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. Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano's financial dealings are being investigated by federal authorities.
  2. The gymnasium at All People's Life Center opened in 2007 and was designed as a "barrier free" facility allowing easy access to disabled persons. This week, Hillsborough County commissioners voted to rename the facility after retiring Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller Jr.  (Times) (2007)

STORY SUMMARY: On Thursday, the county officially unveils its newest recreation center. At 45,000 square feet, All People's Life Center is the largest rec center in the county. 

Background: The $8.5 million gymnasium is the largest County recreational facility and will provide a much-needed, ADA compliant environment for individuals with disabilities to enjoy. It will also be the venue for national and international sports competitions. 

Since 1998, All PeopleÕs Life Center has been the only County facility providing community-based therapeutic recreation programs for persons with special needs. Children enjoy an after-school camp, arts and crafts, computers and playground equipment. The Center serves approximately 60 children every day in the after-school program and 75 children every day in the summer program. In addition to these daily services, the original 3,500-square-foot recreation facility hosts special events, such as BlazeSports, Special Olympics and Teen Night Out. 
  3. Peg Reese, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections chief of staff, brings in a collection of vote by mail ballots as officials began canvassing mail and provisional ballots Nov. 6 at the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office at the Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center. Three Republican candidates are suing Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer over his office's handling of mail ballots.
  4. Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat kemp is sworn in for her second term Nov. 17, 2020. Later, she was named commission chairman.
  5. Vicki Apple, 58, of Lutz, is reflected in her mirror as Michelle Ingram, 52, hands Apple 10 masks at Lake Park, Lutz, in June. Hillsborough County extended its emergency order Wednesday recommending people wear masks indoors when social distancing is not possible. The commission also adopted a resolution recommending routine testing for the coronavirus among workers at nursing homes, adult living facilities, homes for the disabled and other facilities for vulnerable populations.
  6. Hillsborough Commissioner Mariella Smith objected to allowing a 136-home residential development without requiring a neighborhood commercial site to serve the residents.
  7. The exterior of Sears at the Citrus Park Mall in the Citrus Park area of Tampa.
  8. Home construction in the Southfork Lakes subdivision. A new majority on the Hillsborough County Commission could consider new growth policies including higher impact fees, disallowing construction along substandard roads and making it easier for public involvement in rezoning hearings.
  9. Hillsborough County plans to add $4 million to the Visit Tampa Bay advertising and marketing effort promoting tourism during the pandemic.
  10. Democrat Harry Cohen, left, defeated Republican Scott Levinson for the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 seat.
  11. Hillsborough County Commission candidates from left, Gwen Myers, Democrat, and Republican Maura Cruz Lanz
  12. Hillsborough County District 1 candidates Harry Cohen, Democrat, left, and Republican Scott Levinson.
  13. Hillsborough Commission District 6 candidates, from left, Commissioner Patricia "Pat" Kemp, Democrat, and Republican Commissioner Sandra L. Murman.
  14. The Hillsborough County Commission met for its land-use meeting Aug. 11, 2020. Beginning next week, the county meetings will switch to a hybrid format with a majority gathering in a single location to meet the legal requirements of having a quorum present. The general public will not be present.
  15. Hillsborough County begins its annual hiking spree on Sunday, Nov. 1.
  16. A September 2019 portrait of attorney and former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner at Allen Temple AME Church. This week Hillsborough County Commissioners honored Joyner with the Ellsworth G. Simmons Good Government Award. (Times 2019)
  17. Michelle Ingram, de 52 años, distribuye máscaras faciales a un conductor en Lutz en junio. Los comisionados del condado de Hillsborough votaron el miércoles para extender su orden de emergencia y su requisito de mascarilla facial
  18. Michelle Ingram, 52, distributes face masks to a driver in Lutz in June. Hillsborough County commissioners voted Wednesday to extend its emergency order and its face mask requirement.
  19. Under the proposal New Jersey-based Celedon would lease land from Port Tampa Bay to build a 335-000-square-foot cardboard recycling facility with the finished product, paperboard fiber sheets, exported to markets outside the U.S.  (TIMES)
  20. Visit Tampa Bay is continuing its ralau nch and recovery tourism campaign with a planned $1 million from federal CARES Act funding through Hillsborough County. The campaign had a soft roll out in June, paused in July and resumed in full in August. It highlight outdoor activities and open spaces to lure leisure travelers seeking adventure or cultural opportunities.
  21. Tampa General Hospital is pictured on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
  22. Hillsborough Commission District 6 candidates, from left, Commissioner Patricia "Pat" Kemp, Democrat, and Republican Commissioner Sandra L. Murman.
  23. Little Manatee River.