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  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    "I was there long enough. I was there to point where I'm strong now," Doug Martin said Thursday. "Mentally strong and physically strong."

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

    The NCAA's Summary Disposition Report was released Thursday to the Tampa Bay Times after a public records request....

  3. Friday's sports on TV/radio

    TV and Radio


    Indianapolis 500 Carb Day11 a.m.NBCSN
    Mariners at Red Sox7 p.m.MLB
    Angels at Marlins7 p.m.FSF
    Rays at Twins8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AM
    Cubs at Dodgers10 p.m.MLB
    College baseball, conference tourneys
    Big Ten: Minnesota vs. Northwestern10 a.m.Big Ten
    ACC: Miami vs. Wake Forest11 a.m.FSF
    SEC: Florida vs. Mississippi StatenoonSEC
    Big Ten: Nebraska vs. Iowa1:30 p.m.Big Ten
    ACC: Florida State vs. Louisville3 p.m.FSF
    SEC: S. Carolina vs. Kentucky or LSU4 p.m.SEC
    Big Ten: Indiana vs. Minnesota-Northwestern loser5 p.m.Big Ten
    SEC: Arkansas vs. Florida-Mississippi State loser7 p.m.SEC
    Big Ten: Maryland vs. Nebraska-Iowa loser8:30 p.m.Big Ten
    College softball, super regions
    Oklahoma at Auburn4 p.m.ESPN2
    LSU at Florida State5 p.m.ESPNU
    Texas A&M at Tennessee6 p.m.ESPN2
    Alabama at Florida7 p.m.ESPN
    Kentucky at Oregon7 p.m.ESPNU
    Ole Miss at UCLA9 p.m.ESPN
    Baylor at Arizona9 p.m.ESPN2
    Utah at Washington11 p.m.ESPNU
    PGA Europe: BMW Championship5 a.m.Golf
    Senior PGA Championship1 p.m.Golf
    PGA: Dean & Deluca Invitational4 p.m.Golf
    U-20 World Cup: England vs. Korea7 a.m.FS1
    U-20 World Cup: Guinea vs. Argentina7 a.m.FS2

  4. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump


    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., May 12 in Twitter

    The ruling

    President Donald Trump's tax lawyers are partners in the Washington, D.C., office of Morgan Lewis, which employs some 2,000 attorneys in 30 cities around the world, including 40 lawyers and staff in Moscow....

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  5. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Who wants to be equal parts good and bad?

    Not the Rays, who evened their season record again Thursday with a 4-0 win against the Angels.

    It's the 15th time this season the Rays (25-25) have been at .500. Pitcher Alex Cobb said this week it's time for the team to make a move and leave so-so in the rearview mirror....

    Matt Andriese becomes the first Rays starter to reach five wins this season after eight shutout innings against the Angels.
  6. Seminole man accused of fracturing 8-month-old baby's leg


    Deputies arrested a Seminole man Thursday after he fractured an 8-month-old baby's bones, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Gary G. Gibeault, 32, faces a charge of aggravated child abuse.

    Detectives believe the baby girl was hurt while she was under the care of Gibeault on May 9. The following day, the girl's mother discovered the injuries. She was taken to a local hospital with several fractures in one leg....

    Gary G. Gibeault of Seminole was arrested on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
  7. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That was huge," Andriese said.

    Said Souza, "Anytime the ball's put in play and he's on second base, you got to make a pretty good throw to get him. I had to make my best throw and put it there, and fortunately it worked out."...

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  8. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    TWINS: LH Hector Santiago (4-2, 3.96)

    On Archer: Is 5-1, 1.73 in six career starts against Twins. Is 3-0, 0.98 in three career starts at Target Field.

    On Santiago: Is 1-0, 4.86 in four career appearances against Rays, including two starts. Threw seven shutout innings in most recent start against Rays....

    CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 14: Hector Santiago #53 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after walking Lonnie Chisenhall #8 of the Cleveland Indians during the third inning at Progressive Field on May 14, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Twins 8-3. Players are wearing pink to celebrate Mother's Day weekend and support breast cancer awareness. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) 700010792
  9. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    If you're walking, you're hitting, as the saying goes, so it's a good sign that RF Steven Souza Jr. reached base four times, with a hit by pitch, a single and two walks. Hitters feel they are coming out of slumps when they are walking, because they are seeing the ball better. That's good news for the Rays offense, since you saw how potent it was early in the season when Souza was hitting....

  10. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    Without that cash, St. Petersburg could face steep fines for violating a soon-to-be-finalized consent order with the state forcing the city to fix its sewage problems.

    But the huge price tag comes with financial repercussions: It would effectively double St. Petersburg's overall utility debt, threatening the city's utility bond rating — which is used as a measure of a municipality's credit-worthiness....

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg’s North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city’s overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city’s credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  11. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The county has landed $30 million to complete renourishment projects at three popular beaches.

    The funding for the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project will go toward about 10.5 miles of work at Sand Key, Upham Beach and Treasure Island. The federal projects are administered by the Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers....

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  12. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions


    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    These days, the Straz Center gets more than 600,000 patrons annually — but no new parking spaces have been added nearby. To the contrary, an apartment complex now under construction has gobbled up 500 spaces long used by concertgoers.

    The Florida Orchestra played recently before full or near-capacity crowds at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, but had open seats in a smaller theater at the Straz....

    Patronage at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa has grown to nearly 600,000 annually, making parking spaces increasingly hard to come by.
  13. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say


    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a large swan sculpture that was stolen from a Lakeland cold storage facility last weekend, possibly by a naked man.

    The Sheriff's Office released video surveillance that officers believe sheds light on the heist. It shows the naked man, whom deputies identified as Ronald Thompson, walking into the Lakeland Cold Storage at 4100 Frontage Road S during the early morning hours of May 19....

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says this sculpture was stolen from Lakeland Cold Storage. Watch a video report at
  14. Perfection's not easy in baseball, just ask Calvary Christian


    CLEARWATER — Of the more than 300 varsity high school baseball teams in Florida, only one has won every game this season: Calvary Christian. The Warriors are a perfect 28-0.

    The next test comes tonight against Delray Beach American Heritage in the Class 4A state semifinal in Fort Myers. It's the first time the school has ever played in the state tournament. Then again, there have been a lot of firsts this season. ...

    Matheu Nelson and Co. have had a few close calls, but Calvary remains unscathed with two games left.
  15. Clearwater firefighters rescue girl trapped between pipes

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Firefighters rescued a 14-year-old girl who whose leg was trapped between two pipes on Franklin Street on Thursday afternoon, Clearwater fire rescue said.

    The call came in at 4:25 p.m. and crews arrived four minutes later to the stack of pipes in the 1300 block of Franklin Street. It took firefighters seven minutes to free her from the pipes. She was flown via helicopter to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with a leg injury....

    Paramedics load a 14-year-old girl onto a helicopter after she injured her leg when she was trapped between a few pipes in Clearwater.