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Big John’s Alabama BBQ Named Best BBQ In Florida

Big John’s Alabama BBQ Named Best BBQ In Florida

Big John’s Alabama BBQ

 

BY MONIQUE STAMPS

Sentinel Staff Writer

 

       Repeating the honor they received in 2021, East Tampa’s Big John’s Alabama BBQ has once again been named Southern Living Magazine’s 2024 Best BBQ Joint in Florida.

      Corey Miller, grandson of Rev. John A. “Big John” Stephens, says that the family is grateful for the recognition.

     “This is such an honor, and it goes back to my grandfather. He instilled in all of us the values of hard work, dedication, and humility. We appreciate Southern Living selecting us. We have been mentioned by them 3 times as a place for good food in Florida.”

      Big John’s creates authentic southern BBQ with delicious traditional sides, collard greens, mac and cheese, potato salad, and baked beans, They offer BBQ sandwiches, platters, and entrees. Big John’s also offers catering.

       The story of the restaurant shows one man’s determination to bringing God and entrepreneurship to Tampa. In 1968 the late Rev. John A. “Big John” Stephens opened Big John’s Alabama Barbeque in East Tampa, Florida on 40th Street North. “Big John” migrated from Eufaula, Alabama to Tampa with his family. He ran the restaurant until he passed away in 1994. The family still runs the restaurant, now located at 5707 N 40th St.

       Big John’s Alabama BBQ is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and is closed each Sunday. The phone number is 813-623-3900.

 

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HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Announces Her Retirement   

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Announces Her Retirement  

Marcia Fudge 

     Friday, March 22nd is her final day.

     Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, a former Congressional Black Caucus Chair and a staunch advocate for the Black Press of America, has announced that she’s stepping down from her role in the Biden-Harris administration.
The 71-year-old Fudge disclosed that her last day in office would be March 22. After decades of public service, she’ll return to her home state of Ohio.

     Fudge, the second Black woman to lead HUD, has been a key figure in steering the agency through housing crises triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also pushed for the federal government to include the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), on behalf of the Black Press of America, in its advertising spend.

      Fudge’s departure comes amid the intensifying campaign season, with President Joe Biden facing off against the twice-impeached and four-times indicted Republican former President Donald Trump.

     Fudge expressed concerns about inadequate funding. She highlighted the need for more than $70 billion to address the demand for affordable housing and repair aging public housing developments.

     President Biden praised Fudge’s leadership, her dedication to rebuilding HUD, and her expanding efforts to build generational wealth through homeownership.

     Her work was also praised by NNPA and the Congressional Black Caucus.

     Secretary Fudge said she’s done with politics, and looking forward to being a private citizen.

Photo

 

MARCIA FUDGE

…Secretary of HUD retiring.

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$2M Powerball Ticket Sold In Tampa

$2M Powerball Ticket Sold In Tampa

       A lucky winner in Tampa has matched 5 numbers in the Powerball lottery Monday night.

     The winning numbers were 10, 17, 20, 39, 44 with 16 being the Powerball number.

     The winning ticket was sold at the             Stop & Save Food Store located at 4801 Clewis Avenue in Tampa.

     There wasn’t a winner for the almost $700M estimated jackpot.

     There were two additional people that won $1M each in other states.

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USF Bulls Win NIT Opener Against UCF 83-77

USF Bulls Win NIT Opener Against UCF 83-77

USF Guard Selton Miguel Shoots The Bulls To A Win

     The University of South Florida (USF) Bulls won the NIT opener Tuesday night against the Knights of the University of Central Florida (UCF). The Bulls outlasted UCF 83-77 in a highly intense NIT opener before an audience of 4,164 at Addition Financial Arena.

       USF faces the winner of Wednesday night’s (March 20th) game between Villanova and Virginia Commonwealth in the second round at a date to be announced. USF would host if Virginia Commonwealth advances.

     The Bulls (25-7) could be headed to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis — site of the NIT semifinals and title game — if they can continue their winning ways.

     The Bulls are coached by Amir Abdur-Rahim.

 

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Chiefs, Chris Jones Agree To Big Contract Extension

Chiefs, Chris Jones Agree To Big Contract Extension

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Hillsborough County Public Schools Announces Plans To Build Two New State-Of-The-Art Schools In West Tampa

Hillsborough County Public Schools Announces Plans To Build Two New State-Of-The-Art Schools In West Tampa

Pictured from left to right are: School Board Member Henry “Shake” Washington, Board Vice Chair Jessica Vaughn, Hillsborough County Commissioner Gwen Myers, Superintendent Van Ayres, Board Member Lynn Gray, and Delano Stewart, the son of Garland V. Stewart, who is the namesake of the middle school.  

 

      Leaders from Hillsborough County Public Schools and the local community gathered at a press conference on Thursday, February 29th to share plans for two new state-of-the-art schools at the site of Just Elementary School and Stewart Middle Magnet School in Tampa.

     The new schools will serve roughly 1,500 students and will continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Ernest E. Just and Garland V. Stewart.

     The next steps are for the district to advertise for a design professional and a construction manager. Any changes to current school boundaries and the construction costs to build the schools will come before the School Board at a later date.

     During the next few months, school administrators and community leaders will work together to scope out plans for the curriculum at Just Elementary School to best serve this fast-growing area of Tampa. Stewart Middle, a popular magnet school, will remain a STEM school with a NASA focus.

     “Our goal is to honor the legacy and history of Dr. Ernest Just and Garland Stewart, and to provide our children and families with the best educational experience possible to position them for success in life,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Van Ayres. “I am especially excited because these new schools represent a $70 million investment in our children and are the first new schools built in Tampa’s urban core since the establishment of Blake High School 30 years ago.”

      These new schools will be independent but connected to each other to provide students with a seamless education from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Students can then attend Blake High School, allowing them to attend school on the same local campus, from kindergarten, all the way through high school.

      Funds to build this new school will come through the current school budget, including sales tax revenues and the Community Investment Tax (CIT). The district already owns the land, so there will not be any additional assessments, taxes, or fees.

    This campus sits on the Hillsborough River, so school leaders will work with City of Tampa leaders as they look to further expand the Riverwalk.

     Hillsborough County Branch NAACP President, Yvette Lewis, said the idea of joining the schools is a “victory for the community.”

     Ms. Lewis added that she and Al Sheriff, Basileus of Pi Iota Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., saw down with Supt. Ayres, Owen Young and others on his staff and hammered out how they could preserve the 2 schools and their historic names. “I’m so glad they opened their eyes and listened to us. The schools will still be close to the river and won’t be up for sale so quickly.”

(Photo and school renderings courtesy of the School District of Hillsborough County)

     The Just Task Force will determine the curriculum for the school.

     Construction of Just Elementary School and Stewart Middle Magnet School is planned to begin in the summer of 2025. Just Elementary is anticipated to open in fall 2027. Information on when Stewart Middle Magnet students will transition into the new building will come as the construction nears completion.

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Tampa Chapter Of The Links, Inc. Hosted Its 7th Annual Golf Tourney At Rogers Park Golf Course

Tampa Chapter Of The Links, Inc. Hosted Its 7th Annual Golf Tourney At Rogers Park Golf Course

Tampa Chapter, The Links Golf Tournament Committee

      Golfers John Conforti, Bruce Taylor, Lanny Sumpter, And Steve Lomonaco relax before lunch

 

 

BY MONIQUE STAMPS

Sentinel Staff Writer

 

                  The Tampa Chapter of the Links, Incorporated hosted its 7th annual fundraiser at historic Rogers Park Golf Course on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

   “We were so happy to host our beloved Golf Tournament again this year. We always have such a large turnout! Rogers Park is a beautiful PGA course with years of historical impact,” said Bianca Taylor-Heard, Chairperson of the Golf Tournament committee.

                  This is the signature fund raiser for the Tampa Chapter. The monies raised will support the Tampa Chapter’s mentoring programs and training of students at Sheehy Elementary School and Miracles Outreach. The organization also funds three STEM college scholarships, and a Florida A & M University Law School endowment contribution.

  Chapter President,  the Honorable Julie Sneed stated, “The Tampa Chapter of The Links, Inc.’s 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament is one of our signature events that brings the community together for an important cause.  The funds raised from the annual event contribute to our transformational programs focused on our youth, the arts, national and international trends as well as health and wellness.:

   “The event was incredibly successful because of the high level of community support for the important work we do.”
The Tampa Chapter of the Links, Inc. partners with several local organizations, such as Solita’s House, NAACP, and The Greater Tampa Chapter of Jack  and Jill of America, Inc.

                  The Links, Inc., is an international service organization of Black women with over 14,000 members across the United States, the Bahamas, and London, England.

                  The historic 160-acre, 18-hole Rogers Park Golf Course is a part of the rich history of Tampa’s Black community and has emerged as one of Tampa’s best-kept secrets.

                  It was completed in 1952 and was the ONLY golf course available to Tampa’s Black residents.

                  African American pro golfers who played the course, called the Chitlin Circuit included Jimmy Taylor, Charles Owens, Ted Rhodes, Gordon Chavis, Charlie Sifford, Dick Thomas and Cliff Harrington.

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Guide Right Foundation Of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Preparing For ‘Derby Day Party’

Guide Right Foundation Of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Preparing For ‘Derby Day Party’

REGINALD GRIGSBY

…Fundraising Chair

 

BY GWEN HAYES

Sentinel Editor

     The Tampa Alumni Chapter, Inc., Guide Right Foundation is preparing for its 3rd Derby Day Party. The event is about 2 months away, but Reginald Grigsby, Fundraising Chair of this year’s event, is encouraging those who plan to attend to ‘save the date’ and start preparing to enjoy the event.

     The third Derby Day and Casino Night will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, starting about 3 p. m. and lasting to about 8 p. m. The “Bowties, Hats & Bourbon III Exclusive Derby Day Party” will be held at the Venetian Center, 9724 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa 33647. A single ticket will cost about $80, however there are also other prices. Visit www.TAMPADERBYDAY.COM for additional information.

     The Guide Right Foundation focuses its fundraising efforts around two signature events – The Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament and the Tampa Derby Day Party and Casino0 Night. Both events are designed to be fun, informative and community encompassing events with the ultimate goal set on investing in youth.

     The foundation is hoping to raise more than $30,000 for the Derby Day Party and Casino Night. These funds help to support a variety of youth development programs and scholarships awarded by the foundation.

      In addition to being in attendance, there are several ways to support these programs. The foundation is reaching out to businesses to invest as sponsors, and donate items for the silent auction and raffle.

     Grigsby, a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., says, “As attendees of the upcoming Tampa Derby Day + Casino Night Fundraiser, we understand the significance of our collective impact. Each ticket purchased, every moment shared, and every donation made contributes to a powerful narrative of community strength. This event isn’t just a night out; it’s an investment in the future of our local
youth through the Tampa Alumni Guide Right Foundation’s transformative
programs. Join us in this celebration of giving, where every contribution resonates as a commitment to building a stronger, more
empowered community for generations to come.”

     This year’s event is at a new location, Venetian Center. The casino-styled gaming event is an addition to the event; and as always, guests get to enjoy the “Red Carpet.”

     Visit the website for additional information.

 

 

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City Of Tampa Celebrates Women’s History Month; Honors First Chief Diversity Officer

City Of Tampa Celebrates Women’s History Month; Honors First Chief Diversity Officer

Mayor Jane Castor presented the 2024 Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award to OCEA WYNN, Administrator of Neighborhood and Community Affairs.

 

     The City of Tampa held its 27th Annual Women’s History Month Celebration on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The 10:30 a. m. free event was held at the Tampa Bay History Center.

     Speakers for the event were Mayor Jane Castor and City Councilwoman Gwendolyn Henderson.

     Mayor Castor presented the 2024 Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award to Ocea Wynn, Administrator of Neighborhood and Community Affairs.

      Ms. Wynn has served the City of Tampa for nearly 20 years. As an Electrical Engineer, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, she has been a trailblazer in fields where women are often underrepresented.

     The 2024 Women’s History Month theme is Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. As the City of Tampa’s First Chief Diversity Officer, Ms. Wynn has embodied that theme throughout her career.

    The Josephine Howard Stafford Award was created to honor a current or former City of Tampa female employee who demonstrates outstanding commitment to her position and the community.

     The award is presented in memory of Josephine Howard Stafford who served as an Assistant City Attorney for 24 years. Ms.Stafford was the first female judge in Hillsborough County and a pioneer for women’s issues, both professionally and in the community.

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