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Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Keith Morelli

Tribune Staff

New Florida car seat law takes effect Jan. 1

- What do you do with kids who are too big for car seats but too little for a standard seat belt? The Florida Legislature says it has the answer, though some child advocates say the new law that takes effect on Jan. 1 doesn&#...

Vinik’s redevelopment planners looking for your ideas


An ambitious plan to reshape the Channelside District is unique in...

Eckerd College planning Cuba trip for next month


Long before Wednesday’s announcement of a thaw in the icy relations

Pest control to pause animal intake at county shelter


Forget the never-ending battle against fleas and ticks, Hillsborough County Animal Services is about to lau...

Frank Lorenzo Sr. excelled on, off the football field


From the University of Florida football field, circa 1946, to the South Tampa gridiron of Plant High Schoo...

Father: State fair must do more to protect youths

- Security changes planned for the Florida State Fair don’t go far enough, said the father of a 14-year-old boy who was ejected from the fair this year and killed while crossing a nearby highway.

Charities learning importance of social media in fundraising


A recent survey commissioned by the American Red Cross suggests that social media may be the new frontier for fundraising, though officials stopped short in saying it will tak...

Jen Leigh takes over for Gayle Sierens on WFLA’s 11 p.m. newscast


WFLA News Channel 8 veteran newscaster Jen Leigh will take over for Gayle Sierens on the 11 p.m. newscast, station officials announced this ...

For event-goers,Wi-Fi almost as important as show

- Can Tampa-area arenas cope with social media demands? Many venues can’t keep up as the number of people seeking connectivity grows.

School resource deputy gives from the heart — and wallet

- Smith Middle resource Deputy Charity Arthur has been using her own money to help families of students buy food, medicine and other necessities. She hopes a GoFundMe account she started will help.

Deadly crash points up rising Florida black bear numbers

- Black bears occasionally lumber into traffic and get hit by vehicles, particularly in areas where bear populations are booming like the Everglades. No one can remember the last time a bear touched off a wreck that resulted ...

Hillsborough has growing population of young archers


With precision and clocklike movements, Sydney Sullenburger grips her compound bow and lowers the sights onto the target, a circle the size of an apple, 25 yards away. A momen...

Protest against police deaths crashes tree-lighting event

- More than 200 peaceful demonstrators joined the chorus of nationwide protests, this time marching into a downtown family holiday event at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

Valrico ‘doomsday prepper’ sentenced to 30 months in prison

- Martin Winters, the head of a local survivalist group, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release on federal weapons charges.

Circumcision benefits outweigh risks, CDC says


“Cut the wrapping,” says the Facebook page of Intact Florida over a photo of what could be a baby-shower gift, ̶...

Joan Steinbrenner, Yankees bring Christmas cheer and the arts to children


Joan Steinbrenner wasn’t about to let a little pain in her hands keep her from doling out

Monkey spotted again, this time near U.S. 301 and Sligh

- That's three sightings by Tampa residents since Thanksgiving. The descriptions match, though there’s no way to say for sure if it’s the same elusive monkey.

Tampa police department has rising star in Ward

- With the retirement of Chief Jane Castor just months away, some quiet changes have been made within the department’s staff, though it’s unclear if anyone is a front-runner for her job.

Another quiet hurricane season officially ends

- Once again, the hurricane season came and went without a whisper of wind along the Tampa Bay region and the state of Florida

Monkey business ensues after Tampa primate sightings

- The suspect seen near Lowry Park zoo hasn’t done anything wrong, but police posted a generic chimp mug online to announce the need to put it behind bars – or, at least, in a cage.

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...

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.

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...