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
Published Apr. 22
Updated May 16

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.

Submit your questions to, or fill out the form below.


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Michael Patrick Nealey, 49, was arrested Monday morning and charged with killing Lucky Miller at a Hilton hotel.
  2. Earlier today• Breaking News
    The Falcon 9 rocket sits on Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A in Cape Canaveral on Thursday.[SpaceX via AP]
    The company deployed a second batch of 60 satellites for its Starlink communications constellation.
  3. Vacant land within the Italian Club Cemetery may the site of the lost College Hill Cemetery, listed in some 100 obituaries from 1896 through the 1930s. Tampa Bay Times
    Cubans and African-Americans were once buried on land that appears to be a vacant corner of the Italian Club Cemetery.
  4. Do you know what Pam Bondi is expected to focus on if she joins the White House communications team?
    How closely do you follow the Tampa Bay Times? Take our weekly quiz and find out.
  5. Two Disney employees and a former middle school assistant principal are among the 17 accused of possessing and sharing child porn. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged more than 600 felony counts of child pornography possession to the 17.
  6. Shoppers walk into the Kmart in Kenneth City, which will close by the start of 2020. By February, Florida will only have four Kmarts left. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    What’s the future of Kmart and Sears in the Sunshine State after the latest round of closures?
  7. Reginald Ferguson, center, a resident of the Kenwood Inn in St. Petersburg, talks with Rachel Ilic, an environmental epidemiologist, left, and Fannie Vaughn, right, a nurse with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. The health team was encouraging residents to get vaccinated against hepatitis A, part of a larger effort to address an outbreak of the virus in Florida. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The effort started in Pinellas, where health department “foot teams” are knocking on doors in neighborhoods at higher risk for the virus.
  8. Archaeologist Terry Barbour excavates a bead-making site on Raleigh Island in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Barbour's team then used a drone with radar to map the entire village of 37 ring-shaped piles of oyster shells where ancient dwellers made beads out of shells. PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNETH E. SASSAMAN  |  Photo courtesy of Kenneth E. Sas
    Scientists stumbled on the site while assessing BP oil spill effects in 2010
  9. A nurse at Tampa General Hospital holds a special stethoscope used for critical patients in the Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit there. The hospital received a C grade from Leapfrog, an independent nonprofit which ranks hospitals nationally for patient safety. Times (2018)
    Leapfrog, an independent nonprofit, rated hospitals based on hand washing, infection rates, patient falls and other factors.
  10. Most of the time (55%), older spouses are caregiving alone as husbands or wives come to the end of their lives, without help from their children, other family members or friends or paid home health aides, according to research published earlier this year. [Times (2011)]
    Compared to adult children who care for their parents, spouses perform more tasks and assume greater physical and financial burdens when they become caregivers.