Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

Community celebrates The Weekly Challenger and its founder

Nikki Gaskin-Capehart reminded the crowd packing the Coliseum for the 50th anniversary of The Weekly Challenger of an important milestone in many St. Petersburg lives over the past five decades.

"How many of you remember the first time you saw your picture in The Weekly Challenger?" she asked. "Some of us have to remember a little further back than others," she added with a laugh.

The paper started by Cleveland Johnson in 1967 had two main goals: to print more news about the black community than was on the "Negro page" in what was then The St. Petersburg Times, and to print positive news about African Americans.

"Other people gave us a half a page and he gave us a whole newspaper. He gave us a voice when he had none," Pastor Wayne Thompson, from the First Baptist Institutional Church, said in a prayer before the dinner.

Johnsonís daughter, Lyn Johnson, is now the paperís publisher and editor. Her father died in 2011.

"I hope to continue the legacy my father built for years to come and ensure that the voice of the local African American community is not stifled," she said.

Acclaimed actress and St. Petersburg native Angela Bassett gave a shout-out to the newspaper via a recorded video, calling it "a beacon and bridge in our community."

Gwen Reese, president of the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg, led a tribute to leaders who made a difference in the cityís black community that was also narrated by state Sen. Darryl Rouson, Angela Fletcher and Daniel Sanders.

"Where outhouses and unpaved streets were common, people pulled together," Reese said, "our stories tell of the rise over adversity." Local heroes who were highlighted included Johnnie Ruth Clarke, the first African-American to receive a doctorate from the University of Floridaís College of Education; Don McRae, the first African American city manager; Willie Lee McAdams, founder of Happy Workers child care center; Bette Wimbish, the first black city council member; Ralph Wimbish, who led desegregation efforts and James B. Sanderlin, the first black circuit court judge.

Three community leaders received Impact Awards: Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College, Terri Lipsey Scott, director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum, and Louis Murphy, a wide receiver who played for the University of Florida and three professional teams including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hosts and supports local youth programs.

At the end of the program there was an appeal for donations for The Weekly Challenger, which is struggling financially, like most newspapers. Donations came through the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center, which was the organizing agent for the celebration.

10.28.17

Three things garnered even more praise than the much- admired glass works of art at the Duncan McClellan Gallery, where Friends of Strays held its recent fundraiser. While guests "oohed" and "aahed" at glass sculptures made by McClellan and other artists, they were even more enthusiastic about their own cats, dogs and where they came from, Friends of Strays.

"We wanted to have two cats and we really liked that Friends of Strays was a no-kill shelter," McClellan said, describing how he and his wife, Irene, adopted their pets. "Friends of Strays makes such an impact on these cats and dogs they have rescued."

Amy and Jeff Raab brought their 6-month-old dog to the party titled "Wags and Whiskers, A Hepcat Ball."

"Sheís a mix of mixes," Amy Raab said. The dog, Rachel, was rescued along with two siblings and became known at the shelter as one of "the Friends dogs," because upon arrival at Friends of Strays they were named Rachel, Phoebe and Chandler after characters on the television show. Phoebe and Chandler were adopted, too, and when they all get together to play, they are visibly excited to see each other, she said, "Itís like not a day has passed."

Bill and Susan Gooch took in two cats named Simon and Misty as foster pets with the understanding that it was only temporary and when they were adopted the animals would leave the Gooches.

"I was taking them back to (Friends of Strays) to get spayed and neutered and Bill came after me and said we needed to keep them (permanently) for our family," Susan Gooch recounted.

Katherine Snow Smith can be contacted at [email protected] Follow @snowsmith.

Comments
Rodney Pageís takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Pageís takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertsonís return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertsonís return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Ronald Darbyís friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darbyís friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA ó Police want to know who shot 14-year-old DeíNico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friendís home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? Itís a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? Itís a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldnít it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldnít be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at Ďseniorí prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at Ďseniorí prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, youíd have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 9 hours ago