Archive for May, 2011

Former federal drug inmate recalls the life she saved, and the judge who showed her compassion, in her remarkable story.

MOBILE, ALABAMA — For a while, Dorothy Gaines had a title: inmate. “Back in 1995, I was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison,” she said. “I was convicted in 1994 of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.” Then her title changed again, and she became known as something else: hero. “They never thought [...]

High IQ group celebrates in Tampa, with the apocalypse still to come.

TAMPA — Trivia question: what does car racing, radical physics, puzzles and Oak Ridge, Tennessee have in common? One word: Mensa. What do zombies, the apocalypse and golf have in common? Once again, the answer is Mensa. Mensa is, of course, the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world, for people who score at [...]

From rolled cigars to hand-rolled meatballs, Ybor City Italian restaurant combines history with hearty meals.

YBOR CITY — Consider this: the building that houses the Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City used to be a cigar making factory — and every first Monday of the month, this very good Italian restaurant hosts an Elvis Fun gathering. Stogies, spaghetti, and Elvis … I suspect there’s a really good punch line in there [...]

Freelining with Mike Freeman: The awkward, edgy silence in the midst of an uncomfortable subject.

It started with a warm, affectionate hug, the embrace of a friend I hadn’t seen in many long months. We both lit up after bumping into one another. You know the moment — you start by saying how good it is to catch up, then you eagerly want to know what you’ve missed since the [...]

In Ybor City, home of the U.S. cigar, a unique program to help soldiers serving overseas.

YBOR CITY – Alfred Moreno remembers in the 1970s, while serving in the Navy, how grateful he was when some casino owners decided to help out his shipmates with a small, but very welcome, donation. “I’m a retired Navy submariner, so I know how that feels,” Moreno said. “I was stationed in California and we [...]

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