In this news brief: An 8-month-old is found in a stolen car in St. Pete, Hillsborough County teachers continue deliberations with School Board members, Community leaders work to make a dangerous section of road safer for pedestrians, The Florida Department of Health urges parents to get their babies vaccinated.
In this news brief: New Tariffs set by the Trump Administration are causing job cuts in the Tampa Bay Area; Former Police Chief Jane Castor is running for Tampa mayor; In April alone Pasco County Fire rescue has responded to two fatal drownings; Tampa is ranked as one of the friendliest cities in the U.S. according to Homes.com.
Museums, whether they are about science, history or art, provide a fantastic service to the community. They give us a chance to educate ourselves through visual learning and by actually immersing ourselves in a subject, instead of reading about it.
Located on 5401 Bay Shore road, right in front of the bay, is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
The museum was built by John Ringling. It opened to the public in 1931. Ringling was also one of the five brothers which operated the famous circus often called, “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
“The couple bought property here in 1911, built a home in the 1920s and then built an art museum,” said Assistant Director of Academic Affairs David Berry. “He left it to the people of Florida when he died in 1936.”
Visitors can view art collections that come from European, American and Asian backgrounds, as well as circus material from Ringling’s past, which is located in a separate building.
“The European collection goes from antiquity to present day, the American collections are particularly strong in modern and contemporary art, and the Asian material also spans centuries,” said Berry. “We have an extraordinary range of circus material. There’s a railcar that is 80 feet long, circus carriages and a collection of circus posters as well as other material.”
The museum obtains their collections and exhibits through donations and purchases. A lot of the pieces showcased inside the museum came from the Ringlings and that set the foundation for the rest of the collections.
“It’s different collections throughout the year,” said Berry.
One thing that makes the museum stand out from others is that Ringling built it to replicate a European style of architecture. In the courtyard of the museum, one can see various replicas of Greek and Roman culture. This aesthetic includes a bronze duplicate of Michelangelo’s David. The statue stands against a beautiful backdrop of palm trees and the Sarasota Bay. It’s a sight that is seen as soon as museum goers open the doors to the courtyard.
“The two historic buildings, the house [Ca’ d’Zan] and the art museum, reflect the architecture of the Italian Renaissance,” said Berry. “It’s a circus impresario’s take on the Italian Renaissance.”
The house that the Ringlings built, Ca’ d’Zan, is an exquisite building that represents a Venetian Gothic style vibe in its architecture. The construction of the house finished in 1926. It is five stories tall with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms.
“The house reflects the personalities of its creators, John and Mable Ringling,” said Berry. “It’s an extraordinary building, which makes a lot of sense when you consider that you’re talking about a showman who brought entertainment to the masses.”
The museum also offers many tours, one of which includes a tour of the Ca’ d’Zan.
“It [the tours] tends to be one of the easiest and most interesting ways to engage with the collections and the galleries,” said Berry. “We have set tours for the museum of art, the historic home and the circus museum.”
Admission to the museum for adults is about $25, out-of-state college students with a school ID can get in for $5, children over the age of five pay $5 and Florida teachers with an ID can get in for $10. Museum members get in for free.
“We offer students from local universities, including USF, free admission with ID,” said Berry.
In this news brief: A Hernando County bus accident; Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputies collect 240 pounds of marijuana; A man is captured in a swamp; A person is injured in a skydiving accident; Tampa Bay Lightning set to play Game 4.
In this news brief: the #Sarasota Police Department is conducting an investigation after children find human remains; a Hernando County student is arrested for making a false bomb threat; the University of South Florida is exploring the idea of having an on-campus stadium; several Bay area post offices are staying open late to help you meet the tax filing deadline.
In this news brief: The Pinellas County school board approves new start times for most schools in the district; it’s equal pay day, and women are calling for an end to the wage gap. Two Sarasota police officers are injured after being hit by a car; there’s a new quick and easy way to save money at the gas pump.
The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists visited the USF campus to share their knowledge and expertise with students.
The goal of TBABJ is to encourage students of color to pursue their interests in media.
Some of the biggest TV personalities who are involved in this chapter include: Rod Carter, Corey Davis, Garin Flowers, and Saundra Weathers. A few of these reporters took a trip to The University of South Florida to put on a workshop for college students.
“We work together to make sure we are addressing the needs of our community and making sure their stories and voices are heard,” TBABJ leader Loraine McBride said.
The Tampa Bay chapter was established in 1990. TBABJ represents journalists who live in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Citrus, Hernando, Polk, Manatee and Pasco county. Some of the goals this organization has are: bringing together black journalists who work in related fields, serving as clearinghouses for employment within the media, sponsoring events that encourage professional development among journalists of color, and awarding scholarships to promising young black journalists who plan on pursuing careers on media.
“I feel like it’s important to give back to college students because someone once helped me and I was once in their shoes,” said McBride. “Someone took the time to sit down with me and it made a tremendous difference in my life. I got every single job that I really wanted. It made a difference.”
The members of this organization shared their expertise and backstories about how they began their journalism careers. When it comes to beginning a career, some of the important tips they gave students are being proactive and landing internships.
“I would encourage students to career shadow,” said McBride “Learn how to pick up the camera. Learn everything you can because when you walk across that stage on graduation day, there is nothing like the feeling of leaving and knowing what it’s like to work in the news field.”
The second part of the workshop was dedicated to working with students one on one to give them critiques on their resumes and demo reels. The media professionals sat down and answered any questions that the students had. This organization is a keen on helping students in any way they can.
Some of the advice they gave in regards to resumes included: putting the most relevant information at the top, composing it to look neat and professional, and being descriptive.
In addition to workshops, this organization hosts a Gala once a year to give out awards and scholarships. Nada Blassy, a USF student, was the scholarship winner last year. She was awarded a $1,000 dollar scholarship for her achievements.
“I received a scholarship from the TBABJ for writing a news story relvant to Tampa Bay” Blassy said. “It was a great addition to my resume. Through this organization I find myself meeting people that are already working in the field and that is something a lot of students don’t get to say. So, I’m very grateful to this organization for helping me get my foot in the door.”
Tampa locals and tourists were treated to the celebration of culture and history during the 71st annual Fiesta Day in Ybor City Historic District.
The street festival consists of live music, local foods, arts and crafts, games and raffles. Musicians and vendors come to share their rich, cultural heritage with those who attend.
“Like every other year, the 71st annual Fiesta Day festival is free and open to the public,” said Deb Hargreaves, the Event Coordinator at the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce.
“Fiesta Day also celebrates the ‘Best of Ybor’ with all of our food, music and activities,” said Hargreaves.
Ybor City’s Fiesta Day originally began as a day of rest for the cigar workers who settled in what was also known as the Cigar City Capital of the World in the early 1900s.
With the arrival of immigrants who worked in the cigar factories or started their own businesses, Ybor City emerged as Tampa’s ethnic melting pot.
“Fiesta Day celebrates our city’s culture, heritage and cuisine,” said Hargreaves. “It’s one of the best traditions that we get to celebrate in Ybor.”
Some local vendors come to sell their handcrafted pieces of art, clothing and jewelry. While others advertise their small businesses and sell handmade soaps, lotions, jellies and jams.
This year, the street festival took place along Seventh Avenue. During the time of the festival, held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., several streets are closed off.
“Our entertainment this year is presented by The Gaucho Association of Tampa, Centro Ybor and the Krewe of Mambi,” said Hargreaves. “We also have a break-dancing show, live music, a book fair, a parade show, entertainers and many different performances.”
Fiesta Day celebrates the Cuban, African-Cuban, Italian, Spanish, Jewish and German immigrants who came to Ybor City to work in the factories, create businesses and start their new lives.
Not only do Ybor City’s converted cigar factories now serve as a marketplace of shopping, dining and entertainment, they also define the history and growth of Tampa.
“We expect to attract as many as 10,000 attendees of family and people of all ages,” said Hargreaves.
The Fiesta Day street festival is sponsored by many companies such as HCC Ybor Campus, TECO Energy, GTE Financial, Creative Loafing, Bainbridge Ybor City, La Segunda Central Bakery and BB&T.
Ybor City looks forward to bringing even more of the diverse culture and history to the Fiesta Day in the years to come.
For more information about the Fiesta Day, you can visit their Facebook page at or for more information about upcoming events in Ybor City, you can visit their website.
In this news brief: A woman is killed in Zephyrhills this morning after she threatens a man with a gun. A crane collapses at the construction site of the new St. Pete police station. Civil rights groups are calling for body cameras for St. Pete police officers. Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the Tampa Police department are launching a new special needs registry.
Anchor: Nada Blassy
Camera Operators: Jacob Swisher
Floor Director: Jacob Swisher
Graphics: Maria Laura Lugo
Technical Director: Adam Zubek
Audio: Tatyana Bazard
Prompter: Amy Cisnersos
Director: Kimmy Traub
Producer: Emily McCain
Web Content: Jessica Lang
Faculty Advisor: Cathy Gugerty
Graduate Assistant: Kelsey Baker
Teaching Assistant: Dakota Galvin
Pasco County hosted its 71st annual fair in Dade City this past weekend.
The Pasco County Fair began its development in 1947, opening for the first time in 1948. The five businessmen, who created the fair came together to buy the fairgrounds. They wanted to showcase youthful talent.
“The five men created the Pasco County Fair Association,” said Annual Fair Chairman Tracy J. Thompson. “The association is not owned by the county. It is privately owned by the association, which people get confused about.”
There are five buildings on the fairgrounds dedicated to the original members.
To keep the fair running, there are hundreds of unpaid volunteers that work together. The board itself has 30 members who volunteer their time to help run the countywide event.
“It takes a village to put on the fair for seven days,” said Thompson.
Children can enjoy events such as plant showings and sales, a hog show, a steer show, art exhibits, entertainment, food, and rides from the midway.
This year’s entertainment included shows such as The Fearless Flores Thrill Show, Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Extreme Illusions & Escapes. As for food, you could find funnel cakes, french fries, candy apples, pizza and boiled peanuts.
“For the past 12 to 14 years, we’ve had the PRCA Rodeo,” said Thompson. “This year we’re having what’s called the Ranch Rodeo, which will be ran a little differently.”
The Ranch Rodeo will consist of a group of men that will exhibit the different competitions that make up a regular rodeo.
The fair lasts for seven days and begins its first day on Presidents Day. Since the intention is to bring the youth together, the fair accommodates its opening times for children in the area. The fair opens at 4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
This year brought sponsors such as Covanta Energy, Kim Browne Dade City, Jarrett Ford Dade City, TECO and Pepsi.
“The biggest thing that I want people to take away from the fair is that it’s put on by a volunteer organization,” said Thompson. “It is not related to or run by the county.”
The fairgrounds hosts other events such as Sparklebration, weddings, parties and gun shows. These events assist with the upkeep of the grounds.
Interested in volunteering? Want to discover what other events the Pasco County Fairgrounds offers? Visit their website at www.pascocountyfair.com.
In this news brief: 16 men are accused of attempting to travel to have sex with minors; There’s a new non stop flight between Florida’s beaches and Music City; Whole Foods is moving their store less than a mile down the road; author of the new book Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning
Roasting has been around for decades. But, the excitement-inducing rap-battle/Friars Club Roast hybrid is only a young, alternative addition to the comedy world. It is believed to be a product of the Los Angeles comedy scene but has spread across the country like wildfire.
Which is an interesting coincidence because some of the things the comedians say to each other are like searing balls of fire spewing from their mouths. But, oh how it is entertaining.
There are other battles in places like New York and other big cities, and the interest is growing among comedians and audience members.
Roasts are a big part of comedy history.
Formal roasts with then Roastmaster Dean Martin would be a glamorous event including a dais of men and women comedians. Each of them would approach the podium and deliver the meanest yet funniest jokes that their minds could conceive. It became a way to honor a comedian or person of interest. Some of the biggest names in comedy and pop culture have been roasted, like Don Rickles, Bob Hope, and even President Donald Trump had his life held to the flames.
Comedy Central started doing their own roasts years ago and have continued to do them, which has made them a big part of pop culture.
Everyone secretly wants to be a little mean.
It is human nature to get angry, sometimes. It is just a common emotion that human beings have to deal with on a regular basis.
But our society has created laws, manners and a social decorum that most try to live by. Although, on occasion, people don’t care about those things.
It is evident through the constant evolution of crime and war over human history, that anger isn’t going anywhere.
Maybe that is the reason Ann Coulter said yes to the Rob Lowe Roast when she knew she would be targeted.
Roasts are great with friends.
The show is perfect for a group of friends that loves messing with one another’s self-esteem Although, it may not be the best place for a date. If a girl sees a guy laughing at an extremely dark or mean joke, it could affect him negatively. But then again, it could bring someone closer.
It is the best entertainment when drinking.
If a person gets mean when they’re drunk, maybe instead, one should attend and even participate in a roast battle. They help focus one’s anger on a productive outlet. Even if you are a happy drunk, it is a cathartic time for most.
Streets along the Tampa Bay waterfront flood with a mixture of tropical colors. Hues of greens, blues and yellows pop against the cloudless sky on Beach Drive.
Skyscraping condos and small businesses share the small spaces between the land and the bay. The streets are littered with cars and small motorized bikes. The sun shines on shoppers eagerly entering and leaving the intricately decorated stores while strolling the sidewalks during the bright and humid afternoons.
Nestled directly in the middle of all the bustle and excitement is a taste of France.
Cassis Bakery is part of what used to be called Cassis American Brasserie. Its new name is Cassis St. Pete to avoid confusion and connect with the local culture. Cassis Bakery’s pastry chef, Katherine Williams, says the French-style restaurant is very convenient.
“Brasserie is sort of a thing in France that caters to all different times of the day,” said Williams. “Whether you want to get a cup of coffee, come in and get breakfast, or if you want to come in and have a nice dinner and a glass of wine, a brasserie caters to all that.”
Williams became the pastry chef at Cassis after her boss stepped down in January 2017. She graduated from USF with a degree in English but decided to pursue pastry at the Art Institute of Tampa after falling in love with her college hobby.
Starting at Cassis right after graduating, she now manages the entire bakery. Her responsibilities include scheduling, ordering inventory and recipe testing.
“I like to make sure we have seasonal stuff that’s fresh, Florida flavors, which we didn’t have much of before,” said Williams. “But also keeping a balance of French traditional style.”
The Cassis Bakery is a completely separate business from their savory counterpart, which is a French-American style restaurant that is one swinging door away from the quaint French bakery.
Running the kitchen is Chef Jeremy Duclut. He offers French fare such as French onion soup, braised escargot and a croque monsieur. Duclut also offers Bahn Mi sliders, fried chicken and a roasted cauliflower head. It is a menu that seems to appeal to every palette.
Not only is Cassis a region in France, it is also a food ingredient known as black currant. It carries the same flavor as a dark grape or sour blueberry. Both the bakery and restaurant carry on the Cassis namesake by including the flavor into their recipes.
Williams said that Cassis’ recent brand modernization shows that the restaurant and bakery dedicate themselves to bringing fresh flavors to the locals. At the same time, the brasserie is still dedicated to its French culinary traditions with a light American twist.
Both the bakery and the restaurant plan to remain a St. Pete staple and will continue to serve the community. Not only does Cassis love their patrons, it also loves their fellow businesses. The bakery tries to collaborate whenever possible.
Runners and spectators alike were treated to a unique musical marathon Sunday morning at the 4th annual Sarasota Music Half Marathon.
The event, which features both 10K and half marathon events through the city of Sarasota, does things a little differently. The race includes live performances from local musical acts scattered throughout the course. The result is a high energy event, drawing adept running and fresh challengers from local areas and abroad to experience the sights and sounds of Sarasota.
The course began at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, leading runners through local areas such as St. Armands Circle, along the Sarasota Bayfront and over the Ringling Bridge. Along the course, 18 bands ranging in genre from rock and soul to reggae and marching bands played for four hours, offering encouragement and ambiance to runners—and a free show for spectators.
Beginning at 6:30 a.m., runners had four hours to finish the 13.1 mile half marathon course and return back to the Van Wezel. The runners were greeted with an event medal and invited to a festival-style after party, complete with a buffet, beer garden and yet another musical act.
The event, sponsored by Metro Diner, began in 2015 and adds musical acts as a unique twist on the common marathon. This year over 1,700 runners completed the half marathon route.
Attendance was high on the streets as well, despite the early start, as spectators cheered, waved signs and enjoyed the musical stylings being offered right in their own proverbial front yards.
Registration for the 2019 Sarasota Music Half Marathon has already begun and can be found at www.sarasotahalf.com.
TAMPA — Central Avenue was once the center of black life in Tampa. Now historians want to share its rich history and preserve its spirit for generations to come.
Built by emancipated slaves and freemen, Central Avenue was the heart of The Scrub, the first African-American neighborhood in Tampa.
With as many as 200 black-owned businesses on and around it, Central Avenue thrived for years.
This changed in 1967 with the death of 19-year-old Martin Chambers who was suspected of burglary and killed by police. His death sparked riots that lasted three days and ultimately destroyed Central Avenue.
Fred Hearns, noted historian and Tampa local, leads tours that highlight the cultural significance and history of the area.
Hearns works in partnership with the Tampa Bay History Center to host these tours on the last Saturday of every month, aside from some summer months.
The tour explores Central Avenue as it is today. It begins at the Robert Saunders Public Library on North Nebraska Avenue. The library is named after Saunders, who led the Tampa Chapter of the NAACP for many years.
There is a stone wall outside the library with paintings preserved from the building’s past. You can explore the inside of the library, which archives and displays much of the history of Central Avenue. Guests can also appreciate the $7 million renovation the library received in 2015.
The library also features a Hall of History with interactive displays that bring you into Tampa’s past. They showcase the history of black athletes, churches, small artifacts and more. It also has a library dedicated to African-American genealogy and history.
The tour then moves outside the library to Perry Harvey Sr. Park. Larger than life statues and history carved into the sidewalk, the park tells Central Avenue’s story. The displays are thanks to a $6.3 million renovation that took place in 2016.
The park features sections of optical tiles that change as you walk by them. There is also a walkway known as Leader Row. Stained concrete and cut aluminum showcase notable leaders from Central Avenue.
Nancy Dalence, Curator of Education at the Tampa Bay History Center, has worked closely with Hearns since the tours began in fall 2016. She says Hearns is one of the best black history historians in the area who brings his own accounts to the tour.
“Everybody [who] has been on the tour has just been amazed at how much history they didn’t know,” Dalence said.
“[There’s] just so many connections to great stories and it’s a really important part of our history. People just didn’t know it was here, and thanks to Fred, now they do.”
In this News Brief: We honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr; Tampa police investigate two unrelated homicides; A horse dies after a crash involving two semi-tractor trailers; Free fishing this weekend.