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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

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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. Tuesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball
    Rays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AM
    Yankees at Red Sox7 p.m.MLB
    Marlins at Phillies7 p.m.FSF
    Boxing
    Super welterweights: Lara vs. Barrios9 p.m.FS1
    College baseball
    Mississippi State vs. Mississippi7:30 p.m.SEC
    High school baseball
    Tampa Catholic at Jesuit7 p.m.Spectrum
    NBA playoffs
    Thunder at Rockets8 p.m.TNT
    Grizzlies at Spurs9 p.m.NBA
    Jazz at Clippers10:30 p.m.TNT
    Soccer
    German: Frankfurt at Borussia Monchengladbach2:30 p.m.ESPND
    EPL: Southampton at Chelsea2:30 p.m.NBCSN
    ...

  2. Rays blow another lead, lose to first-place Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Monday started so well for the Rays, some still seemingly rare national recognition as Steven Souza Jr. won the AL player of the week award, and on his 28th birthday no less.

    Hours of uncertainty over an ominous forecast for heavy rain yielded to a cold and damp night, but playable through intermittent showers, albeit with a brief delay in the eighth.

    Then the game itself looked to be going the Rays' way. ...

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer paces around the mound as the Orioles’ Hyun Soo Kim circles the bases in the sixth after hitting the first of back-to-back homers off Archer.
  3. Rays journal: Chih-Wei Hu has memorable, and long, first day in majors

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Chih-Wei Hu's first day in the majors Sunday was not only memorable but quite long.

    The excitement actually started around 11 p.m. Saturday, when he got summoned to the lobby of the Louisville, Ky., hotel where the Triple-A Durham team was staying to get the news, then called his parents in Taiwan to tell them.

    He tried to sleep until 3:30 a.m., headed to the airport at 4, took a flight at 6 to Atlanta, connected there for another flight to Tampa, made it to the Trop around 10:30, got welcomed and acclimated to the majors, warmed up but didn't get into Sunday's game, then boarded the team plane for another flight to Baltimore, getting to the hotel around 9:30 p.m....

    Chih-Wei Hu was on a 6 a.m. flight to Atlanta on Sunday in his first full day as a major-leaguer.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer battled the elements and himself all night, getting huge outs when he needed but also allowing homers to the Nos. 7-8 hitters — his first of the season — while walking a career-high-matching five and throwing 104 in 6⅔ innings.

    RF Steven Souza Jr. has done a good job simplifying things at the plate, leading to his AL player of the week award, but bruising his right elbow scaling the wall for a home run ball he couldn't get to is the kind of risk he has to learn not to take....

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

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

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.07)

    ORIOLES: LH Wade Miley (1-0, 1.89)

    Orioles 6, Rays 3

    Tampa Bay AB R H BI BB SO Avg. ...

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) in the dugout before starting the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
  6. FAST wants more Penny for Pinellas tax money spent on affordable housing

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — City and county officials were asked to commit millions of dollars of sales tax revenues to build more affordable housing in Pinellas during a gathering of about 3,000 people Monday night at Tropicana Field.

    The program was the latest effort by a group of religious congregations called FAST, with the motto "Faith and Action for Strength Together," to get local governments to spend more money to secure housing for the county's poorer residents....

    Teresa McClendon, right, and Dionna Dennison clap along to music as members of FAST congregations assembled in Tropicana Field on Monday. The coalition of worship groups invited public officials to ask them to pledge their support to social and economic issues. Event organizers estimated about 3,000 people in attendance.
  7. Tampa Bay area business leaders lobby on contentious transit bill

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — More than a dozen top business local executives went to Tallahassee with an appeal in the days following last week's political showdown between three GOP senators from Tampa Bay over a regional transit bill.

    Keep talking. Please.

    The nonprofit Tampa Bay Partnership had planned the lobbying trip anyway.

    But the delegation arrived just a day after Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, watched in frustration as fellow Republican senators Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Tom Lee of Thonotosassa amended his bill to overhaul the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) during a tense meeting of the Senate Community Affairs Committee....

    Rick Homans is president of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
  8. HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Laurel Wanger and Carter Reed

    Tennis Preps

    Laurel Wanger Largo

    Three years ago, Wanger went to the state tournament with her doubles partner.

    And that was her only appearance — until this year. The senior also made good on her vow to bring her teammates along, too.

    Largo accomplished just that, advancing as a team to states for the first time since 2011.

    "It was a big goal to have all of us get there," Wanger said. "It's hard to do because you have to win districts, as well as the region meets. It's more fun this way to have everyone make it and enjoy the experience."...

    East Lake tennis player Carter Reed
  9. The next step Bucs' Mike Evans knows he needs to take

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Even at 23, Bucs WR Mike Evans understands he needs to take on more of a leadership role with veteran Vincent Jackson not back for 2017.

    "I'm going to be a more vocal leader," said Evans, entering his fourth season in the league. "I always try to lead by example, but I'll be more vocal now, since V-Jax is gone."

    The Bucs brought in free agent DeSean Jackson, 30, who can take over the veteran presence that Vincent Jackson had, but the Bucs will also be without Louis Murphy and Cecil Shorts, both 29, and Russell Shepard, 26, who were part of last year's group....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) leaves the field after a 30-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.
  10. Haley, Young center among VA hospitals where drugs disappeared en route to patients

    Veterans

    The Tampa area's two Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals — James A. Haley in Tampa and C.W. Bill Young in St. Petersburg — are among five in Florida reporting the loss of prescription pain killers, according to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan.

    One employee at the Young center received a two-week suspension over the disappearance of a narcotic, VA officials told Buchanan.

    Statewide, about 30 Florida veterans were affected by the losses — "the overwhelming number" blamed on the postal system. The drug most often missing was oxycodone, with nearly 500 tablets, while 30 to 90 fentanyl pills also disappeared....

    The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is one of five in Florida reporting missing drugs.
  11. Ominous question preceded Tampa man's murder charge: "Did you find her?"

    Crime

    TAMPA — As Hillsborough sheriff's deputies led him to a patrol car, blood spattered on his clothes and legs, Hector Acevedo asked an ominous question.

    "Did you find her?" the 24-year-old convicted felon asked moments after his arrest Saturday on a weapons charge, according to a Tampa police report.

    Acevedo initially wouldn't explain what he meant or talk about the blood. Then, according to the report, he confessed to attacking his girlfriend, Shyeanne Lewis....

    Hector Acevedo confessed to attacking girlfriend Shyeanne Lewis, a police report says.
  12. Afternoon update: Obama talks youth leadership in first post-Presidential appearance; Star Wars land will put you 'in the movie'; parents call for Campbell Park elementary principal's resignation; attorneys: Gators' Caleb Brantley 'was not the aggressor'

    Here's what you may have missed, and what you need to know as you start winding down:

    OBAMA TALKS YOUTH LEADERSHIP IN FIRST POST-PRESIDENTIAL APPEARANCE

    Former President Barack Obama is using his first public appearance since leaving office to talk with students about his experiences as a community organizer in Chicago and how that laid the foundation for his political career. Obama led a student panel Monday at the University of Chicago, where his presidential library is planned....

    Former President Barack Obama listens as participants speak during a forum at the University of Chicago held to promote community organizing on Monday in Chicago, Illinois. The visit marks Obama's first formal public appearance since leaving office.[Scott Olson/Getty Images]
  13. Tampa jury awards $15 million to widow in tobacco lawsuit

    Civil

    TAMPA — A Tampa jury has awarded $15 million in damages to the widow of a man who died from illnesses related to years of cigarette smoking.

    After a four-week trial, the jury said Mary Lima, 83, is entitled to $3 million in compensatory damages from the loss of her husband, Johnny Lima. The jury also ordered $12 million in punitive damages against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

    Lima, a grocer and restaurateur, began smoking in the 1940s, inhaling up to two packs a day for more than 40 years. He died in 1993 at age 60....

  14. What to watch this week: 'The Handmaid's Tale' on Hulu, 'Great News' on NBC

    Blog

    Watch this week

    MONDAY

    Gotham, 8 p.m., Fox: Ed Nygma convinces himself that he doesn't need Penguin to succeed and starts to present himself as the Riddler to Gotham.

    SEASON FINALE: APB, 9 p.m., Fox: In the first season finale, Gideon is blamed for recent terrorist attacks, so he and Conrad have to work quickly to uncover the real culprit....

    Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin star in NBC's Great News.
  15. Disney's Star Wars Land joins trend of theme parks putting you 'in the movie'

    Florida

    In Star Wars Land, you'll be able to fly Han Solo's Millennium Falcon. You can drop by the Cantina for a drink with a droid. The attraction, coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando in 2019, is being designed to take you out of the theme park and into the Star Wars universe.

    And you can thank Harry Potter for that.

    Thanks to the success of Universal Orlando's worlds inspired by J.K. Rowling's books, park visitors are now beyond whirling Dumbo rides or flying over Neverland with animatronic characters below, said theme park expert Dennis L. Speigel, president of the analysis firm International Theme Park Services. Parkgoers are now getting entire fantasy lands....

    An artist’s concept shows the Star Wars Land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando in 2019.