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South Shore & Brandon

  1. Amish Baking Co. cooks up success at the Florida State Fair



    Raini Perry takes a smooth, warm slice of strawberry and whipped cream-topped doughnut and quickly puts the forkful into her mouth.

    Raini Perry, 14, of Jacksonville celebrates her first time at the Florida State Fair with a warm Amish doughnut topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The Amish Baking Co. debuted two products this year.
  2. Hillsong United raises up from down under with praise music


    Nearly 20 years after their first album, the Australia-based Christian band Hillsong United continues to sell out arenas worldwide.

    Hillsong United, a 10-member Christian band from Australia, will perform at the Sun Dome.
  3. Bar review: The Beer Shed, a classic dive on the Alafia River

    Bars & Spirits

    One of the more interesting outings I made last year was to the Anclote River Boat Club in Tarpon Springs, an impossibly shabby riverside dive that has been a well-kept secret amongst locals for decades.

    On the banks of the Alafia River, the Beer Shed is an old-timey Florida dive right in our own back yard in Riverview.
  4. Home-based bakery looks to expand


    RIVERVIEW — Last year, Stacia Bell started handing out samples of baked goodies at Stacia Michaels Salon, which she owns in Riverview.

    hillsevbiz021216: Red velvet cake pops are among the delicacies served up at Debbi's Delectables in Riverview. The home-based business is expanding with a new online presence and more offerings in local eateries. Courtesy of Debbi's Delectables
  5. 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. .
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.