tampabay.com

Dateline Florida

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 22, 2007


FOR $1.5M, DONORS DESERVE ONE HECK OF A TOTE BAG

WHAT KIND OF THANK-YOU CARD DO YOU SEND FOR A $1.5-MILLION GIFT? WEDU-CH. 3 DECIDED TO NAME ITS DOWNTOWN TAMPA FACILITY AFTER MONROE AND SUZETTE BERKMAN TO THANK THE TAMPA PHILANTHROPISTS FOR THEIR DONATION, THE BIGGEST IN THE PBS STATION'S HISTORY. THE GIFT LAUNCHES THE STATION'S ENDOWMENT CAMPAIGN, WHICH HOPES TO RAISE $5-MILLION AND IS TIMED TO CELEBRATE THE STATION'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN JANUARY. THE BERKMANS WERE NAMED 2006 CULTURAL ARTS PHILANTHROPISTS OF THE YEAR BY THE GREATER TAMPA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

Lots of Hispanic graduates

Let the college ranking season begin. Three of Florida's public universities are among the Top 20 for bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanic students, according to the May issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Florida International University in Miami is No. 1, with 2, 903 degrees in 2006. The University of Florida was No. 12, with 1, 009, and the University of Central Florida in Orlando was No. 13, with 925.

Strip club drops racy images

One thing at Tampa's Mons Venus strip club just got a little more covered up. For more than three years, realistic images of topless women faced Dale Mabry Highway from a wall in the strip club's parking lot. But owner Joe Redner recently painted over the 25-foot-long mural. The mural drew about five complaints in its lifetime, Redner said without elaborating. Redner has no plans to replace the mural.

First deadly lightning bolt of the year strikes roofer

The state recorded its first lightning death of the year in South Florida over the weekend. A roofer was struck Saturday as he worked on top of a Miramar home. Darwin Olivera, 24, a native of Nicaragua, was killed instantly; his partner was knocked unconscious but survived, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Florida leads the nation in the number of lightning-related deaths. The best place to take refuge from a thunderstorm is indoors.