State House | District 64
The District 64 contest pitting Republicans James Grant, whose father was a longtime state lawmaker, against Miriam Steinberg, whose husband, Democrat Michael Steinberg, ran against Grant four years ago, will appear on the primary ballot — but may not count pending court action. A judge disqualified a write-in candidate who would have appeared on the November ballot, meaning that the election would need to be open to all eligible registered voters, not only Republicans. As of early this week, that was on appeal and could change. Elisabeth Parker, Times staff writer...
07/31/14 Human Interest
Teresa Williams walked through the door at Cesare's of New York Pizzeria and stared hard at Silvana Bastone.
"Is it true?"
"Yes," Bastone said, her voice somber. She has made pizza at Cesare's for 38 years. But Thursday, she was stretching her last pies at the South Tampa landmark and closing the doors for good.
For decades, the pizzas here drew hundreds of Plant High School students across the street for lunch. Others came for the fresh tomatoes, spinach and the crispy crusts....
TAMPA — About a dozen researchers are splitting fibers in pursuit of a cure for cancer in a third floor research lab on the edge of the University of South Florida campus.
Every few weeks, they divide the fibers, made from crustaceans, which are the size of a human hair, into millionths.
You can't see these nanofibers or other nanoparticles made in the lab without a high-powered microscope, but they are the seeds of innovations that Shyam Mohapatra says will change our lives....
TAMPA — A 4-year-old boy died early Monday in what police initially described as an incident in which he either fell or was pushed from a moving SUV on a busy roadway.
But police were questioning that narrative late Monday after reviewing surveillance video they have obtained. They are now saying it's possible he wandered into traffic and was the victim of a hit-and-run collision.
Investigators don't know or aren't saying how Marterrance Albury ended up in the road, or whether they have ruled out the possibility that he indeed fell from inside the SUV that ultimately ran over his body with its back tire....
07/17/14 Real Estate
TAMPA — Music resonates from a low-lying plot of land on the fringe of downtown, once known as the Scrub.
Earlier this week it was a trumpeter, playing as guests toured apartments at a grand opening for the Trio, the second project completed within Encore.
Mechelle Arnold appreciated ample closets as she explored a two-bedroom unit with a view of the city skyline she called beautiful....
07/10/14 Human Interest
TAMPA HEIGHTS — Dinner one day last week for a lucky few — 40 or so — was a sampling of ice creams vying to make the menu of soon-to-open Ulele.
Six flavors of fresh ice cream, served up in half coconut shells with a view of the Hillsborough River.
Rank them according to your favorite.
Fourth-generation family restaurateur Richard Gonzmart, of the Columbia, has been tasting possible menu items for months for the highly anticipated native-inspired restaurant he calls his legacy. One day it was jumbo lump crabs and five types of gulf snapper, and another it was candied duck bacon and maple fried ice cream. He tasted tequilas for eight hours straight on another day....
06/26/14 Local Government
TAMPA — A plan to spur riverfront development on a prime 12-acre site in West Tampa moved ahead Thursday when the Tampa City Council unanimously voted to buy two pieces of property several miles away to relocate utility trucks.
The trucks have been kept at 2609 N Rome Ave., two blocks south of W Columbus Drive and a block from the Hillsborough River. City Hall will eventually market that site to developers as part of a larger, 120-acre redevelopment called West River. The development will ultimately hold 1,500 new residential units mixed with stores and trails along the river leading to Riverwalk and other waterside amenities....
Her freezer holds plastic bags of liquid gold. • Not all new mothers can produce enough milk to feed their babies, but Brittney Coley, 26, makes twice as much as her 5-month-old, Jaxson, needs. • Last week, while Jaxson cooed contentedly at one breast, Coley pumped milk from the other into a bottle. She calls it breast juice and sells the extra for $2 an ounce. It boils down to capitalism. • Coley turned to a website where women sell their milk in May, after her air conditioner broke down for a second time and she scrambled to afford the fix. She signed in and posted her ad on onlythebreast.com....
TAMPA — Retired Marine Lt. Col. Ty Edwards gripped a vertical bar attached to his power wheelchair and pulled himself upright.
Edwards couldn't stand by himself until his physical therapist at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center came up with the idea for the StandBar. The device is being patented by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As the VA endures allegations of poor care, wrongful deaths and delayed medical care across the country, Haley officials spent Thursday highlighting researchers' work advancing medical care. Much like a science fair, researchers at the Tampa hospital packed an auditorium with rows of displays. ...
06/06/14 Human Interest
Three weeks ago, Father Carlos José Rojas stepped up to the pulpit in St. Joseph Catholic Church with a message of hope.
Not to hope would be to despair, he wrote in a text.
Rojas should know. For the second time in a year, he has been asked to take over a church touched by tragedy.
First it was Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Wimauma, where he replaced Father Demetrio Lorden, who was hit by a car while riding his bike home from church. He was in a coma for a week and is recovering in Spain....
TAMPA — They met in fifth grade at an old brick schoolhouse in a neighborhood where just 45 percent of kids graduate from high school. They leaned on each other through four years at Academy Prep, where classes run up to 11 hours a day, six days a week, for 11 months a year.
Together, they were accepted at Tampa Prep. And nearly four years later, on Sunday, the best friends graduated....
05/29/14 Human Interest
Karina Sura Paner stood on a golf course recently and scanned a pond for eyes.
She was looking for an alligator — one that had become a nuisance.
It had left the Lutz pond bordering TPC Tampa Bay and waddled up to a house. A woman spotted it next to her garage. Worried for her dog, she launched a broom at it. Then she threw her shoes at it. Then she called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. ...
On a cold night four months ago, La'Quita Carter took a pillow from the trunk of her car, climbed into the back seat and wrapped herself in an old blanket.
A polar blast was sliding south, prompting sheet-draped outdoor foliage and the opening of Tampa's shelters.
La'Quita was 18 that cold night and needed a few hours of sleep before school. She had parked outside an apartment building and, as usual, she was scared. She had nightmares of someone breaking in to her car to get her. She was scared to tell anyone she was homeless, scared of what might happen to her in the system....
TAMPA — The woman last known to have been with a 9-year-old Tampa girl who was found dead in Tampa Bay over the weekend underwent a mental health evaluation two years ago after telling witnesses "Satan is trapping her mind."
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were called to an east Tampa gas station in January 2012, where Eboni Wiley was reportedly hallucinating. She was transported to a treatment center, according to a Sheriff's Office report, which goes into little other detail....
TAMPA — For 20 years, Susan Tamme has helped rescue people and put out fires across the city. Last week, Tamme, 54, of Oldsmar, was named a district chief at Tampa Fire Rescue — the first woman to reach that rank in the department's 119-year history.
Tamme recently took some time out from a firefighters' convention in Philadelphia to talk to the Times about her climb up the ladder....