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  1. Wednesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    College basketball
    Hartford at Providence7 p.m.FSF
    Butler at Cincinnati7 p.m.CBSSN
    Wisconsin at Syracuse7:15 p.m.ESPN2
    Penn State at Boston College7:15 p.m.ESPNU
    Louisville at Michigan State7:15 p.m.ESPN
    Women: Connecticut at DePaul7:30 p.m.FS1
    Texas Southern at Miss. State8 p.m.SEC
    Grambling State at Marquette8 p.m.FS2
    VCU at Middle Tennessee State9 p.m.FSF
    Arizona State at Creighton9 p.m.CBSSN
    Indiana at Duke9:15 p.m.ESPN
    Notre Dame at Illinois9:15 p.m.ESPN2
    Florida State at Iowa9:15 p.m.ESPNU; 1010-AM
    Gonzaga at Washington State11 p.m.FS1
    Australian PGA Championship8 p.m.Golf
    Pelicans at Rockets8 p.m.NBA
    Pacers at Clippers10:30 p.m.NBA
    Rangers at Islanders8 p.m.NBCSN
    Lightning at Ducks10:30 p.m.Fox Sun; 970-AM

  2. Girls basketball: Seffner Christian 82, Palm Harbor University 41


    SEFFNER — Seffner Christian may have a new coach and several new starters, but if Tuesday night is any indication, the Crusaders look like state tournament contenders yet again. In a game between undefeated teams, Seffner Christian ran all over Palm Harbor University 82-41.

    Five Crusaders scored in double figures. Freshman Brylee Bartram led the team with 18, Avree Carpenter, Chelsie Hall and Hope Hunter, all juniors, each had 16 and sophomore Nykeria Reed had 10. ...

  3. Lightning struggling against opponents' emphasis on defense

    Lightning Strikes

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said in preparation for tonight's game against the Lightning, he looked for clues this week by watching Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup final games against Chicago.

    With the Ducks having lost to the Lightning (11-11-3) in their last three meetings, Boudreau figured that if they can't beat them, they might as well join those who have.

    He's not alone....

    Matt Carle (25) and his Lightning teammates are facing increased intensity from opponents after a high-scoring run to the final last season.
  4. Hillsborough review board kills charter amendment for LGBT protections


    TAMPA — Aligned but not allied, LGBT activists and religious conservatives surprisingly came together Tuesday to urge the Hillsborough County charter review board to back away from a charter amendment that would strengthen protections for gays and lesbians.

    The review board, a body that meets every five years to recommend changes to the county charter, conceded to the wishes of the vocal crowd and voted 11-1 against a charter amendment that would have barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Had it passed, Hillsborough residents would have decided on whether to ratify the changes in a 2016 ballot referendum....

  5. USF trustees grant judge opportunity to speak on behalf of expelled veteran


    TAMPA — A Hillsborough County judge has been granted his request to speak in front of the University of South Florida's board of trustees Thursday, where he will ask the school to readmit a former U.S. Army Green Beret.

    Former Staff Sgt. Clay Allred, expelled after firing a gun at a convenience store, needs to complete 17 credits to earn his bachelor's degree. Circuit Judge Gregory Holder wants USF to allow Allred to finish his information security degree through online courses....

  6. Girls basketball: Brooks DeBartolo 55, Tampa Catholic 42


    TAMPA — After Tampa Catholic complained about Brooks DeBartolo wearing the wrong color jersey for Tuesday night's Class 4A-9 matchup, Phoenix coach Maggie Hedley said, Brooks DeBartolo was issued a technical and the Crusaders started the game with two free throws.

    In a district game full of motivating factors, to the Phoenix, the technical was just one more.

    "Coach definitely got in our heads about that. She said that should be very disrespectful toward us, so that's how we took it," guard Alyssa Nieves said. "We just took it from there."...

  7. Homeless Tampa couple mourned as detectives make arrest in double killing


    TAMPA — A pair of dark smears mark the concrete at the exit to the abandoned carwash. Annie Skeens stepped inside Tuesday afternoon and pointed to the first red stain.

    "My dad was sleeping right here," she said. "He hit my dad first."

    The spot marked the place where Tommy Skeens died. He was beaten to death along with his girlfriend, Lara Kuchar. Steps away, beside a curb bordered with dirt and weeds, another red spot marked the place where she died....

    Annie Skeens holds a sign seeking donations for memorial services for her father, Tommy Skeens, who was beaten to death Saturday with his girlfriend, Lara Kuchar. “I need answers. … I need to know why,” she said.  
  8. Tampa Fire Rescue captain admits to stealing tens of thousands from children's home


    TAMPA — For 47 years, Hope Children's Home said it has housed and educated nearly 5,000 abused and abandoned children who had nowhere else to go. The charity has wanted to build more cottages to house more children on its 55-acre campus for several years, but could never afford it.

    That's because a trusted business manager and financial officer — and the son of the charity's founder, Ronald Schaffer, who died last year — stole tens of thousands of dollars from the church-based orphanage, according to federal authorities....

    Al Schaffer, 50, is the son of the charity’s founder. 
  9. Familiar face to head Pasco public safety

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Brian Head, the former chief deputy for the Pasco Sheriff's Office, is poised to return to the county government as an assistant county administrator for public safety and administration.

    Head, 50, who had held the rank of colonel, retired abruptly and without public explanation from the Sheriff's Office in July 2013 after serving as second in command under Sheriff Chris Nocco. Head retired immediately after leading the agency temporarily while Nocco had been out of town attending a law enforcement conference in Quantico, Va....

    Brian Head, who retired as Pasco’s chief deputy in 2013, will start as an administrator Dec. 14.
  10. Spring Hill woman charged in carjacking of taxicab


    SPRING HILL — A 49-year-old woman was taken into custody Saturday, accused of stealing a taxicab and driving through a chain-link fence, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

    Laurie Valdez-Wasmiller of Spring Hill called Spring Hill Taxi on the night of Nov. 27. When John Motzer Jr. arrived in a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria, Valdez-Wasmiller hit Motzer in the face, bit his elbow and arms and pulled on his lips, deputies said....

  11. Safety Harbor art gallery honors dresses



    She won't call herself a fashionista, but Susan Benjamin, owner of the Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass Etc. on Main Street does admit she has always enjoyed fashion. "I've always been intrigued by it," she said. "You wake up in the morning and you are a blank canvas, and the clothes you put on is your painting. It shows your personality, whether people like it or not."...

    Susan Benjamin carries a bronze work by Jennifer Box to it's display space. Box is one of ten artists displaying in the Art Dresses 2 show at Syd Entel Galleries & Susan Benjamin Glass which will be opening on Saturday Dec. 5th.
  12. Trial of Tampa teenager accused of murder begins


    TAMPA — The murder trial of a teenager accused of fatally shooting a private security guard during an attempt to steal the man's gun got under way Tuesday, three years after a grand jury handed down its indictment.

    Now a tall, skinny 19 year-old, Larry D. Brown was 16 when he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge for the Nov. 21, 2012 death of Michael Valentin, a guard at an east Tampa apartment complex. ...

    Larry D. Brown, now 19, was 16 when he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge for the Nov. 21, 2012, death of a guard at an east Tampa apartment complex. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times] 
  13. Prove you have real Sunshine State smarts: Take round 2 of the True Florida Quiz


    You're reading this, which means you know Florida, which means you know Florida has a legendary case of the crazies. As with all good legends, over time, it can be tough to sort the myths from the truth.

    It's back. The True Florida Quiz is yours for the taking.


    Josie Hollingsworth | TIMES
  14. Double school impact fee in Pasco, report recommends

    Local Government

    The amount of money a new home buyer pays toward classroom construction should more than double to nearly $10,200, according to a consultant's recommendation to the Pasco School District.

    A draft report of the district's impact fee update, compiled by Maryland-based TischlerBise, calls for increasing the current charge of $4,876 on each newly constructed single-family home to $10,197. Proposed charges for town homes, apartments and mobile homes range from $4,106 to $6,265....

  15. Find A Friend: Oliver Twist, the dog


    The triumph of little Oliver Twist is as timeless as a Charles Dickens story. He was first rescued in 2013 with tiny, deformed limbs holding up his smiling innocence. Several surgeries and fundraisers later, Oliver is now healthy, mobile and twisted no more. He enjoys playing with both dogs and cats, even going up and down stairs. So, star in your own version of another Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, and adopt this 5-year-old, 7-pound chihuahua fully vaccinated, neutered and more. Visit