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South Shore & Brandon

  1. Hooper: Selfless attitude reveals beauty of Brandon High senior


    BRANDON — Friends and family members gathered last week to surprise Brandon High senior Makayla Vulpis with big news.

    Makayla Vulpis is featured in the January edition of Beauty Revived: 50 Most Beautiful Seniors. Makayla’s Brandon High classmates nominated her after Gianna Grace Photography partnered with the school to seek nominations for the national magazine’s contest. .
  2. Hooper: State fair entertainer Dennis Lee takes pride in his love connections


    When it comes to love connections, people can signup for Match or eHarmony or ChristianMingle.

    Dawn breaks at The Florida State Fair grounds early Thursday morning 2/6/14. The 2014 Florida State Fair opened to day with new rides and Governor Scott attending.
  3. New Chick-fil-A to open with 'First 100' special


    Chick-fil-A's new restaurant on Bloomingdale Avenue will open this summer with the chain's "First 100" celebration, an offer that grants the first 100 participants at the grand opening one Chick-fil-A Sandwich meal per week for a year (equating to 52 meals).

    hillsevbiz020516: Brandon residents will soon have another way to enjoy Chick-fil-A nuggets and waffle fries when the chain opens on Bloomingdale Avenue. Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A.
  4. Riverview's Kizhan Clarke makes a name for himself in wrestling


    In the discussion of state title contenders for wrestling in Hillsborough County, the talk rarely leaves the gym at Brandon High School. That all changed last season as a little-known junior from Riverview quickly cemented himself as a title contender and fan favorite.

    Clarke shows off his trophy after winning the 132-pound class Jan. 31 during Steinbrenner’s Live Greco Invitational.
  5. Brandon Chamber honors contributors at annual dinner

    RIVERVIEW — After a trying couple of years filled with changes and rebuilding, the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards banquet last week at the Regent.

    Chamber executive director Christine Michaels, from left, incoming chairman Cami Gibertini, immediate past chairman Michael Matthews and County Commissioner Stacy White attend the Brandon Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner.
  6. Sun City Center retiree to swim 300 laps for diabetic kids


    SUN CITY CENTER — Don Smith has always loved to swim.

    Don Smith and his wife, Connie, proudly showing the plaque he received from DYS that shows every year since 2002 and the total amount that he collected in donations each year through his swim thing.  Connie is holding the Gold Award for Senior Citizen Volunteerism. Photo by Kathy Straub.
  7. Resident looks to revive FishHawk Ranch's Park Square


    LITHIA — More than three years ago, Sheila Roit decided it was time to retire from nursing. To settle down. To move from the cold winters of Virginia to Florida's sunshine.

    Sheila Roit, 58, a FishHawk Ranch resident, has started a grass roots initiative called “Take Back Park Square.”
  8. Jimmy Hula's thrives with casual vibe


    BRANDON — Whether you try the VooDoo fish taco drizzled in mango salsa, the Burnt Reynolds burger with chips and an egg inside or an ear of crack'd corn smothered in cream, don't forget the napkins at Jimmy Hula's.

    hillsevbiz012916: Owner Troy Bish and his son-in-law, general manager Jesse Lambert of Jimmy Hula's have brought the Orlando-based restaurant to Brandon with more Tampa Bay area locations planned for the future. Known for their fish tacos and burgers, Jimmy Hula's has opened in the former Estella's location on State Road 60. Photo by Eric Vician
  9. SouthShore Chamber of Commerce celebrates award winners at annual dinner


    APOLLO BEACH — The SouthShore Chamber of Commerce roared through its annual membership and awards banquet with a 1920s theme that saw Oxford and flapper-clad awardees ranging from the honorary mayor to the businesses of the year.

    Optometrist Cathy Yaeckel of Optical Outfitters in Apollo Beach’s MiraBay Village holds the 2015 SouthShore Chamber of Commerce New Member of the Year Rising Star award.
  10. Lazydays RV expands with accessories store


    SEFFNER — Looking to pattern retail outlets like Bass Pro Shops, Lazydays' RV recently christened its "accessories and more" store.