December 4, 2003
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Off To See The Dragon

By Mitch Traphagen

ROBBINSVILLE, NC - Itís early November and Iím on a desolate rural highway headed north into a misty gray horizon. The last northbound motorcycle I saw was at a freeway rest area in south Georgia. He was only going as for north as Macon. "You donít want to go into the mountains," he said as I started up my bike to return to the highway.

I was headed for the mountains.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Thanksgiving Theft Puts Family on the Edge

By Mitch Traphagen

RUSKIN - He had recently lost his job and on Thanksgiving night, someone had stolen the family car. But the question Al and Claudine Leger had was, "What kind of a Thanksgiving could they have had?"

They wondered what could Thanksgiving have meant to someone who would steal a car that had two childrenís car seats, Christmas presents and a stroller in it.   More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Thousands Volunteer for Great American Teach In

By Mitch Traphagen

RUSKIN - Nearly 8,000 volunteers from almost every imaginable career fanned out to share their experiences with students across Hillsborough County.

At Ruskin Elementary School, students were able to meet a cake decorator, a television news anchor, a veterinarian, and even a pitcher from the world champion Florida Marlins, among many others.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Huge New Record for Holiday Cart Parade

As of Nov. 26, the number of golf carts registered for the Holiday Kick-Off Parade in Sun City Center stood at 283 - nearly 100 more carts than the previous year in which a Guiness World Record was set with 191 entries. Organizers are expecting that the total number for the Dec. 5 parade will exceed 300 carts.  More

File Photo by Mitch Traphagen

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
Part Three:  Back to the Islands

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 One - Welcome to SouthShore
Part Two - Meet the Neighbors
Part Three - It's a Bird!  It's a Plane!  It's a Home Depot!




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