Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly wrap-up of the Tampa social scene

DeBartolo Family Foundation All Star Charity Gala

Abracadabra… the DeBartolo family magically raised $1 million at its 12th All Star Charity Gala. This year's benefit starred illusionist David Blaine, a surprise kept from the 800 guests and even super-host Eddie DeBartolo, said daughter Lisa DeBartolo Miggs as she introduced some of the 50 celebrities at the gala. There were "too many Hall of Famers to name them all," she said, waving to NFL legends Jim Brown, Jerry Rice and Charles Haley, actor Adrian Zmed and Matchbox 20's Kyle Cook, who were among those dining at glittering banquet tables in an unrecognizable hangar at Peter O. Knight Airport. Eddie V's brought the antipasto and ceviche hors d'oeuvres and s'mores desserts; Puff n' Stuff catered the grilled pork chop dinner.

Saturday's live auction proceeds soared to $200,000 for foundation scholarships and grants, with a $42,000 bid for Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight tickets. Several trips sold twice: Super Bowl 50 ($17,000); Candy Bar Ranch ($21,000) and a feast by chefs Tyler Florence and Scott Conant ($21,000). Blaine amazed again at the after-bash with DJ Samantha Ronson spinning in an adjacent tent.

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla 102nd Coronation Ball

Pirates let loose with DJ Joey Jam in "Club Jose" and Off the Cuff in a "Pirates Cove" jazz lounge at Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla's 102nd coronation ball. But first, tradition reigned with the ceremonial crowning of King James Von Thron, a Tampa obstetrician/gynecologist and Queen Anne Kelley, a paralegal at the Akin Gump law firm in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 guests attended Saturday's coronation at the Tampa Convention Center.

Capt. Rex Farrior III and Lord Chamberlain Robert Gough III, in black leather waistcoats and plumed hats, bid adieu to abdicating Queen Sara Ennis and King Joseph Taggart, "the best of any king north of Kennedy Boulevard." To which Joe admitted: "And the only one."

The krewe applauded Jim Ferman, Henry Ennis and Frank Cooper for 50-year memberships and chased an interloper off the throne: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who confessed he'd "rather be king than governor." American Idol finalist Shannon Magrane sang an original ballad before a Grand March conclusion segued into dual after-parties.

To Life: To Justice

His mission "tolerance, memory and accountability" — like the Florida Holocaust Museum's — earned Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum the 2015 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award for a 35-year career with the U.S. Department of Justice. Of 137 criminals he helped prosecute, 22 were found in Florida, he told 500 guests during To Life: To Justice, the Feb. 26 gala buffet benefit at Mahaffey Theater.

Museum director Beth Gelman thanked honorary co-chairs Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers; board president Nat Doliner saluted survivors and liberators and Sandy Loebenberg Mermelstein honored her parents for founding the St. Petersburg museum in 1989.

Lynn's Catering served Italian, Spanish, Asian and New York deli specialities throughout the theater lobby.

     
                 
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Tampa lawyer accused of soliciting sex from inmate at Pinellas jail

Tampa lawyer accused of soliciting sex from inmate at Pinellas jail

A Tampa lawyer is accused of offering an inmate at the Pinellas County jail money in exchange for a sex act after exposing himself to her, according to arrest reports. Andrew B. Spark, 54, faces charges of soliciting for prostitution, exposure of sex...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Land O’Lakes teacher charged with felony child abuse

LAND O’LAKES — A special needs teacher at Oakstead Elementary School was arrested and charged with felony child abuse after she struck and kicked a 15-year-old child in her care over the weekend, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.Christine Ketel...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Deputies seek suspects who fired shots into crowded Northdale nightclub

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies are searching for the suspects who fired shots inside a crowded nightclub in Northdale early Monday morning.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies patrolling the area heard shooting coming...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay? Down payments are lower here

Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay? Down payments are lower here

Homebuyers in the Tampa Bay area don’t have to shell out as much on downpayments as buyers in many other places. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the median downpayment for a bay area home in the quarter ended in September was $13,750 compare...
Updated: 1 hour ago

First-Citizens Bank & Trust acquires Tampa-based HomeBancorp

TAMPA — North Carolina-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. is acquiring Tampa-headquartered HomeBancorp, which operates HomeBanc. First Citizens Bank will pay $15.03 per share in cash, a Monday release said, and the deal is expected to close by mid...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Ruth: The CDC’s seven dirty words

Do you suspect the paper-pushers who run the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were channeling their inner George Carlin? You’re [email protected]!^&$ right they were!Years ago, the late comedian delivered a brilliant routine on the seven dirty words ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Video: Chick fil-A feeds thousands of hungry travelers stranded in Atlanta airport

Video: Chick fil-A feeds thousands of hungry travelers stranded in Atlanta airport

Chick fil-A is normally closed on Sundays, but it made an exception for the thousands who were stranded at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The travelers were left in the dark following a power outage that forced cancellation of mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Pete woman killed in crash while trying to avoid dog on I-275

TAMPA — A St. Pete Beach woman was killed Monday morning on Interstate 275 when she was struck from behind by a semi-trailer while attempting to avoid striking a dog that had run onto the highway.The crash occurred around 10:45 a.m. on I-275, north o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

CLEARWATER — With passenger traffic picking up on Monday and expected to stay strong through Dec. 29, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport says it could run out of parking spaces, so passengers should consider making arrangements to be dropped o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

For decades, Americans were told that Area 51 didn’t really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official-sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of crackpots in tinfo...
Updated: 2 hours ago