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Tampa City Council: Put Monsignor Higgins' name on Himes Avenue

The Tampa City Council voted Thursday to ask that N Himes Avenue in front of St. Lawrence Catholic Church be marked to honor the late Monsignor Laurence Higgins, the parish priest who founded the church in 1958.

Higgins, whose community contributions and influence ranged far beyond his congregation, died Aug. 24 at age 87. He was buried Wednesday.

As proposed, street signs on Himes from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue would have a subtitle added to them with Higgins' name.

"He was outstanding, not only for that area, but for the whole city," said council member Charlie Miranda, who made the proposal. Higgins, he said, "understood people and was loved by everyone."

Mayor Bob Buckhorn likes the idea.

"Could not think of a more fitting tribute to a man who gave us so much," he said.

Still, the council's vote was 6-to-1. The dissenting vote came from Yvonne Yolie Capin. She said after the meeting that her reason for voting no was personal and she couldn't discuss it, but it concerned a "not-great experience" between Higgins and a family member who was an adult at the time of the interaction.

"My conscience would not allow me to vote for that today," she said.

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