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Brandon & South Shore

  1. Brandon's legendary wrestling coach will pass the torch


    In his little office next to Brandon High's gym, surrounded by team photos and a faded framed "State Champions" t-shirt from 1977, I reminisced with wrestling coach Russ Cozart.

    The first state championship team for Brandon wrestling coach Russ Cozart (center, middle row with beard) came in 1982, his second year at Brandon High. In his 37 years at Brandon, Cozart has won 26 state titles, including 16 straight.
  2. Henderson: Young's anti-fracking bill holds promise


    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.
  3. Valrico girl rises over own problems to create toy mission

    Human Interest

    VALRICO — Nine-year-old Addison Kapustiak is all about putting smiles on the faces of kids being treated at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

    Addison Kapustiak, 9, poses with some of the toys she requested and received on her recent birthday. But they are not hers to keep. Instead, she plans to donate them to John Hopkins All Children's  Hospital's prize chest for kids undergoing treatment at the medical center. Photo by JOYCE MCKENZIE
  4. Limona Village Chapel celebrates a century of faith


    On Dec. 4, Limona Village Chapel in Brandon celebrates 100 years.

    Limona Village United Methodist Church celebrates its 100th anniversary Sunday. [File photo]
  5. Brandon's Center Place plans series of holiday events


    BRANDON — Celebrate the holiday season with upcoming events at the Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association, 619 Vonderburg Drive.

    Families found plenty of fun at holiday events staged by the Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in 2015. The association plans three holiday events this year, beginning with a holiday tea on Sunday.
  6. Apollo Beach Elementary's 'Run Hard' kids learn fitness, character


    APOLLO BEACH — While classmates spent Thanksgiving morning lolling in bed or watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, a group of boys from Apollo Beach Elementary School were on a mission to achieve a goal they had been working toward for months.

    Jeremy Stroh, center,  was one of nearly 40 boys from Apollo Beach Elementary to participate in the Waterset 5K Turkey Trot as part of the school’s Run Hard program.
The initiative emphasizes positive character traits and fitness. Photo courtesy of Run Hard.
  7. Cookson Hills Toy Run perseveres after death of co-founder's 'soul mate'


    TAMPA — Out of the numerous charitable events he and his motorcycle buddies regularly take part in, Jose Ramos ranks the annual Cookson Hills Toy Run at the top of his list of favorites.

    Sheri and Bill Brown, shown at home in 2013, founded the Cookson-Hills Toy Run. Bill died in November of last year. Sheri continues the run because she knows what it means to struggle at a young age.
  8. Brandon's Holiday Charity Ball brings together an unlikely pair


    BRANDON — In another time and place, Bob Savage and Tatyana Frost probably wouldn't have formed a friendship.

    Tiny ballerinas from Kim Hall’s School of Dance were among the performers at last year’s Holiday Charity Ball of Brandon.
  9. Owners bring life to Sun City Center Funeral Home


    SUN CITY CENTER — Think for a second about funeral homes and you probably don't want to contemplate mortality for much longer than that.

    Michael and Yvonne Langjahr have owned Sun City Center Funeral Home since 2001 but the business celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
  10. Garden at Lutz home fills with rare plant

    Home and Garden

    The gardens of Barry Schwartz and Debby DeGraaff in Lutz have been growing for 21 years with gorgeous and very unusual plants.

    The gardens of Barry Schwartz and Debby DeGraaff in Lutz surround their home with an amazing and year round colorful landscape.