December 25, 2003
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A Community Christmas Carol

By Mitch Traphagen

RUSKIN - Last year at this time she volunteered to wrap donated presents for needy families. There was no indication that just a year later, she and her family would cross the spectrum from helping the less fortunate to becoming the less fortunate.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Community Service Is No Act At Showmen's Club

By Mitch Traphagen

GIBSONTON - Their careers are spent in the world of entertainment, magic, thrills and promotion. It is, after all, the circus. It is the greatest show on earth. And while virtually all performers put their hearts and souls into their performance, at the end of the day it was just a show, it was all just an act.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

Senior Dinner is Now a Holiday Tradition

The Riverview Senior Christmas Dinner has quickly become a holiday tradition for hundreds of south county seniors. The event, organized by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Community Resource Officer Barbara Jones-Keplinger, served dinner to nearly 600 people on Dec. 18 at the Showmen’s Club in Gibsonton. The dinner, which is completely free of charge, also included entertainment from Elvis (who says it’s not really him?) and from the highly acclaimed Sun City Center Big Band. Seniors also received gifts donated by local businesses and organizations. The entire event depends upon the generosity and donations of numerous south county business and organizations for everything from the food to the table service.

Mitch Traphagen Photos

Serving Up Christmas Cheer For Children

By Mitch Traphagen

For the past twelve years, officers and employees from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office District IV and Special Operations Divisions have held Christmas Parties at the Wimauma Head Start Center.  More

Mitch Traphagen Photo

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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