03/07/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — A 6-foot-long boa constrictor is recovering after surgery Friday to remove a towel it inadvertently ingested three days earlier. The snake, named Killer, had been eating a rat that got a grip on the towel.
"The towel came with the rat," said veterinarian Julia Shakeri, who performed the surgery at the Tampa BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital.
Shakeri, along with an anesthetist and an assistant, operated on the 9-year-old snake for about an hour. He was groggy after the surgery, but had a steady heartbeat and was breathing on his own....
TAMPA — A Hillsborough County public school teacher was arrested Thursday and charged with felony child neglect after telling police she knew about her sons' marijuana use, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police searched Kelley Fraley's home, where she lives with her two sons, ages 15 and 18. Police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in both sons' rooms and in the garage, according to the arrest report....
So I was on Pinterest the other day, because it was a day of the week that ended in Y, and I came across this pretzel-shaped necklace, complete with tiny bottle of mustard. Weird, sure, but also kind of cute.
But eeesh, $97. That's about $95 more than I'd ever pay for a pretzel, jewelry or not. So I took a swing around the Interwebz and found some other cute food-related jewelry, because if a super cute waffle necklace is good enough for Leslie Knope, it's good enough for me....
RUSKIN — Julia Sarmiento has never worked a day in her life.
At least that is what it has felt like since she started teaching in 2006.
"Every day I wake up and do what I was destined to do," she said.
Sarmiento is in her second year as the student intervention specialist at Shields Middle School. Before that, she taught English and TV production at Lennard High School.
The Hillsborough Education Foundation recently named Sarmiento the 2014 Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year. Sarmiento stood among the teachers honored last month at the Hillsborough County Excellence in Education awards....
I saw a commercial yesterday for a deal Old Navy had going on where you could get $5 off for going into the store and trying on jeans. Of course (of course!) it was only for the weekend so by the time I saw the ad on Sunday, it was too late. Boo.
But a quick gander at the Old Navy website shows they've still got good deals on jeans going on, lots of them for $19. You can also save more (25 percent!) online, today only, with the code SAVEMORE. And as always, the other sales are worth a look: dresses starting at $15, tops starting at $10, etc....
The runway is set for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's 11th annual Fashion Funds the Cure this Saturday. The runway show will feature about a dozen local girls who are all battling cancer. They'll be escorted by local celebrities, and Carson Kressley (Dancing With the Stars, How to Look Good Naked, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, general awesomeness, etc.) will host.
One of the girls in the show is 15-year-old Taylor Burton, a Riverview High School student. It's her second time walking in the show (check out the ah-MAZING photo of her above, from last year's show). She was diagnosed with leukemia about two years ago. She was at the Day of Pampering they had at Neiman Marcus a couple weeks ago, when the girls picked outfits for the show. She used to have shoulder length hair, she said, but when it all started to come out from chemo, she decided not to wear a wig because she decided she looked pretty darn good....
I've got a double dose of diva-ness for My Outfit Monday today. Since my mom and sister are visiting from Western New York, where it has been approximately minus one million degrees since November, I'll be doing the touristy beach thing with them today, so I'm showing you what I wore to take them to brunch at Ciccio's in St. Pete yesterday.
The jeans are from T.J. Maxx. They were about $12 so I got two pairs. I also have them in orange. They aren't the most perfectly fitting jeans I've ever found, but they're pretty comfortable. The top is from H&M. The leopard flats and purse are from Target....
Taylor Burton had shoulder-length hair before she started chemotherapy treatments for leukemia almost two years ago. • She first cut her hair shorter when it started coming out in the sink. Then she spent a few days in the hospital. The last of her hair came out in the shower. • Taylor, 15, looked in the mirror and decided she liked what she saw. After accessorizing with some big hoop earrings, a little mascara and some lip gloss, she was good to go. • "If you go bald, you should flaunt what you have," she said. • The Riverview High School student is one of 12 girls participating in the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's 11th annual Fashion Funds the Cure runway show in Tampa on Feb. 22. • Now on the road to recovery, she still earns praise for the courage she displayed in last year's show....
TAMPA — The emergency dispatchers were helpless as the white Ford Expedition barrelled down Interstate 275 southbound on the wrong side of the highway. Dispatchers tried tracking the vehicle using cameras, perhaps sensing an unfolding tragedy.
"It's hard to look at," a Florida Highway Patrol dispatcher told a counterpart at Tampa police just after 2 a.m. Sunday. "I don't want to look at it. But there's so much traffic. I don't know how he got around them."...
02/12/14 Human Interest
The agribusiness office at the Florida State Fair was quiet Monday afternoon — as quiet as it can be with a steer weigh-in happening just downstairs.
Office staffers answered phones and handled paper work, business as usual. Then the call came in over the walkie-talkies.
"We have a steer lose."
There was some chatter. Did anyone see it? Had they called security? Someone in the office held up their walkie-talkie. "I got Vina Jean on it."...
02/12/14 Human Interest
The two women browsed the ice cream flavors Monday at the Florida State Fair.
A sign with a cartoon pig advertised Southern comfort ice cream: sweet potato ice cream mixed with seven ingredients, including waffle pieces and candied bacon.
"That seems weird. Why not?" Barb McMullen, 59, of Trinity said to the booth attendant. "Today is junk food day."
McMullen and Fran Viscomi allow themselves one day of fair indulgence each year. Breakfast was the strawberry-topped eclair. Lunch was kettle corn. For dessert, Viscomi chose pumpkin spice ice cream; McMullen, the Southern comfort....
TAMPA — The man who authorities say caused one of the deadliest car crashes in Hillsborough County in recent years was quick to lend a hand to strangers, friends said.
Daniel Lee Morris, 28, of Tampa liked to work on cars. He was a father figure to his wife's daughter from a prior relationship. He was looking forward to starting a new job after returning from Michigan recently.
The few details that emerged about Morris' life after troopers released his name Tuesday did nothing to explain how it ended. ...
When I was a pre-teen in the late 90s, early 2000s, there was this store in the mall in my hometown called Picasso Moon where I sometimes tried to shop. My immediate peers shopped at places like Abercrombie & Fitch, but since I just had my sad paper route money and no transportation to the far-away giant mall that housed this mythical A&F, I had to figure how to achieve this allusive "cool" other ways....
02/03/14 Human Interest
Shyanne sat down at the courtroom table and smoothed a few errant locks of auburn hair. She smiled and reached for a tissue.
"This feels like a dream," the 17-year-old said. "I'm going to cry already."
Andy and Kathy Sekela sat on either side of her Monday morning in the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Just a few more formalities, and Circuit Judge Katherine Essrig would officially pronounce Shyanne and the New Tampa couple a family....
Just FYI. Going on now until tomorrow, Feb. 4, Banana Republic has 50 percent off online on select styles--coats and blazers, tops, skirts, pants, etc. Plus they've got a lot of really cute dresses on sale.
And! 30 percent off accessories, like the most adorable green satchel that is still not attainable to me at $154, but at least on sale looks like something I may someday buy, rather than something forever out of reach. Happy (browser) window shopping!...