Florida House | District 64
A court challenge over the eligibility of a write-in candidate for the District 64 seat has pushed this contest between two Republicans from the primary to the general election. An appeal involving this race had not been decided by early October, but all registered voters in the district are able to vote in it. James Grant, whose father was a longtime state lawmaker, is being challenged by Miriam Steinberg, whose husband, Democrat Michael Steinberg, ran against Grant four years ago. By Elisabeth Parker, Times staff writer...
09/26/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — During the days of Prohibition, Tampa was a wet spot.
Rum flowed in from Cuba and moonshine from surrounding rural areas.
Prohibition didn't curtail drinking. Instead, it went underground — in some cases literally. Local lore tells of tunnels leading from the Ybor City port up into speakeasies.
"The area had some logistical advantages," said Rodney Kite-Powell, curator of the Tampa Bay History Center. "Florida was one of the wettest states and Tampa was one of the wettest cities."...
09/18/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Troy Webb rolled his wheelchair back from a wall of screens showing the busy hallways of the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. He can see into a million square feet of the center through more than 100 cameras from his work space, a room the size of an average bedroom.
He picked up a ringing phone. A Mercedes was involved in an accident in the parking garage. It was turning out to be a quiet morning, but more than 10,000 people would filter through the center by the end of the day....
09/09/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Anthony Santos Rivera was among the kindergarteners at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens carrying magnifying glasses, which they used to inspect leaves, butterflies and caterpillars Tuesday.
The Pizzo Elementary School students were on a field trip as part of a program started by well-known primatologist Jane Goodall. Called Roots & Shoots, it encourages young people to save the Earth. Anthony's class is building a butterfly garden in a courtyard of the school. ...
09/04/14 Human Interest
BY ELISABETH PARKER Times Staff Writer
Along an industrial strip on the city's eastern edge, a block north of the Victory Temple and a drive-through Good Times Liquor, a halal slaughterhouse opened a meat market this summer.
Fresh meat open to the public, says a sign outside Musa Slaughterhouse at 6211 N 56th St.
Drivers passing see large pictures of bucolic goats, chicks, sheep and cows that trim the top of the large warehouse. ...
09/02/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Things are in flux at the Museum of Science and Industry.
In the past year, the Hillsborough County government, which owns MOSI's land and has loaned it money, ordered up a consultant's report that found the museum was in financial decline and needed to overhaul questionable accounting practices. MOSI temporarily closed its cafe after pests were found. And the nonprofit museum accepted the resignation of longtime president Wit Ostrenko, who announced plans to retire....
09/01/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Betty King Culbreath Gibbons lived a life of coincidences.
Born in Oklahoma in 1921, she came to Tampa as a small child and lived most of her life here. As a teen, she loved to sail her boat across Tampa Bay.
"My mother was an extraordinary, dynamic and adventurous person," Kay Culbreath Heller said. "She never lost that joy of sailing."
Culbreath Gibbons, a millionaire socialite who married two of Tampa Bay's most influential and best-known men, died Friday. She was 92....
08/28/14 Human Interest
Two awards from the Tampa Housing Authority hang on Hope Terrible's dining room wall. One is the Geraldine Barnes Resident Recognition for personal development, dated 2012. The other, which she received in July, recognizes her for "Extraordinary Accomplishments as a Public Housing Resident." Terrible was honored for starting her own business, Full of Hope Cleaning Services.
Her counselor had invited her to a lunch and didn't tell her about the award. "That was a shock," she said. "I called my mom as soon as I left. My mama's so proud of me."...
08/28/14 Human Interest
HYDE PARK — Eggs from Lutz and eggplant and okra from Brooksville draw more than 1,000 shoppers on the first Sunday of every month to Hyde Park Village.
It's the largest of six open-air Fresh Markets operated by Tampa Bay Markets in the area. But even so, the fresh bounty offered accounts for just a quarter of the goods available.
That's a problem, said Tiffany Ferrecchia, market manager. She hears regularly from people who come from other states expecting to find more heirloom tomatoes and fresh greens at the markets....
08/22/14 Local Government
TAMPA — Your vote for James Grant or Miriam Steinberg for state House District 64 won't count — at least not on Tuesday.
Although both candidates will be listed on the ballot for voters in Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor, a notice that precedes the names says, by court order, the votes will not be tallied.
But the next sentence says: "This order is currently under appellate review and the information contained in this notice is subject to change pending the outcome of the appeal."...
08/21/14 Human Interest
SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — It starts with good earth, and that requires truckloads of mulch and horse poop turned with scraps from local restaurants.
For months, people who grow their own kale have been layering and mixing compost at 6011 Highland Ave.
Seminole Heights gardeners are recognized for starting the city's first community garden a little more than a mile south of the Highland plot....
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....