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. Hillsborough County library officials will put new parental controls in place in early 2024 that cover the materials 30,000 children and teens can borrow.
  2. The closed sign at the entrance to the former Pebble Creek Golf Club in New Tampa as depicted in March 2023.
  3. A chartered flight organized by Project Dynamo arrives to Tampa International Airport on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. The flight organized by Project Dynamo had 270 evacuees from Israel including 91 children and four dogs.
  4. Donna LaMountain, 51, surveys damage on Pine Island Road on Sept. 29, 2022, in Matlacha after Hurricane Ian made landfall.
  5. The Hillsborough County Commission rejected a rezoning request Tuesday to turn the Ace Golf driving range in Riverview into a mixed-use development of 86 townhomes and up to 20,000 square feet of commercial outlets.
  6. The regional water utility, Tampa Bay Water, is urging people not to waste water in light of reduced rainfall. TIMES (2009).
  7. Voting signs are pictured in front of the St. James House of Prayer Episcopal on Election Day in Tampa in March. On Thursday, a Tampa City Council majority opposed the idea of switching the city's Election Day to November in even-numbered years.   
  8. Connie Cosme, 57, of Carrollwood, adjusts the trolley pole on a streetcar on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in Tampa. Cosme has worked for the TECO Line Streetcar System since its inception. A new grant will keep the trolley free for riders for the coming year.
  9. Hillsborough County Commissioner Donna Cameron Cepeda, who lived in subsidized housing before she was elected to the board last year, voted with a majority of commissioners to cut affordable housing spending this week and divert the money to other needs.
  10. An aerial view of Ruskin homes with solar panels purchased as part of the PACE loan program. [LUIS SANTANA | Times (2019)]
  11. The Tampa Bay Rays decision to remain in St. Petersburg could mean more Hillsborough County tourist tax dollars available for other future tourism projects including new proposals for an 11-field baseball complex or an 178,000-square-foot indoor gymnasium. TIMES (2016).
  12. People gather to watch the lighting of the score board at the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex near on  Nov. 1, 2018. The Sportsplex includes 15 full-size, multipurpose fields for football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey and cricket. Two new consulting reports suggest the county could pursue an indoor gymnasium and/or a baseball/softball complex as part of an extended sport tourism effort. TIMES (2018).
  13. Summer Hoop performs during the Gasparilla Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The festival would receive $86.666 from Hillsborough County for the 2024 event under a recommendation from the county's Cultural 
Assets Commission. Last week, Commissioner Donna Cameron Cepeda attempted to kill the commission and its parent organization, the Hillsborough Arts Council, to reallocate the funding to public safety and transportation. TIMES (2022).
  14. The closed sign at the entrance to the former Pebble Creek Golf Club in New Tampa.
  15. Laurie House, 58, left, and her husband Mark House, 53, of Land O’ Lakes, pass their time at the Sunlake High School shelter in anticipation of Hurricane Idalia Tuesday in Hudson. In Hillsborough County, officials lifted a mandatory evacuation order at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The county said approximately 1,375 people took refuge in the 10 shelters open there.
  16. A man kayaks back to his home for more belongings, in floodwaters from the Alafia River, in Valrico after Hurricane Irma in September 2017.  Hillsborough County is facing the threat of record flooding from the river, said Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley. [Times (2017)].
  17. Hillsborough County ordered a mandatory evacuation effective at 2 p.m. Monday in advance of Tropical Storm Idalia. [TIMES (2021)]
  18. Brentford's Kevin Schade, center, celebrates scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Brentford FC at the Gtech Community Stadium in London on Saturday. Visit Tampa Bay has signed a promotional deal with Brentford FC. (Kieran Cleeves/PA via AP)
  19. Solar panels on Ruskin homes purchased with PACE loans.
  20. The Community Aging and Retirement Services (CARES) Crescent Center on the corner of Fifth Street and Florida Avenue in Dade City.
  21. Tampa Bay Water's board of directors is considering seven proposals to expand the region's drinking water supply in 2033. Two of the proposals include taking more groundwater from Pasco County.
  22. The city of Temple Terrace announced a global data breach may have compromised information belonging to 700 people who were treated or transported by the city's ambulance service.
  23. Hillsborough County Commissioner Michael Owen had proposed putting a voter referendum on the March 2024 presidential primary ballot to consider turning the commission into nine single-member seats. A commission majority panned that timeline Wednesday.