01/28/15 TV and Radio
College basketball Maryland at Ohio State 7 p.m. ESPN Dayton at UMass 7 p.m. ESPNU Western Kentucky at La. Tech 7 p.m. CBSSN Women: Tennessee at Kentucky 7 p.m. SEC Women: Oklahoma at Texas 7 p.m. FS1 Women: Rutgers at Purdue 7 p.m. Big Ten Connecticut at Cincinnati 8 p.m. ESPN2 Kentucky at Missouri 9 p.m. ESPN; 620-AM Eastern Kentucky at Murray State 9 p.m. ESPNU UAB at UTEP 9 p.m. CBSSN Women: Mississippi at LSU 9 p.m. SEC Women: Ohio State at Wisconsin 9 p.m. Big Ten Colorado at USC 9:30 p.m. FS1 Utah at UCLA 10 p.m. ESPN2 San Francisco at BYU 11 p.m. ESPNU Golf PGA Europe: Dubai Desert Classic 5:30 a.m. Golf LPGA: Coates Championship 11 a.m. Golf PGA: Phoenix Open 3 p.m. Golf NBA Bucks at Magic 7 p.m. FSF Nuggets at Grizzlies 8 p.m. TNT Bulls at Lakers 10:30 p.m. TNT NHL Canadiens at Rangers 7 p.m. NBCSN Red Wings at Lightning 7:30 p.m. Sun Sports; 970-AM Ducks at Sharks 10 p.m. NBCSN Tennis Australian Open (taped) 2 p.m. ESPN2 Australian Open 6 p.m. Tennis Australian Open 3:30 a.m. ESPN
Four different fires in Polk, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties are producing unpredictable volumes of smoke and drivers could encounter low-visibility on the roads, the Florida Highway Patrol said Wednesday night.
Drivers who encounter smokescreens should slow down and distance themselves from the car in front of them, FHP said, and anyone choosing to stop should pull over completely. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks ago, Lakewood was floundering at 7-8 after losing to Bradenton Southeast and ultimately dropping to the No. 2 seed in the Class 5A, District 10 tournament.
Now, the Spartans are the hottest team in Pinellas County with nine straight wins after beating Bradenton Bayshore 50-44 in Wednesday's district semifinals. Lakewood (16-8) gets the chance to exact revenge against No. 1 seed Bradenton Southeast in Friday's championship game. The Seminoles advanced with a 52-36 win....
TAMPA — Armwood had its ticket to the Class 6, District 9 championship game all but punched as soon as it was matched up with King for Wednesday's semifinal. The first two times the Hawks and Lions met, Armwood won by at least 30 points.
The Lions proved Wednesday, however, exactly why the game still must be played.
Led by senior guard Arielle Allen, King stepped up in the fourth quarter to take back the lead and played sound defense to knock off the Hawks 49-44. The win earned King a spot in the championship game against Hillsborough and its first region playoff berth since 2007-08....
TAMPA — Six hours before USF's tipoff Wednesday night against SMU, the school issued a 16-word news release announcing that Bulls power forward Chris Perry will be out indefinitely with an unspecified "health issue."
The ensuing memo about the season fading to a dimmer hue of bleakness as a result? Perry's teammates never got that one.
In arguably their grittiest effort of the year, the shorthanded Bulls burst to an early seven-point lead and remained within striking distance down the stretch before falling 63-52....
LARA CERRI | Times
An aerial salute commemorates the 35th anniversary of the Coast Guard cutter Blackthorn tragedy. On Wednesday, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg and surrounding units honored the 23 shipmates who were lost when Blackthorn sank after colliding with the tanker Capricorn near the Sunshine Skyway on Jan. 28, 1980. Blackthorn lost 23 of its 50 crew members in the Coast Guard's worst peacetime disaster. During the ceremony, the names of the fallen crew members were read. A memorial inscribed with those names stands 2 miles north of the collision site at Blackthorn Memorial Park, where roses bearing the name of each fallen shipmate was laid....
PHOENIX —- Tom Brady's eyes watered and he had the sniffles, wiping his nose on his shirt during Wednesday morning's Super Bowl media session. An emotional reaction to accusations of deflating footballs?
No, Brady simply has a cold.
"I've had it for four or five days," the Patriots quarterback said. "My kids got sick, and my wife (model Gisele Bundchen) is pretty sick right now. I brought it unfortunately to Phoenix, but I'll be fine. I'll be good. I'll be 100 percent. I'm not worried about it at all."...
CLEARWATER — He had a tough childhood. His father, a commercial fisherman, was lost at sea when he was just 11. He was placed in foster care.
At age 16, he moved to Pinellas County, where he eventually started a wholesale fish business. Then he opened a restaurant. Then another. Then another. Then another.
Along the way, he got seriously involved in his community. So, on Wednesday night, restaurateur Frank Chivas was named "Mr. Clearwater" at the 93rd annual meeting of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce....
01/28/15 Music & Concerts
Women of a certain age saw Grease at least 20 times when they were in middle school and wore leg warmers to Jazzercize class as Physical pumped from a boom box — and now their own daughters are doing pretty much the same thing.
After 50 years in show business, Olivia Newton-John still finds new young fans in her audience, with kids singing along to Grease tunes or arriving in headbands after seeing her do a hilarious remix of Physical on Glee. ...
01/28/15 Local Government
So much for the economic recovery producing a government revenue windfall.
At the kickoff to their annual budget season last week, Pasco commissioners heard that nearly 30 percent of the new money expected from a rebounding tax roll already has been committed.
It's a byproduct of the 2011 ordinance that eliminated transportation impact fees and replaced them with less expensive mobility fees to lure employment centers and to drive residential growth into the western and southern tiers of the county....
Sometimes high school athletes agonize over where to play in college. And sometimes, it's a pretty easy choice. Mitchell High School's Lawrence Watt falls into the latter category.
"When I went through my official visit (at Saint Leo University), they really made me feel like family," said Watt, a senior basketball player. "They made me feel like I was wanted there. It felt like a place I could prosper at and do well for four years." ...
Fundraiser for family whose house burned
There's a fundraiser to benefit Lewis and Diane Riggleman from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in City Park, 12202 Main St.
The Rigglemans' home in Dade City was damaged in a fire last month, and the family did not have homeowners insurance.
Friends and neighbors have planned the fundraiser, which will feature live music, food, a silent auction, a basket raffle and a bounce house for kids. Admission is free. ...
LAND O'LAKES — While Lori Ellis worked as a registered nurse in the 1990s, a lot of her colleagues studied skin care so they could assist doctors who conducted skin-related cosmetic procedures.
At first, she had no interest. But she decided to study it anyway. What she learned resulted in the business she started in 1999: Healing Touch Skin Care and Wellness Center.
"Our skin is our largest organ; it takes a lot of abuse," said Ellis, 54, who maintains her nursing license but is now a medical aesthetician....
ST. PETERSBURG — Though Florida's incoming House speaker appeared Wednesday to squash Medicaid expansion for a third year in a row, supporters of a new plan to extend health coverage to the working poor say they believe events are lining up in their favor.
Bruce Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association, noted at the Bay Area Mayors Conference on Wednesday that the business community, including the powerful Florida Chamber of Commerce, has now mobilized to support covering nearly 800,000 uninsured adults....
The Pasco County School District's effort to attract and retain more substitute teachers has begun to work.
At the start of the year, the district had 675 instructional and non-instructional substitutes on file. Now, it has 1,003, of which 872 are instructional.
But it's not necessarily for the reasons you might imagine.
The district didn't increase its pay, as some educators have recommended. It didn't hire a temporary employment firm, as other districts have done....