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South & Central Tampa

  1. Storytelling company hosts poetry contest


    TAMPA HEIGHTS — Hive Over Matter will award its inaugural Herstory Poetry Award & Scholarship at the Pinot & Poetry: A Toast to Herstory celebration event from 7-10 p.m. today (Nov 19) at the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association, 2005 N Lamar Ave.

    Storytelling company Hive Over Matter uses spoken and written word and art, including designs on clothing, to help women express and empower themselves and each other.
  2. Temple Terrace picks Paragon for redevelopment area

    Local Government

    TEMPLE TERRACE — City Council members have put off building apartments on its downtown redevelopment property for the time being and have unanimously chosen a bank and retail stores on the corner of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street.

    Temple Terrace Council member David Pogorilich questioned the wisdom of using most of the space in the sector north of Winn-Dixie before seeing if the Paragon project on the corner could attract even more retail stores.
  3. Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape


    East Hillsborough residents will have three holiday-themed events to help brighten the season this year.

    The Christmas elves Holly and Dolly will be on hand to greet visitors at Christmas Lane in Plant City.
  4. Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a 'digital detox'


    Like so many small businesses, Saturday will represent a special day for Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell. Bell's cozy bungalow business at 211 S Howard features paper and stationery, specialty pens, vintage typewriters and crafts classes. It will offer a number of specials for what's officially dubbed "Small Business …

    Tona Bell traces her fascination with writing, pens and stationery back to her childhood. She now owns the Paper Seahorse in SoHo.
  5. Epilogue: Hermanda DeRoos O'Connor, social grand dame 1939-2017

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Had she known she would be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 66, Hermanda de Roos O'Connor would have organized a gala or fashionable fundraiser every day of the week to fund a cure.

    Tampa social grande dame Hermanda deRoos O’Connor died Sept. 4, 2017 of complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  6. A retail outlet guide to Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping


    For those who plan to flock to the area's major retail outlets during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend, here's a roundup of their holiday plans.

    International Plaza

    Customers spilled into clothing store Aeropostale inside Westfield Brandon Mall during Black Friday last year. Most area retail outlets are hoping for a strong turnout this year on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) and Black Friday.
  7. Making it in America, Ybor(w/video)

    Human Interest

    The first cigar rolled in Tampa's Ybor city in 1885 marked the beginning of one of Florida's

    most famed immigrant enclaves.

  8. William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell


    Jose Vazquez, Democratic nominee in the Dec. 19 state House District 58 special election, doesn't seem like a criminal.

    Jose Vazquez, who worked in politics in Puerto Rico, blames his legal problems on factors including his unfamiliarity with Florida driving laws. [Times file]
  9. Editorial: It's time to renew community's commitment to Tampa Theatre


    New attention to downtown Tampa as a place to live, work and play is transforming the area at a dizzying pace. Credit goes to recent projects, both public and private, such as the Tampa River Walk, new residential towers, a University of South Florida health center, Water Works Park, and the new community crossroads of …

    A freshly painted griffin adorns the upper lobby of the Tampa Theatre, now underghoing a $6 million renovation that includes replacing all 1,41o seats. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  10. Joe Henderson: Require coding in schools? How about pushing technical skills


    As if public schools don't have enough headaches, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently interjected himself into the debate about how best to train young minds.

    Students work on book cover designs using Mac desktop computers in the Commercial Academy at Tampa Bay Tech High in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  11. Howard Altman: Missing records confound veterans on base exchange website


    In the more than three decades that I have been toiling at various paragraph factories, few stories have elicited as much response as the one I wrote about the new program to allow all honorably discharged veterans to shop at military base exchanges like the one at MacDill Air Force Base.

    Anyone honorably discharged from the military can now shop online through the militarty base excchange, which fills some of its orders from the exchange building at MacDill Air Force Base. But some veterans finding it hard to sign up. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]
  12. Daniel Ruth: If you're the transit boss, fleeing Tampa for Pittsburgh is a no-brainer


    Hillsborough County, Florida and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, have almost identical populations of about 1.3 million people. But when it comes to issues such as public transportation the two communities couldn't be more diametrically opposite from one another.

    Pittsburgh gets idyllic treatment in this photo of its skyline at night. Users and advocates of public transit would find the city idyllic, too, at least compared to Tampa. [Associated Press, 2012]
  13. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Starlight Gala

    Earth, Wind & Fire fired up the Starlight Gala with their combustible mix of rhythm, blues and jazz classics getting guests grooving on the faith-based mission of the Florida Hospital West Florida Division Foundation. Five hospitals will benefit from the $1 million raised as …

    Pam and Les Muma surprised and awed guests at USF’s Unstoppable Celebration when they added a $15 million bequest to their previous generous gifts.
  14. Senior Games standout is still running, jumping, shot put-ting at 82

    Life Times


    Standout athlete Doris Prokopi, age 82, who competed in shot put, discus, 400-meter dash, long jump and about 15 other events during last month's Tampa Bay Senior Games, has dozens of medals to show for her efforts.

    Doris Prokopi of Land O’Lakes, 82, shows off the Tampa Bay Senior Games medals she has acquired over the years during the Florida Senior Games at the David Barksdale Senior Citizen Center. Prokopi has competed in the games since she was 60, and says she has so many medals that she often gives them to other competitors.
  15. Nativity Novemberfest's 'mom' ensures her entire flock is well fed


    BRANDON — Imagine being tasked with the overall responsibility of purchasing, preparing and feeding more than 100,000 people at nearly a nonstop pace over the course of five days.

    Novemberfest Food Chairman Sherry Stewart, on the far right, is all smiles as she’s gathered in the operations trailer last year with a group of other key volunteers, including the event’s director R.J. Brauneker, kneeling in front. Other volunteers from left to right are Sam Calderon, Vicki Sommer, Greg Harrell, Don Amberg and Bradley Brauneker.