Shelley Rossetter, Times Staff Writer

Shelley Rossetter

Shelley Rossetter covers news and features in eastern Hillsborough County. She is a 2009 graduate of the University of South Florida.

Phone: (813) 661-2442

Email: srossetter@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SRossetter

  1. Hillsborough taxis cry foul over new ride-sharing services

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Despite repeated warnings from the county's taxi-regulating agency, two ride-sharing services continue to operate in Hillsborough County with no regard for its rules.

    California-based companies Lyft and Uber, which use smartphone applications to connect passengers with drivers who use their own vehicles, launched services here in the last two weeks without proper certification....

  2. In search of perfect brows

    Blog

    Do you ever look in the mirror and realize with horror that there are two caterpillars crawling across your forehead? It's like one day your eyebrows are totally fine, shaped just the way you like them and then BAM! they are out of control.

    I had one of those realizations the other day and needed a fix fast.

    Tweezing was an option. But, besides cleaning up a few strays, my brows also needed some shape, something I'm not comfortable doing myself. I fear I'll get too zealous and be left with nothing....

    These are not my eyebrows, but they do look expertly done.
  3. Kevin Bacon draws a crowd of hundreds to USF

    Events

    TAMPA — Tara Hartman waited in line for more than eight hours Tuesday, clutching a worn copy of Footloose in her hands.

    "I think I've owned this DVD for 15 years," said the 21-year-old University of South Florida student. "Kevin Bacon is timeless."

    She brought along the movie just in case an opportunity for an autograph arose.

    After all, she was about to spend an evening sitting mere feet from the man....

    Kevin Bacon talks about several topics Tuesday at the University of South Florida, including Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
  4. Kevin Bacon makes surprise visit to Tampa Bay fundraisers

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — As the final free training session began Tuesday at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay, the teacher made an announcement.

    "We have a special guest," Sara Leonard told a class of two dozen.

    In walked a slim man dressed in a black leather jacket and dark jeans.

    The room erupted in screams.

    "I'm your teacher for the day," said actor Kevin Bacon, who currently stars in the television show The Following and is perhaps best known for appearing in movies including Animal House, A Few Good Men and Footloose....

  5. Witness recalls Port Richey crash that killed teenager, injured three others

    Accidents

    PORT RICHEY — Jennifer Paige heard the squeal of tires first. Then, a loud boom.

    By the time she got to the end of her driveway, flames were visible. A van had hit a tree dead on, branches sprouting out where the windshield should have been.

    Inside, four teenagers screamed for help.

    Paige's father, Jim Dowd, grabbed a crowbar and called 911. Paige began smashing windows. One by one, she pulled the three passengers out, dragging them away from the flames....

    A ribbon and flowers from friends mark a charred tree Saturday on Lake Forest Circle in Port Richey, where Kevin Monaco, 16, died when he apparently lost control of the van he was driving.
  6. Ride-sharing service Lyft launches in Tampa despite PTC warning

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Lyft is going rogue. The ride-sharing service, which uses a smartphone application to connect passengers with drivers who use their personal vehicles, began accepting passengers in Tampa on Friday evening.

    That happened despite a letter sent last month to Lyft by the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission that made it clear the San Francisco-based company does not meet the requirements to operate legally here....

  7. Holocaust survivor and USF professor team up for documentary

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For many years after the Holocaust ended, Jerry Rawicki remained silent.

    A survivor of Poland's Warsaw Ghetto, Rawicki didn't want to relive the difficult experience or burden his children with the memories.

    Now, he takes the opposite approach.

    As the subject of a documentary produced by University of South Florida professor Carolyn Ellis, Rawicki returns to Poland for the first time since he escaped as a teenager and shares the memories the trip evokes....

    Holocaust survivor Jerry Rawicki with Carolyn Ellis, a professor who produced the documentary about his return to Poland.
  8. The skort that got away

    Blog

    While shopping at TJ Maxx recently, I came across a blue asymmetrical skort.

    My first reaction was to question whether adults are allowed to wear skorts. My second was to try it on. I mean, what's not to like? There's freedom in wearing shorts but a ladylike appeal to a skirt. Combining both seems genious.

    I remember wearing them in my youth. In fact, I wore a skort for my senior portraits, a light tan corduroy pair that blended with the sand on the beach....

    This Zara mini skort is an almost exact replica of the skort I fell for but at $49.90 it's almost $30 more. Guess I'll have to wait for a sale.
  9. Bail set for mother Tampa police say starved, tortured her children

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Hillsborough County circuit judge set bail at $120,000 Saturday morning for the mother who police say starved and tortured her eight children.

    Arrested Thursday, Jamie Marie Hicks, 43, is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect.

    Over eight years, Hicks hit the children with various objects, choked them to the point of unconsciousness, held their heads under water, fed them spoiled food and withheld food from them for as long as three days, Tampa police said....

    Jamie Marie Hicks, 43, charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect, appears in court on Saturday.
  10. Former NASA astronaut inspires students at Stewart Middle Magnet School

    K12

    TAMPA — Growing up, Bruce Melnick wanted to be a fisherman like his father.

    No one in his family had gone to college, so despite his good grades in math and science at Clearwater High School, he hadn't considered furthering his education.

    But his mother had other plans. She encouraged him to attend the Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a degree in engineering.

    And it paid off....

    Mission specialist Bruce Melnick is shown working with the voice command system aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1990, one of two missions he flew. 
  11. Friday style inspiration from Instagram

    Blog

    Though we'd love to take credit for it, the Deal Divas are not the first to discover the flattering effect a good Instagram filter can have an on an outfit of the day. Celebs, too, are using the social media platform to share their favorite designers, latest styles and looks.

    Sure, celebrities often get their clothes loaned or gifted to them by some of the world's top designers. But, just because we can't afford to duplicate the looks doesn't mean we can't follow along for a little style inspiration....

    Mindy Kaling (mindykaling) is not afraid to wear bright colors and bold patterns, making her one of my favorite Hollywood fashion follows on Instagram.
  12. My Outfit Monday: Spring is in the air

    Blog

    Spring has sprung! Just as Deal Diva Stephanie sought to celebrate the arrival of the season last Thursday only to discover the horror of not owning pink shoes, I, too, took to my closet for an outfit appropriate for the occassion and was distraught to find my wardrobe lacking.

    In my case, I seem to have hoarded an entire collection of black and white apparel in recent months. That will not do....

    Here's the outfit sans cardi. I would rock it this way for drinks out with the gals or a dinner date. Unfortunately, the only plans I have tonight are to clean my house.
  13. Back to the basics

    Blog

    I love to dress up. But by the time the weekend rolls around, a girl just wants to put on jeans and a T-shirt.

    That doesn't mean we have to look sloppy, though. A great basic T-shirt can do wonders, transitioning from laid back daywear to a dinner appropriate look with the addition of a blazer and statement necklace.

    The key, though, is finding a great basic T. Which is easier said than done....

    I already own a couple of these tanks from H&M. They have the perfect amount of stretch. And they are often on sale two for $10.
  14. Tampa neighbor of Trader Joe's creates his own parking lot

    Business

    TAMPA — When Trader Joe's opens Friday, Rod Dewell won't be in line.

    That doesn't mean he isn't excited. He just plans on celebrating from home.

    The 56-year-old lives near S Dale Mabry on W Swann Avenue, directly across from Tampa Bay's first Trader Joe's.

    While for some the proximity to one of the area's most anticipated grocery stores might cause anxiety, Dewell plans to use it to his advantage....

  15. As ride-sharing service eyes Tampa, county regulators get involved

    Transportation

    TAMPA — When Lyft began advertising online recently for drivers in Tampa, the county's taxi regulating agency noticed.

    "We welcome your interest in the Tampa Bay area and the potential for expanded use of new innovative technologies in transportation services," reads a letter sent Friday to the San Francisco-based ride-sharing service by the interim executive director of the Public Transportation Commission....