Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Old jitney bus may travel Tarpon Springs streets again

TARPON SPRINGS — When Hercules Ypsilanti sold his prized possession, he turned down a $5,000 offer in favor of $10 and three avocados.

The Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society collected his father's 1926 Chevrolet "jitney" bus from his shed the day after Christmas, nearly a century after Kevitos Ypsilanti started shuttling residents around town in it for about a dime per ride.

It's fitting that Cyndi Tarapani, president of the historical society and original owner of those avocados, commissioned a father-son team, Wayne and Marc Hancock, to restore the bus. It hasn't known life outside a dusty shed since 1951.

"We want to put it back on the streets so that people can see it and appreciate it as part of Tarpon's history," Tarapani said.

Nearly a century ago, the jitney bus was one of five or six in Tarpon Springs. Now, it might be the only one left.

The society plans to showcase it during parades and special events. They may also let residents take a ride one Saturday each month.

The restoration is a $35,000 project, the costliest the society's ever taken on. Tarapani said they've raised about $16,000 so far from residents who want their family names or businesses on the side of the bus.

The Hancocks will restore the bus using only parts that were available in 1926, with only a few exceptions required for safety of passengers.

"I just think it's an exciting project," said Marc Hancock, 40, of Tampa. "I can't wait to drive it, just to feel it."

The Hancocks hope the bus will be street-ready in a year to a year and a half. But first, there's a wooden frame to be restored, a body to be painted, electrical work to be done and more.

They're not worried. They've restored at least 10 vehicles together, many of them 1920s cars.

"We like the challenges," said Brooksville resident Wayne Hancock, 75.

Former Tarpon Springs Mayor Anita Protos, now 71, collected money from jitney passengers in a cigar box years ago. She and other girls would ride the bus all day while eating bread, cheese and salami from local Greek businesses. Protos now sits on the historical society's board.

"It wasn't just Greek people who rode it," she said. "These are the roots of the entire community."

Comments
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURG ó Three people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the people arrived at a house in Childs Park, on the 41...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa police seeking vehicle in hit and run

Tampa police seeking vehicle in hit and run

The Tampa Police Department is seeking a vehicle involved in a hit and run on Sunday afternoon at New Tampa Boulevard and Wood Sage Drive that left a father with life threatening injuries and his young son in serious condition.The vehicle is either a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

TAMPA ó Stripped to the girders, the old Bromley office building looked about as substantial as fish bones on a dinner plate.But the 5-story structure proved Sunday it still had a surprising amount of fight left in it.A demolition team had planned to...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Updated: 3 hours ago
President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

STERLING, Ill. - As a longtime editor of small-town newspapers, Jeff Rogers has seen his industry face the collapse of print advertising, the rise of the internet and more. Today, his 18 employees work in a newsroom here that puts out two daily newsp...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG ó A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

Why a small-town restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave - and would do it again

LEXINGTON, Va. - Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Published: 06/23/18
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFLís investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFLís investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18