Culture

Culture
9:07 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

'Alt For Norge' (Norway) Reality Star Retraces His Roots

Norris Comer on his sailboat in St. Petersburg
Credit Facebook

The largely American phenomenon of “Reality TV," where people undergo outrageous challenges and tests of endurance has now taken hold... in Norway:

“When Henrietta came into the room, it was like, eewwww, because we were in this gross, smelly room, and I was half naked and there was stuff written all over me," says St. Petersburg resident Norris Comer, in part of his appearance as a contestant on Season 5 of a competition called "Alt For Norge" (All For Norway.)

Henrietta's reply? "It smells bad in here.”

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Culture
5:01 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Florida Officials Announce Appeal To Judge's Gay Marriage Ruling

A court ruling against Florida's gay marriage ban was stalled in anticipation of appeals.

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 3:02 pm

Florida officials have announced plans to file an appeal to a federal judge’s ruling finding Florida’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Department of Health head John Armstrong, Secretary of Management Services Craig Nichols, and Washington County Clerk of Court Harold Bazzell made the appeal through Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office Thursday.

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Culture
8:43 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

A South Florida Temple -- And A Family -- Reel From ISIS' Killing Of Steven Sotloff

Freelance journalist Steven Sotloff is seen during a work trip inside Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain, on Oct. 26, 2010. The Islamic State group released a video this week that showed a militant beheading the American journalist.

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:21 am

President Obama took time Wednesday to remember Steven Sotloff, the American journalist and South Florida native recently murdered by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

During his visit to Estonia, Obama called Sotloff a “devoted and courageous” Middle East correspondent.

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Culture
3:15 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Joan Rivers doesn't hold anything back.

Over the course of her 50-year career, Rivers has made fun of her bankruptcy, her many facelifts, her husband's suicide and the sacrifices she made over the years as a female standup performer.

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Culture
7:01 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Tampa: A 'Wet' Place in Prohibition Era

Schematic illustration of a still, 1873, schematic illustration, courtesy Abrigani/Shutterstock.
Tampa Bay History Center

Al Capone and other gangsters of the Roaring Twenties would not have been as notorious if it weren't for them making a buck off of America's drinking problem. The Prohibition era was the first time a Constitutional amendment limited freedoms, even if it was the freedom to drink a cold one.

The new exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center is taking a look back at the 18th Amendment and the role Tampa played as one of the "wettest" areas of the country.

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Culture
5:08 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Buccaneers Have a New Season Spirit

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to let go of their losing ways with new uniforms, a new general manager and most importantly, a new head coach. Today the team president, Bryan Glazer, talked up Lovie Smith at a Chamber of Commerce event.

Bryan Glazer told fans that when he was looking for a new head coach it was very short list, in fact, it was only one. He said Lovie Smith is a winner, and they're excited for this upcoming season.

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Culture
9:10 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Women are more likely to take time off to care for a sick child or elderly adult, making mandatory paid sick leave a hot partisan topic.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

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Culture
8:30 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Comedy to Break Down Myths About Muslims

Comedian Negen Farsad is scheduled to appear at USF Thursday as part of the Building Bridges Project.
Credit Courtesy of Negin Farsad

A female Muslim comic is the opening act followed by a humorous documentary titled “The Muslims Are Coming” this week at the University of South Florida Tampa campus.

Are you smiling yet?

The dual events kick-off the two-year grant project, Building Bridges, that has the goal of using art to span the gap between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

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The Two-Way
10:39 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

One Woman's 'Pay It Forward' Moment Inspires 11 Hours Of Kindness

Vu Nguyen tells Amanda Gedeon and Beth Brehmer that the previous drive-through customer paid for their drinks at the Starbucks on Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. 
Credit Weston Phippen / Tampa Bay Times

At a drive-through Starbucks in St. Petersburg, Fla., a chain of generosity included hundreds of customers. Each customer in the chain chose to "pay it forward," paying for the drink of the customer behind her.

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11:34 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Clearwater is One of The Most Honest Cities in U.S.

Lead in text: 
Clearwater was one of the most honest among top-ranked cities in the U.S., earning an honesty rating of 97 percent, tied with six other cities including Detroit, Louisville, Ky. and Santa Monica, Calif.
People in the U.S. are getting more and more honest, according to a report by USA Today, and Clearwater was found to be one of the most honest cities in the country.
Culture
10:14 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Q&A With Author Of "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good"

Kathleen Flinn's new book

Author Kathleen Flinn comes by her love of cooking the natural way. Her mom, dad, grandmother and grandfather all cooked. Flinn grew up on a farm in Michigan, where her mother baked bread, canned vegetables, made jam and more. 

The family went fishing (on and off ice),  hunting, camping and her folks even joined the local German-American club, even though they weren't German.  

Flinn is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less you Cry. And her latest book, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, is chock-full of family recipes, including some of the sweets her mom used to bribe the local radio station DJ, so he would play her dad's favorite song at a certain time each day. 

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Culture
12:27 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

First Black USF Faculty Member's Story in Library of Congress

Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at USF.
The HistoryMakers

Poet Maya Angelou, actress Ruby Dee and even President Barack Obama have something in common. They've all participated in The History Makers project--the country's largest African American collection of video interviews capturing the struggles and achievements of the black experience.Those 2,600 HistoryMakers videos have a new home--the Library of Congress.

It was 1985 when Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at the University of South Florida at the School of Library Science.  

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Culture
12:18 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Robin Williams Remembered At The South Beach Hotel From 'The Birdcage'

A portrait of Robin Williams at The Carlyle hotel in Miami Beach.
Julia Duba WLRN

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died this week.

Williams had many iconic roles, and he filmed one of his great performances right here in South Florida.

"The Birdcage" is set in The Carlyle hotel on South Beach. 

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Culture
8:25 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Emergency Director Recalls Hurricane Charley

An ariel photograph from FEMA showing the destruction of homes in Charlotte County.
FEMA

Many in the Tampa Bay area braced for what they thought would be a direct hit from Hurricane Charley ten years ago. But, the category 4 storm took a right turn and made a direct hit on Punta Gorda, Friday, August 13, 2004 at about 4:45 p.m. at least that’s when the town clock stopped according to Wayne Sallade, director of emergency operations for Charlotte County.

Back then, Sallade had 17 years of experience on the job, but nothing can really prepare one for the kind of destruction that Charley wrought.

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Culture
6:24 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Hurricane Charley Forges TEAM Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda Councilwoman Nancy Prafke is the former CEO of TEAM Punta Gorda.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

In a matter of hours August 13th, 2004, Hurricane Charley demolished historic downtown Punta Gorda. Quaint brick shops collapsed. Glass office buildings were blown out. Thousands of mobile homes disintegrated pounded by the 150 mph winds.

The next day, Wally Satar used a tow truck to pull apart twisted steel, engine blocks and welding tanks at his brother’s Mystic Gas Station. He was trying to salvage tools and anything that didn’t blow away.

The only thing left standing  was one wall and a white car perched atop the hydraulic lift.

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