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  1. Foreclosures 'overwhelmed' Hernando clerk's office before logjam broke

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — When Don Barbee took the reins last year as Hernando County clerk of the court, he inherited a huge problem. Not only were foreclosure filings continuing at a high level, there was the dilemma of what to do about cases that had languished far longer than normal in the courts.

    The foreclosure logjam dated back several years, but by January 2013 it had reached critical mass, with nearly 3,500 cases on the books and only two judges hearing them. At the same time, Barbee's office was dealing with deep budget cuts that gripped every county government agency....

  2. Trust is a focal point in the District 1 Hernando School Board contest

    Elections

    More so than any of the other Hernando School Board election races this year, the District 1 contest between incumbent John Sweeney and his two opponents centers around one issue: trust.

    This spring, news broke of Sweeney's possible involvement in changing his son's grades for a course at Springstead High School, generating a formal ethics complaint against Sweeney and a list of questions about his actions....

    Donald Whiting says he’ll promote fiscal prudence.
  3. Motorcyclist killed in collision near St. Joseph's Hospital

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A motorcyclist was hit by a van and killed Thursday morning near St. Joseph's Hospital.

    The collision happened about 8 a.m. near N Habana Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The motorcyclist died, police said.

    Traffic on Habana Avenue north of the intersection was blocked as police investigated the crash. Hospital staff and patients were being allowed through the area....

  4. Jury to start deliberations in McTear murder trial today

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Jury deliberations are expected to begin this morning in the murder trial of Richard McTear Jr., who is accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, kidnapping her infant son, and throwing him onto the side of Interstate 275.

    Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty against McTear, say that on May 5, 2009, he entered the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Jasmine Bedwell, and waited for her to return home from a visit to a male friend's house. When she did, he pounced on her and her child, allegedly picking up 3-month-old Emanuel Murray and throwing him across the room while he was still belted into his car seat. While Bedwell fled to a friend's apartment, where she called 911, prosecutor say McTear took the baby for a ride southbound on I-275, where he threw him onto the shoulder, killing him instantly....

  5. Tampa looks to sell vacant Ybor City land for apartments

    Local Government

    TAMPA — The City Council today considers a deal that would clear the way for a new Ybor City apartment complex with a brick-and-tall window design meant to echo the historic district's old cigar factories.

    The council will decide whether to sell vacant city-owned land on the northern rim of Ybor to a partnership between Tampa developers Greg Minder and Phillip Smith and Robert Moreyra's Forge Capital Partners....

  6. Thursday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball
    White Sox at Tigers1 p.m.WGN
    Angels at Orioles7 p.m.MLB
    Reds at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Triple A: Tacoma at Salt Lake10 p.m.CBSSN
    Golf
    WGC: Bridgestone Invitational1:30 p.m.Golf
    PGA: Barracuda Championship6:30 p.m.Golf
    Soccer
    Exhibition: Bayern Munich vs. Chivas Guadalajara8 p.m.ESPN, Unimas
    Tennis
    ATP: Citi Open4 p.m.Tennis
    WTA: Bank of the West Classic10 p.m.Tennis
    WNBA
    Phoenix at Minnesota8 p.m.NBA
    Indiana at Seattle10 p.m.NBA
    ...

  7. Bucs players get feisty at practice

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Lovie Smith learned something else about his players Wednesday. They've still got some fight in them.

    Skirmishes and scuffles broke out when players returned after a day off. At the center of it was C Evan Dietrich-Smith, who went after backup DT Matthew Masifilo after the whistle during an 11-on-11 drill. A couple of big hits by LB Mason Foster on RB Bobby Rainey heightened the intensity during red zone work....

     Buccaneers players attempt to break up a fight during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp at One Buc Place, Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2014.
  8. Bucs: Kicker Connor Barth returns from torn Achilles tendon

    Bucs

    High hopes

    Connor Barth is back healthy after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and he's getting used to minor tweaks that all NFL kickers will encounter in coming weeks.

    First, the NFL has extended the goalposts to make them 5 feet taller — from 30 to 35 feet above the crossbar.

    "It's good. It's different. I like it, though," said Barth, 28, who has felt 100 percent since offseason drills started in the spring. "If anything, you kick a better ball because you can focus on a higher target."...

  9. Northbound U.S. 301 closed at Balm Riverview Road after water main break

    Transportation

    RIVERVIEW — Northbound U.S. 301 was closed at Balm Riverview Road Wednesday afternoon after a water main broke while a contractor was working in the area. The road will likely be closed for several days while the road is repaired, Hillsborough County spokeswoman Andrea Roshaven said.

    After the 24-inch water main broke, the contractor excavated the road so county crews could repair the pipe, which is about six feet in the ground, she said....

  10. Plan your weekend Aug. 1-3

    Events

    Concert

    Maxwell The magnetic singer was a key figure in the neo-soul movement of the '90s, his albums lush, affecting pastiches of poetry and jazz that seemed eons beyond what then passed for modern R&B. His 1996 debut, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, received considerable acclaim (including the first of his 12 Grammy nominations), as did singles like his visionary, falsetto spin on This Woman's Work, by the British alternative singer Kate Bush. He performs at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $41-$131. (727) 791-7400....

  11. St. Pete Beach crash leaves bicyclist with life-threatening injuries

    Accidents

    ST. PETE BEACH — A man sustained life-threatening injuries after a car struck him while he was riding his bicycle in a crosswalk on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

    At 1:33 p.m., Jason Kingsley was driving northbound in the median lane on Blind Pass Road when his car hit Adam Keehnle, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

    Keehnle was transported to Bayfront Medical Center. Kingsley was not injured. Investigators said neither alcohol nor drugs were involved....

  12. Treasure Island beach replenished

    Environment

    SCOTT KEELER | TIMES

    Crews under the supervision of Weeks Marine Co. of Covington, La., replenishing Sunset Beach in Treasure Island pump dredged sand onto the beach Wednesday. The sand is dredged 20 miles offshore and transported to unloaders just offshore, seen in the background, then piped onto the beach and filtered though a basket. Beach visitors are being detoured around the construction site with fences. For the first time since 2010, Treasure Island north and south beaches are being replenished in the $10.8 million project. The project should be completed in August....

     Crews under the supervision of Weeks Marine Co., Covington, LA., are currently replenishing Sunset Beach on Treasure Island as they pump dredged sand onto the beach through a 30" pipe. The sand is dredged 20 miles offshore and transported to unloaders just off shore, background, where its is pipped onto the beach and filtered though a basket on the end of the pipe according to workers at the site, left.  Beach visitors are being detoured around the construction site with fences. For the first time since 2010, Treasure Island north and south beaches are being replenished in the $10.8 million project. The project should be completed in August according to workers at the site.
  13. A Tampa taxi odyssey: Are our cabs really not up to snuff?

    News

    TAMPA — The taxi cabs here might not be the newest, swankiest ones on Earth. But are they really the "deplorable, embarrassing" pigsties that one critic alleges?

    Hotel developer Lou Plasencia blasted the city's taxi industry during a recent meeting of the Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association. Tampa cabs, which also go to St. Petersburg and Clearwater, give visitors a bad impression of the area, he complained. ...

    After recent criticism of Tampa’s taxi industry, a Tampa Bay Times reporter put the city’s cabs to the test and documented the experience.
  14. Rays: Trade deadline; David Price numbers

    The Heater

    Today: Off

    Next game: 7:10 p.m. Friday, vs. Angels

    Probable pitchers: Rays — RH Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 1.00); Angels — RH Matt Shoemaker (8-3, 4.13)

    On deck

    Saturday: vs. Angels, 7:10. Rays — RH Chris Archer (6-6, 3.37); Angels — TBA

    Sunday: vs. Angels, 1:40. Rays — RH Jake Odorizzi (7-8, 3.80); Angels — RH Jered Weaver (11-6, 3.36)...

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) in the second inning of the Boston Red Sox at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 25, 2014.
  15. Ben Vereen works with Broadway Theatre Project at USF

    Human Interest

    EVE EDELHEIT | Times

    Tony Award winning actor Ben Vereen works with dancer Leslie Williams on a dance at the Broadway Theatre Project at USF on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 in Tampa. The 2014 Project is running July 13 through August 3, 2014. Vereen has appeared on Broadway in many shows including Wicked, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin. The Project will be putting on two performances on Saturday, August 2 at 2 pm and 8 pm at USF in Tampa. After the second performance there will be a live auction featuring original Broadway items and acting lessons and experiences. Please contact the USF Theatre box office for ticket details at 813.974.2323...

    Tony Award winning actor Ben Vereen works with dancer Leslie Williams on a dance at the Broadway Theatre Project at USF on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 in Tampa. The 2014 Project is running July 13 through August 3, 2014. Vereen has appeared on Broadway in many shows including Wicked, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin. The Project will be putting on two performances on Saturday, August 2 at 2 pm and 8 pm at USF in Tampa. After the second performance there will be a live auction featuring original Broadway items and acting lessons and experiences. Please contact the USF Theatre box office for ticket details at 813.974.2323