WESTCHASE — After she gets the girls down for a nap, Nickole Kostelis heads to her garage and fires up her power tools.
She's been doing woodworking since high school, but until recently it had been a hobby for the stay-at-home mom of three young daughters. About four months ago, she found a group on Facebook called Made by Mama, which was created as a way for Tampa Bay artists to sell their handcrafted goods. Kostelis joined. She called herself Mom With a Saw and posted her work. Old cribs and bed frames transformed into cool benches. Rustic wall hangers. Signs for newlyweds....
TAMPA — She sees them in her dreams, these characters.
A winged ballerina with Harlequin smudged eyes in an ancient wood.
A tuxedoed gentleman in a gas mask with a steaming power plant atop his hat.
A little girl who woke up floating on a bed in the ocean.
Shimmering, magnificent mermaids.
Lissa Hatcher always has something close by to capture the visions so they don't slip away: the voice recorder on her phone, her iPad, sketch books. They become real to her. They have names and backstories and personalities. They push her to keep going....
Stephen Gran wants you to know there's more to his office than you might think.
"We're not just for farmers," said Gran, director of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences extension office in Hillsborough County. That's the county extension, for short.
The agency celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and, although it began with farming and food preservation, the service has evolved as the county became more developed....
TAMPA — Nearly three years ago, Jamie Kaleo's father had a heart attack. Her healthy-living, clean-eating, marathon-running dad suddenly needed a triple bypass operation. It was terrifying. But something monumental happened as she sat with him in the cardiac intensive care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital. Kaleo, a personal trainer, watched the nurses taking care of her dad. They were wonderful. I want to do this, she thought....
Iran David "I.D." Rivers was a bear of a man with a buzz cut, a thick reddish mustache and a cheery disposition who hugged so fiercely he lifted people up, their legs swinging. He seemed to make friends everywhere. Things like grocery shopping took him quite a while.
It has been a year since he died, but the loss still feels fresh and raw at the fire station where he spent much of his life, tough men and women blinking back tears, fighting to control their voices. Rivers, a Hillsborough County firefighter and emergency medical technician for 24 years, died from a heart attack while on duty on Sept. 22, 2013. He was 48....
TAMPA — Infectious diseases can be terrifying. Ebola. HIV/AIDS.
But in the United States, you aren't likely to die from one. Here, the usual killers are noncommunicable diseases: cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes. They account for 88 percent of deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
"More people are dying from heart attacks than from yellow fever," said Linda Whiteford, a University of South Florida anthropology professor recently tapped to help lead a center focused on fighting these diseases....
The crabs sold. • Allison Adams couldn't believe it. The crabs, dead for more than a century, if not quite a bit more, had been displayed in glass cases and shown in a French museum before being sold from collector to collector and ending up at a market in Paris, where Adams bought them early this year for her shop inside the Oxford Exchange. She thought the crabs were odd and beautiful and, after a lengthy holdup in Customs, where a French expert had to be hired to officially name the various crab species and declare that, yes, the crabs were definitely dead, they arrived. • Within weeks, nearly all of the 10 cases of crabs were bought. • At $1,000 a piece. • "I never thought they would sell," said Adams, 43, director of the Oxford Exchange, a grand, sweeping mixed-use business and social experiment created by Adams and her brother, Blake Casper, 40, that is celebrating its first anniversary Tuesday....
TAMPA — Two national experts focused on finding solutions for homeless issues are speaking Tuesday morning at the University Club of Tampa to local leaders who are working to fight the problem here.
The speakers are:
•Philip F. Mangano, president and chief executive officer of the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness in Boston. He previously served under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama as executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness....
After her older sister died from breast cancer in 2004, Kat Ward consoled herself with food. To honor her sister, Ward left the hotel business and got a job with the American Cancer Society, intense and meaningful work she enjoyed. But she lived on drive-through fast food. Her weight ballooned from 160 pounds to 235. She tried diets, but nothing seemed to work.
Then on Sept. 7, 2008, at age 24, Ward woke with this strange feeling. She doesn't know why. There was no trigger; no photo she saw of herself, no cruel remark about her weight. ...
LAKELAND — Sean Strano hovered outside a conference room at the Lakeland Center, his business cards in hand. Like everyone else packed in the hallway, he wanted to know who bought the Red Rose Inn, the beloved hotel in Plant City known for its kitschy commercials, doo wop dances and Gone With the Wind-themed decor.
It hit the auction block Friday, the second day of a bankruptcy liquidation sale of the assets of the Madonia family, who spent more than a half-century building a fortune in the tomato farming business, only to see it all slip away. ...
How did it come to this?
Evelyn and Batista Madonia worked for more than a half-century building their fortune. They are known for the Red Rose Inn, a Plant City landmark, but the real money, millions upon millions, was made in tomato farming.
They had 10,000 acres in Florida and Virginia and employed 1,000 workers. Their assets are vast: housing camps and luxury homes here and up north for the workers and executives, packing and storage facilities, millions of tomato stakes. And the equipment, anything imaginable to run a huge operation: $200,000 tractors, sprayers, forklifts, pickups, semis, golf carts....
08/08/13 Human Interest
Rebecca White was an early champion of entrepreneurship studies, which is now one of the fastest-growing majors on college campuses. White, 56, helped create the entrepreneurship center at Northern Kentucky University before coming to the University of Tampa in 2009. Since she became director of UT's Entrepreneurship Center, the number of students majoring in entrepreneurship has doubled. "We are building an entrepreneurial community," White said. ...
BY ERIN SULLIVAN | Times Staff Writer
Welcome to the entrepreneurial generation.
They are young, creative and adaptable. Experts say they grew up with parents telling them they could do anything only to experience the depth of economic lows with the recession. They have mountains of student loan debt and scarce job prospects. They've learned loyalty is overrated, witnessing hardworking people laid off after 25 years, feeling lost, betrayed, forced to start over....
We are playing right into their paws, their cute, strangely irresistible paws.
As a society, we are spending more on pets than ever, an estimated $55.5 billion in America this year, with dogs getting the largest share. More than 78 million dogs live in 46.3 million households in America and that number is rising. Floridians are particularly crazy about dogs, with ownership in the Sunshine State increasing 42 percent from 2006 to 2013, jumping from 1.9 million dog-owning households to 2.7 million. ...
Erin Meagher, a willowy blond with a beachy tomboy vibe, rarely stops to reflect on all she has done.
In merely four years, the 30-year-old former high school teacher's organic, fair-trade coconut oil company, Kelapo, has gone from an idea to a powerhouse.
Her products are in 6,000 stores in the United States and Canada. She has gone from knocking on doors of local independent grocers, with homemade coconut oil brownies and a case of Kelapo, sweetly pleading with them to buy some products, to a presence in the aisles of major retailers: Whole Foods, the Fresh Market, Meijer in the Midwest, H-E-B in Texas, King Soopers out of Colorado. ...