September 25, 2003
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Finding Florida:  Back to the Islands



By Mitch Traphagen

SANIBEL ISLAND, FL - The clouds were low and thick on the darkening horizon. I was sure that I was going to miss seeing the sun melt into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Slowly and imperceptibly, however, the line where the Gulf waters met the sky began to glow golden, the sky and clouds became midnight blue. I laid back on the deserted beach and watched as the deep colors of dusk raced to replace the brilliant sunshine of day. Most definitely, God knows how to put on a light show.

Paradise means something different to everyone. For me, watching this light show, hearing the waves end their long march on a deserted beach, maybe Sanibel Island is paradise.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo
 

Our Town:  New Infant Center Nearing Completion

By Mitch Traphagen

RUSKIN - What can a Catholic Nun know about children? In the case of Sister Maureen Smith of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association, the correct answer would be: a lot.

For Smith, children seem to hold a special place in her heart. For a woman who has dedicated her life helping others, that is saying much - she is, after all, holding a lot in her heart.

With the financial assistance of the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center, the RCMA is remodeling an unused building in an effort to expand the Ruskin Infant Center.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo
 

Our Town:  Dynamic Duo At SCC Chamber

SUN CITY CENTER - New developments in Ruskin, Apollo Beach and Riverview may make the news but Tampa Bay area businesses know where the heart of south county business lies - it is in Sun City Center.

The Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce is the largest of the individual Southshore chambers. The management and board of directors stay busy making sure their chamber is always at the forefront. More

Mitch Traphagen Photo
 

Our Town - Trike-A-Thon for Cancer in Riverview

RIVERVIEW - The Kids Community College of Riverview held a benefit event in which literally everyone benefited. On September 19, they held a "Trike-a-thon" that not only raised money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital but also taught bicycle safety to children just beginning to get the feel of having their own set of wheels.  More

 

Our Town Wimauma:  Deputy Recognized for Excellence

WIMAUMA - The new Wimauma Community Sheriff’s office was filled with deputies, community leaders and even some of the top brass in the sheriff’s office. The group all came together on Sept. 19 to recognize the service of HCSO Deputy Joel Marcano, with Jim DeGrasse of the Wimauma Civic Association presenting a community Award of Excellence.

"Joel’s heart is here in Wimauma," said HCSO Major Jerry York. "He’s a good guy, he’s a good deputy. He epitomizes the sheriff’s office."  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo
 

Prep Football Wrap Up

East Bay QB Brandon Zachary with the Indian's first-ever win over Lakeland.  Below:  Indians head coach Brian Thornton gets an ice water bath as the team celebrates their win.



East Bay and Riverview Results

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Area High School Football Schedules
 

In The Archives:

Finding Florida:  Fire up the motorcycle and join the Observer News for a different type of travel story.  Tourist motels, road kill and a whole lot of heaven awaits.

Part One:  Searching From the Beginning
Part Two:  Heading Home

The Changing Face of South Hillsborough:  The rumors are flying about several big box retailers moving into south county. The facts, however, are few. Yet one in every ten new jobs created in the entire nation came from the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan area. South county communities are joining forces to become a strong player in that prospering market. How will all of the changes effect our communities and area businesses and what can south county shoppers expect from the future?

The three-part series is available on the web:

Part 1 - Welcome to SouthShore
Part 2 - Meet the Neighbors
Part 3 - It's a Bird!  It's a Plane!  It's a Home Depot!

 

  

  

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