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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.

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  1. Preseason football: East Lake 16, Hillsborough 0

    Footballpreps

    EAST LAKE — This was the first chance for Hillsborough to tinker with its new weapons on offense. Jefferson transfer Tyrese Spain made a few catches. Wiregrass transfer Da Da McGee had some nifty moves on a handful of carries.

    But for most of Friday night, the Terriers were stuck in neutral.

    East Lake's defense had a lot to do with that.

    Twice, the Eagles stopped Hillsborough on downs. East Lake's defense also forced four turnovers, scoring off one. That was more than enough to pull through in a 16-0 preseason win....

  2. Preseason football: Tampa Bay Tech 51, Brandon 0

    Footballpreps

    BRANDON — Preseason games don't count, but Tampa Bay Tech had a mission Friday night. The Titans wanted to put their regular-season opponents on alert.

    Be ready or else.

    They scored on all five possessions of the first half against Brandon and added a defensive touchdown in what eventually turned into a 51-0 drubbing of the Eagles. Senior quarterback Michael Penix, a Tennessee commit, threw five first-half touchdowns before taking the rest of the night off....

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot

    News

    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Officer Matthew Baxter was killed and Sgt. Sam Howard was in grave condition, O'Dell said. Howard's prognosis "does not look good,'' O'Dell said in a briefing.

    The officers were shot answering a call, and the shootings appeared to be an ambush, the chief said....

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  4. Saturday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Autos
    MotoCross: Budds Creek National3 p.m.NBC
    IndyCar: ABC Supply 500 qualifying1 p.m.NBCSN
    Monster Energy Cup: Bass Pro Shops night race7 p.m.NBC; 102.5-FM
    Baseball
    Blue Jays at Cubs2 p.m.MLB
    Dodgers at Tigers4 p.m.FS1
    Mariners at Rays6 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AM
    Yankees at Red Sox7 p.m.MLB
    Marlins at Mets7 p.m.FSF
    Nationals at Padres (in progress)10 p.m.MLB
    Baseball, Little League World Series
    Elimination game: Mexico vs. Europe-Africa1 p.m.ESPN
    Elimination game: Grosse Pointe (Mich.) vs. Jackson (N.J.)3 p.m.ABC
    Elimination game: Caribbean vs. Australia6 p.m.ESPN
    Elimination game: Walla Walla (Wash.) vs. Sioux Falls (S.D.)8 p.m.ESPN
    Boxing
    Super lightweights: Indongo vs. Crawford10 p.m.ESPN
    Golf
    Solheim Cup8 a.m.Golf
    U.S. AmateurnoonGolf
    PGA: Wyndham Championship3 p.m.CBS
    Solheim Cup4 p.m.NBC
    Champions: Dicks Sporting Goods Open4 p.m.Golf
    High school basketball
    Nike Academy7 p.m.ESPNU
    Horse racing
    Breeder's Cup Challenge Series8 p.m.NBCSN
    NFL preseason
    Panthers at Titans3 p.m.NFL
    Colts at Cowboys7 p.m.NFL
    Broncos at 49ers10 p.m.NFL
    Soccer
    EPL: Manchester United at Swansea City7:15 a.m.NBCSN
    German: Borussia Dortmund at Wolfsburg9:30 a.m.FS1
    EPL: Crystal Palace at Liverpool9:45 a.m.NBCSN
    EPL: Arsenal at Stoke City12:30 p.m.NBC
    German: Leipzig at Schalke12:30 p.m.FS1
    NWSL: Washington at North Carolina3:30 p.m.Lifetime
    Mexican: Monterrey at Leon7:30 p.m.ESPND
    Mexican: Universidad Nacionale at Tigres7:45 p.m.Univison
    Mexican: Puebla at Guadalajara10 p.m.Univision
    Tennis
    Western & Southern OpennoonESPN2
    Western & Southern Open7 p.m.ESPN2
    ...

  5. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Kiermaier turned a hustle double into a run. Ramirez, with help from his bullpen, made sure that was the Rays' only run in the Mariners' 7-1 victory Friday in front of 11,501 at Tropicana Field.

    The Rays (60-64) scratched out four hits — three from Wilson Ramos — in losing for the 11th time in their past 14 games. They are a season-worst four games under .500....

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) doubles in the sixth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  6. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    With runners on first and second and one out, Kiermaier said he wanted Robinson Cano, who was on first, thinking he ball would be caught....

    Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, back after missing 61 games with right hip and back problems, says he wants to bring energy to the Rays. Mallex Smith is optioned to Triple-A Durham.
  7. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The 13-mile, four-lane extension of the Suncoast Parkway has been dubbed by critics as "the road to nowhere" because it ends in the middle of Citrus County. It doesn't bend west toward U.S. 19, or east toward Interstate 75, and there are no firm plans to extend it....

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  8. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    It was a pretty uneven start for RHP Austin Pruitt, who needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning and had two innings of seven pitches and one of nine. The rookie was outstanding at times and looked like a rookie in other innings as he allowed a career-high for runs.

    Good to see CF Kevin Kiermaier back in the lineup. He hopes to inject energy into the offense, but as manager Kevin Cash said, turning this team around will take more than one player. Still, Kiermaier created the first run with a hustle double, crossed to third on a groundout and scored on sac fly....

  9. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tickets: $26-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    Promotion: Rays Tote Bag to first 15,000 fans.

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers...

    This is a 2017 photo of Ariel Miranda of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. This image reflects the Seattle Mariners' active roster as of Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, when this image was taken in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
  10. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Remains on display through Sept. 4. 10 a.m., Event Space, 802 E Whiting St., Tampa. Free. (813) 301-6500. ...

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  11. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    "I just felt hot," Winston said. "I was like, 'Man, somebody's going to get it.' "

    In no way does that diminish another overall solid performance by Winston. He went 21 of 29 passing for 196 yards and led the Bucs to scores on their first three possessions....

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  12. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire

    Criminal

    PORT RICHEY

    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    His name was John Riggins, her former boyfriend. More than a year ago, he doused Pasco with gas as she lay in bed and flicked on a lighter. She still remembers him telling her to burn.

    On Friday, he stood before Pinellas Circuit Judge Philip Federico and pleaded guilty to charges of arson and attempted first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison, and must serve at least 30....

    Tranda Webb. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

  13. Florida starter under center still under wraps

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    So wide open, coach Jim McElwain said, that he didn't have a frontrunner among Malik Zaire, Feleipe Franks and Luke Del Rio heading into Friday night's scrimmage.

    "It's tough to say," McElwain said.

    McElwain insists that uncertainty is a good thing; it means all three have shown enough in preseason camp to be viable options....

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  14. Rick Kriseman picks Floribbean restaurant for Manhattan Casino

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen a controversial restaurant concept to occupy the Manhattan Casino, saying he made a decision 11 days before the mayoral primary because he didn't want politics to get in the way of progress in struggling Midtown.

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE: How a Floribbean restaurant in Midtown became an issue in St. Petersburg's mayoral race...

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson speaks during a Friday press conference announcing that the Callaloo Group will open a Floribbean restraurant in the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood. Some residents were upset with Mayor Rick Kriseman's choice, saying it will speed up gentrification of the area. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  15. Temple Terrace Citizen of Year skips his awards banquet in protest of Confederate event

    Politics

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Travis Malloy was supposed to show up to the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to pick up his Citizen of the Year award at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

    Instead, Malloy stayed away in protest.

    The club, he recently learned, will be hosting a "Southern Heritage" event with a "War on the South" program on Sept. 2.

    "While it is their absolute right to do that, I do not want to lend my support to a club that would host such a group," Malloy, who was honored for starting community gardens and a farmers market, wrote on a Facebook page. ...

    State Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, is among the panelists for the "War on the South" banquet set for Sept. 2 at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club. [SCOTT KEELER   |     Times]