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Ellery Butler

During an event billed as a “Call to Assemble,” about 100 people gathered at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum to voice their opposition to a January 22nd decision by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority to sell the property.

That decision brought condemnation from throughout the historic neighborhood and from city leaders who support the current location.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Airport Karma

Feb 2, 2015
Storycorps

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, married couple Victoria Hewitt and Donald Harvey tell the story of karma and one amazing flying experience.  While pregnant, Hewitt and her husband encountered a not-so-good traveler aboard their flight…which ended on a high note.

Music:

“From a Window Seat” by Dawes from the album, Stories Don’t End.

This week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay was produced by Yoselis Ramos.

Quincy Walters

Paul Workman worries that this old war bird’s time may be running out.

As mechanic and flight engineer for the B-17 Flying Fortress, he knows what it means when the fuselage of the World War II bomber creaks and whines as it taxis the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport's runway.

“We honestly don’t know how long we’re going to be able to do this—given the cost, given the changing the regulations,” he said during a recent visit.

Designed by Boeing for the U.S. Army, the B-17 was the flagship bomber of WWII in the European theater. 

Gasparilla 2015: Street Closures, Schedule, Maps

Jan 29, 2015
Lottie Watts / WUSF 89.7

M. S. Butler

It still stands as the U.S. Coast Guard's worst peacetime disaster. And 35 years later survivors, family members and supporters still gather near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge each year to remember the sinking of the Blackthorn.

On Wednesday morning, a memorial service was held to remember the 23 crew members who lost their lives when the Blackthorn sank near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The ship sank when it collided with a tanker, the Capricorn.

Josh Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books for NPR's All Things Considered since the 1980s. He's giving a talk this week at All Saints' Academy in Winter Haven, where he'll also be teaching student workshops.

He sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham to talk about his favorite books now, and what advice he'd give to book clubs.

The books he suggested:

"Honeydew" by Edith Pearlman

"Twelve Days" by Alex Berenson

"The Other Joseph" by Skip Horack

"The Architect's Apprentice" by Elif Shafak

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Adventures in Writing

Jan 26, 2015
StoryCorps

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Robinson Sterling talks with her friend, Theresa Rush Richardson about her memoir. Sterling has lived in various places around the world including Mexico and Israel. She’s had many adventures in life, but writing her own memoir has been its own kind of venture.

Getting her memoir published and getting a degree were the last couple of items on Sterling’s bucketlist. Sterling completed her Master’s degree in social work at the age of 60. She's still waiting to get published.

Music:

St Petersburg's only African-American history museum may be getting the boot. On Thursday, the St. Petersburg Housing Authority voted 4-3 to sell its property where the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum currently sits.

City Councilman Karl Nurse said city attorneys will determine if  the housing authority has the ultimate say in what happens to the property. The museum has been on that site for 14 years as part of the Jordan Park housing project.

Tampa Bay Times Food Critic Laura Reiley has been dining out a lot in the past couple of weeks. So now she's living on coffee after consuming "thousands of extra calories" in pursuit of the best restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. 

The result is her list of the Top 50

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Franklin Street, just north of downtown Tampa, was the heart of the downtown shopping district before the flight to the suburbs in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. It's an often overlooked artery, but a group of residents who are interested in revitalizing the area are imagining what it could become.

Ava's Facebook page

Tampa Bay Times Food Critic Laura Reiley has been dining out a lot in the past couple of weeks. So now she's living on coffee after consuming "thousands of extra calories" in pursuit of the best restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. 

The result is her list of the Top 50

A controversial pastor, who appears on a widely-distributed al-Qaida hit list, has opened up a shop in a Bradenton mall.

His business raises questions over safety and free speech.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Making Tough Decisions

Jan 19, 2015
StoryCorps

Pat Spencer grew up in Montgomery, Alabama before settling in Tampa. She has been an active member of the NAACP since she was seven years old and has always been a volunteer for various organizations. 

 

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Spencer talks about her time volunteering in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s office in Montgomery. During the time Arthurine Lucy became the first African-American to desegregate the University of Alabama, Dr. King requested Spencer enroll too.

Music:

Deb Margolin's play "Imagining Madoff" digs into the deep issues that live in the edges of our lives.  Do I really know this person, can I trust them? 

Her play examines the relationship between a Torah scholar, here named Sol Galkin, but the character is based on famed author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, and an imaginary Bernie Madoff, based on the infamous financial scammer who cheated thousands out of their life savings. 

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: A Love Between Cat, Prince

Jan 12, 2015
StoryCorps

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Mary and Lewis Key recall the first time they met at a Halloween Party. Mary dressed up as a cat while Lewis was in a Phantom of the Opera costume and he became her prince. The magic happened over a conversation about baseball. 

To cement their relationship, Mary and Lewis Key have a tradition of celebrating their love and marriage like many couples do on Valentine’s Day, but they don’t just celebrate in the month of February; they celebrate on the 14th of every month.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay is produced by Yoselis Ramos.

'Cowboy' Wedding a Long Time Coming

Jan 11, 2015
Tom Urban / News Service of Florida

Wearing cowboy boots and bolo ties, Steve Schlairat and Ozzie Russ exchanged wedding vows as they stood beside two saddles perched atop bales of hay on a chilly Saturday afternoon with friends and family looking on.

The longtime duo are among hundreds of gay and lesbian couples who received marriage licenses or were married this week after a federal judge's decision striking down Florida's gay-marriage ban took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Wikimedia Commons

With same-sex marriage now the law in Florida, a lot of new husbands and wives will be able to join their spouse's state of Florida insurance plan.

Marriage qualifies as a life-changing event under the state's plan, so enrollees won't have to wait for the open enrollment period to add their spouses. But the window to do so is from now to March 6.

That's only about 60 days.

Mark Pudlow is a spokesman for The Florida Education Association. The union represents 140,000 Florida teachers.

 In the '60s, '70s and '80s, waves of Cuban immigrants crossed the Florida Straits, seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. Soon they were starting their own businesses and winning political office, infusing Cuban culture into the DNA of a South Florida city.

The city was Key West. And this was the 1860s, '70s and '80s.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

Tuesday marked the first day in Florida history that same sex couples were able to legally marry. To mark the occasion, Hillsborough County Clerk Pat Frank held a group wedding at a park across the street from the courthouse. Some of the couples had waited decades for this.

The church bells rang out near the Joe Chillura courthouse square. The sun was shining and at noon Pat Frank took the podium in front of 20 or 30 same sex couples - plus a throng of reporters and well-wishers.

At 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, the two men who won the first ruling overturning Florida's ban on gay marriage became the first gay couple to get married in Monroe County.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones exchanged vows in front of 500 people — including close friends, attorneys, total strangers, TV crews and a few tourists.

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