1. Florida

Florida Wonders: Ask us anything about where we live. We’ll find answers.

We want to investigate your burning questions, from what happens to your recycling to why there are so many roosters in Ybor.
"Florida Wonders" is a new Tampa Bay Times series where readers can ask questions and we will answer them. Logo design by Lisa Merklin [VECTORSTOCK.COM/98363  |  Logo design by Lisa Merklin]
"Florida Wonders" is a new Tampa Bay Times series where readers can ask questions and we will answer them. Logo design by Lisa Merklin [VECTORSTOCK.COM/98363 | Logo design by Lisa Merklin]
Published Apr. 22, 2019
Updated Dec. 19, 2019

At the heart of every good story is a question:

Why are there giant scales in Publix stores?

Who were Howard Frankland or Bruce B. Downs?

What happened to Bubba the Love Sponge?

Now, we want to hear from our readers: What questions do you have about Florida or the Tampa Bay area?

Introducing Florida Wonders, a new community engagement reporting project. We’re inviting you, our readers, to join the storytelling process.

That question that’s been sticking in your head as you drive through town, brush your teeth or scroll through Twitter? Now’s your time to finally get answers. We want to know what you’re curious about, whether it’s what happens to our sewage or why the Ybor streetcars are yellow. No topic is off limits.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Tell us what you want to know about the people, places and things in the Tampa Bay area or the state of Florida. Don’t hold back — no question is too big or small.
  2. Our reporters will choose one question to write about each week. We’ll consult the experts inside and outside of the newsroom to track down your answer.
  3. We publish a story on your question, then select another and repeat the process.

Here are some questions readers have already sent in:

  • “Who the heck is ‘Bob’ from Bob’s Barricades, and how did he land the best gig in all of Pinellas County?” — Cheryl W.
  • “How does the SunTrust building roof come up with their color designs and decide what they are going to light up each night?” — Donna G.
  • “Are recycling programs in Tampa Bay successful and, what are the benchmarks for determining success or failure?” — Jeanne C.

Read all of our Florida Wonders stories here. Submit your questions to, or fill out the form below.


  1. Jack Pearcy, left, and James Dailey, right, as they appeared when they each entered Florida's prison system in 1987. Both men were convicted of taking part in the murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio in Pinellas County. Pearcy got a life sentence. Dailey got the death penalty. Dailey's lawyers have argued that Pearcy is solely responsible for the crime. [Florida Department of Corrections]
    The case of James Dailey, facing a death sentence for the 1985 Pinellas County murder of a 14-year-old girl, is full of contradiction, ambiguity and doubt. Court records tell the terrible story.
  2. A new report to the Florida Legislature details the investigation that led to the forced resignations of six Moffitt Cancer Center employees in December, including president and CEO Dr. Alan List. [Moffitt Cancer Center]
    The money came from the “Thousand Talents Program” and went to personal accounts set up in China.
  3. FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2019 file photo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington. After the Pensacola shooting, Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered a review of the Pentagon's handling of foreign military trainees. The results, announced Friday, put foreign trainees under new limitations, including their travel away from their assigned base; their possession and use of firearms and their access to bases and other U.S. facilities.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) [SUSAN WALSH  |  AP]
    International trainees will no longer be allowed to have privately owned firearms on base, among other changes.
  4. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking for information about a man accused of killing a duck at a Town 'N Country apartment complex in Tampa. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. [Bay News 9]
    He used bread to lure the bird in before killing it. A complaint was filed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
  5. Visitors head to Florida's Old Capitol building on Tuesday, the first day of the annual session. The same day, the advocacy group Equality Florida denounced four bills filed by Republican lawmakers, calling them “the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory.” [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Most of the bills try to eliminate local ordinances, and Republicans say they’ve been unfairly labeled.
  6. People waited overnight to be the first customers at the new Jollibee Pinellas Park location. It opened Friday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Long lines, happy dances, hot Chickenjoy. Pinellas Park scores the chain’s latest restaurant.
  7. In this Feb. 22, 2018 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaks to reporters outside the West Wing in Washington. President Donald Trump's legal team will include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general, former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton, according to a person familiar with the matter. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) [J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP]
    The former Florida attorney general reportedly will join former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.
  8. For the latest breaking news, check [Tampa Bay Times]
    Three men are facing human smuggling charges in federal courts in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
  9. Chris Card, chief of community-based care for Eckerd Connects. His agency is now running the two biggest child welfare jurisdictions in Florida. [Tampa Bay Times]
    They are spending more time outside a permanent home as the county struggles to deal with an increase in removals.
  10. Lori Baggett, managing partner of Carlton Fields in Tampa. [Carlton Fields]
    The Carlton Fields firm announced her promotion earlier this month.