Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Monday's Epiphany celebration will be Tarpon's 108th

TARPON SPRINGS

Today continues a long-held tradition as throngs of Greek Orthodox Christians, townspeople and tourists converge on this coastal city for its 108th Epiphany celebration.

As many as 25,000 spectators from around the world are expected to turn out for the annual festivities, which commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.

Tarpon's observance each Jan. 6 is one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

The event's centerpiece is the blessing and throwing of a cross into Spring Bayou, where 44 barefoot teen boys will dive to retrieve it in a quest for blessings from the Lord. The dive also is considered a rite of passage into manhood for Greek boys ages 16 to 18.

Celebrants and dignitaries begin the day with solemn religious services inside St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. That is followed shortly after noon by a colorful procession to the nearby bayou, just west of the intersection of Alt. U.S. 19 and Tarpon Avenue.

There, Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, will preside over a ceremony at the water's edge, assisted by other Greek Orthodox clergy.

A white dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit will be released over the bayou. Each year, the cathedral bestows the honor of dove bearer on one young woman who is a member of its choir. This year it's 16-year-old Joi Theophilopoulos, a Tarpon Springs High School junior. She's the granddaughter of the late Father Tryfon Theophilopoulos, who was the cathedral's spiritual leader for three decades.

Once the dove is released, the archbishop will throw a white wooden cross into the bayou. The young men waiting in anchored dinghies will leap into the chilly, murky water in search of the cross.

Following the dive, celebrants will partake of food, music and dancing during the hourslong Glendi, a Greek festival, at the Spanos Pappas Community Center Theophilos Hall, 348 N Pinellas Ave. The party will feature elaborate costumes and traditional Greek dance performances by the Levendia, a national award-winning Greek dance troupe, and other local dance groups.

All Epiphany events are free and open to the public. The events will close parts of Spring Boulevard and Tarpon, Safford and Pinellas avenues from about 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

 
Comments
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

USF's quarterback derby could have a prominent 11th-hour entrant.Former Alabama QB Blake Barnett, the Crimson Tide's opening day starter in 2016 who transferred to Arizona State shortly thereafter, is leaving Tempe as a grad transfer, several media o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

At a news conference on Wednesday, Nocco identified the officer as Richard Stackon, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994. Stackon has spent "several years" as an SRO, Nocco said, and he had nothing in his file "that stands out." Around 1 p.m., Noc...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Man on Clearwater Beach pulled from water, hospitalized

CLEARWATER — A 33-year-old man pulled from the water north of Pier 60 was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.Clearwater Fire & Rescue spokesman Rob Shaw said a bystander noticed the Dunedin man, who has not been identified, was in trouble and brought h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

CLEARWATER — The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didn’t worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Updated: 2 hours ago