Times staff,

If you have a news tip, please call our City Desk at 727-893-8215.

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

Hernando County: 352-754-6101

Hillsborough County/Tampa: 813-226-3303

North Pinellas County: 727-445-4221

Pasco County: 727-869-6235

On the Web, you can also go to sptimes.com/connect/ for details on other ways to contact us.

E-mail: local@tampabay.com

  1. Wednesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    Nationals at Dodgers3 p.m.MLB
    Blue Jays at Rays7 p.m.Sun Sports; 620-AM
    Mets at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Red Sox at Yankees7 p.m.ESPN, ESPND
    Diamondbacks at Padres10 p.m.ESPN, ESPND
    Basketball, FIBA World Cup
    Puerto Rico vs. Philippines7:30 a.m.ESPND
    Mexico vs. Australia7:30 a.m.NBA
    Serbia vs. BrazilnoonNBA
    United States vs. Dominican Republic3:30 p.m.ESPN2
    High school volleyball
    Rockledge at Viera7 p.m.BHSN
    Exhibition: United States at Czech Republic2 p.m.NBCSN; Unimas
    Exhibition: Argentina at Germany2:30 p.m.ESPND, ESPNEWS
    Exhibition: Norway at England2:55 p.m.FS2
    U.S. Open11 a.m.Tennis
    U.S. OpennoonESPN
    U.S. Open6 p.m.ESPN2
    WNBA playoffs
    East final, Game 3: Chicago at Indiana7 p.m.NBA

  2. Pinellas County Commission rivals trade allegations


    The two candidates gunning for vanquished County Commissioner Norm Roche's seat are hurling allegations at each other.

    Democrat Pat Gerard on Tuesday accused Republican state Rep. Ed Hooper of peddling his influence as a state legislator through his ownership of a Clearwater-based consulting firm.

    Hooper denied that clients of the Consus Group LLC have benefited from action he has taken as a state lawmaker. He then accused Gerard, who serves as Largo's mayor, of soliciting campaign donations while representing her city at a Florida League of Cities event in Tallahassee in April....

    Pat Gerard, currently Largo’s mayor, is running for the Pinellas County Commission.
  3. Sports in brief: Ryder Cup teams named



    Bradley, Simpson, Mahan chosen for U.S. Ryder Cup team

    NEW YORK — U.S. captain Tom Watson went with experience and a gut feeling Tuesday when he filled out the Ryder Cup team with Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson.

    Not so valuable was recent success.

    He left out Chris Kirk, who finished higher in the final Ryder Cup standings than Simpson, and who won the Deutsche Bank Championship a day earlier by going head-to-head with Rory McIlroy the final 36 holes....

  4. Rays: Jesse Litsch gets first pitch honors

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Blue Jays

    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 Chris Archer (8-7, 3.46)

    BLUE JAYS: RH Marcus Stroman (8-5, 3.88)...

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  5. Dickey dominates as Rays lose to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays could tell early on Tuesday night that R.A. Dickey's typically unpredictable knuckleball was dancing more than usual.

    "From the first inning, when you have the catcher missing half the balls he's throwing, you know his stuff is moving," leftfielder Matt Joyce said.

    Dickey, Toronto's veteran right-hander, baffled Tampa Bay, which mustered just two hits in an 8-2 loss in front of an announced crowd of 10,125 at Tropicana Field. Dickey admitted his signature pitch was tough to control, as evidenced by his three walks, two hit batters and wild pitch....

    Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier makes a leaping attempt but can’t come up with Ryan Goins’ eighth-inning drive, which goes for an RBI triple.
  6. Marlon Mack proving he's in right spot as USF running back



    In hindsight, the quiet kid who selected his words carefully picked the perfect one on this November night. Seminole. It was Sarasota Booker's code name for a simple lead-run play. To that point, the Tornadoes were leading — but not clicking — in their playoff-elimination contest against Bradenton Southeast. With deliberations percolating on the sideline, Tornadoes senior tailback Marlon Mack turned to coach Johnnie Jones and uttered the S-word. That was all Jones needed to hear. "It popped for like, 60 yards," he recalled. Booker prevailed 24-0, clinching its first playoff berth in six years. Mack, who had committed to UCLA that day, finished with 188 rushing yards and three touchdowns. During the course of the game, he also had lined up out wide, deep in the secondary and at kick returner. "Anywhere we asked him to line up, he would line up," Jones said. "It was never, 'Nah, Coach, that's not me.' " Roughly three months later, Mack delivered another significant three-syllable audible: U-S-F. Courtships with the Bruins, Louisville and others had been trumped by the tenacity of the Bulls coaching staff, which coveted his strength, vision and downhill burst....

    Marlon Mack looks to the bench while celebrating one of his two second-quarter touchdowns against Western Carolina.
  7. Hernando County births

    Human Interest


    Baskins, Amy Michelle and Gacy Howard Benjamin Cardell, Spring Hill, Jacob Benjamin Clyde Cardell, 6 pounds 14.9 ounces, 9:23 a.m. July 24, 2014, at Bayfront Health Spring Hill.

    Buonaguro, Kristina Michelle and Cedrick Lewan Dennard, Spring Hill, A'miya Ayn Dennard, 6 pounds 9.5 ounces, 10:59 a.m. July 30, 2014, at Bayfront Health Spring Hill....

  8. Hernando County blood donation sites


    LifeSouth Community Blood Center will have blood drives at the following off-site locations during the coming week.

    Today (Friday): 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Publix, 1400 Pinehurst Drive, Spring Hill; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Walmart, 7305 Broad St., Brooksville.

    Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Walmart, 1485 Commercial Way, Spring Hill; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Walmart, 2163 W County Road 48, Bushnell....

  9. Rays' Wil Myers near end of frustrating season

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Wil Myers is a confident guy, but he didn't sugarcoat his feelings on his season-long struggles at the plate.

    "It has been really, really hard — by far the worst year I've ever had in my career," Myers said. "So it's not been fun."

    Not much has gone right this season for Myers, 23, the reigning American League rookie of the year. He entered Tuesday hitting .221 with six homers and 28 RBIs, having missed 70 games due to a fractured right wrist....

    Wil Myers takes a strike against the Tigers on Aug. 21 at Tropicana Field. [Getty Images]
  10. Exhibit shows Tampa's spirited Prohibition history

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay History Center's new exhibit, "Spirited: Prohibition in America," features more than 100 artifacts from the Prohibition era, including music and fashion, bootlegger's map and mug shots of notorious gangsters, advertising art and political propaganda, and interactive displays with 1920s dance music and more.

    The center added a little local flavor to the exhibit by including items for Tampa's storied prohibition history, including the 1928 Hillsborough County Jail Registry, bottles from the Florida Brewery and the White Rose Saloon and Prohibition-era menus from the Tampa Bay Hotel. ...

    At the Tampa Bay History Center’s new exhibit, “Spirited: Prohibition in America”, Doriece Wallace, 3rd generation Tampa native, searches a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office ledger book of arrests from 1929 - 1932 for her grandfather’s name, Wiliam Fisher, whom she said was a bootlegger during prohibition, Tuesday September 3, 2014.
  11. Taser stun and arrest could cost Tampa taxpayers $100,000

    Local Government

    TAMPA — It was a late Thursday afternoon in 2008, and Eddy Leon Graddy was standing on the sidewalk on N Nebraska Avenue when three Tampa police officers rolled up.

    What happened next left Graddy with a broken arm and a Taser barb in his back, prosecutors with a criminal case that fell apart and taxpayers with legal bills that soon could include a $100,000 settlement.

    On Thursday, the City Council is scheduled to consider paying Graddy the settlement to drop a federal lawsuit against the city and the three officers....

  12. Mike Fulmore, 22, of Kissimmee does body weight training and calisthenics Tuesday near North Shore Park in St. Petersburg, where he was visiting a friend. Fulmore is a group fitness instructor who recently graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. “The exercises are great for your balance and abdominal muscles,” he said. “I also use them to meditate.” Fulmore does the exercises three times a week for one hour, he said.
  13. Interview: MOSI's interim director on the museum's changes

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Things are in flux at the Museum of Science and Industry.

    In the past year, the Hillsborough County government, which owns MOSI's land and has loaned it money, ordered up a consultant's report that found the museum was in financial decline and needed to overhaul questionable accounting practices. MOSI temporarily closed its cafe after pests were found. And the nonprofit museum accepted the resignation of longtime president Wit Ostrenko, who announced plans to retire....

    Molly Demeu­lenaere, 36, is excited about big changes at MOSI.
  14. Lavonte David draws high expectations from Bucs


    TAMPA — Lavonte David was one of two outside linebackers named to the All-Pro first team last year, and despite a snub in the Pro Bowl voting, the Bucs star enters his third NFL season with high expectations.

    Bucs coach Lovie Smith, joining players at a "Chalk Talk" luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, said he believes David is "the best outside linebacker in the game," drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks as this defense tries to reach the same level of dominance as the Bucs' Super Bowl champs 12 years ago....

    Chris Owusu, left, now listed as the starting kick returner, protects the ball from All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David during training camp.
  15. Hometown North Pinellas for Sept. 5

    Human Interest

    Eagle scout honored by Rep. Jolly: Mark Gauzens, of Boy Scout Troop 434, earned the Eagle Scout rank and was commended by U.S. Rep. David Jolly on Aug. 22. Gauzens earned the rank after completing more than 325 requirements, serving in leadership roles, doing community service projects, camping, hiking and helping fellow scouts achieve troop ranks. His Eagle service project was building a sustainable pathway to a prayer garden at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dunedin. The pathway provides easy access to a quiet area of respite and repose. Gauzens is the son of Alan and Joanne Gauzens, of Dunedin. ...

    Mark Gauzens of Boy Scout Troop 434 was commended Aug. 22 by U.S. Rep. David Jolly.