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Popular with voters, medical marijuana finds few champions in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — Medical marijuana's implementation is turning out to be a slow burn. More than 6 million Floridians voted in November to allow patients with conditions like cancer and HI …

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While Gulfport police investigate drowning of pit bull terrier, social media makes up its own mind

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Bishop Robert Nugent Lynch, at retirement, reflects on church scandals, lessons learned

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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. Henderson: Young's anti-fracking bill holds promise

    Columns

    The campaign to represent District 18 in the Florida Senate was nasty, with charges and counter-charges flying to the point where voters might have been tempted to hide under the covers.

    New state Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, says she plans to introduce a bill in the coming session of the Legislature to enact a statewide ban on fracking in Florida.
  2. Large scrap metal fire blazing at recycling center near Port of Tampa

    Fire

    Firefighters are battling a large scrap metal fire at Trademark Metals Recycling near the Port of Tampa.

  3. The talk at the Tampa auto show is how more of us are buying cars by email, text and vending machine

    Autos

    TAMPA

    What does it look like to buy a car in 2016?

    Browsers check out an assortment of vehicles inside a Lexus showroom Friday during the Tampa Bay International Auto Show at the Tampa Convention Center. Dealers from throughout the area are participating in the event, which runs through Sunday.

  4. Did the Rays cost Sweet Lou Piniella the Baseball Hall of Fame?

    The Heater

    Sweet Lou Piniella, Tampa's own, was on the telephone recently, talking about golfing with Steve Spurrier.

    Lou won.

    Former Rays Manager Lou Piniella said he will take a buyout on his contract and leave at the end of this season.  Photo by James Borchuck
STORY SUMMARY: Devil Rays vs Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field--game 3  (Times photo by James Borchuck)
  5. While Gulfport police investigate drowning of pit bull terrier, social media makes up its own mind

    Human Interest

    GULFPORT — Joe Bedford's detractors on Facebook have compared him to former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who went to prison for running a brutal and deadly dogfighting ring. They have written things about Bedford that cannot be repeated in a family newspaper.

    Joe Bedford, 28, said the Nov. 23 drowning of his 18-month-old pit bull terrier Rock in Gulfport was an accident. The incident is still under investigation, but thanks to a Facebook post that brought the incident to light, many people have drawn another conclusion about the case. [Facebook]
  6. Here's what 'physical activity' looks like in your Pinellas school

    Blogs

    On Tuesday, we reported the results from a Pinellas County school district survey of how schools managed their "physical activity" time.

    First and second graders have recess at Sexton Elementary School in St. Petersburg Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Around Florida and particularly in Pinellas County, parents have started pushing for public schools to bring back recess in elementary school. Recess has been gradually disappearing as state accountability mandates have eaten up larger portions of the school day
  7. Holiday Hopes: Intellectually-disabled woman, 77, wants to feel her toes in the sand

    Human Interest

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Mary Russell, 77, can't move as freely as she used to, but she still has an impressively strong handshake.

    Mary Russell walks with supportive living coach Phyllis Simpkins-James and her housemate Gladys Ruttell at the Macdonald Training Center in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. 

  8. Gerald McCoy: After death in the family, Bucs see the real McCoy

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The locker room at Raymond James Stadium is so cramped, Bucs players gather in the showers before games. They're the only place big enough to hold all 53 football players, fully dressed and ready for battle.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) celebrates after sacking Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on third down during the second half of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  9. Afternoon Update: Bondi meets with Trump; Bishop Lynch reflects; Plant, Jesuit play for spots in title games; check out latest traffic conditions

    News

    Attorney General Pam Bondi met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York this afternoon. Afterward, she would not discuss with reporters whether she was offered a …

    : Pam Bondi, Attorney General of Florida, speaks to reporters at Trump Tower  in New York City.  [Getty Images]
  10. Victorian Christmas Stroll

    Events

    Take a trip back to Christmas 1891 at Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum's 35th Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll today through Dec. 23, 10 AM - 8 PM daily. Vintage fashions, antique toys, Christmas trees and decorations will be displayed throughout the museum. The Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony Quartet: …

    Take a trip back to Christmas 1891 at Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum's 35th annual Victorian Christmas Stroll today through Dec. 23. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

From ethics to workers comp, the full schedule for 'Legislator U'

Here's the complete schedule for House Speaker Richard Corcoran's "Legislator University," the two-day training seminar for House members to be held at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Dec. 6-7....

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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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