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C.T. Bowen - Hillsborough County Reporter

Hillsborough County Reporter

I'm fairly new to the Hillsborough County government beat, but not so new that I'm considered green. Gray is more like it. I've been in Florida for more than three decades and have spent that entire time writing and editing news stories, columns and editorials about the Tampa Bay region. After working at the Tampa Tribune, I joined the Times in 1998 as a member of the editorial board based in Pasco County and later switched to news reporting and column writing. I'm originally from upstate New York (Go Bills!) and worked at newspapers in Jamestown, N.Y. and Syracuse before relocating to Florida. I like reading, listening to music and watching sports. My wife, Mary Beth, is a public school teacher, and we are a house divided. We have two grown sons - one Gator and one Seminole.

  1. Construction workers build a house near Rangeland Boulevard and Gunn Highway on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in Odessa.
  2. El Centro de Recursos para Mascotas del Condado de Hillsborough es el único refugio de admisión abierto en el condado. El centro ha estado a más del 500 % de su capacidad para gatos durante más de una semana y actualmente está a más del 130 % de su capacidad para perros.
  3. The Hillsborough Count Pet Resource Center is experiencing "unprecedented crowding," particularly among kittens, the county said in a news release. The center is holding a free adoption day Saturday to try to reduce the population of more than 300 cats and nearly 300 dogs.
  4. Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
  5. Hillsborough County Commissioner Gwen Myers was re-elected to a four-year term for the District 3 seat when nobody opposed her by the end of the candidate qualifying period at noon Friday.
  6. Hillsborough County commissioners approved a nearly $700,000 work order with HNTB Corp. Wednesday for a public education campaign in advance of the November referendum on a 1% sales tax for transportation. Shown are privately funded mailers from the 2018 campaign. TIMES (2018).
  7. El Cross Bay Ferry, Provincetown III, sale de Vinoy Yacht Basin, el viernes 11 de enero de 2019, con pasajeros que se dirigen a Tampa. La Comisión del Condado de Hillsborough está programada para votar el miércoles para continuar el servicio por otro año. Según un plan tentativo, la parte del subsidio anual del condado de Pinellas se reduciría a aproximadamente el 5% del costo de $760,000 que serán proporcionados por los gobiernos locales y el Departamento de Transporte del estado.
  8. The Cross Bay Ferry, Provincetown III leaves the Vinoy Yacht Basin, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, with passengers headed to Tampa. The Hillsborough County Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday to continue the service for another year. Under a tentative plan, Pinellas County's share of the annual subsidy would shrink to about 5% of the $760,000 cost to be provided by local governments and the state Department of Transportation.  TIMES (2019)
  9. An aerial view looking south on Interstate 275 towards Interstate 4 and downtown Tampa from just north of the I-4 exit in Tampa on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Tampa. Wednesday night, the public criticized plans to rebuild the downtown interchange because they fear further highway intrusion into their neighborhoods.
  10. Heavy construction equipment sits off Patterson Road in Keystone after Hillsborough County issued a stop-work order for site development at a planned 194-home project from Taylor Morrison. The county later issued a development order on May 5, and 20 Keystone residents are now suing to stop the development.
  11. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Shane McClanahan (18), Luis Patiño (61) and Cody Reed (54) practice a drill with assistant pitching and rehab coach Rick Knapp (92) at the Charlotte Sports Park spring training complex in Port Charlotte in March. Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a $35 million allocation for a youth sports complex in Odessa in Pasco County that had been earmarked as a potential future spring training site for the Rays.
  12. Hillsborough County commissioners voted Thursday to spend $3 million in American Rescue Plan funding to build 36 new pickleball courts at six Hillsborough County parks.
  13. Brightline's Bright Blue train passes the West Palm Beach station. The federal government is awarding a $15.9 million grant for preliminary engineering work on the planned Brightline route between Orlando and Tampa.
  14. Mailers promoted a 2018 sales tax for transportation referendum. Hillsborough County is poised to spend nearly $700,000 on a public education campaign in advance of another referendum scheduled for Nov. 8.
  15. The Hillsborough County Commission will be asked Thursday to authorize payment of $2.48 million for disallowed expenses by CareerSource Tampa Bay that were uncovered by auditors. The county will try to recoup the allocation from CareerSource’s insurance carrier. The audit followed an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times.
  16. Businesses and homes are pictured on State Road 674 in Wimauma in August 2020. Hillsborough County, consultants and community members are now studying how to help the downtown area prosper.
  17. The Cross Bay Ferry, Provincetown III is shown leaving the Vinoy Yacht Basin, Friday, January 11, 2019. Pinellas County has said it wants to renegotiate its annual subsidy to the service. Two Hillsborough County commissioners said this week the service should continue without Pinellas' involvement. TIMES (2019)
  18. Hillsborough County Commissioner Mariella Smith, shown on HGTV in May 2021, sought a voter referendum to close the loophole in the county charter allowing commissioners to bypass term limits by switching between a single-member district and at-large seats on the seven-member board. It died Wednesday on a 3-4 vote.
  19. OnSite nurse Joan Diehl prepares COVID-19 vaccinations at the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, one of the vaccination distribution sites in Hillsborough County, in Plant City on Jan. 6, 2021. The county announced the same day it had fired OnSite after residents complained about the scheduling system. The company is now suing Hillsborough County for $50 million, contending it was illegally terminated.
  20. Hillsborough County's northwest regional reclaimed water facility is shown in March. Monday, the Tampa Bay Water board of directors nixed a plan to add new groundwater water wells in southern Hillsborough if reclaimed water was injected simultaneously at sites several miles away. The plan was shelved because the county and regional water supplier couldn't agree on a price for the reclaimed water.
  21. Hillsborough County reported surpassing $7 million in monthly tourist tax collections for March.  It was the third consecutive month, the county tourism agency  reported a new benchmark in tourist taxes - a 6 percent levy on overnight accommodations.
  22. The construction of Sumner High School near homes in the Southfork Lakes subdivision, Riverview, is shown in March 2020. Earlier this school year, the school already was 700 students over capacity. Tuesday, Hillsborough commissioners approved rezoning land in Wimauma that could pave the way for three new schools to be built.
  23. Heavy construction equipment sits idle off Patterson Road in Keystone after Hillsborough County issued a stop -work order for site development at a planned 194-home project from Taylor Morrison.
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