Keyonna Summers, Times Staff Writer

Keyonna Summers

Keyonna Summers covers the cities of Dunedin, Safety Harbor and Belleair, as well as North Pinellas business and social services for the Tampa Bay Times. Keyonna, a Detroit native, earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Michigan University, with a double minor in Spanish and psychology. She covered immigration for the Washington (D.C.) Times, then reported on courts and education and served as an on-air anchor for Florida Today before joining the Times' Clearwater bureau in 2011.

Want to know more? Catch up with Keyonna on the Deal Divas blog.

Phone: (727) 445-4153


Twitter: @KeyonnaSummers

Blog: Deal Divas

  1. Dunedin couple to relocate to Congo amid adoption fight

    Human Interest

    DUNEDIN — The first time Andrea Stewart stared into her youngest son's coal-colored eyes, she nearly fainted.

    It was Feb. 19. The married stay-at-home mother of three biological children had been awakened by the ping of a new email from her adoption agency hitting her smartphone inbox. The subject line: "Check your email. We have a baby for you."

    She dashed to her laptop where baby Cruz's piercing eyes and smooth cocoa skin filled the screen. The small, medically frail infant was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo....

    Andrea and Christopher Stewart’s adopted son, Cruz, has a rare respiratory condition which can’t be properly diagnosed or treated in Congo.
  2. South Tampa's Fresh Threads on the move to Clearwater


    The retail news for me and my fellow Clearwater fashionistas just keeps getting better and better!

    First, it was confirmed that the rumors about Nordstrom Rack coming to Countryside Mall next fall were true.

    NOW, we've received word that Fresh Threads, one of my fave designer clothing consignment boutiques, is not only leaving its South Dale Mabry Highway location in Tampa for new digs at 615 Pinellas St. in the even swankier Harbor Oaks area near downtown Clearwater ... but is also expanding its inventory to include home goods and locally-made trinkets plus a renewed focus on e-commerce....

    Attention, North Pinellas divas! Fresh Threads designer consignment boutique will relocate to Clearwater this December, just in time for holiday season.
  3. Nordstrom Rack to open first Pinellas store in 2015


    CLEARWATER — Nordstrom Rack, the discount offshoot of the fashion department store, announced Tuesday that it will open its first Pinellas County location in fall 2015.

    More than a decade after Nord­strom opened a full-fledged department store at Tampa's International Plaza, it continues to steadily expand its brand within the Tampa Bay region with what will become its third lower-priced sister version....

    More than a decade after Nordstrom Inc. opened a full-fledged department store at Tampa's International Plaza, it continues to steadily expand its brand within the Tampa Bay region with what will become its third lower-priced sister version. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times (2010)]
  4. One more vote to determine the Belleview Biltmore's fate


    BELLEAIR| It’s down to just one more Town Commission meeting before a developer finds out whether he has a green light to buy and jumpstart redevelopment plans for the former Belleview Biltmore.

    Commissioners on Monday gave their unanimous preliminary approval of JMC Communities’ request that the property, currently limited to hotel or single-family home use, be rezoned for mixed-use....

  5. Times Festival of Reading fans young and old meet their favorite authors

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Allie Juneja is such a huge fan of R.L. Stine that she and her father drove 1,200 miles from Cleveland to meet him. She needed three people to help haul her memorabilia to the book-signing table.

    Juneja, 20, was just a toddler when she watched her first Goosebumps videotape. Today, she's a bona fide collector, whose trove includes Stine books, posters, masks, toys, handheld games and even a pinball machine....

    R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series, is surprised to meet older fans, in their 20s and 30s.
  6. Dunedin aces audit of once-troubled utility billing system


    DUNEDIN -- The city passed an audit of its new utility billing system with flying colors.

    Last year, the city hired Water Company of America to review new guidelines established after the 2009 discovery that Dunedin had undercharged commercial users of stormwater, water and sewer lines, costing the city $2.2 million over seven years.

    WCA general manager Steve Hooper told elected leaders this month that his firm's audit showed Dunedin has a good meter maintenance program and communication between its permitting and utility departments....

  7. New plan would save part of original Belleview Biltmore hotel

    Real Estate

    BELLEAIR — A single wing of the historic Belleview Biltmore will escape the wrecking ball and find new life as a renovated boutique hotel under a plan unveiled by the developer.

    The revamped project comes months after St. Petersburg developer Mike Cheezem of JMC Communities announced that he intended to buy the long-shuttered resort from its South Florida owners for $6.6 million and redevelop the property with condos, townhomes and a small replica inn....

    Under the new proposal for the Belleview Biltmore, the developer would salvage the westernmost wing’s carriage entrance, most of the lobby and rooms above it then move the four-story building to the front of the hotel site, where it would be remodeled into a boutique hotel.
  8. State House of Representatives: District 65


    State House | District 65

    The race to represent this northern Pinellas County district pits Republican political newcomer Chris Sprowls against Democratic one-term incumbent Carl Zimmermann. By Keyonna Summers, Times staff writer

    Carl Zimmermann, 63, state representativeChris Sprowls, 30, assistant state attorney
    Experience Zimmerman, a native New Yorker, has lived in Tampa Bay since 1984. A long career in advertising for companies then a small newspaper gave way to teaching television production, broadcast journalism and film program at Clearwater's Countryside High School. A bout with cancer sparked Zimmerman's political aspirations, which included an unsuccessful bid for state House in 1992. In 2004, the former Republican, feeling the party changed, switched to Democrat. He said he remains a fiscal conservative and moderate on social issues. Born in New York, Sprowls has lived in the Tampa Bay area since age 3. After surviving cancer during high school, Sprowls became a coordinator for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, among other volunteer work. The former national chair of the American Bar Association's student division has worked as a legislative intern for Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Mike Bilirakis. Most of Sprowl's legal career is with the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, where he is a special prosecutor in the gang unit and director of the Veterans Treatment Court.
    EducationBuffalo State College, master's and bachelor's degrees in education and English.University of South Florida, bachelor's degree in political science; Stetson University College of Law.
    PrioritiesContinuing to gain bipartisan support for a bill that eliminates the unjust taking of privately owned condos by investors. Delaying the use of unreliable Common Core tests in public schools. Eliminating the Duke Energy nuclear recovery tax and forcing Duke to return $3.2 billion already collected. Pursuing appointment to the insurance and banking committee in a bid to change how companies cover home­owners insurance.Jobs, education and veteran services. His top priority will be ensuring a robust economy that yields high-paying jobs for the community. "In order to achieve that goal, we must be able to provide parents with the opportunity to give their children a world-class education, with a special focus on math and science."
    Greenlight PinellasPersonally opposes because it wouldn't significantly benefit North Pinellas. He prefers a free bus system that circles through all downtowns. If Greenlight passes, he vows to file a bill to nix the tax authority it would replace, work with cities and PSTA on local free busing, and urge the state to help where needed.Personally opposes, but says the issue is best decided by voters. "I would like to see when the county revisits the Penny for Pinellas that transportation decisions can be better incorporated into existing revenue streams without creating new ones."
    Medical marijuanaSupports. His sister, who died two years ago from breast cancer, was in great pain and unable to eat during her final six months. Marijuana significantly improved her quality of life. "I didn't want to see this as an amendment, but the Legislature might not act for decades and life doesn't wait."Opposes the current ballot language. "As the language is written, it is not just for those who are truly medically needy; it is marijuana on demand, for anyone, at any time, for anything, including children."
    Financial disclosureAssets: Home, land, car dealership, retirement accounts. Liabilities: Mortgage, business line of credit, credit card debt. Income: Teacher and state representative salaries.Assets: Savings and checking accounts, CD, retirement account, stocks, timeshare, household goods. Liabilities: Car loan, student debt. Income: Prosecutor's office salary.
    PersonalMarried with two adult children, lives in Palm HarborSingle, lives in Palm Harbor;;

  9. Two longtime commissioners square off to become Dunedin's new mayor


    Dunedin mayor

    Voters in this race will decide between two longtime city commissioners who often disagree on policy issues. Julie Scales, on the panel since 2003, is touting her experience and track record while Julie Ward Bujalski, elected in 2006, is pushing her deep community roots. The victor will lead a new commission majority elected automatically in June because of a lack of opposition. By Keyonna Summers, Times staff writer...

  10. JC's Boutique in Tampa holding 6-day liquidation sale


    First the good news: Tomorrow through Monday, JC's Boutique is hosting a super awesome sale -- we're talking discounts of up to 75 percent off and even one day featuring a buffet-style all you can fit in your bag -- at its South Tampa location.

    Which means by now that you've probably guessed the very bad news: The 1541 S. Dale Mabry Hwy. store is closing.

    The bittersweet deets? Owner Cat Whitwell and her husband are moving up north for a sweet new work gig....

    JC's Boutique in Tampa is closing.
  11. Dunedin eyes fire boat purchase, better Pinellas water rescue system


    DUNEDIN| The city will train firefighters ahead of buying its first fire boat next year, but not before researching ways it can help improve the countywide response protocol for water emergencies.

    Fire Chief Jeff Parks and City Manager Rob DiSpirito said fire crews have been pushing for the boat purchase for years. They said their months-long research was hastened by a September houseboat blaze which raged 35 minutes before a Clearwater vessel arrived with additional firefighting equipment and rescued people trapped on the marina dock....

  12. $475,000 perfume and other Neiman Marcus Christmas gifts you can't afford


    I'm so poor that I didn't know the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book existed until yesterday....

    So gorgeous. So unattainable. So fittingly on NM's 'Indulge' list. Macrame owl dress, $995. (
  13. Safety Harbor proposes tree removal moratorium

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — City commissioners are working as fast as they can to protect trees.

    Elected leaders told city staffers Monday to start drafting language for a moratorium on tree removal while they finish work on an ordinance that strengthens existing tree protection rules. The moratorium would expire April 1 unless the new tree ordinance is passed sooner.

    The proposed ban comes amid protests over last month's removal of 14 trees by the privately owned Safety Harbor Resort and Spa to make way for a parking lot....

    Safety Harbor residents, including Carol Zieres, foreground, protest tree razings in front of the resort on Monday.
  14. Historic preservation board recommends Biltmore's demolition


    BELLEAIR — A town advisory board recommended via a 5-1 vote Tuesday that town commissioners approve a developer’s push to tear down the former Belleview Biltmore hotel and redevelop the property into a replica inn, condos and townhomes.

    For nearly six hours, Belleair’s Historic Preservation Board heard testimony from witnesses for developer JMC Communities; Friends of the Belleview Biltmore, a preservation advocacy group that opposes redevelopment; and residents who spoke both for and against JMC’s application....

  15. Amid protests, Safety Harbor considers tree removal moratorium


    SAFETY HARBOR| The city has called an emergency meeting for 6 p.m. Monday to consider a possible moratorium on tree removal while commissioners finish work on an ordinance that strengthens its existing tree protection law.

    The meeting, to be held at City Hall, comes amid protests over last week's removal of about a dozen trees by the privately-owned Safety Harbor Resort and Spa to make way for an improved parking lot....