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  1. Suspect arrested after detectives release video in St. Petersburg attempted homicide case

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Detectives arrested Bruce J. Gress, 30, late Wednesday in the beating of a 21-year-old woman at a motel.

    Gress reportedly went to a room at the Kenwood Village Inn, 701 34th St. N, at 4 a.m. Saturday to engage in an act of prostitution. Police said he then became upset with the woman, strangled, beat and kiced her until she was unconscious, then left the room. Someone nearby heard sounds of distress coming from the room and entered to find the victim....

  2. Fire destroys mobile home in Thonotosassa (w/video)

    Fire

    THONOTOSASSA — Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews put out a fire early Thursday morning that destroyed a mobile home.

    Firefighters arrived at 13110 McIntosh Road at 1:55 a.m. and found the home entirely ungulfed in flames. There were no fire hydrants in the immediate area, so water tanker trucks were called to the scene. The fire was out within 30 minutes.

    The cause of the fire remained under investigation. The home was empty at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported....

    Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews put out a fire early Thursday morning at 13110 McIntosh Road in Thonotosassa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  3. Thursday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball
    Cubs at Reds12:30 p.m.WGN
    Yankees at Tigers1 p.m.MLB
    Rays at Orioles7 p.m.Sun Sports; 1250-AM, 97.9-FM
    A's at Angels10 p.m.MLB
    College football
    Texas A&M at South Carolina6 p.m.SEC
    Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe7 p.m.ESPNU
    Boise State vs. Mississippi8 p.m.ESPN
    Tulane at Tulsa8 p.m.CBSSN
    Temple at Vanderbilt9:15 p.m.SEC
    Rutgers vs. Washington State10 p.m.FS1
    Golf
    PGA Europe: Italian Open5:30 a.m.Golf
    PGA Europe: Italian Open9:30 a.m.Golf
    Web.com: Hotel Fitness Championship3 p.m.Golf
    LPGA: Portland Classic6:30 p.m.Golf
    High school football
    Daytona Beach Seabreeze at Port Orange Spruce Creek7:30 p.m.BHSN
    NFL preseason
    Redskins at Bucs7:30 p.m.Ch. 8; 620-AM, 103.5-FM
    Jets at Eagles8 p.m.NFL
    Seahawks at Raiders10 p.m.NFL
    Soccer
    Europa League: Astana at Villarreal2:30 p.m.ESPND
    Tennis
    U.S. Open11 a.m.Tennis
    U.S. Open1 p.m.ESPN
    U.S. Open6 p.m.ESPN2
    ...

  4. St. Petersburg again looking to raise utility rates

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— A City Council committee will take a first look today at a proposal to tack on $2.56 to the average resident's utility bill, or a 4.75 percent hike. Much of the proposed increase would cover spending on big-ticket projects, which city officials say would save ratepayers in the long run.

    The typical residential household using 4,000 gallons of water and wastewater would pay $56.39 if the increase is approved. The city has raised the cost of those services every year since 1995, except for 1997-1998....

  5. Local tattoo artist Aaron 'Is' Michalowski competing on Spike TV's 'Ink Masters'

    Aaron "Is" Michalowski does not aspire to tattoo world domination. He joined the Season 5 cast of Spike TV's reality competition Ink Master to advertise his skill and challenge himself — but even he admits his star has been on the rise since filming wrapped more than a month ago.

    "I am crazy busy right now, ever since the cast announcements were made, because old clients have been calling trying to get in before the show airs and things really get tight," said Michalowski, 37, of Holiday. ...

    Publicity photo
  6. St. Petersburg's Anime Fix a magnet for manga fans

    Consumer

    It had only been one week since Erika Strahle had made the journey from MacDill Air Force Base to Tampa Bay's only all-anime store, but she had to come back.

    "I'm so glad you held it for us," said Strahle, 22, who moved to Tampa from Seattle two months ago with her husband, David, an airman. "We just have to have it."

    Booby Koonce, owner of Anime Fix in St. Petersburg, pulled a box off the wall behind the counter and opened it to reveal a finely crafted music box with a 10 inch figure of The Baron, a cat-headed character wearing a white suite from the 1995 Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart, written by Hayao Miziyaki. ...

    A wide selection of new and hard to find items for sale at Anime Fix in St. Petersburg. Owner Bobby Koonce talks about a vintage G.I. Joe toy. Photos by Luis Santana/tbt*
  7. Rays: Maddon's vocabulary honored by T-shirt

    The Heater

    Rays at Orioles

    When/where: 7:05 tonight; Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 1250-AM, 97.9-FM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 2.61)

    ORIOLES: RH Bud Norris (11-8, 3.91)

    On Hellickson: Worked into the seventh with no decision Saturday, striking out eight. Last five runs allowed have been with two outs. Is 9-4, 3.25 ERA in 17 games vs. Orioles....

    SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Bud Norris #25 of the Baltimore Orioles poses for a portrait on photo day on February 22, 2014 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
  8. Robinson's new quarterback, star receiver already on the same page

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — Just like the ones in Robinson's playbook, Malik Tyson has memorized the route to Jahrvis Davenport's house, step by step.

    Tyson leaves his garage on South Saint Patrick Street and walks down a short alleyway, taking a right turn at a large patch of grass. At one point, the lot was going to be developed. Now it serves as the cut-through between the teammates' houses.

    Best friends since meeting in the second and third grades at Rampello Downtown Partnership School, Davenport, a senior receiver, and Tyson, the Knights' junior quarterback, make the four-minute trip frequently, meet­ing up at all times of the day to put in a little work....

    Robinson quarterback Malik Tyson, left, and receiver Jahrvis Davenport met a decade ago.
  9. A shady spot on Pass-a-Grille Beach

    Human Interest

    SCOTT KEELER | Times

    Eric Wheeler, front, and his friend Peter Highland, both of Pass-a-Grille Beach, enjoy the shade under an umbrella at Pass-a-Grille on Wednesday. Wheeler is an employee at Paradise Grille on the beach and Highland rents paddleboards for Gulf Coast Paddleboarding. A recent sand renourishment project has broadened the beach.

    Front to Back: Eric Wheeler and his friend Peter Highland, both of Pass-a-Grille, enjoy the shade under an umbrella at Pass-a-Grille Beach, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Wheeler is an employee at the Paradise Grille on the beach and Highland rents paddle boards on the beach for Gulf Coast Paddleboarding. The beach was recently renourished  by the US Army Corps of Engineers. "People come here and don't recognize the beach because so much sand has been added," said Wheeler.
  10. Longoria tests arm, returns to third base for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Evan Longoria was feeling pretty good before Wednesday's game since he was able to return to third base, having rested his sore right forearm with two days at DH, and afterward as he rapped three hits and the Rays won 3-1.

    But there were some moments in between.

    In the first inning, when he made a bad baserunning blunder that limited, though didn't eliminate, the Rays' bid to take an early lead. And in the eighth, when a hard-hit ball went off his glove and through his legs....

    Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria watches his single in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in Baltimore. Longoria had three hits as the Rays won 3-1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) MDPS113
  11. Smyly sharp again as Rays beat Orioles

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Through nothing but the circumstance of being traded for each other, Drew Smyly is going to be oft-compared to former Rays ace and Cy Young Award winner David Price.

    And, if things keep going the way they are now, that's going to be tough — for Price.

    Smyly on Wednesday turned in a second straight dazzling outing, leading the Rays to a 3-1 win by holding the Orioles to two hits over seven innings....

    Drew Smyly continues to dazzle since being acquired from the Tigers, improving his ERA to 1.50 after five starts with the Rays by allowing one run in seven innings against Baltimore. Smyly threw a mere 87 pitches one start after going the distance on 105.
  12. Largo police: Man who shoplifted for son's birthday violated parole on murder charge

    Bizarre News

    A Largo man was arrested on a shoplifting charge recently after he tried to steal items he said were for his son's birthday, police said.

    Johnny Allen Deem's act on behalf of his son came with a steep price — the arrest resulted in officials violating his parole on an out-of-state murder charge. Deem, 33, was arrested in connection with the Saturday theft at Walmart, 2677 Roosevelt Blvd....

  13. St. Petersburg police: Man attacked fellow public library patron, cited 'mental sorcery'

    Bizarre News

    A man randomly beat up another man at a St. Petersburg public library this week, then told police he did it because of "mental sorcery."

    Calvin Dejuan Forman, 40, was arrested at the James W. Johnson Library, 1059 18th Ave. S, on Monday afternoon.

    St. Petersburg police said Forman kicked and hit the man sitting next to him in the library "for no apparent reason," an arrest report states. ...

  14. St. Petersburg police: Woman stole barber's chair from salon, held it for ransom

    Bizarre News

    A woman who believed that a St. Petersburg hair salon owed her money decided to get revenge by stealing the business' barber's chair, police reported.

    Sy Makemin Lydia Savane, 27, was arrested on a grand theft charge in connection with the Aug. 6 incident.

    Savane stole the $1,200 chair from a salon in the 2200 block of 34th Street S, then tried to "use it as leverage to obtain money owed from work done at the business," an arrest report states....

  15. Sunlake vs. Pasco now must-see football

    Footballpreps

    Once an afterthought, Sunlake-Pasco now is one of the most anticipated regular-season openers in the Tampa Bay area. Here are three story lines for Friday night's game.

    Exacting revenge

    For Pasco, beating Sunlake used to be a given, not a goal.

    The Seahawks started their program in 2007, and they lost the first four games by at least 20 points.

    But after not meeting in 2011 and 2012, the Pirates found out just how much Sunlake had improved in last year's season opener. The Seahawks won 17-6, snapping Pasco's 44-game win streak against Pasco County opponents that dated to Tom McHugh's first season as coach in 2007....

    The Pasco team takes the field before playing Sunlake in their season opener on Friday, August 30, 2013 at Sunlake in Land O'Lakes.