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  1. Fresh Kitchen bowls over SoHo; jeans and java in Ybor


    SOUTH TAMPA — It doesn't get much easier — or healthier — than a breakfast, lunch or dinner bowl at Fresh Kitchen, the newest addition to the Ciccio Restaurant Group.

    It's this simple: Pick a starch (rice, quinoa, kale slaw, sweet potato noodles and more); then choose two proteins, two veggies, a sauce (maybe ginger or coconut Sriracha) and pay $9.50 ($6 for kids' size; additional charge for steak, shrimp and tuna). A family-style order feeds four or five people for $33....

  2. Hillsborough County Animal Services looks to reshape its image

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Scott Trebatoski is on a mission to show the community that Hillsborough County Animal Services' positives outweigh its negatives.

    It's not an easy task. Years of mismanagement and an onslaught of criticism that caused County Administrator Mike Merrill to reassign the previous director of animal services has made it an uphill battle. But in just over six months, Trebatoski has instilled new policies and started a series of events that he hopes will turn the beleaguered county shelter around....

    Ibuki, a terrier mix, waits to be adopted at Hillsborough County’s Pet Resource Center.
  3. Sam the Hubcap Man loves rain, right turns



    Sam the Hubcap Man loves rain.

    "Rain helps my business,'' he says.

    Rain causes potholes, and Sam Licata, 62, knows that within a week of a heavy rain, he'll see an increase in business. A steady stream of customers will stop by his odd-shaped building on Busch Boulevard to buy used hubcaps.

    Licata likes right turns, too. Drivers turning right often smack into the curb on the blind side and either scratch or dislodge the right front hubcap. Store manager Gino Lamputi says right turns seem to cause the majority of missing hubcaps....

    Sam Licata, better known as Sam the Hubcap Man, said he has replacement caps for 98 percent of cars on the road.
  4. Bondi urges PSC to order Duke to refund $54 million for nuclear equipment that was never produced


    State Attorney General Pam Bondi has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers who want the Public Service Commission to order Duke Energy Florida to refund to customers $54 million the utility spent on nuclear equipment for a power plant it never built.

    In a letter to commission Chairman Art Graham, Bondi said, "I am writing to express my deep concerns over the Public Service Commission... staff's recent recommendation to side with Duke Energy to withhold $54 million in credits rightfully due to its customers....

  5. Challenger to incumbent congressman says people aren't being represented


    As Republican U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent seeks his third term in Congress, once again he has cruised into the November general election to face a Democratic challenger with considerably less money and who lacks the support of a party focused on more competitive races.

    While Nugent boasts $284,000 in contributions, opponent David Koller of Ocala has $32,000 — a large portion of it from his own pocket. Koller admits that he has received no support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and that his own initial informal polls showed him tied with "pressing the wrong button" on the telephone....

    Democrat David Koller is running a grass roots campaign.
  6. Pasco baseball complex developer wants changes in deal

    Local Government

    WESLEY CHAPEL — The Tampa developer proposing a youth sports complex in Pasco County says he's nearing a deal with private investors to bring millions to the project, but two obstacles are slowing the deal.

    James Talton, owner of Blue Marble Strategic, says investors are on board with the proposed baseball complex north of the Shops at Wiregrass, but they want stronger assurances that the county will provide $11 million in Pasco tourism taxes toward construction. They also want ownership of the property to transfer to the investment group so it can eventually be used as leverage for financing....

  7. New PHSC law enforcement academy director settles into role

    Public Safety

    DADE CITY — Capt. Steve Hartnett hardly looks comfortable in his new desk chair. He leans forward, his hands resting on a marked-up calendar while he talks about improvement.

    First: himself. He's still working on this transition from patrol work in Tampa to a formal academic environment at Pasco-Hernando State College's law enforcement academy in the rural northeast Pasco hills. He asks for advice from instructor coordinator Kyle Hughes and executive director Charlie May who use the offices on either side of his....

    Steve Hartnett’s appointment ended a conflict between the college and the Sheriff’s Office.
  8. Pine View Elementary second-graders read for endurance



    Mickey Fitzpatrick crawled under the classroom table, novel in hand, reading in mind.

    The 7-year-old sat tall enough that his blond buzz cut brushed against the table's underside. But he liked the location — "It has fluffy carpet," he explained — so he claimed it for afternoon reading time.

    Pine View Elementary School second-grade teacher Jackie Smith told the children they should be as comfortable as possible in order to focus on their goal of uninterrupted, independent reading....

    Pine View Elementary School second-grader Ryan Wells, 7, reads Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan in Jackie Smith’s class during an increased reading stamina exercise. The goal was to be able to read for 30 minutes in one spot without interruption.
  9. HPH Hospice to host grief group for adults


    DADE CITY — Adults who have experienced the death of a loved one under any circumstance over the past six months are invited to participate in HPH Hospice's (HPH) eight-week Grief's Journey bereavement group. Facilitated by an HPH bereavement counselor, the group will meet from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Oct. 7 through Nov. 25 at the HPH Resource Center, 37441 Clinton Ave., Dade City. Free, but registration is required. Call toll-free, 1-800-486-8784....

  10. Poet, essayist Scott Cairns to read work at Saint Leo


    ST. LEO — Poet and essayist Scott Cairns does a reading at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in TECO Hall in the School of Business building at Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52.

    Cairns is a professor of literature at the University of Missouri and is known for exploring spiritual themes in much of his work. His most recent poetry collection is called Idiot Psalms, and an updated memoir, Slow Pilgrim, is soon to launch. ...

  11. Pasco class notes



    Oct. 17: End of the first grading quarter.

    Oct. 20: Teacher planning day. No school for students.

    Oct. 27: Report cards.


    The Tarpon Springs Outdoor Music Festival for marching bands, will be Oct. 18 at Tarpon Springs High, 1141 Gulf Road, Tarpon Springs. Admission: $15 for adults; $8 for students 13 and up; $5 children 12 and under. Parking is free. For information, go to tarponspringsband.com/festival/index.htm....

  12. Pasco transit changes bus route to serve PHSC's Porter Campus


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Pasco County Public Transportation now offers bus service to the Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus every two hours from 8:07 a.m. through 6:07 p.m.

    Students are eligible for discounted fares and passes with a valid PCPT Reduced Fare Photo ID Card. A bus shelter and stop is located next to the parking garage on the campus.

    For more information, call (727) 834-3322, (352) 521-4587 or (813) 235-6073, or visit pascocountyfl.net/Index.aspx?NID=243 online....

  13. 'Walk 'n' Wag' 2-mile walk and 5K run set for Saturday


    DADE CITY — Walk 'n' Wag, a 2-mile walk and 5K run to benefit the Pet Pantry established by Dogs' Day in Dade City, is at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Hardy Trail on Church Avenue. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The cost to participate is $17. Preregistration is encouraged at dogsdayindadecity.com online.

    For information, call Lucy Avila at (352) 521-5858.

  14. Run from zombies or be one in Wesley Chapel Oct. 11


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Run from zombies in a 5K race at 10 a.m. Oct. 11 at Wesley Chapel High School, 30651 Wells Road.

    Each runner will wear a belt with three flags on it, which zombies will try to take. Make it to the finish line with at least one flag still stuck to your belt, and you're a survivor. Run without flags and the zombies won't bother you. If you'd prefer to dress as a zombie, join "the Horde" of zombies instead. Zombies who are part of the Horde won't chase runners but will help create a zombie-filled environment. ...

  15. Polk deputies seek help finding Alzheimer's patient, possibly armed

    Public Safety

    AUBURNDALE —— The Polk County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help in locating Wayne Francis Wietting, 68, after he went missing Wednesday morning.

    Authorities said Weitting, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs 230 pounds, was last seen at 9 a.m. Wednesday driving a maroon 2008 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with the Florida disabled veteran license plate WC12481. He was wearing black shorts, a blue T-shirt with a pocket and black-and-white slip-on shoes....

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help in locating Wayne Francis Wietting, 68, after he went missing Wednesday morning. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]