Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

Tampa Riverwalk to honor six local trailblazers

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA

When nine local historians met to pick the first six pioneers to be honored on Tampa's Riverwalk, they came up with three men, two women and a surprise.

The surprise — the first selection announced at the Tampa Bay History Center Tuesday — was not an individual, but a group: the earliest mound-building Indians to settle around Tampa Bay and in what is now downtown Tampa.

The others represent early strivers in shipping (James McKay Sr.), railroads and hotels (Henry B. Plant), cigarmaking (Vicente Martinez-Ybor), nursing (Clara Frye) and women's rights (Eleanor McWilliams Chamberlain).

"What resonates with me is that these were individuals who not only cared about themselves and their families, but about their community and helping someone else," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at the ceremony.

Each honoree will be memorialized with a bronze bust created by Tampa artist Steven Dickey. The art is expected to be installed on the Riverwalk in the next six to nine months. The nonprofit Friends of the Riverwalk privately raised the $15,000 needed to make each bust.

As the Friends of the Riverwalk raises more money, the group will call together the historians to make more selections and install more markers, said Steve Anderson, who chairs the Friends' historic monument trail committee.

Meanwhile, city officials plan to work on some fundraising of their own by reapplying for a federal transportation grant to build the last big leg of the Riverwalk. That piece will connect MacDill Park to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Its estimated cost is $12 million because the Sheraton hotel and other properties along that section are built out to the seawall, forcing the Riverwalk to be built over the river near the bank.

"We're going to get it done, and at the end of this we will have a celebration unlike anything that we have ever seen," Buckhorn said.

"When that Riverwalk behind you is finished in the not-very-distant future," Anderson said, "the city of Tampa is going to be transformed in ways that we are just now beginning to realize."

Not only will it be a place to walk and enjoy the waterfront, he said, but also to dine, to meet others and, with the historical monuments announced Tuesday, to learn about the history of Tampa.

To be considered, the honorees had to have lived here, left a significant, positive legacy and been dead for at least 15 years.

For the descendents of those selected, Tuesday's ceremony was a moving tribute.

"It means a great deal, because to me, he was my idol," said Martinez-Ybor's great-grandson Rafael Martinez-Ybor, 83, a retired banker who lives in Temple Terrace. "I'm very proud to carry his name."

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Comments
USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

USF, UCF contribute to a first in football poll

The new Associated Press football poll produced some Florida history Sunday.For the first time, UCF and USF are both ranked — and Florida State and Florida are both unranked — entering their respective season-ending grudge matches this weekend.The No...
Updated: 26 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Youth choir trains voices of confidence

Youth choir trains voices of confidence

 
Updated: 1 hour ago

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete, leaving passenger, 15, with life threatening injuries

Two boys in a stolen car struck a dip in the roadway and crashed into a tree, leaving the 15-year-old passenger with life-threatening injuries, St. Petersburg police said.The crash occurred about 11:25 a.m. Sunday as the car sped west on 11th Avenue ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

MIAMI GARDENS — The case of Jameis Winston and a female Uber driver in Arizona took more twists Sunday, with Winston getting some level of corroboration, and his unnamed accuser retaining a familiar, high-profile attorney.Eagles cornerback Ronald Dar...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Before Mel Tillis achieved stardom, writing songs recorded by hundreds of Nashville artists and embracing the stutter that became his trademark, he was a young man fresh out of the Air Force struggling to land a spot in a Plant City talent show.Eyes ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Report: Florida rarely punishes doctors sued for malpractice

FORT LAUDERDALE — Florida doctors are rarely punished by state regulators even after they are sued for malpractice, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Sunday. The Florida Department of Health reviewed nearly 24,000 resolved state and federal law...
Updated: 2 hours ago
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Updated: 2 hours ago
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Updated: 3 hours ago