Tampa Bay Bucs QB Jameis Winston reportedly groped an Uber driver in 2016, BuzzFeed News reports

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The NFL is reportedly investigating allegations that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston, groped a female Uber driver in 2016, according to BuzzFeed News. Winston however, says the allegations are false.

In an article posted on Friday, BuzzFeed says a letter was sent from the NFL’s special counsel for investigations to the Uber driver on Thursday.

The incident reportedly happened in Scottsdale, Arizona at approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, 2016. The female Uber driver, identified as Kate, told BuzzFeed News that when she arrived to the location to pick up her passenger, a group of men told her that she would be driving around someone famous. Jameis Winston sat down in the front passenger seat and the Uber driver says right after she started driving, Winston began behaving poorly.

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The incident happened at a drive-thru Mexican restaurant after Winston reportedly asked to stop for food. The driver says Winston reached over and "grabbed my crotch." Kate tells BuzzFeed News she was shocked and asked "what’s up with that?"

"The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong. The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident," a spokesperson for Uber said.

According to Uber’s community guidelines, there is to be "no sexual conduct with riders, no matter what."

On Friday at 1:35 p.m. Jameis Winston posted a statement on his twitter regarding the incident. He wrote:

"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.

I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released a statement on Friday afternoon.

“We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today’s media report. We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”

The NFL released the following statement when ABC Action News reached out for a comment on the incident.

"The allegation was shared with the NFL and we have reached out to Uber to request any information they may have."

Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston apologizes for role in incident

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets ready to throw against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI

injured quarterback Jameis Winston apologized Wednesday for sparking an incident that led to wide receiver Mike Evans’ one-game suspension.

Winston also said that he had his throwing shoulder examined by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Winston admitted he needs to exhibit better control of his emotions after he pushed Marshon Lattimore from behind, prompting the New Orleans Saints rookie cornerback to turn his attention toward him. Evans, presumably in a bid to defend the injured Winston, drilled Lattimore from behind in an action that set off fireworks between the NFC South rivals.

"I just want to apologize on behalf of my teammates and Mike Evans for the incident that happened in the Saints game. That’s something I can’t do in the heat of the moment," Winston said, via ESPN. "My competitive nature (took over). Obviously I can’t come off the field and make any gesture towards an opponent, let alone touch them. I can’t do that, so I apologize for that."

Winston said he’s not surprised that coach Dirk Koetter suggested both he and Evans should have been ejected and also admitted that he expects to be fined for the incident.

Winston initially sustained an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder in a 38-33 loss at the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 15. The top overall pick of the 2015 draft then aggravated the injury in Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the Saints.

Two days later, Winston visited Andrews’ office in Pensacola, Fla.,

"(The visit) was standard protocol. … All the doctors are working together to come up with what they think (is best). All I know is that for the next two weeks, I’m going to be rehabbing and getting my shoulder to 100 percent," Winston said.

Koetter announced Monday that Winston will be shut down "for a couple weeks" to rest his injured throwing shoulder.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start for the Buccaneers (2-6) on Sunday against his former team — the New York Jets (4-5). The 34-year-old veteran completed 8 of 15 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in relief of Winston on Sunday.

Winston has thrown for 1,920 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games this season. He has passed for 10,052 yards with 60 TDs and 39 picks in 40 career contests.

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Three Top Boca Raton FL Restaurants You Will Enjoy If You Stop By

Part of Palm Beach County, Boca Raton is a wonderful choice for a nice Florida vacation. What are your favorite foods? No doubt, you can find them while spending time in the city, which features over 600 restaurants. Let’s look at three of the top restaurants in Boca Raton FL and see if you don’t want to make them pit stops while vacationing in the ‘City for all Seasons.’

Farmer’s Table Boca is the first top restaurant in Boca Raton, and it is located on North Military Trail. How does an Apple Crisp sound? What about a skirt steak or short ribs? Also, if you like organic and vegan, this is said to be a great stop for you. I didn’t notice that at first glance, but people mention it in the reviews. Why not stop for brunch at Farmer’s Table Boca?

Relish & More also looks like a really nice stop. It is located on NE 5th Avenue, and honestly, I picked this spot because I like relish of all kinds. No doubt this is a top ranked establishment in Boca Raton, however, as I didn’t pick it from a hat. It has a #12 ranking, and guess what, it is one of the best places in the city to grab a burger. You are talking about delicious donuts and shakes, too. Just saying all of this doesn’t do it justice because the place really seems like something special according to the reviews.

There is room for one more pick, and then I have to sign off. The Whale’s Rib is the spot, and it is located on NE 2nd Street. This establishment is one of the places you go in the city if you are in the mood for fresh seafood. As you make your way around Boca Raton FL, keep these three fine establishments in mind.

Foot Locker Celebrates ‘Original Basketball’ In Canada With DeMar DeRozan

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW/ — Celebrating the return of the NBA season, Foot Locker announces its latest year-long partnership with Toronto Raptors star and NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan, designed to drive excitement and build awareness of basketball’s storied history in Canada.

To kick-off the partnership, Foot Locker today debuts “Original Basketball” digitally on its YouTube channel. The piece features basketball players from CIA Bounce the top Canadian basketball program with a number of alums in the ranks of the NBA adopting the 13 original rules of the game as created in 1892 by Canadian-American physical educator, James Naismith. After teaching the players the rules, DeRozan officiated the game, keeping the play true to its original Canadian roots.

“Basketball is back and I’m partnering with Foot Locker to get fans here in Canada excited,” said DeRozan. “Relearning the game by its original rules and then trying my hand at refereeing was hysterical. For me, the strangest rule is that you can’t dribble; you have to shoot or pass once you catch the ball. The ball is really different too, not to mention the basket!”

“Having a partner that personifies all that Canadian basketball stands for is perfect for Foot Locker,” said Patrick Walsh, vice president of marketing for Foot Locker North America. “DeMar has the support of a whole country behind him, and showcasing the best Nike products available at Foot Locker makes him the ideal guy for the job.”

The spot features a great assortment of premium Nike gear, including the Nike Kobe A.D., Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit and Nike Dri-FIT basketball apparel, available at Foot Locker stores nationwide and footlocker.ca. The spot was created by worldwide agency BBDO. DeRozan is expected to be featured in more Canada-specific Foot Locker content over the coming year.

About Foot Locker:
Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: FL), a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,350 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, SIX:02, Runners Point and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including footlocker.com, Eastbay.com and SIX02.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.

Additional information may be found at footlocker.ca | Instagram: @footlockercanada| Twitter: @footlockercad | YouTube: youtube.com/FLLocker | Facebook: facebook.com/footlockercanada #Approved

Foot Locker Approved. (PRNewsFoto/Foot Locker, Inc.)

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Name Value Net Change % Change 1 Month 1 Year Time (EDT) 2 Day SX5E:IND Euro Stoxx 50 Pr 3,637.20 +45.74 +1.27% +2.31% +17.89% 5:03 PM UKX:IND FTSE 100 INDEX 7,486.50 +39.29 +0.53% +2.37% +7.16% 11:35 AM DAX:IND DAX INDEX 13,133.28 +179.87 +1.39% +3.76% +22.55% 12:30 PM CAC:IND CAC 40 INDEX 5,455.40 +80.51 +1.50% +3.28% +20.33% 12:05 PM IBEX:IND IBEX 35 INDEX 10,347.80 +194.50 +1.92% -0.20% +12.51% 11:38 AM
Name Value Net Change % Change 1 Month 1 Year Time (EDT) 2 Day NKY:IND NIKKEI 225 21,943.24 +203.46 +0.94% +8.27% +26.57% 10:35 PM TPX:IND TOPIX INDEX (TOKYO) 1,766.62 +12.72 +0.73% +6.14% +27.83% 10:30 PM HSI:IND HANG SENG INDEX 28,439.06 +236.68 +0.84% +2.88% +22.94% 10:52 PM SHSZ300:IND CSI 300 INDEX 4,005.32 +11.74 +0.29% +4.82% +19.72% 10:52 PM AS51:IND S&P/ASX 200 INDEX 5,916.90 +0.60 +0.01% +4.46% +11.73% 11:07 PM MXAP:IND MSCI AC ASIA PACIFIC 166.55 -0.39 -0.23% +3.57% +20.01% 4:16 PM

18 minutes ago 4:20 PM 8:34 AM 10/24/2017

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FL Battalion Chief Mourned after Fatal Crash

Sarasota County Battalion Chief Bill Kocur.

Oct. 17–SARASOTA COUNTY, FL– When Sarasota County Battalion Chief William “Billy” Kocur was at a fire, nothing could go wrong. He was always on top of making sure everyone knew their jobs, according to Assistant Chief and longtime friend Rod VanOrsdol.

“He was a supporter of his line personnel and an extremely confident firefighter,” VanOrsdol said. “He could run a structure fire call to the ninth degree of perfection.”

Kocur, 63, a lifelong Sarasota resident, served the Sarasota County Fire Department for 25 years before his death this weekend in a motorcycle accident in Georgia.

Kocur was visiting his family’s cabin. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Riding motorcycles was his passion, VanOrsdol explained.

“It’s tough to even think about,” VanOrsdol said. “We all kind of think of ourselves as being Teflon — those kinds of things don’t happen to us. They happen to other people and we go and we take care of them.”

Kocur and his wife were members of a motorcycle club and were often at events such as Thunder by the Bay. They had a son and a daughter and one grandchild.

About 10 years ago, Kocur started to teach himself the bagpipes, according to his daughter Hally Kocur.

“He actually got pretty good at them,” she said. “He was in great shape and very active.”

Kocur enjoyed boating, as well, and he was a Mason. He was a member of the Widow’s Sons Masonic Riders Association.

“He’s helped countless people,” Hally Kocur said. “He was an amazing man. He had a great sense of humor. He was a loving husband, father, a wonderful grandfather.”

He was Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s New Year’s baby of 1954.

Kocur first joined the Bradenton Fire Department, but in April 1992 he was hired by the Sarasota County Metro Fire Department — an agency that existed before the city and county merged.

Kocur was the lieutenant at Station No. 1 beginning in 2005 and was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2013. He served as the Battalion Chief for Stations No. 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 23. He was also heavily involved in training personnel and supervision.

VanOrsdol said Kocur’s sudden death is affecting the entire Sarasota County fire service “family” as news of his death is passed along.

“Twenty-five years is a pinnacle,” VanOrsdol said. “He reached that and to be that you become one of the rocks — this community lost a rock and a stable base of the fire department.”

Kocur had planned to retire in March.

“Everybody will miss his mustache,” he said. “The guy had the best mustache in the whole department and the smirk that went beneath it. … That’s classic Billy Kocur.”

A celebration of Kocur’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at Sahib Shrine Temple, 600 N. Beneva Road. The family has asked, in lieu of flowers or anything else, that donations be made to the Sarasota Firefighters Benevolent Fund.

___ (c)2017 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. Visit Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. at www.heraldtribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Tampa Bay at Florida

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers open their seasons with a back-to-back home-and-home series, and as the rivalry moves to Sunrise, Fla., there was much to appreciate in the new looks on both sides in Friday’s season opener.

The Lightning pulled out a 5-3 win, and while much of the attention coming in was on the healthy return of Steven Stamkos, the buzz after the game was the line of Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde. Palat had two goals and Point had a goal and two assists, showing speed and chemistry together on the ice.

“They were fantastic,” Stamkos said. “I think it was pretty evident in watching the game how good they were. They pound the puck, they make great plays, and they’re all smart players. That line carried us and played extremely well, and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.”

Florida, after a strong preseason, came out on the short end, rallying to tie the game going into the third but giving up three goals in the final period. It was an encouraging debut in the first game under new coach Bob Boughner.

“We had a really good training camp with him getting familiar with everyone,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “The coaching staff does a great job getting the message through to us. It’s nice to have them getting us to be comfortable with the system and knowing it so it comes like second nature.”

The Lightning had their first Opening Night with Andrei Vasilevskiy in net, and he made early saves to keep Tampa Bay in control until the scoring kicked in later. When a two-goal lead dwindled to one and Florida picked up a power play with 3:11 to play, he stepped up, preserving the lead until an empty-net goal could put it away.

“When he was 21 years old, he played in the Stanley Cup final in the United Center. This was probably a walk in the park for him,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “He was composed. The more you watch him play, you get that feeling of ‘This guy is going to be hard to score on.'”

The Lightning got a promising debut from 19-year-old rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as well, while the Panthers showed off their depth, with eight different players getting a goal or assist.

“There were good efforts tonight throughout the entire lineup,” Boughner said. “Tomorrow night we get back out there and that’s the best thing about it. If we play like that again, I like our chances.”

Florida contained Stamkos to one assist and that came on a power-play goal, but that was a tiebreaking goal early in the third that put Tampa Bay ahead for good.

“It ended up being a power-play goal that broke our back, but we knew coming in that we had to try to be disciplined and not let them get on the power play,” Boughner said.

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His Illini Travel to Play Usf, and He’s Not Exactly Feeling Emotional About It.

The Illinois Fighting Illini will take on the No. 22 USF Bulls from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. This is a homecoming of sorts for Fighting Illini head coach Lovie Smith, who was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-15, before he was fired after compiling an 8-24 overall record.

Though they showed promise this year with a 6-10 finish — a four-game improvement over 2014. It’s worth noting, though, that they lost their final four games of the season.

Despite the Bucs’ poor finish, the move to dump Smith, 57, just two years into his four-year contract is surprising. Smith’s replacement will be the fourth head coach in Tampa Bay since 2008, a fact that linebacker Lavonte David pointed out on Twitter.

Smith didn’t win many home games at Raymond James, going just 3-13 in two seasons.

That was one of the reasons for his Tampa firing.

GM Jason Licht noted several factors and specifically referenced the team’s poor record over the past two seasons.

“When you have eight wins in two years and three home wins in two years, you’ve been patient enough,” he said.

The Bucs ended up elevating offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

Smith ended up admitting, after he accepted the Illinois job in March 2016, that he was a bit surprised when the Bucs informed him he was out.

“Disappointed is what I would say,” he said while speaking with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd. “I was surprised. Didn’t see it coming. I thought we had a plan and I was a part of that plan. I felt like I put a lot of things in place for the Buccaneers to be successful in years to come.”

As you might expect, he’s not especially excited about coming back to Tampa.

Here’s what he had to say earlier this week about returning to a city he coached in for seven seasons, including his stint as the Bucs’ linebacker coach from 1996-2000:

“I’m just not one of those touchy-feely guys,” Smith said Monday via the Chicago Tribune. “This is about Illinois football right now. I don’t have a whole lot of time to think about things that happened in the past. A lot of friends down there in that organization helped me get my ideal job here at the University of Illinois.”

The Fighting Illini are currently 14-point underdogs against the Bulls.

He might have Illinois on the right track, despite being a first-time college head coach.

Smith’s rebuilding Illinois went 3-9 last season, but it’s off to a 2-0 start this season, with wins over Ball State and Western Kentucky.

Consider Illinois an experiment for 2017.More efficiency could go a long way for an otherwise explosive roster, but we’ll see if the Illini have the talent — and, it should be said, the coaching.

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Carrollwood-Northdale, FL Real Estate: Newly Listed for Sale

The houses for sale in and around Carrollwood-Northdale are just a small portion of more than 4 million homes sold in Florida and across the United States every year. We’re not just talking listed homes for sale, either. We’re talking about homes for sale — that sell.

Looking for a home to buy? Or do you just like looking at what homes are on the market? Either way, here are the latest homes for sale in and around Carrollwood-Northdale listed by our partners at realtor.com.

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Have You Visited Florida Lately?

The state of Florida is an awesome place to visit and many people love it so much that they end up calling it home. Regardless of whether you want to live in FL or not, however, it certainly is an area that is worth the visit. That is especially true if you live in the northern states and you are chilled by the winter weather. A trip to Florida can be a welcome relief and it can help you to get a little bit of warmth in the middle of the winter months.

You don’t really need to travel far into Florida in order to begin enjoying some of what it has to offer. Most people who come to Florida are going to come down the East Coast on I-95 and just across the Florida line is Jacksonville. This city is an excellent place to stop and it has a lot to offer to those who are interested in taking a vacation. You can even visit the Jacksonville Beaches and head south from there.

Traveling south in FL from Jacksonville, you will soon pass a number of East Coast vacation destinations, including Daytona Beach. This is another excellent opportunity for you to stop, take a look at the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy some sunshine. Don’t stay too long, however, because you want to travel even further south until you get south of West Palm Beach.

Once you hit the area of West Palm Beach, you are entering into what many people refer to as “South FL.” There are so many things to see and do from Fort Lauderdale and Miami all the way down to the keys. This is a vacation of a lifetime and if you are dealing with colder weather in the northern states, it can warm your bones and provide you with plenty of sunshine memories.

Mitch Haniger Hits a Grand Slam in His Return, Leads Mariners to 7-6 Win over Tampa Bay

The Mariners’ Mitch Haniger, center, celebrates with Kyle Seager, right, and Nelson Cruz left, after Haniger hit a grand slam off Tampa Bay starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. (Chris O’Meara/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There were no remnants of his once mangled lip. No bruising around his mouth or nose. No signs he was ever hurt.

A person unfamiliar with what happened to Mitch Haniger wouldn’t know that he was force-fed a 96 mph from the Mets’ Jacob deGrom in a scary moment that landed him on the disabled list with a severely lacerated upper lip, a small fracture and a concussion.

There was no mental scarring either. Haniger swore that the memory of that scary moment never once bothered him after he was cleared to play baseball again.

“Zero, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s a fluke thing. It wasn’t the easiest thing to get over. But as soon as I got back into the batter’s box, I felt fine. I’m not timid. I’m not scared of anything up and in, just like I was before.”

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Scott Servais talks about James Paxton’s injury (2:41)

Then he went out and proved it Saturday. Activated from the disabled list that morning and inserted into the starting lineup that night, Haniger singled in his first at-bat and then crushed a third-inning grand slam to ignite the Mariners to a 7-6 victory.

With their fourth straight win, the Mariners improved to 63-61 and 21-9 in their last 30 road games.

Of course, there had to be some late-inning drama. Closer Edwin Diaz, who struggled badly in his previous outing, was brought in to close out the game with a two-run lead. But former teammate Logan Morrison got him for a pinch-hit solo homer with one out. Diaz coolly retired the next two batters to notch his 27th save.

Clad in a modified batting helmet with an extended flap to protect his cheek and jaw, Haniger looked a little like a gladiator in the batter’s box.

“As far as vision goes, it’s been fine,” he said. “It was weird getting used to swinging because it will hit your arm when you swing and miss. And it feels heavier; here’s a whole piece of the helmet that weighs down one side. Running is weird with it.”

But he felt no weirdness driving a 1-0 cutter that was up in the zone over the wall in left off Rays starter Jake Odorizzi.

Seattle added to its lead an inning later. Yonder Alonso scored Jean Segura from second with a single to center. And Nelson Cruz continued his torrid pace, launching a two-run homer to right field. Tthe umpires initially ruled it a double as the ball hit off a railing behind the fence and bounced back into play. But after a 45 second review, the umpires reversed the call and Cruz had his 31st homer of the season, giving the Mariners a 7-2 lead.

It gave Cruz 100 runs batted in with 38 games left to play.

Starter Ariel Miranda gave the Mariners a decent outing, using the ample run support to his advantage. Over the first five innings, he allowed just two runs, earning him a chance to start the sixth inning with a 7-2 lead and get a quality start. But it didn’t happen. After not allowing a homer for five innings, he served up a solo smash to left-center to Steven Souza Jr. For the Cascade standout, it was his 26th homer of the season and it ended Miranda’s outing.

But his replacement, Emilio Pagan, wasn’t much better. Pagan gave up a single and then served up a two-run homer to Lucas Duda to right-center that cut the lead to 7-5. Pagan was able to get two outs and Marc Rzepczynski came in and ended the inning with a strikeout of Kevin Kiermaier.

Wild things AL wild-card standings: Team W-L GB N.Y. Yankees Minnesota L.A. Angels Kansas City xxxx Seattle

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