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You can also call one of our county news bureaus directly:

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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. Tampa Bay lands cover of state's LGBT travel guide

    Tourism

    Two men, hand in hand, walk down a nighttime street, their path illuminated by a bright movie marquee sign. This glossy shot is the cover of the state's new LGBT Getaway Guide, which will reach some 225,000 potential tourists across the United States.

    But the romantic pic wasn't snapped in South Beach or Miami, cities that have long held sway as tolerant, and fun and sunny, places for gay vacationers....

  2. Tampa-Cuba trade and tourism ties hindered by embargo, confusion

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — The bay area's appetite for tourism and trade with Cuba was stoked after the Obama administration relaxed some travel restrictions to the island nation in January.

    But that interest is still stymied by red tape, confusion and the 53-year-old U.S. embargo of Cuba.

    "I'm still seeing a lot of questions," said ABC Charters Inc. President Tessie Aral, who charters three flights a week to Cuba from Tampa International Airport....

  3. Easy weeknight meals: Asparagus Fettuccine with Lemon and Pepper and more

    Cooking

    Mon | Meatless meal

    Asparagus Fettuccine With Lemon and Pepper (recipe below) is a fitting recipe to celebrate spring. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I'd be tempted to add some big shaves of Asiago or crumbles of goat cheese.

    Tues | Refreshing

    As the weather turns warmer, we tend to lighten up our menus. Curried Shrimp Salad from the April issue of Food & Wine is a perfect dish for spring and summer. Make the dressing first by whisking ¼ cup each lime juice and canola oil with 2 tablespoons green curry paste. Add 1 pound cooked shrimp, 8 ounces mixed lettuces (about 8 cups), ½ cup each cilantro leaves and chopped mint, 1 cup sliced carrot and ½ cup sliced red onion. Season with salt and toss. Top with chopped peanuts....

  4. #CookClub bonus: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

    Cooking

    Sometimes simple recipes are the best. And this Scalloped Potatoes and Ham recipe fits that description.

    It's not what anyone would call "gourmet," but when the family gathers for Easter brunch it'll probably be the first offering gobbled up. Potatoes, ham and cheese? What's not to like about this #CookClub bonus recipe?

    I was inspired to noodle a bit with the original recipe in Sherry Gore's Simply Delicious Amish Cooking (Zondervan, 2013) to make it a bit more solid by reducing some of the liquid. On a plate with a lot of tastes, which is typical of a brunch, I don't want my foods running into each other. ...

    Scalloped Ham and Potatoes is a good offering for a spring or Easter brunch.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for March 31

    Events

    Game of Thrones Sneak Peek: University of South Florida students get a pre-screening of the Season 5 premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones, preceded by a costume contest, photo booth, live foam fight and prizes. The screening is at 8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa.

    National Geographic Live: This popular speaker series at the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall brings photojournalist Jim Richardson to talk about his work traveling the world for National Geographic. $25. 7 p.m. Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa...

  6. Deputies investigating after man shot Saturday in north Tampa

    Crime

    TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a man who was found shot Saturday night near his north Tampa home.

    Robert W. Smith, 43, was found about 10:47 p.m. lying near his apartment at 1514 138th Ave., authorities said. He had a single gunshot wound to his body.

    No arrests had been made as of Monday morning. Sheriff's officials released few other details as the shooting remained under investigation....

  7. Police: Three teens rescued from overturned boat in Tampa Bay

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Three 15-year-olds were rescued from an overturned boat off Bayshore Boulevard Sunday evening, according to the Tampa Police Department.

    They were found clinging to the side of the boat about one mile south of MacDill Air Force Base, police said.

    Authorities took them ashore safely without injuries at about 6 p.m.

    Three 15-year-olds were rescued Sunday night when they were found clinging to the side of an overturned boat about a mile south of MacDill Air Force Base, police said Monday. [Tampa Police Department]
  8. Authorities seek help finding robbers who tried to hold up USF party

    Crime

    TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies are searching for two men they believed tried to rob several University of South Florida students at gunpoint during a party March 27.

    One man was hosting some of his fraternity brothers and a few other students at a condo complex on Sunridge Palms Drive about 3:50 a.m., authorities said. He told investigators he heard a knock on the door and opened it, assuming it was more friends coming to the party....

  9. Florida Highway patrol: Eight dead in Glades County church van crash

    Accidents

    A church van crashed shortly after midnight on State Road 78 in Glades County, plunging into a canal and killing eight of the 18 people inside, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    The crash occurred about 12:31 a.m. at the U.S. 27 intersection west of Lake Okeechobee. Troopers said the van apparently traveled eastbound through a stop sign before reaching the canal.

    "They didn't see that stop sign. They shot right through it," Glades County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Duane Pottorff said. ...

    Workers pull a van out of a canal Monday morning at the intersection of U.S. 27 and State Road 78 W near Moore Haven. Eight people were killed and 10 injured when the church van ran through a stop sign, crossed all four lanes of a rural highway and crashed into in a canal. [Associated Press]
  10. Things to do in Tampa Bay, March 30-April 5

    Events

    George Lopez: One of comedy's best standup performers takes the stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Saturday. $54.50-$65.

    NCAA Women's Final Four: Celebrate the tournament being in Tampa at a party Friday at the Sail Pavilion on Tampa's Riverwalk with food trucks and a 9 p.m. fireworks show.

    Shen Yun: Classically trained dancers and a full orchestra perform at the Mahaffey Theater at 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. Price: $50.50-$202.50....

    Anderson
  11. Monday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball, spring training
    Marlins at Mets1 p.m.MLB
    Giants at Cubs4 p.m.MLB
    Twins at Red Sox7 p.m.MLB
    College basketball
    CBI final: La. Monroe at Loyola Chicago, Game 1 of three-game series8 p.m.CBSSN
    College basketball, Women's NCAA
    Albany Region final: Connecticut vs. Dayton7 p.m.ESPN
    Spokane Region final: Maryland vs. Tennessee9:15 p.m.ESPN
    College softball
    Georgia at Tennessee7 p.m.SEC
    High school basketball
    Powerade Jamfest8 p.m.ESPN2
    NBA
    Rockets at Raptors7:30 p.m.NBA
    Suns at Trail Blazers10 p.m.NBA
    NHL
    Lightning at Canadiens7:30 p.m.Sun Sports; 970-AM
    Kings at Blackhawks8:30 p.m.NBCSN
    Tennis
    Miami Open11 a.m.Tennis
    Miami Open10 p.m.Tennis
    ...

  12. Taylor Swift and Hillsborough taxpayers may benefit from Halloween show

    Local Government

    TAMPA — One of the most unusual government gambles of late: Whether tweens and teens will forgo trick-or-treating to go see Taylor Swift at Raymond James Stadium.

    The Tampa Sports Authority, four years into a plan to make more revenue by turning concert promoter, has put $2.75 million on the line: The guarantee it offered to land a date — Halloween night — on Swift's "1989 World Tour." So far, signs look good the bet will pay off. Swift's latest album is a hit, and ticket sales are climbing toward TSA's break-even point. But there's no predicting the weather, or some other act of God....

  13. Kanaan plays spoiler role at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Auto racing

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon are frequent contenders at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

    They're the only drivers to compete in all 11 IndyCar races here and account for a combined four runnerup finishes on the downtown streets.

    What they lack, still, is a victory in St. Petersburg.

    Kanaan finished third Sunday behind Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. It was Kanaan's sixth podium (top-three run) in St. Petersburg....

  14. Tampa man dies in motorcycle crash

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A man died Sunday evening when he lost control of his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 301 and crashed, authorities said.

    Charly Crespo-Parron, 18, of Tampa was riding north on U.S. 301 at a high rate of speed when he lost control and flipped the motorcycle several times before crashing into a utility pole on the east side of the highway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Crespo-Parron was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene....

  15. Debris on track causes problems at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

    Auto racing

    ST. PETERSBURG — The season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was only a lap in when fans got a view of a sight they should probably get used to seeing throughout the IndyCar Series season.

    Debris.

    "Amazing the amount of stuff that fell off," runner-up and pole-sitter Will Power said. "Rabbit ears lying all around the track. It was just everywhere, right?"

    The reason for the cars' carnage was because of the aero kits that debuted Sunday....

    Marco Andretti’s car needs a front wing change after getting damaged by debris that continually littered the track.