Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Military uniform collection could find home in historic Zephyrhills house

ZEPHYRHILLS — Turning the Capt. Jeffries house into a showcase for military history could be a great start to creating a tourism niche for the city, Mayor Danny Burgess believes.

"Dade City has antiques," said Burgess. "Our heritage really is in our military roots."

The city already has the restored World War II barracks museum, filled with artifacts from area veterans.

Army fighter pilots trained at what was known then as the Zephyrhills Army Airfield in the early 1940s; the airfield was donated to the city after the war.

Now the city has an opportunity to build on that history by partnering with Ron and Lila Bushaw, a Plant City couple who have been collecting World War II uniforms and memorabilia for 15 years.

Burgess invited the Bushaws to last week's City Council meeting to talk about their collection, which includes 380 uniforms representing every American unit that fought in the war, along with numerous allied units.

One uniform Bushaw displayed at the meeting belonged to a paratrooper who jumped on D-day and was in the Battle of the Bulge with Easy Company of the 506th Division. The nameless soldier earned the Silver Star, the military's third-highest award for combat heroism.

"He lives in eternity," said Bushaw. "But this is typical of the uniforms in our collection. More than half are from those who earned the Silver Star."

Bushaw said he has been able to match names to about 35 percent of the uniforms. He has identifying serial numbers for roughly 95 percent, though, and now that he's retired, plans to find as many names as possible.

The Bushaws have participated in a few veteran events with displays of their uniforms but are looking for a permanent place to display the collection.

Burgess thinks the Jeffries house is just the place.

The house, bank-owned and vacant for the past two years, is falling into disrepair. Built around 1910 for the city's founder, civil war veteran Capt. Howard B. Jeffries, it claimed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Worried the house could be lost, Burgess brought the idea of buying it to the city's community redevelopment agency in June. The agency, comprised of City Council members, agreed to look into the possibility. The council last month moved forward with getting an appraisal on the property and is waiting for a report from a historical architect.

Council members were impressed with the presentation.

"We're rapidly losing our World War II heroes," said council member Charlie Proctor, who mentioned his father's WWII service. "I'm behind something like this."

Council President Lance Smith thanked the couple, but cautioned no decision has been made on whether to buy the house. If the city does purchase it, it may be required by law to seek proposals from others interested in leasing the house.

   
Comments
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Passengers on fatal Southwest flight sue airline and manufacturers of plane and engine

Eight passengers who were aboard a Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of its engines blew apart filed suit Wednesday against the airline, Boeing and the companies that manufactured the eng...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 7 hours ago