Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

Donors put Brooksville volunteer back in driver's seat

BROOKSVILLE — The 68-year-old retired trucker is rolling again.

On Monday, Dixie Carley, a 24-year over-the-road veteran, slid behind the wheel of what she's calling "a Rolls-Royce of the Toyota line." The silver Camry XLE four-door sedan was made possible by friends and strangers who came to her aid when they learned that her 1991 Toyota van had "expired" at the 275,000-mile mark.

Left in the lurch was not only she, but elderly women, some in an assisted living facility, who depended on Carley to cart them to First Baptist Church of Brooksville, doctor's appointments and the grocery store.

Fellow church members Joyce Chiavroli and Todd Harris began a fund drive, including on the Web, seeking money for the disabled woman, who remains licensed to drive and who lives in subsidized housing.

A couple from the church became aware of Carley's plight through a story published in the Times and notified their son-in-law. As joint owner in several nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the younger man is acquainted with the needs of the elderly.

The son-in-law, who lives in Clearwater and wished to remain anonymous, offered a generous amount toward the purchase of a used vehicle, which was Carley's choice.

Her mechanic of some nine years, Michael O'Connor, owner of ToyoDoc of Brooksville, researched offerings in the area and pointed Carley and Chiavroli to Wesley Chapel Toyota. O'Connor and a sales rep at the dealership talked.

"Between the two guys, I think they already picked it out," Chiavroli said.

The most generous benefactor gave $7,200 while the remainder of the $9,000 price was made up by the church's gift of $500 and from lesser donations.

While Carley originally wanted a van, she told herself: "You ain't in no position to be picky; just take what the good Lord give you."

The sedan will easily cart three to four passengers, the most she usually ferries at a time.

Carley had coffee this week with her benefactor's in-laws.

"I hugged their necks because they had a good deal to do with this business, too," she said.

As for the vehicle, "It has more buttons than I've got teeth," Carley said. "It runs like a dream. It is beautiful. It's paid in full."

Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
One of Ybor City’s most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

One of Ybor City’s most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

TAMPA — Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor City’s biggest new projects in years — a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character....
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Man recalls beating from Hernando deputies in federal excessive force trial

Man recalls beating from Hernando deputies in federal excessive force trial

TAMPA — The allegations at the core of Michael Bratt’s lawsuit against three Hernando County deputies have been repeated in court papers for eight years since his violent arrest.But on Monday, a federal jury in Tampa heard Bratt describe in his own w...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Updated: 1 hour ago

FDLE: Pasco couple scammed elderly employer out of $480,000

TAMPA — A Pasco County couple face dozens of charges after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they stole more than $480,000 from their elderly employer.Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, was arrested Monday on 28 counts of grand theft, 25 counts of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State softball: Academy at the Lakes romps in long-awaited semifinal

State softball: Academy at the Lakes romps in long-awaited semifinal

VERO BEACH — On a day when the weather at the state softball tournament finally said yes, Academy at the Lakes pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl said no to Lake Worth Christian.The hard-throwing right-hander fired a no-hitter in a Class 2A semifinal Monday morn...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It's incredible. Unbelievable, really. Maybe the best sports story in this country and the sport of hockey since 1980's Miracle on Ice.And, as a side note, if the Lightning reaches the Stanley Cup final, everyone in the count...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Oscar Mayer asked people to tweet photos of hot dog toppings. They got toothpaste and Pepto.

Oscar Mayer asked people to tweet photos of hot dog toppings. They got toothpaste and Pepto.

Oscar Mayer last week asked people on Twitter to tweet a photo at them of toppings on their new hot dogs — which the company described as "improved."The payoff? A year’s supply of hot dogs hand-delivered by none other than the iconic Wienermobile.Sha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

LITHIA — Frank Rodriguez was still several hundred yards from his house Monday when he pulled his SUV to the side of the road and changed into a pair of beach shoes.Ahead of him, the way home along River Drive was submerged. He was spared a wade thro...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Company that spilled fertilizer at Tampa port says not as much hit the water

The company that on Friday reported spilling 2 tons of fertilizer into a channel feeding into Tampa Bay says now that the amount was far smaller — 200 pounds, at most.Both Kinder Morgan, which spilled the fertilizer, and the state Department of Envir...
Updated: 2 hours ago