Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The fifth edition of the event produced the most entrants as well as the stiffest competition for the top prizes, according to the competition's founder.
The finals of the 2013 USF Young Innovator Competition were held recently on the University of South Florida campus, featuring the top 10 of the nearly 600 submissions. First prize went to Mica Jadick, a seventh-grader from Martinez Middle School in Lutz, for her cereal-sifting device. George Seits from Middleton High School in Tampa took home second place, while Katie Warren, a third-grader from St. Paul’s School in Clearwater, won third prize. Safety Harbor Elementary School fourth-grader Grace Larson was among the 10 finalists. Event founder and local patent attorney Anton Hopen said the fifth edition of the competition was the most successful ever, in terms of numbers of applicants as well as the difficulty in choosing the finalists…
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Monday, February 18, 2013
The Grammy Foundation is taking nominations for its first-ever music educator award and there’s $10,000 on the line for the winner.
They battle in the trenches every day teaching youngsters about Beethoven, Bach and the importance of proper form when signing or playing a musical instrument. In some students, they inspire a simple appreciation for music. In others, they foster a passion that leads them on a path toward life on the stage. Because of all they do, the Grammy Foundation says music educators rock and now it wants to honor them with a new award it intends to roll out next year. Nominations for the first-ever Music Educator Award are now open and the Grammy Foundation is looking for suggestions from all over the country, including right here in Lutz. “For every performer who makes it to the Grammy stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Jaimi Hovan of Lutz opens up about marriage, motherhood, life as a professional sports wife—and what matters most.
Jaimi Hovan is an open book; her love story, a page turner that starts with a lot of forgetting. She met husband Chris Hovan at The Round Up in 2005. They were both there alone. Jaimi just lost her grandmother and needed some time to herself. Chris was in town to meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And to be honest, Jaimi said, she thought he was a little off. "I asked him where he lived and he said he lived on an island," Jaimi said. "Davis Islands?" she asked. Yes, he said. But when she told him she lived on Harbour Island, he said that was the one. Then he couldn't remember what street he lived on until she said the name of her street. That's my street, Chris told her. "You're crazy," Jaimi recalls saying. "I had no idea who he was," …
Monday, February 11, 2013
Carter McDaris, 8, hopes the community will join him to help his 'amazing' teacher at Denham Oaks Elementary.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- On Lutz Patch
Monday, February 11
The group meets at 7 p.m. at Elsa's Mexican Restaurant.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Christmas Card Lane, concerts in the park and more are in the works. Anyone interested in getting involved is welcome to attend Monday's meeting.
Planning for the 2013 Lutz Centennial continues Monday, and anyone interested in finding out more or volunteering their time is welcome. "The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of Lutz officially becoming a community by receiving its own post office," committee chairman Bob Moore said in a press release. "To celebrate this milestone in our community’s history, official Lutz Centennial t-shirts and wooden train whistles are available for sale." Shirts, which are available in several colors, are $10; whistles are $5, Moore said. Proceeds will be used to fund upcoming centennial celebration events throughout the year, culminating with the return of Christmas Card Lane and a birthday cake in December. Centennial celebration souvenirs are …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Chris Ciani is taking on the disease that has so far taken his mother's sight and memory—raising money and promoting awareness to help others battling brain cancer.
You have stage four brain cancer. That's what doctors told Suzanne Ciani when she went to the emergency room for her headaches in the fall of 2011. Doctors removed one mass, only to have it return with two others a few months later. "In June they removed the original and the third, the second tumor is inoperable," son Chris Ciani of Land O' Lakes said. "Since her last surgery she has lost almost all sight and her short-term memory is nonexistent. She has been on chemo and radiation since." But Suzanne's a warrior. And with the help of her family, she's spawned a battle beyond her own in an effort to help others fighting for their lives. "In the spring of 2012 my mom spoke to my siblings and I about helping others who have brain cancer and …
Friday, February 8, 2013
Soccer Gemz owner Jerome Smalls says more and more kids are signing up, thanks to their customers spreading the word about their fun-centric program.
It's been a year since Soccer Gemz set out to level the playing field for local youngsters, and they're still having a ball. And as word has gotten out about the noncompetitive program, more and more business has rolled in. "I must say things are steadily improving," director of operations Jerome Smalls said. "We receive on average about 10 to 15 calls a day asking about our programs from new parents." Though the company was formed in January 2012, the first session wasn't held until June, making their progress even more remarkable in the short time since. Social media, networking and good ol' word of mouth has helped the Lutz-based company grow the business, Smalls said. "We owe so much to our customers," he said. "They are the ones …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
First he emptied his own piggy bank. Now Carter McDaris, 8, is spreading the word about his inspiring teacher to encourage others to help, as well.
When 8-year-old Carter McDaris realized his third grade teacher was in a battle for her life, at first, he was surprised. “I didn’t even know she was sick until my mom told me. I didn’t know because she acts happy and never complains,” the Denham Oaks Elementary student said. When he found out just how sick Ms. Stacy Nussbaum is, and how much she struggles despite showing up to teach with a smile every day, Carter emptied his piggy bank and donated $72 to a fund to help his teacher get the kidney transplant she needs. His little brother, Cayden, soon did the same. “Her kidney wasn’t working, so I gave her my money, because she needs to pay her bills,” Carter said. “I gave her money to make her happy, I was sad for her.” Then, Carter set …