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Sue Carlton - Consumer affairs reporter

Consumer affairs reporter

My dad always said the Carltons were thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia, which makes me a bona fide Floridian going back generations. I grew up in Miami and landed in Tampa, a town that said “bland” to the world but turned out anything but. I live in an old bungalow in an old neighborhood with my husband and a very enthusiastic dog. I’ve covered everything - crime, courts, the homeless, and a parade of political characters let's just call interesting - and been an editor, too. I’ve come to love this place of outrages and injustices, history and culture, café con leche and the Deep South. Next assignment: consumer affairs — the ways we buy and consume in a world currently upside down — the scams, the trends, the way we live now.

  1. The price of an ice tea at a local Starbucks went up recently, like pretty much everything else.
  2. This billboard on Adamo Drive in Tampa, paid for by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, targets Tampa General Hospital for having a McDonald's fast food restaurant inside.
  3. Lakshmi Shenoy is the CEO of Embarc Collective, a Tampa entrepreneurship and startup acceleration hub.
  4. Happy New Year, Tampa Bay! Now while you're making your resolutions, watch out for scammers.
  5. Another pandemic shortage: Cat food.
  6. Some Americans plan to forgo this in the name of Dry January.
  7. Mark LoMoglio kept friends posted on his progress on Facebook. This was a good day.
  8. Shoppers and diners at the Meat Market at Tampa's Hyde Park Village.
  9. A man strolls through Gulfport during the holidays. Households there received $50 vouchers to be spent at local businesses, part of a local coronavirus recovery effort. Hard to find anything to be Grinchy about there.
  10. Hillsborough detectives say in two recent cases, scammers got elderly residents to pay them thousands of dollars, convincing the victims that their grandchildren were in trouble and needed money. One woman lost $700,000 - most of her life savings. Now investigators are hoping information from Uber, which was used in both schemes, will help them track down the perpetrators.
  11. Four Green Fields owner Colin Breen inside the Tampa warehouse that will soon open its doors as the latest incarnation of the beloved Irish pub that closed a year ago. Plans include much of the old bar, plus a microbrewery and whiskey tasting room.
  12. Harper Austin, 3, of Land O’ Lakes, approaches Santa, also known as Bob Distelcamp, 68, at International Plaza. In-person visits with St. Nick are back.
  13. Feras Al Younes raspó este billete de lotería de $ 10 mientras gastaba en un Tampa Circle K. Ganó $ 2 millones. [Cortesía de la Lotería de Florida]
  14. Feras Al Younes scratched off this $10 lottery ticket while he gassed up at a Tampa Circle K. He won $2 million.
  15. Dollar Tree stores like this one in St. Petersburg are raising the price of most items from $1 to $1.25.
  16. Stacy Davis and Ellen Bell load up their Black Friday purchases at a Target in St. Petersburg.
  17. A class-action lawsuit accuses Kellogg's of misleading consumers about the amount of strawberries in their Pop-Tarts.
  18. You can smell it already, can't you?
  19. A sign at a Tampa Winn Dixie announces employees will have Thanksgiving off.
  20. Los viajes en Uber pueden proporcionar evidencia interesante en el caso de una mujer de 82 años estafada por $ 700,000, dicen los detectives. [ERIC RISBERG | AP]
  21. Uber rides may provide interesting evidence in the case of an 82-year-old woman scammed out of $700,000, detectives say.
  22. Un-American: People who are serving or have served their country are more likely to have lost money, and more of it, to scams.
  23. A lawsuit filed in federal court in Tampa details the unique business model of strip clubs.