Good reads

  1. IIFA Rocks shows off Bollywood style and glamor

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — If Wednesday's IIFA Stomp festival brought a taste of Bollywood's energy to Tampa, Thursday's IIFA Rocks concert and fashion show at the Tampa Convention Center offered a glimpse of the industry's billion-dollar polish and glamor.

  2. Bollywood stars bring fab fashion to IIFA Rocks green carpet

    Human Interest

    What's the dress code for the Bollywood Oscars? In two words, anything goes. Stars and fans converged on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy's first formal event Thursday night, a celebration of music and fashion called IIFA Rocks. And we do mean converged. In a chaotic PR mess that started more …

    Indian actor Vivek Oberoi gives interviews Thursday on the green carpet at IIFA Rocks at the Tampa Convention Center.
  3. In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle (w/video)

    Human Interest

    KISSIMMEE — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children …

     Theresa Muller hands a box of times to her son Timothy, 7, with her daughter Mikenzie, 4, as she moves out of her motel room she shares with her boyfriend, father and three children in Kissimmee. Muller and her family have been homeless but plan to move to a home in a neighboring county.
  4. Winter the dolphin greets former conjoined twins in Clearwater (watch)

    Human Interest

    Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, conjoined twins from Ireland who have miraculously survived surgery to separate, visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday.

  5. For Harold P. Curtis Honey Co., the family business is the bees' knees

    Human Interest

    LaBELLE

    Sure, things look bad for the bee man. But we are talking about Harold P. Curtis. Bees sting him and he hardly flinches. Bees die by the thousands and he raises another brood. Just let a bear approach his hives. He will not surrender a hive without a fight.

    A frame inside one 
of the Harold P. Curtis Honey Co. hives shows a queen bee, center, with the red dot, and her worker bees in action.
  6. The art of the 'promposal': Go big or go alone (w/video)

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG

    He skipped his last class Thursday, raced up three flights of stairs at the back of his high school, into Room 302, where he had stashed the flowers and his fishing pole.

    Caroline Krueger, 18, of St. Petersburg, a senior at St. Petersburg High School, gets a kiss from her friend, Ryan Anderson, 17, of St. Petersburg, a junior at the school, on Thursday after saying “yes.”
  7. The last Martin of Gilchrist County (w/video)

    Human Interest

    BELL

    A traveling day. Nathan Martin is going to town. He is going to have a meal with the woman he loves. He usually hates wearing a shirt, but Vida will tsk tsk if he shows up with chest bare. He also needs to decide what to do about footwear. He hates shoes even more than he hates wearing a shirt.

    Most of the time, Nathan Martin, 72, prefers to go barefoot, like he did when he was a boy. 
  8. How one of the Blind Boys of Alabama regained his soul (w/video)

    Human Interest

    Illustration by Don Morris

    I WAS IN A DARK PLACE.

  9. A nebula awaits astronomer's eye — and his pro-grade RC

    Human Interest

    He left home before dawn that Saturday, followed two friends in a caravan to the Keys.

    John O’Neill saw a comet flash through the sky and, 20 telescopes later, the amateur astronomer is now a noted astrophotographer. He’s shown at the Science Center’s observatory.
  10. Did Westboro Baptist Church's new hater-in-chief once call Tampa home? (w/video)

    Human Interest

    The recent death at 84 of Fred W. Phelps Sr., founder of Westboro Baptist Church, has left an opening at the top of the tiny congregation notorious for its hate-filled rants about homosexuality at soldiers' funerals. Westboro's new leader, according to news accounts, is Steve Drain, who lived in Tampa and attended the …

    For Steve Drain, the road from Tampa student to Westboro Baptist Church leader included protests at funerals of military service members. He helped Fred Phelps create the “God hates …” signs and produced hundreds of videos for the church’s website, Godhatesfags.com.