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Nature programs for kids and adults

Join a park ranger for an hourlong class at 10 a.m. and noon Saturday and Sunday at Lettuce Lake Park, 6920 E Fletcher Ave. Meet inside the visitor center to try this challenge: build a fire with one match (or no matches) and wet wood.

Park entry is $2 per vehicle with eight or fewer people and program cost is $5 per child or adult unaccompanied by a child. Parents and guardians are free. To register, email date and time of program, names and ages of those attending to kyled@ Walk-up participants are welcome. Groups are asked to preregister.

north tampa

Art After School program at library

Art After School is the time for children to express themselves through art. Come join the fun at 4 p.m. Monday at the North Tampa Library, 8916 N Boulevard, and take home your creations to show off your talents. Free.

seminole heights

Children's grief counseling offered

The LIFE Center of the Suncoast is offering free grief counseling sessions to children ages 6 to 11 experiencing the death of a loved one. The weekly group sessions take place Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the LIFE Center, 6811 N Central Ave. Call (813) 237-3114 or visit for more information.

south tampa

Scout Troop 4 is seeking new home

Scout Troop 4 is hosting a movie Tuesday evening to raise money for a new troop hut. Legends of the Knight starts at 7:30 p.m. at Muvico Centro Ybor. The documentary is a story of how Batman, a superhero with no superpowers, inspired people to do good.

The troop, the area's oldest, was ousted in December from its home next to a church by the base of the Davis Islands bridge, where it met for 60 years. Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, which owns the property, decided to stop hosting the troop after the Boy Scouts of America changed its century-old policy to allow gay Scouts.

The troop of about 150 scouts relocated to Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, next to Plant High School. The boys are meeting in a room in the church, but ultimately want to replace the hut the troop had met in since 1963, a concrete block building lined with wooden benches and knotty pine walls and ceilings. Movie director Brett Culp used Crowdsource to fund the film, which premiered at Tampa Theatre in September. A portion of the ticket sales will go to the troop for its building.


Free trees for a promise to water

The Community Tree Program provides free trees to residents or neighborhood associations to plant on city land, greenways and street rights of way. Tree varieties include cypress, oak, maple, magnolia, crape myrtle and bottle brush. Once planted, trees must get 10 gallons of water daily for the first 30 days and three times a week thereafter. Limit two trees per residence or 100 per neighborhood. Request trees at or call (813) 274-7733.

Old residence hall comes down at UT

The University of Tampa has demolished a wing of a nearly 30-year-old residence hall and will break ground for a new residence hall in its place. Crossroads Construction took down the three-story southern wing of ResCom, which faces N A Street. The new dormitory is tentatively set to be completed in January 2015.

LSF Early Head Start holding registration

LSF Early Head Start is holding preregistration for its Family Child Care Homes Program in Hillsborough County. The program, free for income-eligible families, provides care for children ages 6 weeks to 23 months, including those with disabilities. Child care homes participate in the Child Care Food Program so children are provided with nutritious daily meals. Registration will be at the LSF Early Head Start office, 3635 W Waters Ave., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates: June 10 and 26; and July 8 and 24. Parents should bring proof of income (pay stubs, 2013 income tax forms and W-2 forms), the child's birth certificate and all documentation of disability if applicable. For more information, please call Dalma Lopez at (813) 676-9473.

university area

Expo offers tips for hurricane safety

With hurricane season looming, Hillsborough County, the city of Tampa and the Museum of Science & Industry team up to host the 2014 Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 31 at the Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave. Admission to the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo is free.

The event will provide kid-friendly entertainment, games and other activities. Vehicles from first-responder agencies will be on display. Attendees also will have a chance to win one of two Kindle Fire HD tablets. For more information about the expo, or to become a vendor or sponsor: tampabay

Tampa news and notes 05/21/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 5:26pm]
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  1. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.

  2. What you need to know for Tuesday, May 23


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, some of many springs that feed the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal that would allow a decrease to the amount of fresh water flowing in the Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014]
  3. Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development


    BROOKSVILLE — Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, one of many springs that feeds the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal to decrease the amount of fresh water flowing in Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014
  4. Canned by lawmakers, PTC staff say they are now forgotten


    TAMPA — After roughly 20 years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Mike Gonzalez got another job with a uniform and badge when he was hired in 2015 as an inspector for the Public Transportation Commission.

    The badge that PTC inspectors carry while on duty. State lawmakers voted to abolish the agency this year leaving its remaining employees fearing for their future.
  5. Ferries from Florida not a priority for Cuban government


    Cruises and commercial flights now link Tampa and Havana, but before the U.S. government approved either for such journeys, ferries had the nod.

    Baja Ferries was among a handful of companies the U.S. government approved to service Cuba two years ago.
But Cuba's ambassador to the United States recently said the wait may be long. Ferries are not a high priority for Cuba.
This is an example of one of the overnight passenger ferries the  Baja Ferries wanted  to use to reach Cuba from Florida.

Photo Credit: Baja Ferries USA LLC