ODESSA — In the taproom at Big Storm Brewery, vintage bulbs hang above the bar and the beer in your mug was made in the brew house you can see from your seat.
This, said co-owner Mike Bishop, is a big change from what visitors saw when he and Clay Yarn started the business last year: "a few little pots and a couple tiny tanks."
In 2012, Big Storm's goal was to produce 1,000 barrels of beer a year. Now, the growing brewery is "on track for about 3,500."...
TRINITY — I hid in a corner of the art studio, hovered in a cloud of rising vapor, pouting while fiddling with my phone.
This — publicly using a nebulizer to inhale albuterol, a drug that opens up my seasonally uncooperative lungs — was not how I hoped to start my first class at Painting with a Twist. My cough was unrelenting, along with my stress level.
While my carefree classmates put on smocks and sipped the wine they brought (You can bring snacks, too!), I dwelled on my unending to-do list and my health. Then I picked up a brush and with each brush stroke understood more why this place is so popular....
11/29/13 Human Interest
WESLEY CHAPEL — In a big, bright classroom at Discovery Point, more than a dozen 4-year-olds focused on their teacher — until Mike Keeney walked in. He smiled when he heard their whispers: "Mr. Mike!"
The students know Keeney — the single dad who keeps the day care's books, repairs the stuff that breaks and drives the bus — because he spends most of his time there. Keeney, 49, is also the day care's owner....
PORT RICHEY — The walls in the Rev. Jim Poyner's office at Gulfview Grace Brethren Church are bare and prepared for fresh paint. The renovation is evidence of transition — almost a metaphor, said his son, Paul, for the big change ahead for both of them.
After 33 years as the church's pastor, Jim Poyner will retire Dec. 7 and his son will replace him.
"There's a time to accept a church, and there's another time to realize I've slowed down," said Jim, 70. He realized his limitations on Valentine's Day this year after a surgeon implanted a pacemaker and defibrillator in his chest. ...
11/22/13 Human Interest
In preparation for a recent trip to California, Rachel Wright booked flights and reserved hotel rooms. Her boyfriend got tickets for The Price Is Right.
Before their trip, Wright trained for the Disney half marathon she would run in Anaheim. Her boyfriend, Pete Castles, taped and watched "every episode" of The Price Is Right.
"He really, really wanted to be on the show," Wright said....
SAN ANTONIO — As a child, Shannon Corkrean stood behind a pharmacy counter beside her father.
She, a first-grader, counted the pills. He, the pharmacist, recounted them. Her time in the independent pharmacy shadowing her dad taught her about customer service and math. As an adult, she uses the skills every day where she spends most of her time: behind the counter of her own pharmacy....
10/03/12 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — Cindy Boyer was browsing through online profiles of children with no families when she stumbled upon a little girl from Russia.
An adoption advocacy organization, Reece's Rainbow, had named the girl Adalyn. She is a year and a half old, has short hair, dark eyes, and a bilateral cleft lip, gum and palate.
Cindy stopped scrolling. She stared at the picture.
Adalyn's situation was all too familiar to her....
I like to talk about sex.
This is natural for a woman who grew up in a culture that surrounds us with it, who is the product of parents who taught me no topic is taboo.
But few who discuss sex with me are prepared for what I divulge: I'm a virgin.
Responses to my decision to save sex for marriage range from awkward silence to sympathy and have included the following question: "Do you really want to ruin your wedding night that way?"...
05/19/12 Human Interest
Outside a Concord, N.H., theater where Dave Cruz had sung in the opera La Traviata, he tucked his helmet into his black motorcycle's backpack and slid onto its leather seat. It was July 1998. The sky was blue. A day too beautiful to ride with a helmet. Headed for a friend's house, he traveled east on Highway 393, riding in the inside lane at 40 mph. As he approached an intersection, a 19-year-old in the left turn lane abruptly pulled into traffic to turn right. Her white Subaru sedan crossed Cruz's path and they collided....
Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli de Veracruz
The acclaimed traditional dance and music group, direct from Veracruz, Mexico, performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St. Tickets $28, $24. (727) 942-5605.
'Jackpot': A Las Vegas revue with matinees and evenings through April 22 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Dinner and show, $49.50; show only, $38.45, plus tax and tip, for adults, $24.95 and $19.95 for 12 and younger. (727) 863-7949 or toll-free 1-888-655-7469....
Facebook is going public, with a stock offering worth untold billions of dollars. But two years ago this month, I stopped going public. I quit Facebook.
Wary of what the social network does to relationships, I walked away from it at 24. I said an e-farewell to more than 500 friends. I haven't heard from 490. I don't know their Facebook statuses or their Farmville scores. They don't send me party invitations or show me their latest pictures....
09/10/11 Human Interest
At his kitchen counter, Tim Harrigan flipped through the yellowing, plastic pages of the scrapbook. Part is pictures he took at ground zero. The other part, clips of Newsday articles about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Ten years ago, he put the book together for his kids.
"I didn't know how long I was going to be around," he said. He didn't know if he'd get to tell them his story. ...
A friend of a friend recently asked a little girl a question: What's the one thing in the world you want most?
"To look like Hannah Montana," she said, referring to the Disney Channel pop-star played by actor Miley Cyrus.
My friend's friend retorted: "But I'd miss your face!"
Disgusted, the little girl shook her head.
"No," she said. "You couldn't miss that."
She is one of many girls who sees her face and says it could be better, who believes something has to change before she can be good enough. But she is only 4 years old....
04/30/11 Human Interest
Heading north on U.S. 19, I noticed a bunch of children buckled up in a big, black sport utility vehicle. Their chauffeur? A distracted driver.
One hand on the wheel, his other typing on a smart phone. Eyes on the road only in short intervals. So when I moved from the middle lane to the right, and in front of him by a few car lengths, I had a feeling I shouldn't. But I did.
I should have known better....
03/05/11 Human Interest
NEW PORT RICHEY
While steak simmered in a pan on the stove on a recent Friday night, Lauren Rivera slipped out to the back yard through the sliding screen door in the kitchen.
She noticed no-see-ums. Watched her children play. Ten-year-old Lily laughed. Caitlyn, also 10, had her curly brown hair pulled up in a bun and held back by a black plastic headband. Lucas' black and blue sneakers slipped off the 12-year-old's feet while he hugged the football and ran across the yard....