Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Hillsborough County/Tampa: 813-226-3303

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

link
  1. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    After being told backup quarterback Ryan Griffin had suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder, ending his battle for the No. 2 quarterback job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston spotted two backup offensive linemen yucking it up on the bench....

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville

    Bucs

    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode of "Hard Knocks," showing the Bucs as they decide to cut kicker Roberto Aguayo in our latest Cannon Fodder episode. Listen below:...

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  3. USAA expansion at Crosstown Center may bring Tampa 1,000 more jobs

    Corporate

    BRANDON — USAA will bring as many as 1,000 more jobs to Hillsborough County in early 2019 with the expansion of its existing operations in Brandon.

    The Texas-based insurance and financial services company, serving members and former members of the military and their families, made the announcement in a news release issued Wednesday morning.

    USAA is building a new 240,000 square-foot office building at Crosstown Center near the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway and U.S. 301, where it opened a location of similar size in 2015. The company also operates a half-million square-foot center at Commerce Park, in New Tampa, opened in 1993...

    Stuart Parker, president and chief executive officer of USAA, speaks at the company's new Crosstown Center location in Brandon during a visit following its 2015 opening. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times, 2016]
  4. Photo of the Day for August 16, 2017

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Charette of St. Petersburg, FL. He calls it "Magnificent Sunrise from Downtown St. Pete." The photo was taken from the Bayfront Tower Condominium.

    If you've taken a photo you would like us to consider publishing, please visit our Photo of the Day submission page for details....

  5. Pasco commission wants SunWest Park to remain in private hands

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — SunWest Park, Pasco's first privately operated public park, will remain in private hands, county commissioners decided Tuesday.

    Though they instructed County Administrator Dan Biles to renegotiate the contract with SunWest Park Inc. and its CEO, Patrick Panakos of Orlando, commissioners also said they wanted the company to continue operating the park.

    Panakos' company has run SunWest Park since it opened in 2015. Last week, county staffers said the company was two years in arrears on its rent payments and other obligations and also had failed to maintain the park as the contract required....

    Pasco commissioners said they wanted SunWest Park Inc CEO Patrick Panakos to continue to operate the county-owned SunWest Park. 

Times staff (2015)
  6. When is an island not an island? When it's Caladesi

    Environment

    CLEARWATER — North of Clearwater Beach, beyond the last brown beach house, where the mangroves jut nearly out to the sea, lies seclusion.

    Keep walking on the sand as it turns from smooth grains into millions of tiny seashell bits that crunch under your feet. The beach will narrow as the dense mangrove brush creeps up on your right, the turquoise Gulf waves crashing in on your left.

    The Gulf of Mexico has a way of taking over your senses here, with its overwhelming salty smell and the rhythmic roar of waves drowning out passing speedboats....

    Franco Cerliani, left, and Daniella Cerliani, of Beunos Aires, Argentina, hike into the tidal area while exploring Caladesi Island. The swath of vegetation is close to the connection between Clearwater Beach and the so-called island. .DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times
  7. Tampa man, 68, accused of multiple sexual encounters with 17-year-old girl

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 68-year-old Tampa man was arrested on Tuesday and faces charges of 21 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 17-year-old girl.

    Charles Wayne Logan was booked into Hillsborough County Jail at 7:57 p.m. and is being held in lieu of $157,500 bail, according to jail records.

    Hillsborough County deputies say that between June 2017 and July 2017, he engaged in multiple consensual sexual encounters with the teen at both his residence and her home....

    Charles Wayne Logan, of 6440 Willow Wood Ln in Tampa, was arrested on Tuesday and faces charges of 21 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 17-year-old girl, the sheriff's office said. [Hillsborough Cty Sheriff's Office]

  8. Forecast: Slightly higher rain chances across Tampa Bay as heat, humidity prevails

    Weather

    A little more moisture will begin to move into Tampa Bay on Wednesday, resulting in a slightly better chance of rain than residents have seen so far this week.

    [WTSP]...

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  9. FHP bids for pay raise a week after disastrous publicity

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — This is real bad timing.

    The Florida Highway Patrol will make a pitch today for a pay raise to Gov. Rick Scott and Florida's three Cabinet members.

    Terry Rhodes, the executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which oversees FHP, will make the case for the raises. The FHP lost 203 troopers last year, a high turnover that's blamed on low pay....

    FHP license plate.
  10. Wrong Way: At 15, he was the county's No. 1 car thief. He had every reason to stop.

    Crime

    Isaiah Battle believes in heaven. When he pictures it, everything is gold, everyone sitting on couches among clouds. He is not sure if people in heaven have to share rooms. But if they do, he hopes he can share one with his sister, Dominique.

    They shared one on earth, in St. Petersburg, back before she drowned in a stolen car in a cemetery pond. Two beds where they'd lie side by side and joke about their boyfriends, girlfriends, school. Smoke weed and watch whatever was on TV. Tell each other I love you before lights out each night. ...

    Isaiah Battle stole eight cars by the time he was 16. Then his sister died in a stolen car. Read our special report, 'Wrong Way.' [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  11. The Daystarter: Wrong Way, a special report; Aguayo's cut highlights 'Hard Knocks'; Hillsborough commissioners may protect monuments; will FHP troopers get a raise?

    News

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

    • It will be another scorcher today, with highs above 90 and feeling more like triple-digits, according to 10Weather WTSP. Scattered storms are possible near the coast early, then inland in the afternoon....

    Isaiah Battle stole eight cars by the time he was 16. Then his sister died in a stolen car. Read our special report, 'Wrong Way.' [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  12. State seeks to sell Hidden Lake preserve in west Pasco

    Environment

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The state has hung a for-sale sign on a 589-acre preserve in suburban west Pasco.

    The property, identified by the Southwest Florida Water Management District as the Hidden Lake acreage, has been in public ownership for more than three decades. It sits at the end of Doe Court, north of Ridge Road, near the Hidden Lake airport and residential community. It features a 48-acre private lake, and the asking price is $852,000....

    The Southwest Florida Water Management District is selling the 589-acre Hidden Lake preserve in west Pasco.
  13. Uncertainty delays consideration of plan for cruise boat in Hernando Beach

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — A last-minute effort to keep his options open delayed the public hearing this week for the operator of a proposed scenic dinner cruise boat in Hernando Beach.

    Randall Rossi had proposed lunch and dinner cruises on a 45-foot boat from a 7,562-square-foot lot at the northwest corner of Gulf Coast Drive and Calienta Street. The county's planning staff had recommended approval, with strict limits on passenger numbers and boat size — and with limits on use of the property and a prohibition of any other recreational boats on the site....

    Marina Rose Enterprises is proposing to operate a scenic dinner cruise boat out of Hernando Beach. [Times file photo]
  14. Rick Scott finds out today if he has backing on Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Now Florida's Cabinet gets to weigh in on Venezuela.

    Gov. Rick Scott has spent the last month rallying support for economic sanctions against the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela.

    During a meeting at 9 a.m. today, Scott will seek the support from at least two of three Florida Cabinet members: Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, who is running to replace Scott, and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miam. Governor Scott called on the Venezuelan government to free Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner from house arrest, as well as those that have been wrongly imprisoned by Nicolas Maduro's government.  [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  15. Pinellas working out plans to place a nurse in every public school by 2021

    K12

    LARGO — Amid rising rates of food allergies and chronic diseases among students, the Pinellas County school district may get enough funding to staff a nurse in every school by 2021.

    Sara O'Toole, the district's managing officer for school health services, told School Board members at a workshop Tuesday that funding from the Pinellas County Commission would cover the cost of a licensed practical nurse at every school and a registered nurse overseeing every 10 LPNs. ...