Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Hometown Hillsborough: Readers' news of life throughout the county

Courtesy of Bernadette Bell

THE Best of BEST from Bay area: Cory O'Brien, speech-language pathologist and senior endoscopist serving multiple nursing centers in the Tampa area, was awarded with the Best of BEST (Bedside Endoscope Swallowing Test) award from SunDance Rehabilitation, a national provider of speech, occupational and physical therapy services. The Best of BEST award identifies a speech-language pathologist who embodies the ideals of improving the comfort, care and quality of life for residents suffering from dysphagia — the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. O'Brien was selected as the national winner and has served as a speech-language pathologist for 11 years. She was honored by SunDance at an awards celebration in Baltimore. O'Brien was recognized for her patient advocacy and was noted for serving patients in a calm, confident manner.

Courtesy of Pat Serio

The cooking shall go on: The GFWC Woman's Club recently learned that the stove inside the Land O'Lakes Community Center died. So, the ladies came together and purchased a new stove and provided it for the community center. The center is an important gathering place for the community and the Woman's Club, so they decided to contribute the stove in appreciation for the facility. Pictured with the new stove are Edwina Kraemer, left, and Rosie Heim, GFWC president.

Courtesy of the Diederich family

Master SGT. Diederich retires from USAF: Master Sgt. Blair E. Diederich, formerly of Tampa and a 1988 Gaither High graduate, retired from the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 7. He is pictured with his wife Anna and daughter Alysia. A ceremony honoring Diederich and his 24 years of service was held at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Diederich entered the Air Force on the delayed enlistment program in April 1988 and began active duty in January 1989 at Lackland Air Force Base. In following years, he was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland; served a year's tour of duty at Osan Air Base in South Korea; completed three years of duty with his family at Yokota Air Base in Japan; and in January 2011 deployed for a year of duty in Afghanistan. During his service, Diederich received many awards and decorations, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Courtesy of Jan Huber

Local heroes honored: Aston Gardens hosted a "Heroes Luncheon" on Sept. 12. The Sun City Center Emergency Squad, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue were honored for their service to the community. Pictured from left are Sgt. Robert Labarge, Deputy Chris Girard, chief of SCC Emergency Squad Noreen Schramm, Maj. Ron Hartley, Lt. Howard Wooden and Deputy David Martinez.

Courtesy of Patricia A. DePlasco

Rays OUTREACH GROUP pitches in to keep Tampa Bay Beautiful: As part of a commitment to community improvement, more than 30 members of the Tampa Bay Rays Employee Community Outreach Team participated in a Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful pre-Hillsborough River and Coastal Cleanup effort at Courtney Campbell Parkway on Sept. 14. The volunteers proudly stood by their trash after they removed more than 1,000 pounds of litter and debris from the banks of Tampa Bay. Not only did they remove unsightly trash, they counted each piece of litter collected to assist Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful with its participation in the International Coastal Cleanup. The information will be used to determine future needs and projects in the area and create an awareness of the need within the community. The main cleanup is Oct. 20.

Courtesy of Temple Terrace Parks & Recreation

Temple Terrace names Coach of the Year: Temple Terrace's 2012 James Chambers Coach of the Year award was given to Kevin Donaldson during a special ceremony at Beef 'O' Brady's on Sept. 17. Donaldson, center, received congratulations from Chambers, the Temple Terrace Leisure Services director, left, and Scott Andrews, Temple Terrace Athletics supervisor. This is the second year the James Chambers Coach of the Year award has been presented by the Temple Terrace Leisure Services Department. More than 24 coaches were eligible for the honor, and the nominees were whittled down to 10 finalists, with the award going to the top vote getter. Donaldson won bragging rights and a trophy.

Courtesy of Norma Brenne Henning

German-American Chapter opens: The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States opened a chapter in Florida and celebrated a grand opening Sept. 13 at the Museum of Science & Industry. Speakers and guests included Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope; Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham; Peter Fischer, head of the economics department of the German Embassy, Washington, D.C.; Eva Alexandra Countess Kendeffy, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany to Florida; Claudia Hillinger, president of Max Planck Florida Foundation; Martina Stegmeier, president and CEO of the GACC South; and Jason Roof of the Foreign Exchange Division of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Network. Pictured from left: Kendeffy, Higginbotham and Norma Henning, German honorary consul.

     
   
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Dunedin man serious injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man serious injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning.According to deputies, 37-year-old Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m. when he struck a cement median and lost ...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay area’s population, already the largest of any metropolitan area in the state, is projected to grow from 3 million last year to 3.1 million this year, and to 3.3 million over the next five years.That growth is expected to bring c...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a suspect who, armed with a machete, robbed a Plant City convenience store on Tuesday.Police say the suspect arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S around 2:50 a.m. and demanded...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

MONTREAT, N.C. — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Rev. Billy Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for two days next week. Ryan says he’s inviting members of Congress and the public to pay their respects to the man called "...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:TRUMP ENDORSES RAISING MINIMUM AGE TO 21 FOR MORE WEAPONSPresident Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures today, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

TAMPA — A 54-year-old inmate died Saturday after she became unresponsive at the Falkenburg Road Jail, authorities said.Tammie Castro was alert in the jail infirmary when jail officials called for paramedics at 3:34 a.m. but became unresponsive within...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly a decade after it was first proposed, a new boutique hotel in downtown St. Petersburg is finally under construction.Workers are preparing the foundation of the Galaxy, an 11-story, 92-room hotel at Third Avenue N and First Str...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands this morning beat Wall Street expectations in reporting fourth-quarter net income of $16.4 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Tampa-based restaurant chain group — which in...
Updated: 2 hours ago