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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

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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. Deputies responding to car crash in Riverview find shooting victim inside

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating after deputies responding to a single-car crash late Wednesday discovered someone in the car had been shot, authorities said.

    The crash happened about 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Big Bend and Balm Riverview, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived and found that a person in the car had been shot. ...

  2. Whiskey wasn't my thing, but then I visited the Teeling Distillery in Ireland

    Travel

    DUBLIN

    If you drink your way through a four-day trip to Ireland, can you make an honest recommendation on anything?

    And if on that trip you taste your first whiskey, is it cool to brazenly recommend a distillery visit?

    Here I go: Teeling Whiskey Distillery should be high on your list if you're visiting Dublin.

    Sure you'll be tempted to go to the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery, but follow the brick road to Teeling for a less commercialized experience. The people and the whiskey will charm you....

    Teeling feels more like a startup, even though the family has been making whiskey since 1782. Their distillery on Newmarket opened in 2015 and they say it’s the first new one in Dublin in more than 125 years.
  3. Faulty AC leaves Chinsegut manor house, supporters steaming

    Human Interest

    BROOKSVILLE

    As summer temperatures climb, volunteers at Chinsegut Hill Manor House say a faulty air-conditioning system has put them in a hot spot.

    Members of Friends of Chinsegut Hill, the nonprofit group that oversees the historic house north of Brooksville, say the $123,000 system, paid for with state grant money, hasn't worked properly since it was installed three years ago....

    Chinsegut Hill Manor House is being threatened as the antebellum building’s central air conditioning system remains in disrepair.
  4. Looking Back: Adele and her baby koala come out of hiding (December 27, 1991)

    Attractions

    This story appeared in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times on December 27, 1991. What follows is the text of the original story, interspersed with photos of the event taken by Times staff photographer Tony Lopez.

    BABY KOALA IS NOW OUT OF POCKET

    By Amber Grimes

    Times staff writer

    Seven months after he got his start, Kunara finally has a good view of the rest of the world. Kunara, Busch Garden's shy baby koala, has been working his way out of his mother's pouch since his birth on May 14. At the time, he was the size of a jellybean....

    Kunara, Busch Garden's shy baby koala, has been working his way out of his mother Adele's pouch since his birth.

TIMES | Tony Lopez
  5. Large brush fire burning in Brooker Creek Preserve near Westchase

    Fire

    A large brush fire is burning early Thursday morning in the Brooker Creek Preserve just north of Oldsmar near Westchase, but appears to be contained, according to reports.

    The fire is burning near in a large wooded area near Race Track Road and Forest Lakes Boulevard, according to reports.

    No homes or roads appear to be threatened by the fire, according to reports.

    Stay with tampabay.com for updates....

  6. Clearwater confronts a new wave of homeless people, many addicted to spice

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Having lived on the streets since 2014, when he said God ordered him to go out and watch over the homeless, Scott Elfstrom has seen new faces brought out by the typical drugs, despair or plain bad luck.

    But a fresh wave of homeless has emerged downtown in recent months, unique from what he's seen before. Driven in part by a crackdown in St. Petersburg's Williams Park and Clearwater's Crest Lake Park, officials say transients are increasingly migrating to Clearwater's comfortable waterfront, bringing with them a drug that has challenged law enforcement agencies across Tampa Bay for years: spice. ...

    Meals that are provided several times a week draw homeless residents to the area near the Clearwater Police Department. The population can be difficult to track, with untold families living in cars, friends’ couches and cheap motels
  7. Preservation group's efforts help revitalize Hudson Cemetery

    Human Interest

    HUDSON — Since the 1970s, the area's unhoused could count on Hudson Cemetery as a place to eat, drink and doze. They would crouch behind bushes on the 2 acres — sandwiched between an ABC liquor store and a shopping center — and leave behind beer cans, cigarette butts and rotting clothes. They would slouch against headstones. People were reluctant to visit.

    This month, the cemetery was cleared of the weeds and overgrown brush that concealed the activity, thanks to rebooted efforts by the Hudson Cemetery Preservation Association, which formed in 2010 and oversees the property at the busy intersection of U.S. 19 and Hudson Avenue. Weatherworn headstones dating back to the late 1800s have also been cleaned, and a new chain-link fence has been erected around the property....

    Dennis Kingsley, former president of the Hudson Cemetery Preservation Association, looks at recently cleaned headstones at the cemetery. It got a new fence and was cleared of weeds and brush in June.
  8. Forecast: Summertime heat, late-day showers soldier on in Tampa Bay

    Weather

    The summertime pattern of hot temperatures and afternoon showers continues through the second half of the week across Tampa Bay.

    The afternoon rain could develop into potentially strong storms, similar those that formed Wednesday night that even produced a waterspout in Hudson....

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  9. Pinellas Park police arrest Dade County fugitive hiding in attic crawl space

    Crime

    Pinellas Park police arrested a man wanted on charges in Dade County following a standoff in an apartment complex early Thursday morning.

    Usmael Antonio Carvajal, 29, of Miami, was found hiding in an attic crawl space around 1:20 a.m. at Carolwood Apartments, 4071 76th Ave. N, police said.

    According to police, a SWAT team was called to the location around 10 p.m. after receiving a report that Carvajal — wanted on charges including armed robbery and impersonating an officer — was in that area....

  10. Taste of Tampa Bay: Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Pam Prasad, who is originally from Guyana, runs Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market on 38th Avenue N in St. Petersburg with her two sons. Prasad loves to educate her customers about her food, customs and culture. The place is known for its variety of roti combinations, goat dishes and spices.

    Pam Prasad makes roti at Pam's Roti Shop at 2800 38th Ave N. in St. Petersburg. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  11. March opening planned for renovated Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park

    News

    TAMPA — Dirt, wood and concrete filling the 24-acre Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park will become lawns, athletic facilities and dog parks by March, city officials say.

    The $35.5 million redevelopment project broke ground in July. When it's open, visitors will be able to walk up a ramp toward an all-glass River Center building looking out across the Hillsborough River and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts....

    Luis Castillo, left, and Erik Najera drill holes in siding to add to the new restroom facilities at the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Construction is underway for the renovation of the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  12. In Hillsborough, a social worker tasked with helping kids has troubles of her own

    K12

    CLEARWATER — As a social worker for Hillsborough County schools, Marissa Mitchell holds one of the system's most sensitive jobs, helping children navigate deeply personal family problems.

    But Mitchell has had issues of her own, including a broken marriage and an ugly dispute with her mother-in-law that led to allegations of stalking, and earlier this month landed her in Pinellas County Jail....

    Marissa Mitchell, recently released from Pinellas County Jail, is a social worker for the Hillsborough County public school system.
  13. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Every NFL quarterback, from Tom Brady to Jameis Winston, is less successful when he faces pressure from the defense.

    The flip side: Defenses are more successful when they generate pressure.

    RELATED STORY: How Winston performed under pressure in 2016...

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  14. The Daystarter: Cruises to Cuba still a go; Rays employee helps thwart suicide; do the Stingray Shuffle; school social worker arrested for threatening mother-in-law

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    • Another scorcher with highs in the low 90s and late afternoon scattered storms, according to 10Weather WTSP.

    [WTSP]...

    See that thing in the water? No? That's the point. It's that time of the year when stingrays are often lurking in the sand, often not visibly. Remember to do the stingray shuffle if you're out at the beach this weekend. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  15. Pinellas beaches seeing fewer injuries from stingrays, but the summer is still young

    Environment

    FORT DE SOTO — Rebecca Glidden leaned back in her lifeguard chair, watching behind sunglasses as families splashed in the water at Fort De Soto's North Beach.

    It was Father's Day. Sand-caked boys munched Cheetos under tilting beach umbrellas. Mothers slathered sunscreen on their squirming kids. Two boys in navy wetsuits threw down skimboards and wiped out in the shallows with a yelp....

    A Clearwater water safety supervisor demonstrates the stingray shuffle. Pinellas beaches are reporting relatively few injuries from stingrays so far this year, but they anticipate more as the summer wears on. Officials are reminding beachgoers to do the shuffle when they enter the water and keep an eye out for purple flags flying from the lifeguard towers, which indicate stingray activity. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]