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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

Hillsborough County/Tampa: 813-226-3303

North Pinellas County: 727-445-4221

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. Live video: Gov. Rick Scott delivers annual State of the State address

    Blog

    A live video stream from the Capitol building in Tallahassee:

     

  2. School testing falters for a second day in Hillsborough

    Testing

    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....

  3. On election day, a matter of perspective

    Blog

    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 Mayor Bob Buckhorn gestures as he talks with voter Laurence Salkin, a water taxi operator known around town as "Capt. Larry," and Jim Porter, a volunteer for Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, after voting Tuesday morning at the Marjorie Park Marina on Davis Islands.
  4. Hillsborough School Board could make Eakins a job offer today — or not

    K12

    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....

  5. Tampa Election Day by the numbers

    Blog

    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...

  6. Polls open for Tampa elections

    Elections

    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."...

    Campaign signs outside the polling place for Precinct 123 at the Tampa Garden Club early Tuesday morning. [SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times]
  7. Tuesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball, spring training
    Pirates at Blue Jays1 p.m.MLB
    College basketball
    Iowa at Indiana7 p.m.ESPN
    North Carolina at Georgia Tech7 p.m.ESPNU
    Mississippi at Alabama7 p.m.SEC
    Georgetown at Butler7 p.m.FS1
    Rhode Island at Dayton7 p.m.CBSSN
    Maryland at Rutgers7 p.m.Big Ten
    Texas A&M at Florida9 p.m.ESPNU; 620-AM
    Kentucky at Georgia9 p.m.ESPN
    West Virginia at Kansas9 p.m.ESPN2
    Auburn at Missouri9 p.m.SEC
    North Carolina State at Clemson9 p.m.Sun Sports
    Villanova at Creighton9 p.m.FS1
    Michigan at Northwestern9 p.m.Big Ten
    NBA
    Rockets at Hawks7:30 p.m.NBA
    NHL
    Sabres at Lightning7:30 p.m.NBCSN; 970-AM
    Soccer
    EPL: West Brom at Aston Villa2:30 p.m.NBCSN
    CONCACAF U-17 championship: Mexico vs. St. Lucia6 p.m.FS2
    Mexican Cup: Atlante at Merida8 p.m.ESPND
    CONCACAF Champions League: Pachuca at Montreal8 p.m.FS2, Galavision
    Mexican Cup: Queretaro at Santos10 p.m.ESPND
    ...

  8. Police: Suspect escapes after armed robbery at Pasco restaurant

    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."...

  9. 'The Hunting Ground' puts a face on Jameis Winston's accuser

    College

    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....

    FSU star Jameis Winston was never charged after three separate investigations. But two of them didn’t fully vindicate him, either, at least not in the eyes of some.
  10. Lightning acquires Braydon Coburn; trades Radko Gudas, Brett Connolly

    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."...

    The price for Braydon Coburn, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound left-shot defenseman, was steep, Tampa Bay giving up injured defenseman Radko Gudas along with first and third round picks in 2015. [AP photo]
  11. Tampa elections and Cuban sandwiches make for a campaign issue to chew on

    Local

    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."...

    The Cuban sandwich pictured on City Council member Mike Suarez's campaign mailer includes lettuce and tomatoes, but Suarez said he's not trying to take a side.  (03/02/2015)
  12. Rays' Alex Cobb eager to pitch in competitive games

    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."...

    Alex Cobb is tired of throwing bullpen sessions and batting practice and wants to get into a game.
  13. Lightning-Sabres preview capsule

    Lightning Strikes

    The price for Braydon Coburn, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound left-shot defenseman, was steep, Tampa Bay giving up injured defenseman Radko Gudas along with first and third round picks in 2015. [AP photo]
  14. USF women end best regular season ever with loss to No. 1 UConn

    College

    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....

    Courtney Williams, shooting over Morgan Tuck, scores 26 to lead the Bulls.
  15. Police investigate fatal shooting at Tampa Hope Food Mart

    Crime

    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. ...