths.

    In high school they both became standouts — Andrews at Countryside, Bell at Chamberlain — and as seniors were named high school players of the year, in their respective counties, by the Tampa Bay Times.

    When it was time to choose a college, Andrews and Bell joined forces, each signing with LSU. Now they play key roles at the top of the lineup and have helped the Tigers reach the Women's College World Series for the fourth time in school history and the first since 2012....

    Bianka Bell’s power at the plate was well known when she played at Chamberlain High, and she continues to hit prodigious home runs at LSU.
  4. Rays' Boxberger falters for second straight game

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Brad Boxberger didn't have too happy of a 27th birthday.

    Tuesday night, he gave up a 10th-inning homer to Kyle Seager that cost the Rays in a 7-6 defeat. Then Wednesday afternoon he allowed a three-run homer to Nelson Cruz that was the difference in the 3-0 loss to Seattle.

    After seven weeks as the Rays' best reliever, Boxberger was at his locker for two straight games trying to explain what went wrong, primarily that he can't get the ball to go where he wants....

    Brad Boxberger, who has been the Rays’ best reliever for most of the season, says he’s struggling to throw the ball exactly where he wants to.
  5. Flu symptoms hit Lightning

    Lightning Strikes

    NEW YORK — Coach Jon Cooper said having a two-day break before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final would be much welcomed for his Lightning team to get healthy.

    And it looks like the Lightning needs it.

    LW Alex Killorn confirmed Wednesday that several teammates have been dealing with flu symptoms this week. D Braydon Coburn was the only confirmed case, forcing him to miss a large part of Sunday's Game 5 against the Rangers. C Tyler Johnson and LW Ondrej Palat did not participate in Tuesday's optional morning skate before Game 6. Both played in the 7-3 loss that evened the series at three games and forced Friday's Game 7....

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17), center, attacks New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) at the net while New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle (93) attempts to defend during the first period of Friday's (5/22/15) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers for game four of the Eastern Conference Finals at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  6. Lightning: Mayor-on-mayor taunting; two views of Game 7

    Lightning Strikes

    Gift of the day

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (left) sent out a friendly Twitter message to Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, reminding him that he'll have a personalized Lightning jersey waiting for him "to wear the next time we have dinner" in the wake of the Lightning eliminating the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    View from Tampa Bay...

  7. SEC plans increased fines to control fans

    Colleges

    DESTIN — Seeking to further deter potentially dangerous postgame celebrations, the SEC is planning to "substantially" increase fines — possibly as much as 10 times the current penalty — for league schools who violate the celebration rule.

    "It's an attempt to change behavior," commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday at the SEC spring meetings. "I think we have changed it considerably, but there are times when it happens, and I think our folks thought that the current fine structure is not sufficiently large enough to be a quality deterrent."...

  8. Rays: Off day

    The Heater

    Today: off

    Next game: at Baltimore, 7:05 Friday

    Probable pitchers: Rays — RH Nathan Karns (3-2, 3.71); Orioles — RH Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.83)

    Up next

    Saturday: at Orioles, 4:05. Rays — RH Erasmo Ramirez (2-2, 6.62); Orioles — LH Wei-Yin Chen (1-3, 3.13)

    Sunday: at Orioles, 1:35. Rays — RH Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 2.31); Orioles — RH Chris Tillman (2-6, 5.59)...

  9. Once again, a looker

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — As part of a nationwide program, ophthalmology centers for animals like Eye Care for Animals in Tampa offered free eye exams Wednesday for active-duty service dogs.

    Chance, a guide dog for blind people, is owned by Sharon Harmon of Riverview and benefited from cataract surgery by Dr. Dan E. Wolf.

    "This has been a life-changing surgery for the both of us,' Harmon said. "His eyesight was so bad he refused to move and was starting to lose muscle mass. ...

    Veterinarian Dan E. Wolf examines the eyes of Chance, a guide dog for the blind that lost his sight two months ago due to cataracts. As part of a nationwide program, ophthalmology centers like Eye Care for Animals in Tampa offered exams Wednesday for active-duty service dogs. “This has been a life-changing surgery for the both of us,” said Chance’s owner, Sharon Harmon of Riverview. “His eyesight was so bad he refused to move and was starting to lose muscle mass. It was pathetic, and I didn’t know if I would keep him alive if I couldn’t find a way to fix his eyesight.”
  10. On to the next chapter

    K12

    TAMPA — Durant High School held its graduation ceremony Wednesday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

    The Plant City's school's graduation is one of the first for the Hillsborough County School District this year.

    Nervous? Maybe just a little. Durant High School principal Pam Bowden helps Jawun Green with his collar before Wednesday’s graduation ceremony at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Durant, located in Plant City, is one of the first graduations for the Hillsborough County School District this year. Prepare for a sea of caps and gowns as the season of pomp and circumstance marches into full swing in the Tampa Bay area.
  11. Pasco deputies search for bank robber

    Crime

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County sheriff's deputies were looking for a man who robbed a bank Wednesday afternoon.

    The man entered a TD Bank at 8923 Old County Road 54 around 2:30 p.m. and demanded money from the teller, sheriff's officials said. He was not armed.

    The man then left the bank and headed south on Little Road on a bicycle.

    The suspect is a white male, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 10 to 6 feet tall and was last seen wearing a white baseball hat, dark T-shirt, dark jeans, white shoes, sunglasses and gloves, officials said....

    A man entered a TD Bank at 8923 Old County Road 54 around 2:30 p.m. and demanded money from the teller, sheriff's officials said. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  12. Rays stadium: Trop redevelopment cash to nearby neighborhoods?

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — After more than half a year of debate, discord and drift, the City Council will meet again today to discuss the Tampa Bay Rays stadium stalemate.

    Rays officials won't be there. But Mayor Rick Kriseman will attend the workshop, looking to "move the issue forward," in the words of his chief of staff, Kevin King.

    One new possible wrinkle in the saga? Somehow tying the potentially lucrative future of the Tropicana Field property to the economically distressed poor neighborhoods to its south....

    Tropicana Field is just outside the newly created Southside Community Redevelopment Area. If it were inside, the influx of cash to the community would be considerable.
  13. Kissimmee man arrested for impersonating law enforcement officer in Seffner

    Crime

    TAMPA — Marcos Felix Hernandez-Gonzalez, behind the wheel of an Ford F-150, flashed his headlights and honked his horn, convincing the driver in the vehicle in front of him to pull off at Clay Pit Road and Lemon Avenue in Seffner.

    In plain clothes, Hernandez-Gonzalez approached the passenger side of Jose Reyes' car, identified himself as a law enforcement narcotics officer, then lifted his shirt, revealing a pistol. ...

  14. Clearwater's Tech Data to acquire Signature Technology Group

    Corporate

    CLEARWATER — Technology distributor Tech Data Corp., the largest public company by revenue in the Tampa Bay area, said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Signature Technology Group of Phoenix in a deal expected to close next month.

    Signature specializes in providing data center and professional services throughout North America. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Signature's assets will become part of a Tech Data division called Advanced Infrastructure Solutions....

  15. SEC football coaches sick of satellite camps

    College

    DESTIN — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is headed to Boca Raton to be a guest at a football camp at Florida Atlantic University on June 17. Last season, Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff were guests at a camp in Atlanta with Georgia State.

    In the already heavily recruited Southeast, the camps help other schools increase their presence there. It's a trend that SEC coaches are fed up with....

    Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was one of the first league coaches to bring the issue to light, telling his colleagues as far back as last year that satellite camps and clinics were a growing problem. [Getty Images]