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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

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  1. No. 14 Tennessee emphatically snaps skid vs. No. 19 Florida, 38-28

    College

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After years of second-half dominance over rival Tennessee, No. 19 Florida finally cracked Saturday.

    The Gators squandered an 18-point halftime lead, as the No. 14 Volunteers snapped their 11-game losing streak to UF and beat the Gators 38-28 at Neyland Stadium.

    UF (3-1, 1-1 SEC) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in front of an announced crowd of 102,455 and looked every bit like a defending SEC East champion, and the favorite to return to Atlanta this year....

    Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) throws to a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) TNWP125
  2. Sunday morning quarterback: Rivalry games live up to hype

    Footballpreps

    Player of the week: De'Vonta Smith, Central

    Before the season Smith said he wanted to do better than his record-setting cousin, Nature Coast alum DeShawn Smith. He took one record away from his cousin Friday night in a 63-28 win over Weeki Wachee. Smith gained 488 yards on 23 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He broke DeShawn's Hernando County single-game rushing record of 444 yards, set last season. His eight touchdowns tied a county record....

  3. Lightning pushes pace early in training camp

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — C Brian Boyle's practice ended a little early Saturday after the heel of D Braydon Coburn's stick blade caught him in the nose during a 1-on-1 drill.

    Boyle was fine — no hard feelings, just some pain and blood on his jersey.

    "It's going to happen sometimes," Boyle said, smiling. "The guys had a good chuckle out of it."

    But the friendly fire is an example of how intense, and fast-paced, the first part of Lightning training camp has been. Associate coach Rick Bowness told the players camp would be tough, hoping to get them up to the same speed as the 12 who will soon return from the World Cup. ...

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson works to make a play on the ice during training camp at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Friday morning (09/23/16).
  4. Tampa Bay's Gold Star Mothers hold day of love and remembrance for fallen sons, daughters

    Military

    TAMPA — Toni Gross and Annette Kirk stood close to each other as they shared a podium in Veterans Memorial Park and Museum on Saturday.

    Their heads bobbed to and from a microphone as they traded off reading the names of fallen soldiers — until Kirk paused. She wouldn't say the next name, even though it was her turn. Her eyes locked with Gross'.

    "Go ahead," she said.

    "U.S. Army Cpl. Frank R. Gross," Gross replied....

    The Tampa Bay Chapter of American Gold Star Mothers and the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County gather to honor fallen heroes and their families at the 2016 Gold Star Mothers and Family Day at Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa.  [Saturday, September 24, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Police: Clearwater boat accident kills man

    Accidents

    CLEARWATER — A man died Saturday in a boating accident in Island Estates, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

    Officers and Clearwater Fire & Rescue responded to the 800 block of Island Way shortly before 4 p.m., police officials said. The man was not identified.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were on the scene investigating.

    Stay with tampabay.com for updates....

  6. No. 13 Florida State bounces back in 55-35 thumping of USF

    College

    TAMPA — The early stage of Saturday's proceedings inside Raymond James Stadium weren't bereft of a bright side for USF fans.

    Any administrator from Oklahoma or Texas who joined the ABC viewing audience at that point saw the Bulls brandish a product ideally suited for the Big 12: quick strikes on offense, cameo on defense.

    But as things unfolded on this sweltering afternoon, a glaring question presented itself: Forget the Big 12, is USF ready for the big time?...

    South Florida Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) is brought down by Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Saturday, September 24, 2016.
  7. Zephyrhills police investigating suspicious death of 18-month-old

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — Police are investigating the suspicious death of an 18-month-old boy found unresponsive early Saturday morning.

    Police received a 911 call around 4:30 a.m. They arrived to a home on 5831 Apollo Street and found the toddler, Sebastian Lieb, on his back just inside the front entrance. A woman was attempting CPR, investigators said. Officers took over CPR until paramedics arrived....

  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneeers' fate hinges on fixing the defense

    Bucs

    TAMPA — They are called explosives, those big-bang plays that detonate and destroy the game.

    The NFL defines them as runs of 10 yards or more and passes of 20-plus yards.

    The Bucs already have given up 13 in two games .

    In fact, the Bucs already have yielded three pass plays of more than 50 yards —- fifty! — or as many as all of 2015.

    "We've had 12 plays that have gone for over 400 yards (combined)," Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "Sometimes they're missed tackles, sometimes they're missed assignments and sometimes they're bad calls by me. So we've got to get better. We've got to tackle better, we've got to execute better and I've got to make better calls."...

    Wide receiver Jaron Brown #13 of the Arizona Cardinals slips past safety Chris Conte #23 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Arizona Cardinals won 40-7. [Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images]
  9. Defrocked expert witness in child sex cases 'squeaked by' with little vetting

    Criminal

    Josh Adams thought he'd found a solid expert witness for his client.

    The Orlando attorney was representing Jason Eugene Daniels, who faced more than a dozen felonies involving sexual abuse of a child. Adams said Daniels' cell mate William Teets had mentioned Chester Kwitowski, who had already appeared as computer forensics expert in other Polk County cases including Teets'. Adams called Kwitowski and asked for his resume....

    Chester Kwitowski of Tampa, seen in this 2007 Pinellas County booking photo, was arrested Thursday in Polk County and charged with perjury and making false statements in a capital trial. Authorities say Kwitoski lied about his credentials while testifying as an expert witness for the defense in sexual battery and child pornography cases.
  10. Pasco deputies: 82-year-old Holiday man beaten by teenager dies

    News

    HOLIDAY — The 82-year-old man who was battered by a teen boy on Friday has died, according to Pasco deputies. Investigators were working with the Medical Examiner's Office to determine if Robert Walker's cause of death is related to the beating.

    In an interview with WFLA News Channel 8 before he died, a badly beaten Walker said this was his second incident involving the teen....

    Deputies say 14-year-old Alexander Perez battered an elderly man and stole the man's wallet. [Photo courtesy Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  11. Residents near Mosaic sinkhole spill say they aren't going anywhere (w/video)

    Water

    LITHIA — Once families come to Keysville Road they never seem to leave.

    They are drawn by the cheap, abundant land and, over time, fall in love with the secluded quiet of their shady country road. That love is passed on to their children, and then to their children. Stop by a home and it's likely the only one its residents have ever known.

    So odds are the families will stay put, even if the water they drink, the water that nourishes their orange groves, cattle and collards, turns out to be poisoned....

    Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. field tech Bob Harrison collects a sample of water from a well near a Lithia home Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. has been contracted by Mosaic to gather water samples from wells near the Mosaic phosphate plant where 215 million gallons of contaminated water was allowed to flow into the Floridan Aquifer through a sinkhole.
  12. HomeTeam Hot Shot nominations: Sept. 17-23

    Blog

    Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 23. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.

    Female nominees

    Elanny Breton, volleyball, Wiregrass Ranch: The junior had 16 kills in a four-set win over Fivay. She also had the winning kill in the fourth set, a 26-24 comeback win....

  13. Football: Tampa Catholic 25, Clearwater Central Catholic 21

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — The situation appeared bleak for Tampa Catholic. Clinging to a four-point lead, the Crusaders watched bitter rival Clearwater Central Catholic drive down the field in the final two minutes of regulation.

    The Marauders had first and goal at the 2-yard line. Tampa Catholic's defense was spent and depleted. Several players were cramping and out of the lineup. But the Crusaders dug in, bunching up to stop three straight runs. On fourth down, on the final surge, Tampa Catholic's defense came through — again....

    Tampa Bay Catholic quarterback Austin Sessums hugs running back Devan Barrett (5) after the game between Tampa Catholic and Clearwater Central Catholic at Tampa Catholic on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. Tampa Bay Catholic defeated Clearwater Central 25-21.
  14. Football: East Lake 38, Tarpon Springs 0

    Footballpreps

    TARPON SPRINGS — The way Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis had it figured, if everything went his team's way, and the Spongers got a little luck, then they might have a chance against rival East Lake Friday night. Instead, not much went Tarpon Springs' way in a 38-0 home loss.

    East Lake quarterback Tyler Rupe threw two touchdown passes and Bryce Miller scored both as a receiver and a kick returner in a game that used a running clock in the fourth quarter. The Eagles held the Spongers to 67 total yards of offense. For East Lake's defense, it was their second straight shutout. St. Petersburg's only score last week came on a punt return....

  15. Saturday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Autos
    Sprint Cup: Bad Boy Off Road 300 practice9 a.m.CNBC
    Trucks: UNOH 175 qualifying10 a.m.FS1
    Sprint Cup: Bad Boy Off Road 300 practice11:30 a.m.CNBC
    Trucks: UNOH 1751 p.m.FS1
    Xfinity: Visitmyrtlebeach.com 300 qualifying4:30 p.m.NBCSN
    Xfinity: Visitmyrtlebeach.com 3008 p.m.NBCSN
    NHRA: Midwest Nationals qualifying (taped)2 a.m.FS1
    Baseball
    Cardinals at Cubs1 p.m.Ch. 13
    Yankees at Blue Jays4 p.m.MLB
    Red Sox at Rays6 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AM
    Phillies at Mets7 p.m.MLB
    Braves at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Rockies at Dodgers (in progress)10 p.m.MLB
    Golf
    PGA Europe: European Open9:30 a.m.Golf
    PGA: Tour Championship11 a.m.Golf
    PGA: Tour ChampionshipnoonCh. 8
    Web.com: Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship3:30 p.m.Golf
    Champions: Bear Mountain Championship6 p.m.Golf
    Hockey, World Cup
    Semifinal: Canada vs. Russia7 p.m.ESPN2
    Soccer
    EPL: Leicester City at Manchester United7:30 a.m.NBCSN
    German: Bayern Munich at Hamburg9:30 a.m.FS2
    EPL: Hull City at Liverpool10 a.m.NBCSN
    EPL: Chelsea at Arsenal12:30 p.m.NBCSN
    German: Wolfsburg at Werder Bremen12:30 p.m.FS2
    Mexican: Cruz Azul at Tigres8 p.m.Univision
    Mexican: Pumas at Club America10 p.m.Univision
    ...