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  1. St. Petersburg Police seek your help: Can you help identify the Ferglar?


    ST. PETERSBURG — The St. Petersburg Police Department reached out via social media Tuesday afternoon, seeking the public's help identifying the man who burgled Ferg's sports Bar and Grill and stole food and booze.

    A post on the deparment's Facebook page showed surveillance camera images of a man they said broke into the bar, 1320 Central Ave., around 11:30 p.m. Sept. 27, stealing food from a kitchen area and forcing open a cooler on a patio to take several bottles of alcohol. ...

    St. Petersburg Police released these surveillance camera images showing a man they said burgled Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill last month. [St. Petersburg Police Department]
  2. Police release photos of person of interest in Tampa strip club shooting


    TAMPA — Tampa police released pictures Tuesday of a man described as a person of interest in a fatal shooting that happened last weekend at a Tampa strip club.

    Jermaine Faison, 32, was shot early Sunday morning while sitting in a blue Maserati in the back parking lot of the Playpen strip club at 1715 N 50th St. He died at a hospital.

    Before the shooting, a man walked into the club, his image captured on surveillance cameras. The same man was with Faison inside the Maserati when the shooting happened, police said....

    Police are trying to identify this man, a person of interest in a weekend shooting. [Photos courtesy of Tampa Police]
  3. Mitchell volleyball's Kayla Widera sidelined

    Volleyball Preps

    Mitchell could be without senior middle hitter Kayla Widera for at least two weeks after she sprained her ankle in a match against East Lake on Oct. 1. Widera left the East Lake game with the Mustangs leading 2-0 and up 9-4 in the third game. Mitchell (18-2) eventually lost that game in five sets.

    "We just didn't have our rhythm without her in there," Mitchell coach Keith Paulk said. "It's just a shock to see her on the bench with a boot on her ankle. We know she will be out this week and probably next week as well. Our hope is to get her back for the Ridgewood game (Oct. 15). We're confident she'll be back sometime this season."...

    Mitchell hopes to have Kayla Widera (ankle) back in the lineup by the time the postseason starts.  (Loren Elliot | Times)
  4. Tampa man accused of illegally selling MLB pitcher's yacht


    A Tampa man accused of fraudulently selling a professional baseball player's yacht was arrested Monday and charged with grand theft and forgery, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    Anthony Acosta, 38, is suspected of selling a yacht in 2013 that belonged to then-Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo, a Hernando High School alum now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, had fired Acosta as his personal assistant in 2012, according to the FDLE. He had not given Acosta permission to sell the yacht, which was valued at $167,000 but sold for $22,000, authorities said....

  5. HART In-Towner now free to ride


    HART's In-Towner is free for downtown Tampa passengers starting this month.

    Board directors voted to remove the 25 cent fare during a Sept. 14 meeting. The trolley runs through various downtown Tampa streets from 6-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. on weekdays.

    For more information on the In-Towner and its routes and schedule, visit

  6. Judge finds former juror in Buju Banton trial guilty of contempt


    TAMPA — A federal judge found a former juror in the trial of reggae star Buju Banton guilty of contempt Thursday for researching the case outside of court.

    Judge James S. Moody ordered Terri Wright to serve five months probation, perform 40 hours of community service, and to research and write a paper on the cost to taxpayers of a six-day trial. He granted a defense attorney's request that the sentence be set aside pending the completion of an appeal....

  7. Oktoberfest season hits Tampa Bay with lots of ways to get your oompah on


    Thousands of people are expected to hoist large steins of beer at Tampa's Oktoberfest in Curtis Hixon Park this weekend. There are now nonstop Lufthansa flights between Frankfurt and Tampa. And people are beating down the doors to get into the new Hofbrauhaus in St. Petersburg.

    Ein Prosit, ein Prosit (the German toast goes), what's up with Oktoberfest fever in Tampa Bay?

    The Germans had us at beer, but the goofy games like stein races and costumes with curve-hugging bodices don't hurt either. ...

    Albert Chytil and Laurie Manzi enjoy a cold beverage after being named Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest during the 2012 festivities at Curtis Hixon Park.
  8. NBC's first sports bar may open at Universal CityWalk today


    It appears NBC is set to open its first sports bar, the NBC Sports Grill & Brew at Universal CityWalk, with a massive HD stadium screen more than 100 feet wide at the entrance.

    Steven Jayson, executive chef at Universal Orlando, posted "We are ready!" on his Twitter account, and said it would be open at 5 p.m. Tuesday, although Universal has not officially released the news.

    Taking the place where the NASCAR Sports Grille was located before it closed in November, Universal has said the eatery will be stocked with more than 100 beers and food prepared on open kettle grills. One hundred HD TV screens will play a constant stream of live sports content. ...

    . Rendering of the world's first-ever NBC Sports Grill & Brew is coming to Universal CityWalk. Opening this fall, the all-new restaurant is designed to reflect the excellence and excitement of NBC Sports' coverage.
  9. John Morgan vandalized his Morgan & Morgan billboards in search of a 'purple cow'


    Did you see the billboards around Tampa Bay in which well-known lawyer John Morgan is missing a tooth and rocking an eye patch and pirate hat?

    It looks as if someone has vandalized the billboard, with the words "Go Bucs!" and "Tampa Bay" spray painted in big red and white letters over the Morgan & Morgan law firm ad.

    But it was actually the multimillionaire Florida attorney's latest advertising ploy....

    Well-known lawyer John Morgan had his own Morgan & Morgan billboards "vandalized" so they would stand out. Photo courtesy of John Morgan.
  10. Busch Blvd. accident that killed Chamberlain High student, 17, is no surprise to nearby businesses


    TAMPA — A 17-year-old Chamberlain High student was struck and killed Tuesday morning while crossing Busch Boulevard near the school, authorities said.

    Alexis Miranda was a nontraditional student at Chamberlain, enrolled in a daytime GED course, according to Tampa police.

    She was hit about two blocks west of North Boulevard. Miranda was crossing Busch outside a crosswalk around 7:15 a.m., police said. She was walking in the center turn lane when a 1992 Cadillac that was driving in the turn lane hit her. She died at the scene....

    Alexis Miranda was a nontraditional student at Chamberlain, enrolled in a daytime GED course, according to Tampa police.
  11. Spread offenses create dread for defenses


    For two tense halves, they took turns setting efficient screens, taking high-percentage shots and ratcheting the tempo. Urgency was stoked with each possession. March Madness at its most breathtaking.

    Except for a couple of minor glitches: A closing tip supplanted the opening one, and the point total really wasn't indicative of Texas Tech-TCU hoops.

    It was higher.

    When TCU senior Aaron Green snagged a tipped pass in the back of the end zone with 23 seconds remaining, securing a 55-52 Horned Frogs triumph two Saturdays ago, the Frogs and Red Raiders formally eclipsed the combined points scored by their basketball counterparts in a 62-42 TCU triumph in January....

    TCU's Aaron Green catches a tipped ball in the end zone for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Texas Tech on Sept. 26. The 55-52 final margin rivaled scores from the schools' basketball teams. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
  12. Bubba the Love Sponge Clem admits to ratings tampering (w/video)


    TAMPA — Radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem admitted to ratings tampering charges at a news conference Tuesday.

    In a short statement to reporters, Clem admitted that he was contacted by a Nielsen ratings panelist and that he tried to influence that person's listening habits.

    "I can't tell you how humbled and embarrassed I am," Clem said after apologizing to listeners, advertisers and staff....

    Tampa Bay radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem admitted Tuesday to charges of ratings tampering. Clem, shown here at a 2013 defamation trial involving another local DJ, has been at the center of many controversies during his time in the Tampa Bay area. EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times
  13. QB Garrison Bryant, RB Adarius Lemons banged up for Clearwater


    Clearwater could be without its two biggest playmakers this week.

    Quarterback Garrison Bryant and running back Adarius Lemons were both injured and sat out the second half of last week's 17-3 win over Northeast, a key Class 6A, District 9 game.

    Bryant, a right-hander, has a deep bruise on the top of his throwing hand. The senior has had trouble gripping the ball in practice. Tornadoes coach Don Mesick said Bryant will be a game-time decision for Friday's non-district game against Gibbs....

    Clearwater High quarterback Garrison Bryant is day-to-day after injuring his throwing hand against Northeast. (Douglas R. Clifford | Times)
  14. Pinellas commissioners skeptical of Toytown proposal; critical of St. Pete City Council

    Local Government

    Of the three development proposals pitched for the former Toytown landfill site, one has been disqualified, the favorite is now drawing skepticism from county commissioners and the other isn't being given much thought at all.

    After an evaluation committee gave initial rankings to the three proposals last month, the County Commission discussed the options publicly for the first time on Tuesday, deciding to table a vote until November....

  15. Owner of dog shot during burglary in St. Petersburg: 'I want to know why'


    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Watson got a dog when neighborhood vandals broke into his backyard and killed his Koi fish.

    He had an alarm system, but friends insisted that a pet would be another deterrent to the burglars that sometimes struck around Watson's house on 15th Street S. About five years ago he picked out an 8-week-old Rhodesian Ridgeback and called him Anubis. Ever since, the 115-pound hound has been like Watson's son....

    Anubis, a 5-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, was shot in the neck during a home break-in in St. Petersburg. [Photo courtesy of St. Petersburg Police]