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Romano: Changing the rules on Florida's death row, one prisoner at a time

Three times, the killer has been sentenced to die for the same murder. At his first sentencing, in 1993, he mocked the family of his victim by giving them a thumbs-up sign. The second …

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One man in critical condition after shooting at Tampa strip club parking lot

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The Bucs are doing a better job protecting Jameis Winston; here's how

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Dining: New 'St. Pete-themed' restaurant; Tis the season for wine and chocolate events

Dining: New 'St. Pete-themed' restaurant; Tis the season for wine and chocolate events

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Movies: Tampa Bay Underground Film Fest; Possession Flick 'Incarnate'

Movies: Tampa Bay Underground Film Fest; Possession Flick 'Incarnate'

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Eight fun holiday events across Tampa Bay this weekend, including the Victorian Christmas Stroll (w/video)

Eight fun holiday events across Tampa Bay this weekend, including the Victorian Christmas Stroll (w/video)

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'Into the Woods' starts new tour at Straz Center

'Into the Woods' starts new tour at Straz Center

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  1. Pinellas deputies search for man who assaulted Seminole teen

    Crime

    SEMINOLE — Detectives are searching for a man who slapped a 15-year-old girl's butt and chased her for half a mile as she was on her way home from school Friday evening, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

    Pinellas County Sheriff's detectives are searching for white male in his 40s who slapped a 15-year-old girl's butt and chased her for half a mile as she was on her way home from school Friday evening. The girl helped provide detectives with this composite sketch.
  2. The Bucs are doing a better job protecting Jameis Winston; here's how

    Bucs

    Notice something different about Jameis Winston lately? Fewer incompletions? Fewer interceptions? Fewer grass stains?

    Jameis Winston has been sacked once in the Bucs' past two games. He had been sacked at least twice in eight of Tampa Bay's first nine games. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeffrey Multer shines as soloist

    Stage

    TAMPA — Every year, some of the world's best violinists play on our stages. This year, young sensations Simone Porter and Benjamin Beilman wowed Florida Orchestra audiences. Early next year, Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman pass through town.

    Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeffrey Multer.
  4. Pasco doctor's office manager charged with illegally writing prescriptions

    Crime

    A Pasco County doctor's office manager is charged with forging a doctor's name in order to illegally sell prescription drugs.

  5. Brush fire breaks out near Pinellas-Pasco line

    Fire

    Pasco County Fire Rescue is currently battling a brush fire near Anclote Park.

  6. Tampa man killed in hit-and-run crash

    Accidents

    A 30-year-old Tampa man was killed just after midnight Saturday in a hit-and-run crash.

  7. One man in critical condition after shooting at Tampa strip club parking lot

    Crime

    One man is in critical condition after a shooting early Saturday morning at a Tampa strip club.

  8. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy shoots, kills man in Brandon Walmart parking lot

    Public Safety

    BRANDON — A Hillsborough County deputy shot and killed a 28-year-old man late Friday who raised a firearm in a car with three young children nearby.

  9. Romano: Changing the rules on Florida's death row, one prisoner at a time

    Courts

    Three times, the killer has been sentenced to die for the same murder.

  10. Man dies in Thonotosassa motorcycle crash

    Accidents

    THONOTOSASSA — A 30-year-old man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a car making a turn early Friday evening, authorities said.

Prison official keeps high-paid job as state settles $800,000 case against him

The state takes no blame for what former Florida Department of Corrections inspector general Jeffery Beasley has done, but it is paying $800,000 to end a retaliation lawsuit brought by his former employees and is keeping him in a newly created job that pays $116,500 annually....

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Five things to watch in Bucs-Chargers game Sunday

TAMPA -- Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is seeking the "California sweep," with wins at San Francisco and San Diego in the same season.

In their first 40 seasons, the Bucs totaled just four regular-season wins in California -- at the 49ers in 1980, at the Chargers in 1996, back in San Francisco in 2010 and in Oakland in 2012 -- as well as, of course, their Super Bowl win against the Raiders in San Diego in January 2003.

So two in one season would be quite an accomplishment. Here are five other things to watch in Sunday's Bucs-Chargers game ...

1. Can Brent Grimes intercept a pass from Philip Rivers? Again? Rivers has thrown 147 career interceptions, but no individual player has more than the four that Grimes  has, all in three games over the last three seasons. Rivers is also the quarterback that Grimes has picked off the most in his career, edging the Bucs' Josh Freeman (3) and the Saints' Drew Brees (2), who he'll face twice in the next four games.

Rivers has been around long enough that three other Bucs can claim interceptions against him while with other teams -- CB Alterraun Verner, LB Daryl Smith and S Major Wright.

Just to balance that, Rivers is one of just 13 quarterbacks ever to throw for four touchdown and no interceptions against the Bucs, doing so in a 2008 win. He's only had three such games in his 176-game career; the other two were against the Jaguars.

2. Can Doug Martin rush for 100 yards against San Diego? Martin hasn't cracked 100 yet this season in his five games, topping out at 87 in the win against Seattle.

It'd be notable, in that the Chargers are one of just four NFL teams that haven't given up a 100-yard rushing game this season, along with the Patriots, Cowboys and Giants. Those other three teams are a combined 28-6, as many losses as the 5-6 Chargers have. The Bucs just missed that group, allowing the Bears' Jordan Howard to rush for exactly 100 yards in their win over Chicago.

San Diego hasn't allowed anyone to rush for more than 82 yards -- that's an NFL low -- but the three teams that got 70-yard games against the Chargers all came away with wins.

Most 100-yard games allowed this season? It's easily the 49ers, who have given up eight, double the next-worst run defense, as the Colts and Raiders have allowed four each.

3. Can Robert Ayers stay perfect in San Diego? Ayers started his NFL career in Denver as a division rival of the Chargers, and he's 4-0 in his career at Qualcomm Stadium. Overall, he's 6-3 in his career against San Diego, including a playoff win in 2013.

"Philip Rivers is one of my favorite quarterbacks to play against," said Ayers, who got a sack and forced fumble against him in 2011. "He's a super-fiery guy, super-competitive, brings a lot of passion to the game, like most defensive guys are and how I'd like to think I am."

4. Can the Bucs really win four in a row? Tampa Bay's only had one four-game win streak since the start of 2009, over seven-plus seasons. Their last one came in 2012, and coincided with the last time they played the Chargers.

How many Bucs playing today were in that win against San Diego? Just six -- Martin, Demar Dotson, Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David as starters, with Keith Tandy and Luke Stocker as backups. Four years is a long time. ...

5. How many fumbles can the Bucs defense force? Here's a major opportunity -- Tampa Bay's defense is tied for the NFL lead with 11 forced fumbles, and the Chargers offense is tied for the NFL with 11 fumbles lost.

Travis Benjamin's three lost fumbles are the most by any NFL receiver, and only one running back has lost more than Melvin Gordon, who has two last year and lost four as a rookie last year. Rivers, too, has lost three fumbles.

While we're on the topic of fumbles, the Bucs offense need be careful, too -- Jameis Winston is tied for the NFL lead this year with four lost fumbles, and Doug Martin, who lost one last week, led all NFL running backs with five last season....

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Five steps to loving Stars Hollow: The Musical from 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'

We have had a week to sit with the Gilmore Girls revival. And while I'm never going to excuse certain things — Lorelai would NOT be okay with Rory's questionable life choices; Paris and Doyle would definitely get back together because they are perfect for each other — I don't think I was ever going to be capable of hating whatever Amy Sherman Palladino and her husband Daniel produced. ...

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