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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Keith Morelli

Tribune Staff

Hillsborough’s goal: No veterans will be homeless by next Veterans Day


In just a couple of weeks, homeless advocates hope to reduce the number of veterans living on the street or in emergency shelters in Hillsborough County by more than half thro...

Project near TECO canal raises fears about manatee safety

- Some people are concerned that a beach restoration project may be keeping the sea cows from getting out of the cold open water into the relatively toasty canal, where water heated by TECO's power plant is pumped.

More young men answer call to enter priesthood


Though the number of Catholic priests in the United States is the lowest it’s been in a half-century, more young men are answering the call to priesthood, and ordinations...

Wounded panther first patient at Lowry Park Zoo hospital


The very first patient in the brand new 7,000-square-foot veterinary hospital at the Lowry Park Zoo is one of Florida’s favor...

Frenzy abates, but Ebola vigilance grows at hospitals

- The crisis has left its mark in the way local hospitals conduct business, determined as they are to spot that one person who might walk through the door showing symptoms.

Advocate finds calling in helping kids cope

- Brenda Kocher left a lucrative physical therapists’ job five years ago for one without a paycheck. Helping children embroiled in courtroom dramas, kids abandoned, neglected and abused — now that hit the spot.

Plant City man convicted in real estate scam

- A Plant City man was convicted of organized fraud and three counts of grand theft over $100,000 in a real estate scam in which he collected rent from tenants on properties he did not own.

Woman leads cleanup of Riverview’s Hackney Cemetery


Growing up in 1940s Okeechobee, Florence Sikes used to go out with her family on the holidays and clean up the cemetery where her ancestors were buried. Grass needed to be...

Tampa lawyer never flaunted WWII heroism


John A. Curtiss was a Harvard Law School graduate and a successful lawyer in Tampa for many decades. He was generally regarded as quiet.

Osmakac sentenced to 40 years in Tampa terror plot


With head bowed, a gaunt Sami Osmakac said nothing and had no visible reaction when a U.S. district judge sentenced him to 40 years in a federal prison to be followed by a life of supervision for planning a 2011 terror a...

Motive behind Avila family deaths remains a mystery

- Deputies closed the book on the deaths of Darrin Campbell and his family with a 913-page report that outlines what happened in by-the-book detail. But, detectives admit, it lacks a clear motive.

Early voting may signal ‘robust’ election turnout

- It’s Election Day, but 3 million Floridians have already had their say through early voting or absentee ballots. Experts say the governor’s race may have driven more voters to the polls.

FBI to keep visiting mosques despite Muslim complaints


With the Islamic State making vague threats of an attack on the American homeland, FBI agents are visiting and questioning leaders in the U.S. Muslim community to gather infor...

Getting rid of old paint just got a lot easier in Hillsborough


This happens all the time: A room needs painting so you buy a gallon of interior latex semi-gloss. The room is small and only needs one coat.

Halloween weather will be nice, but weekend will be downright cold

- A cold front moving over the area this weekend could leave all the little “Frozen” trick or treaters shivering Friday.

Work begins on new school for homeless children in Tampa


The challenges of teaching homeless children at Metropolitan Ministries are unlike educational obstacles anywhere else in Hillsborough C...

Officer’s nightmare: Wrong-way driver coming straight at him

- The car and Stanjeski’s patrol car were on a head-on collision course in the same lane.

Covington jury told of guilty plea, will return for penalty phase


TAMPA — A circuit judge recessed the jury in Edward Covington’s murder trial on Monday after Covingt...

Commission holds destinies of inmates in their hands


One by one, families of Florida prison inmates who have been behind bars for decades came up to plead for mercy. They pointed to clean prison records, changed men, a support s...

Fans try to come to grips with Maddon-less Rays

- The departure of the Tampa Bay Rays manager has left local baseball lovers wondering how this upstart, small-market team can go on without its bespectacled skipper at the helm.

Hillsborough residents embrace early voting


Under a balmy October sky Friday, voters trickled into the side door of the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library in South...

Prosecution of Lyft, Uber drivers going forward in fits and starts


A dropped misdemeanor charge against a Lyft driver

Invasive, predatory lionfish now live in Tampa Bay

- The state has been trying for years to find ways to control the burgeoning lionfish populations. The species takes over reefs and eats anything and everything.

Lack of information on Ebola spreading fear, mistrust

- As revelations - and rumors - emerge each day about the potential spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the state has established a single source for release of information about the disease.

Love stone crabs? Try catching your own

- For most, a plateful of succulent stone crab claw meat, tender and dripping with drawn butter, comes with a soon to be flattened wallet.

Hillsborough gives final approval to domestic registry


With one voice, Hillsborough County commissioners approved a domestic-partner registry Wednesday, reversing their stand a year-and-a-half ago when the idea first was brought b...

Metropolitan Ministries’ food drive targets Guinness record


Every year, Metropolitan Ministries collects tons of food to feed the needy during the holidays.

Hillsborough advocates work to avert row over immigrant kids

- While a controversy played out in Pasco over the expansion of a shelter to house unaccompanied immigrant children, Hillsborough child advocates and the judiciary quietly have been establishing a plan to thwart future probl...

Tampa-area hospitals say they’re prepared for Ebola

- With a health care worker in Texas having contracted Ebola while caring for a patient with the disease, local hospitals say they are able - and ready - to treat anyone infected with the virus.

Familiar foes in state House race


The general election ballots in New Tampa for the Florida House of Representatives District 63 seat might seem familiar. That’s because the same two candidates vied for...

Newcomer tests incumbent for District 59 Florida House seat


The Florida House of Representatives District 59 seat is being contested by a couple of old friends from Riverview.

Judge tosses prospective Hillsborough County juror in jail


Travis Van Vliet found out the hard way that Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath has little tolerance for juror misconduct.

New learning, research center opens at Florida Aquarium


The Florida Aquarium on Wednesday opened its $2 million learning and research center, a long-planned project that is now a destination...

Complaint filed against Big Cat Rescue over leopard


Big Cat Rescue, the sprawling 67-acre Citrus Park sanctuary that is home to more than 100 lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats and other wil...

Hillsborough sends out more than 150,000 mail-in ballots


Voting by mail seems to be getting more popular with each election.

Officer: ‘Lucky to be alive’ after wrong-way wreck

- Tampa police Office Natasha Stanek recalls the moment when a wrong-way driver slammed into the side of her patrol car early Sunday.

Two rescued in plane crash in water off Davis Islands

- Two victims appear to be in good condition after their sea plane crashed in the water near Peter O. Knight Airport.

Safe from storms in October? Think again

- With two-thirds of the 2014 hurricane season in the books without a single threat to Florida it’s difficult not to be lulled into a sense of complacency.

Signs going up to warn wrong-way highway drivers

- The first step designed to reverse the troubling trend of wrong-way highway drivers was taken Thursday when road crews put up flashing signs on a Fowler Avenue exit ramp.

Weary of the rain, Tampa area waits to dry out

- A solid week of rain has left a soggy mark on the Tampa area, flooding dozens of streets, idling road construction, closing parks, backing up septic systems and causing sewage pipes to fail.

120 million gallons a day put reservoir at half-way mark

- A year and a half after the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir was drained to repair and rebuild its massive earthen walls, the giant water tank in rural eastern Hillsborough County is half full.

Gas below $3 a gallon by Christmas? It could happen


the tweaking of blends processed by refineries is being credited with bringing the price of gasoline down at the pumps.