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You can also call one of our county news bureaus directly:

Hernando County: 352-754-6101

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  1. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Florida scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their SEC rival 6-1 Tuesday night to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball.

    The Gators (52-19) posted the eighth sweep in the 15 years of the best-of-three finals format, and first since 2013. LSU (52-20) lost for the first time in seven appearances in a championship game....

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  2. One killed, five injured in crash on Park Boulevard N in Pinellas Park

    Accidents

    Westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N have reopened at 62nd Way N in Pinellas Park following a fatal crash late Tuesday night.

    According to police, the two-vehicle crash occurred around 11 p.m. at the 6300 block of Park Boulevard N.

    Police say an unidentified man was killed after his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree and five others in the vehicles involved have been hospitalized for treatment of undisclosed injuries....

  3. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman and Baker pull no punches in first forum

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Church fans were passed out as hundreds of people pressed into the room at Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and the temperatures climbed. And that was before the forum began....

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  4. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    Two gopher tortoises were discovered June 8, their shells crushed and cracked, on the side of a bike path in Manatee County. The surviving tortoise was taken to an animal hospital, where it later died. The incident was first reported by YourObserver.com, the website for a chain of weekly newspapers....

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Airbnb on track to shatter tax revenues brought in last year

    Business

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.

    "The state of Florida and so many of its counties are emerging as national models for how to harness the economic power of home sharing," Chris Lehane, Airbnb's global head of policy and communication, said in a press release Tuesday. "We are committed to serving as good partners to Florida's local governments, and we will not stop working until every Florida county is benefitting from new home sharing tax revenue."...

    Airbnb has collected more than $18 million in taxes for Florida state and local governments so far this year, putting it on a fast-track to shatter its 2016 tax collection of $20 million.
[Bloomberg file photo]

  6. PSTA foresees no service cuts as it rolls out proposed 2018 budget

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will unveil the first draft of its 2018 budget at Wednesday morning's meeting of the governing board.

    The county's bus agency shouldn't have to cut service in the upcoming fiscal year, officials said, but the organization will have to dip into reserve funding to balance the budget.

    On the other side of the bay, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority revealed earlier this month that it will have to cut the number of bus routes from 41 to 34 in its upcoming 2018 budget....

    A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus leaves the terminal at  3180 Central Ave. in St Petersburg in 2014. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  7. What you need to know for Wednesday, June 28

    News

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

    [WTSP]...

    St. Petersburg will finally break ground today on its long-awaited downtown Pier. [City of  St. Petersburg]
  8. USF's 'Black Pulp!' and 'Woke!' exhibits reframe African-American representation

    Visual Arts

    The concept of being "woke" is inextricably woven into the zeitgeist. To be truly woke, you have to be aware of not only current social injustices, but also the historical fight against prejudice.

    While probably coined by Erykah Badu in 2008 in her song Master Teacher, "woke" and "stay woke" became closely affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. That event prompted artists William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson to curate "Black Pulp!" and "Woke!," now on view at the University of South Florida's Contemporary Art Museum....

    Mark Thomas Gibson’s “Last Dance (1)” (2016) is part of the “Woke!” exhibition at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum.
  9. It took a decade, but groundbreaking for St. Petersburg's new pier is finally here

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The day that the city has long awaited — and some long fought — will finally arrive Wednesday: the groundbreaking ceremony for the new pier.

    The ceremony will start at 9 a.m. at the Pier Approach, which is at the end of Second Avenue NE in downtown, leading up to the water.

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE: St. Petersburg's new pier is a go: City Council approves first construction funds...

    This architectural rendering shows what the new St. Petersburg Pier District will look like when it's set to be completed in 2019. The groundbreaking will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  10. Wednesday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio

    TODAY

    Baseball
    Rays at Pirates7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AM
    Mets at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Rangers at Indians7 p.m.MLB
    Dodgers at Angels (in progress)11 p.m.MLB
    Soccer
    Confederations Cup semifinal: Portugal vs. Chile2 p.m.FS1
    Exhibition: Mexico vs. Ghana9 p.m.Unimas
    ...

  11. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. The Chicago Tribune shared the top investigative award for "Dangerous Doses" which looked at pharmacies dispensing drugs with dangerous interactions....

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  12. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Ashley Mowry, 25, of 9130 Park Richey Blvd. faces a charge of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 by someone older than 18. The arrest took place outside Busch Gardens theme park, where Mowry works as a food attendant, according to jail records. ...

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  13. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    But things turned out all right, as the Rays rallied to take advantage of Pirate miscues in the 10th and scored a 4-2 win.

    They won when Steven Souza Jr. singled against former Rays minor-leaguer Felipe Rivero, who'd been scored on once in his previous 18 outings. Wilson Ramos then lashed a ball to third that David Freese misplayed, Souza coming around to score on an wisely aggressive send by third-base coach Charlie Montoyo. They added the other without a hit as Ramos went to second on a walk and third on a wild pitch and scored on a sac fly....

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  14. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

    The Rays have talked openly of their need for bullpen help, either internal or external, to help get the ball to closer Alex Colome. But now they have something else to worry about, as Colome had a third straight rough outing, letting a two-run ninth-inning lead get away....

  15. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    But as the ramifications of Monday's trade spread through their clubhouse and onto the field in Tuesday's 4-2, 10-inning win over the Pirates — including Hechavarria introducing himself with a dazzling play — there was one significant thing unsaid:...

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399