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CCC/New Deal-Era Group Reunites in Sebring

Nov 7, 2014
Carla Kappmeyer-Sherwin

Highlands Hammock State Park is the oldest park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program that helped boys survive the Great Depression by working in national parks, state parks and national forests.

This Saturday (11/8), the Florida Orchestra dives into the Blue Ocean Film Festival. It will play Grant McLachlan's score for the movie "Ocean Voyagers" while the film is playing at the Mahaffey Theater.

"Ocean Voyagers" tells the tale of a mighty big mama, 40 tons of humpback whale and her baby boy. The story is narrated by Meryl Streep and was created by Feo Pitcairn. 

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

BLUE Ocean Film Festival Comes to St. Petersburg

Nov 2, 2014
http://www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org/

The Blue Ocean film festival is taking place this week in St. Petersburg, running through the weekend. It celebrates the best films about the ocean in 2014.

The festival features 160 finalists, movies such as Gisela Kaufman’s “Shark Girl”, Angela Sun’s “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”and John Bowermaster’s “Wild Antarctica 3D." Academy Award winner James Cameron will have a special screening of his film, “James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge 3D."

A Tour of the Haunted Cuban Club

Oct 30, 2014
USF Special Collections

Back in the early 20th Century, members of Ybor City's Cuban Club paid dues and had access to a medical clinic, a pharmacy, a theater, bowling lanes, a gym and a pool- all in the same building. It was the hangout. 

But today, this same building is said to be the hangout- for spirits. So much so that the Cuban Club has been rated as one of the top ten most haunted buildings in the nation by the Travel Channel.  

Celebrating the Life of Buck O'Neil as Sarasota's Newtown Turns 100

Oct 30, 2014
Associated Press archive / Charlie Riede

Buck O'Neil rose from humble beginnings in Sarasota's Newtown neighborhood to become the first black coach in the major leagues. He was able to tell stories spanning almost the whole history of baseball, from Babe Ruth to the Negro Leagues, to Bo Jackson.  As Newtown celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Ian Cummings of The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports he was the most famous public figure to ever come from their neighborhood.

Joe Maddon Set to Become Cubs Manager, Sources Say

Oct 29, 2014

The Chicago Cubs deny that a deal is done, but people familiar with the dealings say that it is certain to be completed in coming days, and that Joe Maddon would indeed be the next Cubs manager. The contract, once finalized, is expected to make Maddon one of the highest-paid managers in baseball and quite likely the best-paid in the National League. Mike Scioscia's Angels deal pays him $5 million annually, so he sets the standard.

Joe Maddon's Leaving the Tampa Bay Rays

Oct 24, 2014
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After nine seasons, 754 wins, 4 playoff appearances and an American League Championship in 2008, Joe Maddon is no longer the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon was the guiding force behind the Tampa Bay Rays' drive from perennial cellar-dwellers in the American League East to the World Series in 2008. 

Susan GIles Wantuck

The only thing Pavel Steidl wanted when he was growing up was a horse. His love of movies featuring cowboys and Indians sent him off in to the woods to play. That was where his older brother, who played the banjo, put a guitar in his hand and told him to accompany him.

Google chose Sarasota as the Sunshine state’s leading E-city this year.

Based on research conducted by Google and a research firm, small businesses in Sarasota are more likely to have an online presence than other cities in Florida.

MarcoBorggreve

This weekend, concert goers can get better acquainted with the new Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis. This will be the first time he'll conduct the orchestra since he was named its music director this past June.

Courtesy of RIAF

What started out as a radio play has morphed into something much bigger. Now The Intergalactic Nemesis is coming to Sarasota's Ringling International Arts Festival Thursday. And it's bringing the sludge monsters from the planet Zygon to invade the 1930's.  

You could say performing is in Anita Hollander's blood.  After all, she's been singing, dancing and acting since she was 8.  When she was 26, she lost her leg to cancer, but she kept on going.  

"I went on with my career just normally as a performer who just happened to have an artificial leg,"Hollander said. "And somehow I got introduced to a whole world of other performers who have disabilities and they sort of pushed me ahead." She's now National Co-Chair of Performers with Disabilities for SAG-AFTRA.   And in that capacity, works to promote more "presence of performers with disabilities in all media, including stage, television, film."  

And Tuesday night at 7, Hollander brings her show, "Still Standing: A Musical Survival Guide for Life's Catastrophes" to USF's Oval Theater in Tampa, presented by VSA Florida and USF AccessiBull.  

81 Year Old Begins Walking Trek To Tallahassee

Oct 13, 2014
https://www.facebook.com/rhana.bazzini

An 81-year-old woman from Sarasota is walking from Siesta Key to Tallahassee to promote campaign reform.

After losing her husband of 56 years, Rhana Bazzini decided she had to do something. That would be for the 5-foot-3-inch, 94-pound woman to walk from Siesta Key to Tallahassee. She wants the idea to promote that corporations shouldn't be able to control political campaigns by pouring unlimited money into them.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri that were sparked by the police shooting of a black man have led many communities to reassess how their police departments interact with the community. A forum held Thursday night at the University of South Florida Tampa campus talked about just that.

gaaaaabrielle.blogspot.com

A federal judge is being asked to allow same sex couples to marry in Florida in the wake of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a motion Tuesday with U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. Hinkle previously ruled Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling until other cases around the country were resolved.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided this week to turn away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions.

Lamb Manor Estate Opens to the Public

Oct 3, 2014
New Life Village

The owners of the Lamb Manor Estate- a national historic landmark, are opening the doors of the mansion to the public on Sunday. 

The Lamb Manor mansion was built in 1910. The current owners, George and Nancy Corbett restored the home and moved the 220-ton house up the bay. Some drivers on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge got to see it float in the bay when it was moved from Palmetto to Ruskin in 2006.

A record number of homeless students are attending Florida schools according to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education. Almost 70,000 kids in the state were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year, a 10 percent increase compared to the national average of 8 percent.

However, most of those kids are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which acts as a clearinghouse for many social services available to the homeless.

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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.”

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.

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.

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.

Tampa: A 'Wet' Place in Prohibition Era

Sep 4, 2014
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.

Buccaneers Have a New Season Spirit

Sep 2, 2014

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.

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Sep 2, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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

Aug 21, 2014

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.

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. 

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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