Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

The skinny: Contest winners wed atop Empire State Building

valentine topper

14 couples are sky high after tying the knot

The brides carried lavender roses and the grooms looked proud as 14 contest-winning couples got married Monday at the Empire State Building. "You are the most beautiful, the smartest and the kindest person I know," U.S. Army Pfc. Brett Beardon said as he clasped hands with Samantha Belfon and gazed into her eyes. "I will honor and respect you, laugh and cry with you and cherish you always," she replied. The 17th annual Valentine's Day wedding event at the iconic skyscraper was sponsored by TheKnot.com, a wedding-planning website. Air Force Capt. Jon Wu and Stephanie Hull of Louisville, Ky., above, won the grand prize, which includes a honeymoon in the Bahamas. "We can only go up from here," Wu said after a sunrise ceremony on the 86th-floor observatory.

gift of a lifetime

Woman gives kidney to fiance

A Minnesota man is getting a unique Valentine's Day present. Ron Spanier and fiance Amy Anderson are scheduled for a kidney donation today at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview. Spanier's been on dialysis since last summer after a disease caused cysts in his kidneys. The two have a 3-month-old son. Spanier jokes that since Anderson gave him his first-born and a kidney, he figured he'd marry her.

town is aflutter

Vermont capital papered in hearts

In keeping with a mysterious Valentine's Day tradition, sheets of paper with red hearts on them were plastered all over downtown offices, shops and buildings in Vermont's state capital. The so-called Valentine's Bandit started the tradition in Montpelier in 2002. The "phantom" has his — or her — own Facebook page, dubbed the Montpelier Valentine Phantom Phan Page.

lips in synch

Kissing tops record and then some

It was one long kiss for a couple — one record-breaking embrace for mankind. One determined Thai couple locked lips for 46 hours, 24 minutes, 9 seconds in the southern beach resort town of Pattaya, emerging victorious and exhausted after drinking through a straw, continuing to embrace during bathroom breaks and no sitting or sleeping. The record of just over 32 hours was set in 2009 by a couple in Germany, according to Guinness World Records. Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat of Bangkok, above, outlasted 13 couples to win a diamond ring worth $1,606 and $3,213 in cash.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: Contest winners wed atop Empire State Building 02/14/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]