Make us your home page
Instagram

South & Central Tampa

  1. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force

    Agriculture

    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]
  2. Courtesy busing cuts continue to cause problems for parents, students

    K12

    Let's not wait until someone dies.

    This year, the Hillsborough County School Board voted to end courtesy busing for thousands of students. After years of providing buses to select students within two miles of their school, the school district eliminated courtesy busing as a means of saving money.

    Danielle Hauser, Guest Columnist
  3. Celebrity chef/priest comes to town to cook with bishop

    Human Interest

    BRANDON — Gluttony may be one of the seven deadly sins, but Father Leo Patalinghug believes food can break barriers and bring people together.

    And it works.

    Father Leo Patalinghug, right, and Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg chat before taping Savoring Our Faith at the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in Brandon on Aug. 16.
  4. Gov. Scott honors Ben Ritter, local advocate for veterans with disabilities

    Briefs

    During a meeting of the Florida cabinet in June, Governor Rick Scott recognized Hillsborough County's George Bennett "Ben" Ritter with the Governor's Medal of Merit.

    Gov. Rick Scott recognized George Bennett (Ben) Ritter with the Governor’s Medal of Merit. From left to right: Steve Murray, Communications Director, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Alder Allensworth, Ben Ritter, Glenn Sutphin, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director, Jeff Atwater, Florida Chief Financial Officer and Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  5. Three run in special election for mayor of Temple Terrace

    Local Government

    TEMPLE TERRACE — The last time Temple Terrace elected a mayor, voters had a choice of one: Kim Leinbach, who ran unopposed last fall but decided to resign in May.

    David Ganessingh
  6. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  7. Sunday Conversation: Roberto Torres talks immigration

    Human Interest

    YBOR CITY

    Roberto Torres stands as one of the city's most impressive rising entrepreneurs. The owner of Blind Tiger Cafes, Black & Denim clothing company and CoWork Ybor has expanded his reach with locations at Tampa International Airport and The Morrison, a new mixed use development in the SoHo District. Torres, …

    Roberto Torres receives his American Dream award from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Aug. 15.
  8. Massage therapist opens South Tampa office

    Business

    As a social worker in the early '90s, a majority of Tracy Jones' cases were people dealing with depression.

    Tracy Jones recently opened Tampa Bay Sports and Medical Massage in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Tracy Jones.
  9. Stadium area Chick-fil-A location will open Aug. 31

    Business

    While active in the Air Force, New York City native, Carlos Brito often traveled to Tampa for work.

    Chick-fil-A Tampa Stadium celebrates its' grand opening on Aug. 31. Photo courtesy of Carlos Brito.
  10. Joe Henderson: Let's ask Speaker Richard Corcoran to spend some time in a sweltering classroom

    Columns

    You've seen and heard the stories about how air-conditioning breakdowns created sweltering conditions in many Hillsborough County public schools. It is a sweaty, stinking, ongoing mess, and there is no quick fix.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, has been shifting money from public schools to charter schools. It could go to help cool sweltering classrooms, instead.
  11. Guest column: Julian Craft worked a lifetime to help those down and out in Brandon



    Columns

    Julian Craft died June 28. He was 84. In this memoriam, Brandon attorney B. Lee Elam, a friend and colleague, recalls Craft as a man with humble beginnings who spent much of his life offering a hand-up to individuals and groups across Brandon who desperately needed it. Craft's family asked that donations in his honor …

    JulianCraft knew how circumstances could put a family in dire straits so he worked to help address the immediate needs of Brandonites before other aid kicked in.
  12. Tampa is training ground for Team USA inline skating

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The United States once dominated the sport known as international outdoor inline speed skating.

    Cotton Yarborough is one of five people from the Tampa Bay area on the national inline speed skating team.
  13. Republicans face primary in whirlwind special election for Plant City-area House seat

    Elections

    PLANT CITY — With qualifying completed this week, the field is set in a whirlwind special election to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City — and the race could come down to two candidates in a Republican primary, Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure.

    Yvonne Fry is one of two Republican candidates with strong Plant City ties to qualify for a special election in state House District 58.
  14. Gracepoint gifts senior residents with new home

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — When Mary Myles became program manager of The Graham Home 25 years ago, 30 adults with special needs occupied 65 square-foot apartments.

    The Graham at Gracepoint, the senior living apartments at 2400 East Henry Ave., was their first facility built from the ground up.
  15. Sarah Whitman: In the wake of Charlottesville, America must do better

    Religion

    TAMPA — Charlottesville happened.

    Nearly 250 years into our country's story, Americans maintain the right to say and even do what to me (and I pray you), seem like unthinkable things.

    More than 80 people attended an event at St. Patrick Catholic Church aimed at promoting a civil dialogue regarding immigration. The event occurred a day after the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Va., created by a clash between white supremacists and counter protesters.