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  1. What to watch this weekend: 'Ozark,' 'Insecure,' 'Midnight, Texas'


    This side of Hell: Midnight, Texas

    I don't know about you, but I've been itching for a good supernatural show (besides Supernatural) since The Vampire Diaries and True Blood ended. Enter Midnight, Texas on NBC. It's got all the great supernatural characters (vampires, angels, psychics, ghosts) and some new ones I don't have a name for yet (is it a were-tiger?). The series follows Manfred (Francois Arnaud), a powerful psychic who finds safety in Midnight, a remote Texas town where nothing is what it seems. He finds friends in Bobo (Dylan Bruce), the local pawn shop owner; Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley), a witch who owns a Wiccan shop; Olivia (Arielle Kebbel), a talented assassin with a store of weapons to match; Joe (Jason Lewis), a sweet angel who knows quite a lot of secrets; Lemuel (Peter Mensah), a wise vampire; Creek (Sarah Ramos), an aspiring writer; and the Rev. Emilio Sheehan (Yul Vazquez), who gets a little crazy during the full moon. Oh, and the town sits on a veil between the living and hell. Sounds like a great vacation destination. 10 p.m. Monday, NBC....

    Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae in Insecure.
  2. Uhuru activist Eritha Cainion speaks up in St. Pete City Council race

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Eritha "Akile" Cainion has been one of the most vocal candidates among the crowded field running for the District 6 seat on the St. Petersburg City Council.

    She has garnered widespread attention for her loud, staccato-style declarations at candidate forums.

    "I'm not angry," she said once. "I'm mad as hell."

    The candidate is a member of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, a St. Petersburg-based organization that advocates for social justice for African-Americans....

    Eritha "Akile" Cainion. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. East Tampa store owner who survived one shooting is targeted again with fatal results (w/video)


    TAMPA — In the 2011 video, Mahamoud Ibrahim stands behind the counter of his tiny East Tampa convenience store, his back to the surveillance camera meant to discourage thieves.

    When a robber walks in, points a gun at him and gives him a white bag. Ibrahim hands over his cash drawer, but the robber shoots him anyway. Ibrahim survives, but the case remains unsolved.

    Last week, another robber walked into Ibrahim's convenience store. This time, the father of four is shot before he can hand over any money. He dies on the floor of the 29th Street Store, a business he had owned and operated for 16 years....

    A memorial has sprouted in front of the 29th Street Store in East Tampa after a robber fatally shot owner Mohamoud Ibrahim on July 16. [TONY MARRERO/Times staff]
  4. PolitiFact: 4 questions on the fight over Obamacare and what happens next


    When Republicans retook the House of Representatives, one of their first votes was to repeal Obamacare. The date was Jan. 19, 2011.

    The vow to repeal echoed across four elections and drew roars of approval at rally after rally. Now, exactly six years and six months later, that cause hit a brick wall in the Senate. After four senators, each for their own reasons, declared they would not support the Republican health care plan, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated the blunt truth....

  5. Top 5 at noon: Clearwater Beach driver's roommate thought she could help turn his life around; is sinkhole damage sinking Tampa Bay property values? and more


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on


    Ryan Michael Stiles wanted to start fresh. Sarah Lynn Wright wanted to help.They met earlier this year when Wright was looking for someone to rent out a room in the house she shared with her mother. She couldn't imagine her new roommate would wind up in the Pinellas County Jail after he led a police pursuit Thursday along the sands of Clearwater Beach....

    Ryan Michael Stiles, 27, is seen while driving his vehicle on Clearwater Beach Thursday. He was stopped on the north end of Caladesi Island after driving up from Clearwater Beach, police said. [Facebook]
  6. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 23


    Marie Antoinette: Freefall 411: A contemporary look at the historic pariah looks at Marie Antoinette through the lens of society's obsession with celebrity. Through August 13. A brief talk prior to the performance provides insight to the production. 1 p.m., show starts at 2 p.m., Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$37. (727) 498-5205.

    Felipe Esparza: The 2010 winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing is best known for his irreverent on-stage persona, wild hair and his catchphrase "What's up, fool?" 7 p.m., Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $17-$20. (813) 864-4000. ...

    Lucas Wells as King Louis XVI, left, and Megan Rippey as Marie Antoinette in Freefall Theatre's "Marie Antoinette."
  7. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 22


    Snooty the Manatee's 69th Birthday Bash: Snooty, documented by Guinness World Records as the oldest known manatee in captivity, turns 69 and celebrates with children's games, art activities, cookies, drinks , interaction with Snooty the mascot and reduced price museum admission. 10 a.m., South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. Free (outdoor); $9, $8 seniors, $7 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free (indoor). (941) 746-4131. ...

    Snooty the manatee poses for a photo Thursday morning while three young manatees are unloaded from Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa Thursday morning at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
PAUL VIDELA/ 12/20/07
  8. 5 ways officials are trying to stop Pinellas' teenage car thieves


    In the last week of June, bleeding into the first days of July, 20 cars went missing in the city of St. Petersburg.

    Nearly all were left unlocked, with keys inside — some still jammed in the ignition — the prime targets of juvenile auto thieves.

    Police say it's a reminder of the countywide problem documented by the Tampa Bay Times this spring in "Hot Wheels," a series exploring both the prevalence and danger of kids stealing cars in Pinellas County....

     U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, left, takes notes as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, right, talks about car thefts in St. Petersburg during a meeting earlier this month.
  9. HomeTeam 100: Players 51-60


    Our sixth annual countdown of the top 100 football players in Tampa Bay — consisting of athletes who attend a public or private school in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco or Hernando counties. Past performances — spanning the fall, spring and summer — and promise of big things to come are all taken into consideration. Today: players 51-60....

    Nature Coast's Michael Weston. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  10. Shark Week 2017: Michael Phelps races a shark and other must-see specials


    It's that time of year again. No, not back to school month or geek convention season -- it's Shark Week.

    For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought fascinating and educational stories about those sharp-toothed fish that make us afraid to go in the water. Television's longest-running event returns Sunday at 7 p.m. and continues through July 30.

    This year, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps races against a freaking shark (because, why not?) and gets schooled at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas....

    For almost 30 years, Discovery Channel has brought a full week of special programs on the toothy underwater predators through Shark Week.
  11. Clearwater driver scheduled to go before judge for alcohol-fueled police chase


    CLEARWATER — Ryan Michael Stiles, the 27-year-old who live-streamed himself drinking and driving up Clearwater Beach on Thursday, is scheduled for his first appearance before a judge in Pinellas County Court at 1:30 p.m. today.

    Stiles faces several charges for using 1996 black Jeep Cherokee to tear down Clearwater Beach and send visitors sprinting from his destructive path.

    Beach chairs flew as he took swings of Canadian Mist and said he felt like he was driving in the video game Grand Theft Auto....

    Beach chairs lay in the sand after they were run over by Ryan Stiles Thursday afternoon. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  12. The Iron Yard coding academy to close in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Iron Yard, a code-writing academy with a location in downtown St. Petersburg, will close for good this summer.

    The coding academy prepares students for technology careers like software development. The school has been operating out of Station House, a coworking space in downtown St. Petersburg.

    "Over the last four years, The Iron Yard has led the code school industry in preparing students for careers as software developers. The industry as a whole is still young and its leaders face the challenge of a nascent market, as well as the demands facing all institutions in the higher education marketplace," reads a blog posted on the Iron Yard's website. "In considering the current environment, the board of The Iron Yard has made the difficult decision to cease operations at all campuses after teaching out remaining summer cohorts. We will finish out summer classes completely, including career support."...

    Instructors (from left) Mark Dewey, Jason Perry, and Gavin Stark greet the audience at The Iron Yard, 260 1st Ave. S, in St. Petersburg during "Demo Day" Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at The Iron Yard, which is an immersive code school that is part of a trend of trying to address the shortage of programmers.  The academy is closing this summer.  [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  13. Florida's unemployment rate drops for fourth straight month


    How low can Florida's unemployment go? Pretty low, according to the state's latest unemployment numbers. The Sunshine State's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent for June, down from 4.3 percent in May, state officials said Friday morning.

    This is the fourth consecutive month unemployment has fallen, reaching the lowest rate since June 2007.

    Gov. Rick Scott announced the employment numbers during his visit to Las Vegas to meet with budget airline Allegiant Air, which has added jobs to the Tampa Bay region....

    Florida's unemployment level dropped to 4.1 percent in June from 4.3 percent in May. |  [Times file photo]
  14. 20 great images from around the globe for July 14 to July 21


    Photos of the week for July 14 - July 21: A giant sinkhole swallows homes in Florida, a desperate rescue attempt in Karachi, synchronized swimmers competing in Budapest, a rainy rugby match in Australia, a smiling O.J. Simpson in Nevada and more.

    All photos are from the Associated Press, Getty Images or the Tampa Bay Times and were transmitted or published between July 14 and July 21.


    A lobsterman's boat leaves a gentle wake as he motors out of a harbor on a foggy morning, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Boothbay, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
  15. Rays series preview: Who are the Rangers?


    The road trip is done, but the Rays will still face a western team, as they tasks on the Rangers in a three-game series at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Texas before the action kicks off.

    How's the team?

    Record: 45-50, fourth in AL West

    While Texas topped the AL West in 2015 and 2016, a three-peat looks unlikely, as the club has hung around .500 this season. During their run atop the division, the Rangers were incredibly fortunate — despite a Pythagorean winning percentage of .508, they went 183-141, thanks in part to a historically great record in one-run games. This season, the luck has dried up, and so have the victories. The team's hitters can run the bases with the best of them, but they haven't produced at the plate, and the bullpen has blown the second-most saves (17) in MLB. With the trade deadline looming, some big-name stars could find themselves on the block....

    Starter Andrew Cashner has had a rude introduction to the AL.