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Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Friday, Apr 25, 2014
Expo has Bollywood fashion, flair - for free
Fans line the stage as popular Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor arrives for the opening ceremony of the IIFA Expo on Thursday.
Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor and a horde of screaming fans were at the Tampa Convention Center to mark the start of the International Indian Film Academy Expo.
Currently, the top speed limit in Florida is 70 mph.
TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO
Florida Senate OKs 75 mph speed limits
The case of Dontae Morris is just one under review in the investigation of Detective Eric Houston. FILE PHOTOS
Tampa detective under investigation fired
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo sits in the dugout after being taken out of the game.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rays comeback falls short in 9-7 loss to Twins
Pet Personal Update


Come out Wednesday morning at 10:30 to meet News Channel 8’s Alicia Roberts and adopt Sugar and Spice!!!

Who: “Sugar & Spice”     
Animal ID#‘s 1285805 and 1285804

What: Twin sisters, white with gray tiger striped Domestic Short Haired kitties….just about a year old.

More: These beautiful “B-F-F’s”  were rescued from the roadside by the News Channel 8’s own ALICIA ROBERTS! 
Talk about “playing in traffic!” Talk about devotion!!    The sweet sisters can be adopted together or separately….(make you a heck of a deal?!?)
They’ll be spayed/vaccinated/micro-chipped and licensed.  Plus, they’re eligible for the special “FREE SHOTS FOR LIFE” program.  Stop by and learn more!

Where:  HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES
        -  440 Falkenburg Road, N., Tampa— 813-744-5660
          http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices

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Who is your mentor?


Today, I will be at Sulphur Springs Elementary School to interview Big Brother Big Sister’s “Big of the Year,” Neil Armstrong (not the astronaut, LOL). So who has been your mentor? That one person who has changed your life? And don’t forget to check out Neil’s story Friday morning on News Channel 8 Today!

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Here’s a very special Pet Personal this week…


Here’s a very special Pet Personal this week… Alicia found these two kittens on the side of Bayshore Blvd. This brother and sister pair, named Sugar and Spice, are incredibly sweet and just need a loving home and second chance on life… can you help??!!??

The kittens are currently at Hills. Co. Animals Services… Marti Ryan and her team are getting them ready for adoption… (813) 744-5660

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The Faces of Pediatric Cancer


So many of us wear a mask during difficult times in our lives.  We put on a brave face on the days we are uncertain about the future, a happy face when times are blue, and a calm face when those around us are troubled.  Children with cancer are no exception.  They are strong despite battling a daunting disease, spirited although their bodies feel weak from chemo, and resolute when their families and friends feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.

1 Voice Foundation is raising awareness for the many faces of cancer and all those touched when a child receives news he or she has the disease.  Come out to help raise money for the children and families affect by Pediatric Cancer at this Friday’s Masquerade Ball in Ybor City.  See you there!

1Voice Foundation

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1631766632#!/photo.php?pid=1157967&fbid=1500183117831&id=1631766632

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Selmon Expressway Converts to All-Electronic Tolling this Friday


A new electronic tolling system will be in place beginning this Friday. The Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority has scheduled the conversion of the Selmon Expressway to All-Electronic Tolling for the night of September 17, 2010. At that time, all drivers will not have to slow down or stop at any toll booths or toll plazas.  All drivers will be billed by one of two electronic methods – using a SunPass or We Bill You.

“Converting to all-electronic tolling has been a goal for the Selmon Expressway for a number of years, and since the current equipment is more than 30 years old with no available replacement parts, now is the time make the switch,” said Sue Chrzan, THEA communications manager.

SunPass is accepted on most toll roads in Florida, and a smaller and less expensive SunPass, the Sunpass Mini, was recently introduced. The SunPass Mini is a sticker that may be purchased at Publix, CVS or AAA locations for $4.99. Once the SunPass account is activated with $10, the account will be credited $4.99 - making SunPass technically free.

With “We Bill You,” occasional drivers, or a driver who does not wish to get a SunPass, the Selmon Expressway takes a picture of the vehicle’s license plate and a bill is mailed to the address on the license plate registration.

The Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority sites several benefits to All-Electronic Tolling including:
• Cost savings – drivers who use SunPass will save 25 cents at each tolling point versus those who choose “We Bill You” by video toll collection. All drivers should see some savings by using less gas without stop-and-go traffic around toll booths.
• Convenience – no cash or exact change needed, and no rolling down your window in the rain.
• Time Savings – no waiting in line to pay or slowing down around toll plazas.
• Safety – 58 percent of all accidents occur at toll booths; since there will be no toll booths, accidents are expected to be reduced.

For more information about the AET conversion and SunPass, please visit http://www.SaveOnTolls.com.

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A viewer response I just had to post


Thanks to my fabulous friend James Crane… he posted the funniest “kid traffic report” I have ever heard on my profile page in response to my third grade picture.  So creative… you have to read it.  James, I laughed out loud!

“I can almost hear it now…..Ok , kids be careful coming to school today, down at the corner we had a two bicycle pile-up and books are all over the sidewalk . You may have to cut through Mrs. Jones yard to get to school on time…The school nurse is on the scene..Who ever took Jimmy’s pac-man lunch box from the crash site is going to be in big trouble because, he saw you get it and is going to tell his mom ...”

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Yellow Buses, Orange Construction Cones


As Pasco County kids head back to class today, construction changes could add to the bustle of school buses on one busy corridor.  FDOT officials say the changes could bring delays as drivers adjust to the new traffic patterns:

The US 41 widening project from Tower Rd. to Connerton Rd. began in August 2009, however since school let out for the summer, there have been changes to the traffic phasing.  Traffic is now reduced to two (2) lanes (one in either direction) with the elimination of the southbound (SB) right turn lane at Gator Lane turning into Land O Lakes High School/Pasco County School Board office.  Also the northbound (NB) left turn lane has been reduced (the length of the lane).

The project is designed to widen US 31 from two to four lanes with the option for six in the future.  The $12M project is expected to be complete in the Spring 2011.

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Saying Goodbye and Thanks


It’s true… I will be leaving Channel 8 as of September 30th to pursue some exciting career opportunities(I promise I will reveal all of the details soon!) In the meantime, thank you, Tampa Bay. What a tremendous four years it has been. I am truly humbled by your support and kindness.

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Two Local Cheer Athletes Speak Out


I recently received an email from two cheer athletes from Tampa, Kayla and Taylor, who are upset about a federal judge’s decision indicating competitive cheerleading is not an official sport that colleges can use to meet gender-equity requirements. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38347400/)

I explored this issue with several local cheer athletes last month who are currently in college but don’t receive the same scholarships other athletes earn because of the status of their sport.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1owbOoylfDU)

While Kayla and Taylor are still in elementary school and years away from college scholarships, they are hoping others will begin to recognize their sport in the same way they see cheering.  These cheer athletes say cheering is just as physical, competitive and dangerous as any other sport.  What’s more, the stereotype cheerleaders only cheer “on the sidelines” is simply not accurate.  Their letter struck me, as these elementary students show a strong passion about setting the record straight:

Dear Alicia and News Channel 8,

We ask you to take the time to talk about the topic of cheerleading by reading this letter, we have taken the time to type and print this. Cheerleading is a sport and we have proof! You see we are cheerleaders. To some people, we are just random girls standing there yelling out weird rhymes and cheers on the sidelines, but some of us train hard every day to accomplish our goals-getting flips and trying to twist and flip while flying through the air. We think that everyone should know that cheerleading is a sport, and it IS more dangerous than football- by far! These are the reasons that cheerleading is a sport.

1.You can break any bone, pull any muscle, and get hurt very easilyif your not trained to do the skill!

2.It is the most dangerous sport, not even football can pass it!

3.You can almost die from it(how can parents stand watching us)
From,
Kayla and Taylor

Kayla and Taylor, it is because of athletes like yourselves that one day, hopefully soon, the NCAA and other collegiate organizations will take steps to equalize the opportunities available to ALL athletes.  In the interim, communicating your views in this manner is a positive example of the freedom and responsibility we all have to share our views in collaboration for a better tomorrow.

If Kayla and Taylor’s letter “hit home” for you, I encourage you to post your comments and thoughts on this issue and their proactive expression for change.  Imagine the possibilities if we all took a stand for something we believed in?

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Girls-Only Robotics Camp


What do robots, an obstacle course, and bright pink tee shirts have in common?

They’re all signs that perhaps the stereotype boys are better in math and science is changing. And at the girls-only Summer Robotics Camp at FLATE, short for Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, in Brandon, camp organizers couldn’t be more excited to see the success.

“There is particularly interest in raising the numbers of girls and minorities too non-traditionally represented in the STEM workforce,” says FLATE Director Marilyn Barger.

STEM is short for science, technology and math - three fields statistics show boys typically outperform their girl counterparts.

But research indicates when teachers and parents offer girls more opportunities within these fields, achievement levels increase. And that is just what the camp offers.

Campers dressed in hot pink tee shirts to celebrate the movement toward girls in the science lab, spend one week learning how to program robots to respond to the sound of a clap instead of remote control. The final exam includes navigating the robot through an obstacle course, incorporating distance and 90 degree turns, without knocking down any of the upside-down water bottles which line the perimeter. Teams race to achieve this in the shortest amount of time.

For camp student, 12 year old Souvanna Dickerson, she has seen the change in perception about science among her fellow teammates during the week long program.

She adds, “Some people came here and they didn’t really care about science and they didn’t see what was so great about it but now they got to see how everything worked.”

For these girls, it’s a unique hands on learning opportunity that may just shift the future of science into the hands of a new gender.

Check out my visit to the Girl’s Robotics Camp by following this link: Girl’s Robotics Camp

For more information, log on to http://www.fl-ate.org or http://www.flate-mif.blogspot.com

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Night lane closures and traffic shifts on I-75 at I-275


Several viewers have emailed me for updates… Traffic will be reduced to a single lane and may be routed to a different alignment onto temporary pavement on northbound and southbound I-75 from south of I-275 to State Road 56 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. once again tonight for construction. Expect delays in both directions of I-75.a moment

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Miss Florida 2010


6 inch strappy stilettos and swimsuits that in no way could hold up to strong ocean wave. Law students and piano concertos. The seemingly paradoxical combination is just that to describe 46 of the states most promising young women in town for the 75th annual Miss Florida pageant happening this week in St. Petersburg.

Miss Congeniality has left the building.

And the outgoing Miss Florida, Rachel Todd, is case in point.

From her long red hair, fashion forward dresses, and revolutionary community service ideas, this young lady said in her farewell video Thursday night seen at the preliminary competition at Mahaffey Theater, “The program has allowed me to be me.”

And that is what the organizers of the Miss Florida program, an affiliate of the Miss America Organization, say is what it is all about. Celebrating the women of today while offering them the chance to hone their skills, confidence, and professional experience and networks.

“This year has been the most hectic, busy amazing year of my life,” says Todd.

Since winning the title of Miss Florida last July, Rachel Todd has traveled almost 35,000 miles on behalf of the Miss Florida Organization and her platform, homelessness. She’s excited for this years contestants, who have been busing rehearsing in St. Petersburg for the competition.

“They sacrifice their time because they know the experience can really help them in their lives,” notes Todd.

Miss America is unique because it includes a talent competition and awards more scholarship money to young women than any other program in the world, over $45 million just last year. But what makes it truly special, the entire program is volunteer based. Every person that makes the Miss Florida program possible gives of their time because they believe in the program.

One of those volunteers is Miss Florida 1990, Dana Dalton Judge. Judge now serves as an Executive Board Member and Director of Media Relations for Miss Florida and feels honored to give back to a program that gave her so many opportunities. She also touts the program’s progression from a swimsuit competition in Atlantic City.


“If you know how it started and how many millions of dollars in scholarship money has been given to young women, and promoted their education and careers, its really an unbelievable system,” asserts Judge.

In recent years the Miss America Pageant has struggled with televisions ratings and sponsorships.  Yet earlier this year, pageant officials signed a 3-year contract with ABC to broadcast the pageant. There is also talk of bringing the competition back to New Jersey, after moving it to Las Vegas in 2006.

But those who know the program say the real key to Miss America’s future is to stay true to its mission: providing unparalleled school, community and personal opportunities for each and every contestant.

“The girl who comes to the pageant and doesn’t necessarily win an award may be the one who learns the most because she has never had that type of experience.” adds Judge.

But for that one, Saturday night will be the beginning of a dream come true as she is crowned Miss Florida 2010. She’ll represent our state at the Miss America pageant in January.

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75th Annual Miss Florida Pageant


Tickets are still available for the 75th Annual Miss Florida Pageant. The final night of competition is this Saturday at 7:00pm at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. You can also watch it live on 10 Connects (so there are other networks - LOL?). The winner will compete at Miss America in January!

For more information, click on this link for the Miss Florida website.

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Funeral Arrangement for Officers Curtis and Kocab


As we honor our fallen Tampa police officers, officials are asking drivers to be patient Friday night and Saturday morning as their final ceremonies take place. Both visitations and funerals will take place at the Idlewild Baptist Church on Van ##### and Dale Mabry Highwayi n Lutz.

Preparations begin Friday morning at 10 a.m. The family receives the public from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Saturday morning, the funeral service will include TPD and hundreds of visiting law enforcement officers honor Officers Curtis and Kocab.  Preparations begin at 8:00a.m. with the funeral service scheduled for 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. An outdoor police ceremony will follow.

As a note, there will not be a procession. The graveside services are private and for family only.

 

 

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Who’s With Me?


Feeling inspired this morning after the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) event… if you have ever thought of doing a 1/2 marathon or triathlon, TNT will assist you as you raise funds and train for a specific event. So why not make today the day to make a difference? Thanks to Brooke Bennett, 3-Time… Olympic Gold Medalist, and Josh, an 8 year old Leukemia survivor, for your words of inspiration!

For more information, visit http://www.lls.org

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Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Friday, Apr 25, 2014
Expo has Bollywood fashion, flair - for free
Fans line the stage as popular Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor arrives for the opening ceremony of the IIFA Expo on Thursday.
Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor and a horde of screaming fans were at the Tampa Convention Center to mark the start of the International Indian Film Academy Expo.
Currently, the top speed limit in Florida is 70 mph.
TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO
Florida Senate OKs 75 mph speed limits
The case of Dontae Morris is just one under review in the investigation of Detective Eric Houston. FILE PHOTOS
Tampa detective under investigation fired
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo sits in the dugout after being taken out of the game.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rays comeback falls short in 9-7 loss to Twins

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