Jeff Read held a sheet of paper far from his face and squinted his eyes like he was staring into the sun. A fellow teacher at Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater asked him what the heck he was doing.
"I broke my glasses," he told her.
Jessica Brown, a reading teacher, perked up from behind her computer screen nearby.
"I was in a mosh pit at the Social Distortion concert," Jeff, a language arts teacher, went on....
Pet owners should have a plan in place for their animals before a hurricane threatens.
Waiting until the last minute or hoping you will be able to take pets with you will only make matters worse. Most public shelters do not allow pets. Even though it may be hard to part with your favorite pet, the best option is to find a hurricane pet shelter.
Hurricane Katrina was a tragic example....
Saying "I do" on the pitcher's mound or trekking across a football field to the 50-yard line in a tulle gown may be the last thing a bride has in mind for her fairy tale wedding.
But say a couple meets at a Rays game or gets engaged during halftime at a Bucs game. Maybe they would think about tying the knot right there in one of Tampa Bay's largest sports stadiums.
At Tropicana Field, there have only been 10 weddings in the past 15 years, said Caren Dana, director of event booking with the Tampa Bay Rays. Only 20 people in nearly a decade have pledged their love underneath the Big Top, which means it probably takes a special kind of baseball fan to go that far....
04/16/13 Human Interest
Margaret Austin spreads out a trifold presentation board for eight curious students. "You guys do projects for school," she says. "Well, I did one for you!"
The board's title: "CRIBBAGE CLUB: ORDER OF PLAY."
Austin, 69, teaches cribbage twice a week to a group of 9- through 11-year-olds at the Northside Boys & Girls Club in St. Petersburg.
The kids gather around her to refresh their memories of what they learned the week before about a game that involves no electronics, just cards, a board and some pegs....
The way to Shawna Sundin's heart comes in yellowy, puckery, sugary form.
So Brian Hairston, a co-worker who was crushing big time, usually brought her a cup of the stuff when he returned from break.
Brian, 29, was "one of the cool stock clerks in the back" at Publix while Shawna, 36, was a cashier. She had worked at the St. Augustine grocery store all through high school and college and remained there even as she was a reporter with the Florida Times-Union....
04/09/13 Human Interest
Anna Marie Leo Holder, 25, and Jason Michael Holder, 28, of Clearwater
Married: Dec. 31, 2012
Ceremony and reception: St. Petersburg Marriott, Clearwater
Number of guests: 130
Budget for food: $15,000
Reception format: Cocktail hour with a combination of passed hors d'oeuvres and stations, including two open bars. Following that, guests went into the grand ballroom for a buffet dinner of Santa Fe chicken, truffled macaroni and cheese, green beans, zucchini and squash, and freshly carved ham. Once through this line, there was a separate station set up as a mashed potato bar....
04/09/13 Bars & Spirits
BY SABRINA ROCCO
Times Staff Writer
Buying a bunch of booze and paying someone to mix and pour it puts a healthy dent into an already tight wedding budget. But an emerging trend in weddings can help couples cut spending and personalize libations.
The signature drink.
Team up with your bartender, ditch a full-liquor bar and create one or two customized cocktails that represent your taste as a couple. Along with the drinks, you can offer a small array of wine and/or beer — or nothing else at all....
04/04/13 Human Interest
BY SABRINA ROCCO
SARASOTA — Nikki Rodriguez stares in the mirror and smooths the wedding dress with her fingers.
"This line of pearls is stupid," she says, turning around and pointing to the small of her back.
Karen DeRitter, a volunteer at Brides Against Breast Cancer, suggests a silk sheath gown with a beige ribbon tied around the waist. "Let's get you into this one," she says....
What happens when a Disney girl grows up? When Cinderella becomes Rihanna and blue ball gowns with glass slippers become skinny jeans and stilettos?
Little girls want to be Sleeping Beauty. But women? They want to be Maleficent.
In order to extend their brand from once-upon-a-time to a more grown-up vibe of sexily-ever-after, Disney has just launched a makeup line dubbed Beautifully Disney — a way for women with jobs, babies and responsibilities to tap into their inner princess (or villain). The first collection of the line, Wickedly Beautiful, blends the essence of Disney princesses like Ariel and Snow White with their cruel counterparts like Ursula and the Evil Queen. ...
While Anna Leo was in the middle of getting her teeth scraped, scrubbed and polished, her hygienist whipped out her phone and pulled up Facebook.
"Do you like bodybuilders?" Jessica, the hygienist, asked.
"Uh, I don't know …" Anna said.
Jessica showed Anna a shot of a dude with Hulk-like arms.
A few hours later, Jason Holder sent Anna a friend request.
"This was (Jessica's) twisted way of getting (Jason) out of the house because he was living with her and her husband," Anna says, laughing. ...
Teenager arrested in Munchees robbery
Deputies have arrested a man they say robbed Munchees convenience store last month.
Kwuashawn Jeffrey Wyche, 17, of 1001 N Martin Luther King Ave. in Clearwater, was arrested Friday on robbery charges. Earlier this month, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released video footage of the holdup at 614 Union St., which led to tips identifying the teen....
When it came to approaching Tara Jaishanker, Matt Shanklin was less than confident. Just the sight of the girl in his intro to chemistry class made him feel tingly.
"She showed up to class in sweatpants and old sweaters. She didn't care. She was super cute," Matt says.
At the beginning of that semester at the University of South Florida, they sat apart — until Tara started sitting behind him....
David Tutera is a party planner to the stars (JLo, Elton John and the Rolling Stones, to drop a few names) — and to the everyday woman. Since 2008, Tutera has been the ultimate fairy godfather to hopeless brides around the country. On his WE tv series My Fair Wedding, Tutera has turned average weddings from drab to fab in just a few weeks' time.
On Saturday, Tutera will bring his creative eye to Disney's Fairy Tale Wedding Bridal Showcase, where he will touch on the latest wedding trends and designs. Participants can also snack on food and drinks prepared by Disney chefs, sample wedding cakes and meet one on one with a Disney Weddings rep. ...
Susannah Cahalan's last thought before her body gave in to a terrifying seizure was a combination of Gwyneth Paltrow, eggs and meat.
"My arms suddenly whipped out straight in front of me, like a mummy, as my eyes rolled back and my body stiffened," she writes in her memoir Brain on Fire. "Blood and foam began to spurt out of my mouth through clenched teeth."
In 2009, Cahalan, then a 24-year-old New York Post reporter who churned out copy with all the journalistic gusto of a veteran writer, started to dismantle. Her body began to attack her brain, causing her to spiral into insanity....
12/29/12 Human Interest
Chrystina Langan shuffled into her "going out" flip-flops — sparkly shoes she wore when she wanted to look conveniently nice. She put on a pretty top, fixed her hair, slathered on some lip gloss. She was ready for the night, ready for Rick Hanson to make a move.
Except he showed up at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in a Guy Harvey fishing T, flip-flops ... and cargo shorts.
"I was less than impressed at the time, because I thought it was a setup," Chrystina, now 27, recalls....