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  1. Democratic candidates say they have the right experience for Pinellas District 67


    With all the money in politics, does anyone represent the regular guy?

    The three Democratic candidates in the House District 67 race all say they would, and each claims the perspective comes from working-class roots.

    Thomas Ryan works at a dairy, was happy when his salary got into the $30,000 range, and said "I think I'd be a voice for the poorer people, for the people who really struggle."...

  2. Monday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    Padres at BravesnoonMLB
    Brewers at Rays7 p.m.Sun Sports; 620-AM
    Nationals at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Blue Jays at Red Sox7 p.m.ESPN
    MLS: Seattle at Los Angeles10 p.m.ESPN2, ESPND
    National Pro Fastpitch: Chicago at Pennsylvania7 p.m.CBSSN
    ATP: Citi Open4 p.m.Tennis

  3. VA did not reveal all veterans' cancer numbers to Congress


    The Department of Veterans Affairs gave Congress a "fact sheet" in April listing the number of patients seriously harmed by long delays in receiving a gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis at VA hospitals across the nation.

    It said 76 veterans nationally were harmed by such delays. Of those, 23 died, the VA said.

    At the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Seminole, two patients were harmed but survived, the fact sheet said....

    The C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Seminole decided to report to Congress only cases where it determined veterans were seriously harmed by delays in receiving consultation for gastro-intestinal cancer.
  4. Tampa native Tony La Russa inducted into National Baseball Hall of Fame



    Tony La Russa was doing okay until Sunday afternoon, when he gathered in a room at the Otesaga Hotel with 44 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame whom he and the five other new electees were to soon join.

    "All of a sudden you start feeling a little differently," he said.

    Worse, when they boarded a bus for the short ride to the induction ceremony site, and again when they turned into the Clark Sports Center and saw nearly 50,000 fans stretched as far as you could see....

    “Thanks for being here,” Tony La Russa said of his friends and family from Tampa during his Baseball Hall of Fame speech Sunday at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.
  5. Bucs nickel back Leonard Johnson won't let himself relax


    TAMPA — Leonard Johnson does not think of himself as the Bucs' starting nickel back.

    Especially with the release last week of veteran D.J. Moore, Johnson could have the confidence of being the man to beat at nickel — a job he held last season — but he does not allow himself to presume anything.

    "It's not even on my mind," said the Largo High graduate, who had 41 tackles two years ago after making the roster as an undrafted rookie out of Iowa State. "Everybody in this league is good. You let one guy go, but there's 89 other guys on the team; everybody just fighting for a roster spot."...

    Third corner Leonard Johnson played on 65 percent of the defensive snaps last season.
  6. Rays: Bucs great Derrick Brooks on hand

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Brewers

    When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

    Tickets: $11-200, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Jake Odorizzi (6-8, 3.97)

    BREWERS: RH Kyle Lohse (11-4, 3.07)...

    MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23:  Kyle Lohse #26 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait on photo day at the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training Complex in Maryvale, Arizona on February 23, 2014. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
  7. Bucs put on pads for the first time


    TAMPA — Bucs LT Anthony Collins knows offseason workouts are important for conditioning and learning new offensive and defensive schemes. But it doesn't resemble what happens in the NFL during fall Sundays.

    "The first day of pads is really the first day of football," Collins said.

    So training camp really kicked off Sunday as the pads came on and there was full contact — at least for those in the trenches. Overall, the defense probably got the upper hand as the offense made its share of plays but left too many footballs on the ground....

    Feeling good: Running back Doug Martin, who sustained a season-ending torn labrum on Oct. 20, tries to elude safety Mark Barron. “My shoulder is still intact,” Martin says after practice.
  8. Joe Torre honors Don Zimmer in Hall of Fame speech

    The Heater

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Joe Torre had plenty of people to thank during his Sunday Hall of Fame induction speech. And despite going on for nearly 30 minutes, he didn't get to them all, including the very large omission of former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, for which he quickly apologized afterward.

    But Torre had very kind words for Don Zimmer, his former Yankees bench coach and the Rays senior adviser who died last month....

    New Hall of Famer Joe Torre says that the late Don Zimmer “made me the manager that I turned into.”
  9. Derrick Brooks' greatness started in Pensacola



    Derrick Brooks was only a sophomore when Jimmie Nichols first realized how special Brooks could be.

    The longtime Panhandle high school football coach had seen that kind of talent, charisma and determination only once before, when Emmitt Smith began his run toward the Hall of Fame. Two years later, Nichols knew he had another once-in-a-lifetime player.

    "After being around Emmitt, you kind of get the feeling that this guy's special. There's something special here, and he's going to do special things," Nichols said. "And he did. Over and over and over and over."...

    Derrick Brooks helped lead Pensacola Washington High to the Class 5A state semifinals as a junior.
  10. Ripple effect of Lifeline indictments in Tampa felt at El Salvador call center


    TAMPA — Workers at a call center in Santa Ana, El Salvador, remember visits from their rich American boss. The phone company owner would arrive in a motorcade, like a president, flanked by gun-waving guards.

    "He thanked us for making him a millionaire," said employee Wilbert Perez-Velasquez, 40.

    The U.S. Justice Department has another explanation for the wealth of Kevin Brian Cox, 38. He is one of three men accused in May of defrauding the federal Lifeline phone program of $32.4 million by exaggerating how many customers qualified for a subsidy because they were poor....

    Wilbert Perez-Velasquez is among 75 employees at a call center in Santa Ana, El Salvador, who were still working when it was shut down earlier this month. The company’s U.S. owner has been accused of cheating a federal phone subsidy program.
  11. Bucs: Autographs for kids, Special Olympics


    Signings of the times

    Lovie Smith knows the Bucs haven't given their fans much to cheer about over the past couple of seasons.

    "It's important for us to interact with our fan base and let them see us," he said.

    That's why players continue to sign autographs after practice. But a wrinkle to that tradition is a new area exclusively for kids to get autographs and get close to players....

  12. Rays-Brewers preview

    The Heater

    . UP NEXT

    vs. Brewers


    What's new: The Brewers have led the NL Central every day since April 5 thanks to a solid offense. They are second in the league in runs (464) and home runs (108). C Jonathan Lucroy is sixth in the league with a .310 batting average and leads the NL with a .349 average on the road. Ryan Braun is averaging an RBI every 5.5 at-bats, tops in the league. Francisco Rodriguez has closed out 30 of his 34 save opportunities and is third in the NL in saves. Milwaukee is 9-6 in interleague games this year....

  13. Rays manager Maddon happy with series win over Red Sox

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — With the Rays' nine-game winning streak over, manager Joe Maddon was quick to point out that the Rays accomplished their main objective toward a meaningful September: Taking two of three games against the Red Sox.

    "Don't forget that the goal was to win the series," Maddon said, "and we won the series once again."

    The franchise had won nine games in a row only once before, earning 12 consecutive victories in June 2004. The Rays were trying to become the sixth team in the past 25 years to have a 10-game winning streak and a 10-game losing streak in the same season....

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jake McGee (57) gets a high five from manager Joe Maddon (70) after striking out Boston Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt (26) to end the Boston Red Sox at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 25, 2014.
  14. On Craigslist, even warning posts have something to hide

    Human Interest

    The "please read before hiring" warnings litter the ads on the local ride-share page on Craigslist.

    "Warning dangerous felon," one reads. "Predator/stalker … scammer Thomas (Beware ladies)," another says.

    Most messages on the Tampa Bay area of the site warn of two men — Thomas Lieupo, 38, and Paul Gordon, 45 — and use nearly identical language to say the men have been arrested in Hillsborough County for "rape and molesting girls." The posts include the men's phone numbers and mug shots....

  15. Top things to do in Tampa Bay the week of July 28-Aug. 3


    Comic Con: Unleash your inner fanboy and fangirl with stars including Evan Peters (pictured) John Rhys-Davies, Richard Madden and Caity Lotz, plus comics, videos and action figures from anime to Star Wars Friday-Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center. $30, $60 three days, 12 and under free. (610) 570-4273.

    Tampapalooza: Celebrate just how awesome our area is with local bands, food, craft beer, vendors and children's activities Saturday and Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Best of all: It's free! (813) 455-2418....

    AMERICAN HORROR STORY Spilt Milk -- Episode 211 (Airs Wednesday, January 9, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: Evan Peters as Kit Walker -- CR: Byron Cohen/FX