Friday, November 17, 2017
News Roundup

Readers respond to 'Holiday Hopes'

RECOMMENDED READING


They say it's better to give than receive. They just might be on to something, as many of you readers know firsthand. For the ninth consecutive year, the Tampa Bay Times has told about people with extraordinary stories and great needs in our Holiday Hopes series. • Here's how readers responded.

Rico Davis

Readers came through for Rico Davis, providing a traditional Christmas dinner from HoneyBaked Ham of Brandon and presents for Ervin Washington III, who is 13, and his sister Angel Washington, 7. The presents were valued at about $500 said Vicki Sokolik, director at Starting Right, Now. Cash donations totaled $900 and will buy food for the children and their grandmother, who Davis says has little resources.

Davis and his siblings lost both parents in one night when their mother shot her husband. He died and she was taken to jail, where she remains. Davis is doing well attending Hillsborough Community College. He chose to use his wish for his brother and sister, who went into foster care and now they live with their grandmother.

Davis sends this message:

"Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I really appreciate everything you did for me this Christmas. It's really a blessing to have this opportunity to help my siblings. It showed me that people really are helpful and again, thank you. Much Love."

Fereshta Abdul Khalid

Two readers sent checks to Khalid, totaling $250. She is saving the money to use for school, she said. She also picked up extra hours over the holidays at her job at CVS, including one week when she worked 67 hours.

"I am super thankful for anything," said Khalid, who lost her father when she was 12 days old. "Every little bit helps."

Her father was kidnapped by the Taliban and she eventually came to Tampa when she was 7 with her mother and siblings as refugees. She completed high school in two years and is now working toward a medical career as a University of South Florida sophomore.

The Vazquez family

Readers donated more than $1,200 to Amanda and Andrew Vazquez, who had been struggling with bills and an older car needing repairs. They also received toys and clothes for their children, Chanel, 6 and Isai, 2. Amanda has lupus and had a difficult pregnancy with Sophia, born in November. The couple said they wanted to say a big thank-you to those who helped.

Michael Monthervil

As of this week, reader donations were not yet confirmed. Monthervil completed multiple missions in Afghanistan with his infantry unit and had only three days left when he tripped on a ramp on July 28. He couldn't move and soon learned that he had fractured a vertebra.

He is expecting to be discharged from James A. Haley VA Medical Center soon and needs a van equipped for him to drive and a wheelchair-accessible apartment.

     
Comments
Forecast: Ideal conditions across Tampa leading to weekend, but rain is on its way

Forecast: Ideal conditions across Tampa leading to weekend, but rain is on its way

The week ends with more virtually ideal weather conditions across Tampa Bay, but that changes a bit on Sunday with the arrival of a cold front that could result in a soggy Thanksgiving.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Whi...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Black residents question Seminole Heights arrest spike; Christmas and Harry Potter at Universal; Tampa Bay Auto Show, Winter Village in Tampa; plan your Thanksgiving menu

The Daystarter: Black residents question Seminole Heights arrest spike; Christmas and Harry Potter at Universal; Tampa Bay Auto Show, Winter Village in Tampa; plan your Thanksgiving menu

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• A beautiful Friday, with highs in the upper 70s and all the sunshine you could ask for, according to 10Weather WTSP. A cold front will drag down temperatures Sunday and Monda...
Updated: 1 hour ago
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the Tampa Convent...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Joe Henderson: Require coding in schools? How about pushing technical skills

Joe Henderson: Require coding in schools? How about pushing technical skills

As if public schools don’t have enough headaches, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently interjected himself into the debate about how best to train young minds.In an interview with French media outlet Konbini, Cook said, "I think coding should be required in e...
Published: 11/17/17
Howard Altman: Missing records confound veterans on base exchange website

Howard Altman: Missing records confound veterans on base exchange website

In the more than three decades that I have been toiling at various paragraph factories, few stories have elicited as much response as the one I wrote about the new program to allow all honorably discharged veterans to shop at military base exchanges ...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts.New York TimesPut some thought into the menuWhat leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they taste, ...
Published: 11/17/17
Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

LARGO — Driving down West Bay Drive, you may notice some changes to downtown Largo.A new 29-unit apartment complex on Ridge Road stands finished and ready for residents. South of the complex, land that was formerly home to a community of rundown cott...
Published: 11/17/17

Middle school student fatally struck in Tampa shortly after exiting school bus

TAMPA — A middle school student died after he was hit by a vehicle Thursday afternoon a short time after getting off of a school bus.According to Hillsborough County deputies, 11-year-old Brandon Heard Jr., a student at Mann Middle School, was struck...
Updated: 1 hour ago