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South & Central Tampa

  1. Engineering entrepreneur finds home in USF incubator


    SaLisa Berrien moved to Tampa just a few years ago, but she's long been familiar with the Sunshine State, thanks to summer visits as a child with Polk County relatives. At that time, she remembers hating the annual trek because it was "hot and full of bugs." These days, the Allentown, Pa., native still finds Florida …

    SaLisa Berrien operates her energy consulting company, COI Energy, out of the University of South Florida’s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator.
  2. Demolish I-275? One expert offers a 'dream' alternative


    TAMPA — If some Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights residents had their druthers, the state would simply demolish Interstate 275, which now severs their neighborhoods.

    Viewed from the southbound lanes, traffic in the northbound lanes of I-275 in Tampa slow to a crawl on Wednesday evening, Jan. 20, 2016. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Lutz tea room proves a draw for parties


    LUTZ — On a recent Friday, 18 women arrived at a new tea room wearing colorful dresses, bright light-weight sweaters, dress hats, sun bonnets, gloves and carrying matching purses.

    BJ Newberger, right, and CJ Hartland, left, enjoy a tea at the new Whistle Stop Gardens Tea Room in Lutz.
  4. Hooper: Saint Leo writers retreat offers breath of fresh air


    I've got a secret.

    Don't tell anyone.

    On May 20, I'll be one of the presenters at the fifth annual Sandhill Writers Retreat at Saint Leo University, but if you think I'm going to show up for my session and leave, guess again.

    Poet Jesse Millner is one of the featured speakers at the Sandhill Writers Retreat at Saint Leo University.
  5. Tampa seminar modeled on child-abuse prevention gathering 40 years ago


    TAMPA — Forty years ago, a seminar convened by the Junior League of Tampa riveted the community's attention on the growing problem of child abuse and led to the creation of a nonprofit group focused on fighting it.

    Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll, shown at a conference in Orlando, is a keynote speaker during a seminar set for Thursday in Tampa on helping prevent child abuse.
  6. March column: Kevin Beckner leaves politics, named Hillsborough civil service chief


    The Hillsborough County Civil Service Board has selected former county Commissioner Kevin Beckner as its new director.

    Kevin Beckner, once seen as a rising star in the local Democratic Party, has stepped away from politics after losing the circuit court clerk's race in November to take a county job that pays up to $140,000 a year. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  7. Legacy Gala looks to enlist alumni in restoring Chamberlain's luster



    It began during informal lunches where Chamberlain High School alumni wondered what they could do to help improve the school.

     Incoming principal Jake Russell speaks with a student during lunch at Chamberlain High School on Friday. Russell, who comes from Sickles High School, has embraced an alumni effort to help improve the troubled school. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  8. Brandies: Nelson Elementary plants gardening love with kids

    Home and Garden

    DOVER — Any teachers interested in gardening, students included?

    Sherill Farrell’s 5th graders were getting ready to plant more in their plot. The cherry tomatoes are already ripening.
  9. Henderson: Once-thundering Vince Naimoli still speaks loudly through gifts


    People who know Vince Naimoli only as the thundering and head-shaking owner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays didn't get the whole story. There are two sides to this man, and the one who isn't talked about nearly enough is what I want to share today.

    Vince Naimoli Jr., shown being honored last week at the University of South Florida, has bestowed big gifts on the school and on the University of Tampa.
  10. Instead of going to prison, Tampa man will be freed while appealing DUI manslaughter conviction


    Last month, Brock Troutman was convicted of drunkenly running down and killing a Clearwater Beach tourist who was crossing the street with his daughter in 2015.

    Brock Troutman, 34, of Tampa, was convicted of DUI manslaughter last month. On Monday he was sentenced to five years in prison. But a judge on Wednesday paved the way for Troutman to post bail and be freed from jail while he appeals his conviction. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  11. Owner crafts wine bar in Seminole Heights


    Wes Miller has lived all over the country but his favorite neighborhood is right here in Tampa: Seminole Heights.

    Wes Miller will open The Wine Bar Seminole Heights this summer. Photo courtesy of Wes Miller.
  12. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

    Human Interest

    Around the World with St. Jude

    Two patient testimonials took Around the World gala guests from tears to cheers for the medical care provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Adorable Ayden, 7, who survived 17 surgeries before age 1, sang out his gratitude, helping co-chairs …

    Tom and Holly Malouf, from left, former St. Jude Children’s Hospital patient Kara DeGraff and Around the World gala co-chairs Gennie and Mike Swenson thank supporters April 8.
  13. Check your bike at the door

    Public Safety

    Bike valets have become fixtures at events in the area's downtown districts.

    Bicycles are secured to a rack by Tampa Bike Valet at a Curtis Hixon Park event. The service has grown too large to remain a part time venture so the company has been sold to Two Wheel Valet which already operates a full time bike valet in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
  14. Junior League event focuses on human trafficking prevention


    The Junior League of Tampa will host Think Globally, Act Communally beginning with a welcome reception at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday (April 25) at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St.

    Rev. Becca Stevens leads an education workshop.
  15. Cruising into a brighter future


    TAMPA — On the top deck of the Florida Aquarium's Bay Spirit II boat, there wasn't a cell phone in sight on April 13 as kids took in views of Port Tampa Bay harbor, including an appearance by some Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

    Students from the Moffitt Healthy Kidz program take in views of the port of Tampa on a harbor excursion with the Florida Aquarium.