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To the patient go the spoils -- and a bargain


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2001

People traveled across the country, ticketless, with only a glimmer of hope they would score Super Bowl tickets.

Some paid thousands of dollars, others tugged on heartstrings, one offered to sell a kidney, and two posed as paramedics in a failed effort to get through the gates.

But local dentist Dr. Michael Kantor beat them all by using his brain, not his wallet or his major organs. From about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Kantor stood in line at the will-call window at Raymond James Stadium.

Finally, at the end of the first quarter, about 100 tickets that hadn't been picked up were sold at face value to those in line.

At $325, that's $2,675 less than two of his friends paid for tickets. Each.

"It was a great seat," Kantor said. "It was halfway through the second quarter by the time I got in, and it was a boring game, but it was the Super Bowl."

Kantor, a Bucs season ticket holder, says he enjoys the home team's games more. Except there's no Aerosmith at halftime.

It must have been Kantor's lucky weekend. The day before, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue had stopped by Kantor's office for an emergency procedure on a lost crown. Tagliabue's chauffeur for the weekend was one of Kantor's patients.

"I said I wasn't going to charge him as long as he'd keep Tampa in the rotation of Super Bowl cities," Kantor said.

Instead, Kantor got a signed football reading, "Many thanks, Paul Tagliabue."

"I never would've guessed it," Kantor said. "I've achieved fame as a dentist."

United Way awards $500,000 in grants

The United Way of Hillsborough County awarded grants Tuesday totaling nearly $500,000 to 18 local non-profit agencies for help in upgrading their technology.

The money is for the purchase and upgrade of hardware and software and the creation of computer labs.

One of the recipients, Crisis Center, plans to use its $52,900 grant to improve technology for two programs: the Hotline of Hillsborough, which is in need of an improved telephone answering system, and the Family Support Program, which needs upgraded computer hardware.

Landowners get $9.5-million verdict

A jury awarded a $9.5-million verdict Tuesday to property owners who claimed HARTline had not offered a fair price for land the city wants to use as a trolley terminal, a lawyer representing the property owners said.

"I'm very pleased with it, and I think the clients are very pleased," attorney Cary Gaylord said of the verdict in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

The land comprises four parcels and about 50,000 square feet and is across from the Tampa Convention Center and the Marriott Hotel.

Gaylord said HARTline, which runs the county's public transportation system, had offered $5.5-million when it took possession of the property last June.

Attorneys for HARTline could not be reached Tuesday evening.

The trolley system, set to open this year, is expected to run from downtown, past the Ice Palace and Garrison Seaport and into Ybor City.

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