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  1. Sheriff: Zephyrhills boy, 4, expected to recover from accidental shooting

    Crime

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 4-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself on Wednesday night is expected to recover from his injuries, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

  2. Rays report: Port Charlotte finale with Odorizzi on the hill

    Blogs

    The Rays break camp this afternoon and head to the Trop after facing the Twins in Port Charlotte, first pitch 1:05.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, Hector Santiago for the Twins.

    The Rays play their spring finale on Friday in Clearwater, have a workout Saturday and then open …

  3. North Carolina lawmakers say they've agreed on transgender bathroom bill repeal

    Nation

    Lawmakers in North Carolina announced late Wednesday night that they had reached an agreement to repeal a costly and highly-criticized law that restricts which public restrooms transgender people can use.

    A sign hangs outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. Lawmakers in North Carolina announced March 30, 2017,  that they had reached an agreement to repeal a costly and highly-criticized law that restricts which public restrooms transgender people can use. [Associated Press]
  4. Nerd alert: 6 comic cons coming to Tampa Bay, Orlando

    Blogs

    Tis the season for cosplay and geeky gatherings. It's comic convention season, and that means for the next five months Tampa Bay and Central Florida host thousands of nerds.

    Star Wars Celebration is expected to bring nearly 30,000 people to Orlando this year.
  5. Judge rules in Hernando County's favor in annexation spat with Brooksville

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The city of Brooksville did not follow the rules when it annexed five county properties in 2015, and the annexations have been quashed by Circuit Judge Donald Scaglione.

    Circuit Judge Donald Scagione made no finding on the question of racial discrim-ination.
  6. Norah Catlin, 13, hits the greens at Augusta National

    Pga

    ZEPHYRHILLS — At age 13, Norah Catlin has golf pretty well figured out.

    Grace Jin (third place), left, Lauren Clark (second place), middle, and Norah Catlin (first place overall in the girls 12-13 division) pose with their medals during the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Sept. 10, 2016, in Ponte Vedra Beach.
  7. Riverview couple may get reprieve from foreclosure over $150 association fee

    Real Estate

    RIVERVIEW — A Riverview family on the brink of losing their home for failing to pay a $150 homeowners association fee has been offered an 11th hour chance at mediation following news coverage of their plight.

    Tina and Luis Lopez had been ordered to leave their house in the Rivercrest community of Riverview over unpaid homeowners association fees. They now have a mediation conference scheduled Tuesday. [D'ANN LAWRENCE WHITE   |   Special to the Times]
  8. Port Richey Walmart now closed during overnight hours, and police chief couldn't be happier

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — It is not often that the head of a police department feels the need to comment on a retailer's decision to reduce its hours of operation.

    Chief Gerard DeCanio says the high volume of calls from the store  drains police resources.
  9. Florida has second highest pedestrian fatality rate as numbers spike nationwide; distracted driving cited

    Accidents

    WASHINGTON — Florida has the second-highest per-capita rate of pedestrian deaths in the nation, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday.

    Clearwater Police investigate a crash in which an unidentified adult male pedestrian was killed after being hit by a van near the intersection of Belcher Road and Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater in September 2016. Florida has the second-highest per-capita rate of pedestrian deaths in the nation, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released on March 30, 2017.
  10. Seminole dementia facility uses animatronic pets for memory care patient comfort

    Nursing Homes

    SEMINOLE

    Posters of Life magazine covers featuring Bing Crosby, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn line the walls of the Clare Bridge Place at Brookdale's Freedom Square, where about 10 residents gathered, watching the Hallmark Channel's Home and Family.

    Marie McCauseland, 87, pets “Clare,” an animatronic companion pet at Clare Bridge at Freedom Square in Seminole. Kathy Breese helps her with the exercise, which can help dementia patients reduce anxiety and stress.
  11. Pedestrian dies after car strikes him in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — A pedestrian was killed in Largo when he was struck by a car on Wednesday night, according to police.

  12. Forecast: Humidity, and temperatures, on the rise in Tampa Bay

    Weather

    A slightly more muggy day is in store for the Tampa Bay area Thursday with wake-up temperatures in some areas as high as the low to mid 70s.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  13. Florida education news: After-school programs, property taxes, bonuses and more

    Blogs

    AFTER SCHOOL: Tampa Bay area parents and educators see benefit in the after-school programs for low-income children that the Trump administration seeks to …

  14. Deputies arrest suspects in smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries at Pinellas, Pasco day-care centers

    Crime

    Three suspects from South Florida were arrested Wednesday night after deputies say they are responsible for multiple smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries at day-care centers in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

    Reginald S. Williams, left, and Whitney D. Smith were arrested on March 30, 2017, after deputies say they were responsible for multiple smash-and-grab vehicle burglaries at day-care centers in Pinellas and Pasco counties. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]