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South & Central Tampa

  1. Lutz chef got start as Fidel Castro's prisoner, with paprika and Russian meat

    Human Interest

    LUTZ — In a way, credit for the opening of one of the Tampa area's newest Cuban restaurants belongs to Fidel Castro.

    Pepe Diaz, with wife, Tania, has opened La Yuma Cuban Cuisine in Lutz, trading on a career as a chef with humble beginnings: Diaz started out seasoning Russian meat with the only spice he had, paprika, as a prisoner of Fidel Castro.
  2. Florist relocates to shop in West Tampa

    Business

    On their third date, Greg King brought his now wife Kathy flowers.

    Blooms and Bouquets Florist relocated from Carrollwood to West Tampa in October. Photo courtesy of Blooms & Bouquets Florist.
  3. Meadery plans summer opening at Tampa Heights location

    Business

    Chad Wiltz, his wife Sarah and their two children drive from Apollo Beach to Plant City to handpick strawberries.

    Garagiste Meadery is shooting for a summer opening in Tampa Heights. Photo courtesy of Sean von Tagen.
  4. UT football alums give thanks for the memories

    Community

    TAMPA — Once, they were Spartans.

    But when nearly 100 former University of Tampa football players gathered during a March 25 reunion at the school's Vaughn Center — ranging from a lone player in 1950 to a dozen or so representing the final team in 1974 — one thing became clear.

    Denyse Riveiro takes a photo of former UT football players, left to right, Bob Banks, Paul Gore, Blaine Turner, Ed Nizwantkowski and Dan Riveiro.
  5. Relay for Life continues to be a community phenomenon

    Events

    GIBSONTON — The lyrics to John Legends' Love Me Now resonated throughout the East Bay High School football stadium during a choreographed lip sync performance from the Lennard High School Student Government Association members.

    Lennard High students turn in a lip-synch performance while others look on at the Relay For Life SouthShore event on March 25.
  6. Ruth: Rays' stadium search a stew of money, politics, timing, Kismet

    Columns

    This could be your golden opportunity. If you have a vacant lot somewhere, you could be the lucky winner in the Tampa Bay Rays stadium site search. It seems, for all the hub-bub and frenzied speculation over where the lads will next play ball for the foreseeable future, team owner Stuart Sternberg is having a harder …

    Conventional wisdom suggested that given the chance, the Tampa Bay Rays would quickly identify Tampa sites suitable for a stadium to replace Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Instead, the list of places off the table is growing.  [SCOTT KEELER    |    Times]
  7. Tampa deli owner, adopted at birth, discovers five siblings at age 53

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Jimmy Nichols walked into his new downtown deli and looked through the lunchtime crowd to find his wife Sally behind the counter. She caught his look, flashed a smile, and tears welled in their eyes.

    Jimmy Nichols, at work in his Cooks deli, won’t be deleting the text message he received from the sister he didn’t know he had. Reluctant to look for his birth family, Cook finally started searching in December after the death of his adoptive parents.
  8. Cuban Sandwich Festival has become international competition

    Events

    Chefs from London took home top honors at last year's Cuban Sandwich Festival held annually in Ybor City.

    A Cuban sandwich from Ybor City’s Stone Soup Company won a past world champion at the Cuban Sandwich Festival.
  9. Comic book store owner returns to early labor of love

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — The first comic book Peter Sanders ever read as a child was the early X-Men.

    Superman the New 52 comic is among the collection Peter Sanders will offer at his new South Tampa store. Photo courtesy of Peter Sanders.
  10. Brandies: Be careful where you plant those 'little' trees

    Home and Garden

    If you make mistakes with annuals, perennials, or even shrubs, it is easy to fix the situation.

    Started from a seedling, this loquat gives good fruit every spring, but it is too close to the house and someone has to get up on the roof to prune it every year. Bad mistake.
  11. West Tampa chamber tabs native to help boost development

    Business

    WEST TAMPA — Jeanette LaRussa Fenton retired in January after 41 years of public service with Hillsborough County and most recently, the city of Tampa.

    The West Tampa historic district with its old cigar factories can help stimulate a prosperous new era for the region, its boosters say.
  12. March column: Constitution another uphill battle for Arthenia Joyner

    Politics

    Former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa says serving as one of the small minority of Democrats on the state's Constitutional Revision Commission will be "just a continuation of the battle I've been in since I've been here."

    Former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa is one of three current or former Democratic legislators named to the state Constitutional Revision Commission.
  13. Developer Quintela pursuing historic renaissance of Ybor City

    Real Estate

    TAMPA

    Ariel Quintela never lived among the cobbled streets of Ybor City, but he is working to keep history alive in this one-time cigar capital with its deep ties to his native Cuba.

    Cuban-born developer Ariel Quintela tours the Don Vicente de Ybor Inn.
  14. Girl Scouts flip for Retton, Women of Distinction

    Human Interest

    TAMPA —- The first woman to be on a box of Wheaties, tiny Mary Lou Retton, overcame tremendous odds to win America's first Olympic Gold Medal in gymnastics in 1984.

    Doretha Edgecomb shakes Olympian Mary Lou Retton’s hand during the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida annual Women of Distinction Luncheon on Tuesday March 21, 2017, at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, in Tampa, Fla. The honorees were chosen for success in their fields and for serving as role models for local girls.
  15. Henderson: Chaotic classroom is often precursor for failure

    Columns

    The state of Florida uses a complex formula based on 11 categories of student achievement to grade its public schools, but perhaps the most important contributor to success can't be measured by a standardized test.

    I'm talking about parental involvement.

    You know it when you see it.

    You know it when …

    It appears there are challenges at Potter Elementary to a provision of the school district handbook: “Each school must be free from disruption that would interfere with the teachers’ right to teach and the students’ right to learn.”