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  1. Tampa Day School principal arrested after authorities say he molested a student

    Crime

    A Tampa Day School principal was arrested Thursday after authorities said he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old male student he had befriended, according to an arrest report.

    James Jerome Larkin, 63, of Tampa, the middle school principal at Tampa Day School, was charged with lewd or lascivious molestation on a child 12 or older, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office report said.

    According to the arrest report, Larkin befriended the student and acted as a surrogate father for him, accompanying the child on recreational activities. Larkin babysat the boy and his siblings while the student's mother was out of town March 7, the report said. ...

  2. District softball roundup: East Lake regains stride at right time

    Softballpreps

    PINELLAS PARK — East Lake decided it would not go quietly for the rest of the season.

    In Thursday's Class 7A, District 9 title game, the Eagles pitched, hit and darted around the bases. The team that struggled for traction through a miserable late regular-season stretch against district opponents regained its grip with a 8-7 victory over rival Countryside.

    "I'm so proud of the way the team came back and played well the last few games," East Lake coach Kristie Delk said....

    East Lake’s Diana Rayder, right, gets Countryside’s Keeley Mayers out at home during the Eagles’ 8-7 victory.
  3. Good Friday and Easter openings, closings

    Briefs

    Government offices:

    Federal offices and federal courts will be open today.

    Pinellas County government will be open today.

    Clearwater government will be open today.

    St. Petersburg government will be open today.

    Schools:

    All Pinellas County Public Schools are closed today for a school-based Professional Development Day.

    Eckerd College is closed today...

  4. Rays: Maddon (Bayshore), Jeter (Davis Islands) have view of each other

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Yankees

    When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tickets: $18-$275, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: LHP Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00)

    YANKEES: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86)...

  5. Jeter makes farewell appearance against Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was Derek Jeter's last, first appearance of the season at Tropicana Field on Thursday as the Yankees captain takes his farewell tour. He received a standing ovation from many in the crowd as he walked to the batter's box. But before reaching the plate, he already was home.

    Jeter, 39, has a 38,000-square-foot mansion on Davis Islands, and playing the Rays 19 times per season in the AL East, he has many admirers among Tampa Bay coaches and players....

    Derek Jeter singles in the second inning, going 2-for-4 in his first appearance at Tropicana Field during his final season.
  6. Track roundup: Friends, not foes, boost Plant girls

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    RIVERVIEW — Anna Montgomery and Bailey Sullivan are best friends who train side-by-side for every race. And in Thursday's Class 4A, District 7 meet, the duo's inseparability earned the Plant girls a championship.

    Newsome led Plant most of the meet until Montgomery and Sullivan finished first and second, respectively, in the 3,200 meters, crossing the finish just nine-hundredths of a second apart. Plant freshman Laura Jones finished third. ...

  7. Jon Cooper: Game 1 worse on review

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Cedric Paquette was of two minds after Wednesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

    The Lightning rookie center wanted to forget his defensive blunder that led to the winning goal.

    "I tried to think about anything else," he said Thursday.

    At the same time, "it's a play you have to remember because you don't want to make it again."...

    With the Lightning’s Cedric Paquette, third from right, out of position, the Canadiens’ Dale Weise, far right, scores the Game 1 winner in overtime.
  8. District softball roundup: First title a bright spot for Jefferson

    Softballpreps

    As far as 10-year coach Eve Soto-Suarez knows, Jefferson went into Thursday's final having never won a district championship. But against Chamberlain in the 6A-9 final at Blake, Jefferson took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning and pitcher Nikki Lopez held on to deliver the first title in school history.

    The Chiefs (20-3, 13-2) scored their only run in the third inning before two hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Dragons (14-6, 13-2) in the fourth. That's when Justine Fernandez hit a two-run double, which gave Jefferson a lead it never relinquished. ...

  9. Yankees pound David Price and Rays, turn triple play

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Say this for the Rays batters — and maybe for the entire ballclub at this early stage of the season — it felt like they hit something Thursday night against the Yankees.

    Rock bottom.

    After watching ace David Price get ambushed for four runs and three extra-base hits in the first 11 batters, the Rays then did something that crystallized their recent struggles when Sean Rodriguez hit into an around-the-horn triple play....

    Logan Forsythe slides home ahead of Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia’s tag to score the Rays’ first run on a passed ball in the fourth inning.
  10. State tennis: Canterbury's Holvoet plays through pain, claims title

    Tennis Preps

    CASSELBERRY — Canterbury's Evan Holvoet wasn't sure he could make it to the Class A individual state tournament. In the district final, he faced Shorecrest's Peter Litsky, whom he had never beaten.

    Holvoet broke through and carried the momentum into this week's state tournament. The unseeded senior had to win four matches to earn the first-place medal. In the final Thursday at Red Bug Lake Park, he defeated Miami Country Day's Shaun Berman 7-5, 6-1....

    Evan Holvoet
  11. Did people of faith do more to end slavery than the federal government?

    National

    Historians study the past so they can understand it. But when pundits start talking history, you can bet that they are likely using the past to talk about the present.

    A new book by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., features his conversations with average Americans about the country's founding principles. DeMint now heads the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank and advocacy group....

    DeMint said “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.”
  12. St. Petersburg officials weren't aware of payment promised to film festival

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Organizers of the city's inaugural and much-anticipated BLUE Ocean Film Festival were looking for more than just a nice proclamation when they went before the City Council last week.

    They also were expecting a check.

    Unbeknownst to current city leaders, the last administration promised more than just the use of some city facilities for the festival, considered one of the world's largest environmental documentary film events....

    “This is a unique event. … It’s a really big deal,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said of the BLUE Ocean film festival.
  13. State tennis: Tampa Prep's Leavy falters in Class A final

    Tennis Preps

    CASSELBERRY — While Tampa Prep's hopes of a girls team championship ended Wednesday, it had two players alive for Class A individual titles Thursday at Red Bug Lake Park.

    In the No. 1 singles final, Paige Leavy lost 6-2, 6-4 to Allegra Hanlon of Miami Ransom Everglades.

    "I know it's kind of a cliche, but it really was a closer match than the score makes it look," Tampa Prep coach Chris Cary said. ...

  14. Q&A: Daylight saving time, Russia, the 1 percent

    Human Interest

    Why we spring ahead

    Why do we change to daylight- saving time in the United States before spring actually begins, whereas in Europe they do it 10 days after? Are we more advanced in our calculations?

    The start of daylight saving time (DST) in the United States was moved up about one month as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. That extended DST from early March to late October, instead of early April to late October. One of the purposes of extending DST was to cut energy usage, figuring that if days are longer, Americans will use less power to light their houses at night. Researchers have found, however, that longer days have increased the demands on cooling homes during summer months....

  15. Deputies: Man suffocated 1-year-old son so he could play video games

    Crime

    Citrus County sheriff's detectives have arrested a man on charges that he suffocated his crying 1-old-year old son so he could continue to play video games.

    Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, of Homosassa, was arrested Thursday on charges of third-degree murder and willful child neglect. He was jailed without bail.

    Sheriff's officials said rescuers were sent to Wygant's home Thursday morning because of a report of a child not breathing, The boy, Daymeon Wygant, was taken to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead....