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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. Find a friend: Chip the retriever mix is looking for a new home

    Pets

    Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center

    Chip's perpetual smile is inspiring, especially since the innocent 2-year-old and his sister were abandoned. He's a pal for life with simple needs and is unconcerned with politics or sports rivalries. Chip is a medium-sized, purebred Florida brown dog that aims to please. Like his sibling, this 36-pound retriever mix of funshine and brown-eyed soul hopes to strike gold with a second chance for a real home. Ask for Chip by name or ID No. 26950172 at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, 440 Falkenburg Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the "First Saturday Celebration.". Find hundreds of adorable, affordable pets all fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered, licensed and microchipped. The center also is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit hillsboroughcounty.org/pets....

    Architect Chris McAllister participated in last year’s event by building a log cabin, complete with an attic.
  2. Pinellas deputies make arrests in Craigslist robbery

    Crime

    Deputies arrested two teenage brothers Friday accused of robbing people responding to Craigslist ad at gunpoint, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Taiwan Jontrell Lee, 19, of Clearwater, faces charges of felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation for several unrelated charges. Reginald Donnell Boone, 16, of Clearwater, faces charges of armed robbery and marijuana possession....

  3. ‘Game of Thrones’ recap, season 5 episode 4, Sons of the Harpy: The underdogs seek revenge

    Blog

    If you aren’t on #TeamStannis by the end of this episode you need to check yourself. After hearing Stannis’ wife complain some more about giving him a scarred daughter, we see Princess Shireen visit her father out of boredom. Instead of Stannis shooing her away, he regales her with a story about how she caught the greyscale from a poisoned doll.

    Instead of sending her off to die, Stannis demands every maester and healer he can find to save his daughter. He may be cold and cruel to his enemies (and his friends, too) but he’s the rightful heir to the throne and no one could ever doubt his love for his daughter....

    Don’t worry, Sansa, Ramsay has already fallen for you so you might be able to avoid being physically and emotionally tormented by another man you don’t want to marry.
  4. Hillsborough officials seek one voice on changes to speed up bus service

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — Hillsborough's transit agency discussed plans Monday to expand the MetroRapid bus program, which provides expedited service in more congested parts of the county.

    There's one problem: the plan is at odds with the county's ongoing Go Hillsborough initiative, which seeks to build a transportation plan that could be the backbone for a 2016 referendum.

    The HART MetroRapid program costs $1.43 million per mile to create and relies on adding traffic signal technology that gives buses priority in mixed traffic....

    Bus passenger Delwin Cole, left, talks with U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor during the Transit Town Hall sponsored by HART as they travel to north Tampa on a MetroRapid bus Thursday, April 9, 2015.  The Transit Town Hall is part of the nationwide Stand Up for Transportation Day to create awareness and support for long sustainable transportation funding that creates jobs and spurs economic activities in local communities. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times ]
  5. Police: Gangs to blame for two Saturday shootings in Tampa

    Crime

    TAMPA — A gang rivalry was to blame for a pair of shootings in the Sulphur Springs area Saturday that left one man wounded, according to Tampa police. Three men were arrested the same afternoon.

    Officers first received a call of shots being fired about 3 p.m. near some apartments at 8404 N 18th St. After interviewing witnesses, they learned that someone in a black sport utility vehicle had driven past the apartments and fired a gun from a window, police said. The shots were aimed at Lamalcodel Freeman, 18, who was described as initially not cooperative with officers....

  6. Tampa Bay area groups raise money for Nepal earthquake relief

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The first words Arjun Dahal heard about the April 25 earthquake in his home country of Nepal came from a friend.

    "Nepal is destroyed," the friend said over the phone, describing the damage to historic landmarks and the growing list of casualties.

    Dahal, 37, immediately thought of his family and spent a fearful, anxious half-hour trying to reach his brother.

    Dahal's family in Nepal — his brothers and sister, their families and his grandfather — are considered among the lucky ones. His youngest brother's house is partially damaged, and his sister's house is worse. But none of them were hurt and are in safe living conditions....

  7. Hillsborough to consider expanding civil citations for youth

    Courts

    TAMPA -- Years after Hillsborough created a civil citation program to reduce youth arrests, the county's Juvenile Justice Board will meet later this month to discuss expanding the program.

    Currently, law enforcement officers who catch people younger than 18 committing petty theft, trespassing, or several other minor offenses can issue them a civil citation rather than arresting them. But juveniles found with small amounts of marijuana for the first time have no such luck — they face misdemeanor charges and a trip to a Juvenile Assessment Center....

  8. Tampa's efforts to lead in Cuban relations get some national attention

    Blog

    The New York Times took a close look Sunday at the work of business and political leaders in Tampa to position the city as a future gateway to Cuba.

    Tampa's efforts got a compare-and-contract treatment with Miami, touching on U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's call for an end to the embargo to the welcome mat put out for a Cuban consulate to efforts to have a U.S.-Cuba signing ceremony here....

    That Tampa-Havana connection: Natalie and Shantalie Peraza walk past a mural in Ybor City last week.
  9. Sheriff's Office identifies deputy, victim involved in Spring Hill shooting

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL — The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has identified the deputy who shot a suspect during a domestic call over the weekend in Spring Hill.

    Daniel J. Snyder has been with the department since 2010 and was placed on paid administrative leave, standard in a deputy-involved shooting. The suspect in the case, Kenneth Scott Bartram, 47, was listed in stable condition Monday and faces a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, according to the Sheriff's Office....

  10. Florida Gators start search for Billy Donovan replacement

    College

    GAINESVILLE — When the Oklahoma City Thunder fired Scott Brooks on April 22, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley knew there was a good chance Billy Donovan might be leaving for that job, so he began thinking about who his next basketball coach might be.

    Donovan is leaving after 19 years in Gainesville, and it has been an emotional few days for Foley. But the time has come to put those emotions aside and begin the task of finding Donovan's successor....

  11. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 4-10

    Events

    Cinco de Mayo: It's a low-level Mexican holiday on Tuesday, but in Dunedin, there's a street festival and dance party starting at 4 p.m. in front of Casa Tina, 365 Main St. And in St. Petersburg, Pale Horse Lucha will have a wrestling and arts experience at Nova 535 to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. $15 online, $20 at the door. palehorselucha.com.

    Beauty and the Beast: The Disney musical returns Tuesday through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. $46-$120. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org. ...

    Times (2013)
  12. Spoto High readies for Run For Tyra 5K fundraiser

    K12

    Spoto High School will host Run for Tyra, a special 5K fundraiser for senior Tyra Janelle Brown from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the school.

    Brown, who already had been accepted to the University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and the University of Tampa, suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident on the Selmon Expressway Jan. 11. Brown currently resides at Atlanta's Shephard Center, one of the nation's top hospitals for spinal cord and brain injuries....

  13. Photo: Fire forces Dunedin couple out of their home

    Fire

    Ken Mayer looks for his keys Monday after his mobile home was gutted by fire the night before, displacing him and his wife, Linda Mayer. Ken said investigators determined a night light shorted out in a linen closet in their bathroom, sparking a fire that destroyed the structure around 12:50 a.m. Monday. According to Dunedin Fire Department reports, firefighters were able to put the fire out by 1:34 a.m., but the structure was already gutted. Mayer said he and his wife have lived there for 4 years, and that he had just refinished the entire place with cedar and cypress. "This was the best-looking trailer in the park," Ken Mayer said. Although the couple are shareholders in the land and own the trailer in the resident-owned Countryside Estates mobile home park, they've been displaced with their cockatiel Angel. They don't have insurance and survive on Social Security and disability benefits....

    Ken Mayer looks for his keys on Monday in his Dunedin mobile home, which was gutted by fire the night before. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  14. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 5

    Events

    Cinco de Mayo: Lots of Mexican-themed parties all over the area today, including a street festival in Dunedin. 4 p.m., Casa Tina Gourmet Mexican & Vegetarian, 365 Main St., Dunedin.

    Cinco de Give-O: Cinco de Mayo and Give Day Tampa Bay combine in this party at Ferg's with a mustache contest, games, prizes, live music and drink specials. Buy a bucket of Corona, Corona Light or Negra Modelo and $1 benefits the Animal Coalition of Tampa. 2 p.m., Ferg's Live, 490 Channelside Drive, Tampa. No cover. (813) 443-8403; .fergslive.com....

  15. Man accused of raping Brandon woman less than a day after prison release

    Crime

    BRANDON — A man who left state prison on Friday was back in jail Saturday, accused of sexually assaulting a Brandon woman who had given him a place to stay.

    Ryan Wesley Reese was the subject of a brief manhunt Saturday after the woman escaped and notified authorities. He was arrested on sexual battery and kidnapping charges.

    Reese, 39, was released from prison Friday after serving eight months for a probation violation. It was the latest in a lengthy string of prison stints that Reese has served over the years for convictions ranging from burglary and grand theft to false imprisonment and intimidating a witness....