Local club celebrates Italian heritage

Members of the Italian-American Social Club of Tampa Bay meet monthly in Lutz with the goal of preserving their heritage for future generations. The nonprofit club also provides a social atmosphere that’s conducive to meeting new friends. And, it supports local charities. “We’ll talk about events we’ll want to do – our future plans, but mostly it’s the camaraderie of the folks,” said … [Read more...]

Bus express service links Wesley Chapel and Tampa

A new express bus service running from Wesley Chapel to downtown Tampa could potentially carry about 200,000 passengers annually, according to calculations by officials at the Hillsborough Area Transit Authority, also known as HART. The 275LX bus route, which launched July 1, was among the topics discussed at the monthly economic development briefing luncheon sponsored by the North Tampa Bay … [Read more...]

Baldomero Lopez was more than a local hero

When motorists drive past the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes, chances are they won’t know much about the history of the man for whom the facility is named. That’s where Bill Dotterer comes in. He’s a volunteer with the Tampa Bay History Center and he shared the story of 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez’s life and his heroic actions during a talk earlier this year at … [Read more...]

Rays 2020 pitches a new ballpark for Ybor

Though recent on-field performances may suggest otherwise, the Tampa Bay Rays’ long-term future in the region should generate excitement to the community and fans alike. At least that was the pitch from Jason Woody to a room filled with business leaders and elected officials at the North Tampa Bay Chamber’s breakfast meeting earlier this month, at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus in … [Read more...]

Ybor City Saturday Market offers crafts, food and fun

Variety adds spice to the Ybor City Saturday Market. Every Saturday, vendors fill their tables with goodies to eat and crafts to carry home. Some — like Dave DeAngelis — show how they make the items they sell. He turns pine needles into decorative baskets. “In 40 years, I’ve never made the same thing twice,” said DeAngelis, who has been coming to the Ybor market since it opened nearly … [Read more...]

Honoring my stepmother, Bettye

My stepmother, Bettye, is a remarkable woman. She was married to my father, Don Kortus, for over 36 years, until his death a little more than a year ago. While I miss Dad every day, I would miss him even more if we didn’t still have Bettye. I just spent a week with Bettye over the Easter holidays— the first time she visited me without my father. To be honest, I was a bit … [Read more...]

Heroes for Hire playing the right tunes

Being a boy band with a first release on iTunes is heady stuff. But, Heroes for Hire is getting used to the attention, playing their brand of edgy, alternative rock at venues such as Skipper’s Smokehouse, New World Brewery and Buckets. Louis Mittens, 15; Ben Hense, 13; Ryan Romero, 15; Corey Fox, 15; and, Josh Morin, 14, came together as a band at Jim Chambers Music Box. Chambers is … [Read more...]

St. Armands Circle: A day tripper’s delight

A visit to Sarasota isn’t complete without a stroll around trendy St. Armands Circle. Go round and round on a journey through St. Armands’ boutiques, restaurants and galleries, doled out to sidewalk strollers with all the casual charm and kitschy pleasures of Old Florida. But, with a fashion-forward zest for life. It’s also the right spot to soak up fun ’n the sun at Lido Beach, only a … [Read more...]

Commuters could get a faster ride

Pasco County commuters understand the frustration of gridlock, as they head to and from work every day. Florida Department of Transportation officials believe the proposed construction of a project known as the Tampa Bay Express could make life easier for motorists traveling from St. Petersburg in Pinellas County to Wesley Chapel in Pasco County. Nearly 50 miles of new toll lanes would be … [Read more...]

Local man makes unique jewelry

For Dan Balk, creating jewelry for a living wasn’t his original path in life. But, he’s glad it’s turned out that way. Balk, who operates a jewelry studio from his home in Lutz, has been making jewelry since 2008—around the time the United States’ recession was in full swing. With a background in athletic training and physical therapy, the New Jersey native spent 13 years working as an … [Read more...]