Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Hands Across the Bay delivers with Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars Tampa Bay

John Neglio twirled into two categories — People's Choice and Most Online Votes — just months after a double knee replacement. Rhonda Shear earned Best Female; Steve Chamberland won Best Male; and Brian Artze is Grand Champion of the fourth Dancing With the Stars Tampa Bay staged by Hands Across the Bay founder Julie Weintraub and director Kirsten Thomas.

Fred Astaire Studio dancers spent two months teaching their finest moves to 13 local celebs, who kicked it for $10 a vote Oct. 5 at TPepin's Hospitality Centre.

WFTS-Ch. 28's Linda Hurtado and Jamison Uler emceed the $250 gala as WTVT-Ch. 13's Charley Belcher and Ashley Glass interviewed the contestants, all dressed to sparkle by Designs to Shine. TV pitchman Anthony Sullivan "pitch-hitted" with auctioneer Don Germaise, helping to net $250,000 for Hands Across the Bay and six other charities. The crowd of nearly 600 cheered four domestic violence survivors who were aided by Weintraub, especially when Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri pledged $15,000 in matching funds. Beer baron Tom Pepin added another $10,000 and suddenly everyone was dancing.

17th annual Night of the Iguana

Enthusiastic Make-a-Wish Foundation friends, led by David and Allison Singer, came out for drinks and dinner bites at Night of the Iguana, a tasting party named for its founding sponsor, the Green Iguana Bar and Grill. Samples from 30 restaurants fulfilled 400 guests' wishes, including Hula Bay tuna nachos, Oystercatchers' bay scallops ceviche and Mainsail Suites' peanut butter fondue. More than a few wore Afro wigs and bell bottoms for a "Funky Soul 1970s" theme.

Meanwhile, auction bids fulfilled wishes for seriously ill kids, such as $2,000 from Aggie and Manny Fernandez for a Disney visit, and $1,300 from Jennifer Pullara for an itty-bitty Havanese puppy.

That's how Make-a-Wish Central and Northern Florida, Suncoast Region Board chairman David Pearlman and Wish Child Chloe raised $70,000 before the Black Honkeys took over at Mainsail Suites Hotel on Sept. 27.

Island Night for LifePath Hospice

Oh, What a Night, sang Let's Hang On, a local Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute band, setting an infectious beat for LifePath Hospice supporters at Island Night on Sept. 29.

Guests bopped to Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man and other '60s faves, played casino games and ate a colossal buffet at Jackson's Bistro Harbour Island. Some bought boutique donations from three Life's Treasure thrift stores, and others bought live auction packages, like Andy May, who bid $3,500 for a Holland America cruise plus two Southwest Airline tickets. Cathy and Bob Smith bid $2,500 for a dinner for six prepared by Edison Food + Drink Lab chef Jeannie Pierola and wine expert Michael Rugers. A heartwarming appeal for Camp Circle of Love raised more than $39,000 for grieving children.

     
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The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Tampa forum focuses on reforming Floridaís juvenile justice system

TAMPA ó Changing the way Florida treats juvenile offenders was the focus of Monday nightís forum on criminal justice reform."We send more children to adult prison than any other state," said Raymer Maguire IV, manager of the ACLUís Florida Campaign f...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

Three Tampa Bay malls may soon be under new management. French real estate company Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy Australia-based shopping mall operator Westfield Corp. for $15.7 billion in cash and shares."Westfield would arguably be the best or ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Pinellas construction board prepares to lose independence

Pinellas construction board prepares to lose independence

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Prosecutors likely to decide by Jan. 25 on death penalty in Seminole Heights murders

Prosecutors likely to decide by Jan. 25 on death penalty in Seminole Heights murders

TAMPA ó Prosecutors will likely know before the end of January whether they will seek the death penalty for the man accused in the four Seminole Heights murders.A judge set the next court appearance for Howell Emanuel Donaldson III for Jan. 25 and as...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police searching for robber who hit three North Tampa hotels

TAMPA ó Police believe the same armed man committed early morning robberies at three North Tampa hotels within half a mile of one another, the latest just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.In the latest heist, the robber pointed a gun at a clerk in the West Wing...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bayís mortgage delinquency rate crept up in September

Tampa Bayís mortgage delinquency rate crept up in September

Times Staff WriterThe percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments rose slightly in September, probably due to Hurricane Irma. According to CoreLogic, 7 percent of bay area mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

TAMPA ó A 24-year-old aide at Buchanan Middle School was arrested Monday and charged with using Instagram to ask for sex and nude photos from female students at the school, deputies said.Between Sept. 1 and the time of his arrest, Quinton J. Bradford...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Column: Trumpís Kirsten Gillibrand tweet is just the beginning of the #MeToo backlash

Column: Trumpís Kirsten Gillibrand tweet is just the beginning of the #MeToo backlash

With all the prominent men being accused of various forms of sexual harassment and abuse, weíve gotten used to a certain kind of statement the men make when the news breaks.Sometimes they deny the accusations, sometimes they apologize if their behavi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fire at Tampa townhome complex caused by faulty air-conditioner unit

Fire at Tampa townhome complex caused by faulty air-conditioner unit

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Updated: 2 hours ago