Each Halloween, Central Florida’s biggest costumed competitors vie for fame, prestige and prize money. What do they have in store for us this year?

By : Jaime Donelson
Comments: 0

Orlando’s biggest costume contest at the Parliament House is coming up on Oct. 27 and Oct. 31 with an $8,000 combined cash prize.

According to Kelly Stewart, who has participated in Parliament House’s costume contest for the last 12 years, it’s the people that make it the best costume contest in Orlando not just the cash prize.

Continue Reading >>

14th Annual SMART Ride hits pause in Hurricane Irma’s wake

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

TAMPA BAY | The SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride), the second largest HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country and the only one of its size to donate 100% of funds raised to AIDS/HIV research, will ride again this year—albeit later than normal.

The not-for-profit organization, which in its 13 years has distributed over $8.5 million to local HIV/AIDS charities like the Metro Wellness & Community Centers in Tampa Bay, was forced to postpone its 14th annual trek following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

Continue Reading >>

League of Women Voters hold forum for St. Petersburg City Council candidates

By : Samuel Johnson
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | St. Petersburg City Council candidates discussed a variety of city specific issues. The overarching tone was, generally speaking, vague on details but full of amiable rhetoric. Whether it was talk on the Rays, the pier or Pride celebrations; there wasn’t any tangible fringe politicking.

The League of Women Voters organized this public event which took place in the council chambers at city hall Sept. 25. It’s the third forum following the August primaries. All six candidates were present: Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard of District 2, Jerick Johnston and incumbent Darden Rice of District 4, Gina Driscoll and Justin Bean of District 6.

Continue Reading >>

Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community gives back in Hurricane Irma’s wake

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

TAMPA BAY | In preparation for Hurricane Irma, residents of Tampa Bay ransacked grocery stores, emptied gas pumps, boarded windows and exhausted the words “hunkered down.”

Bottled water became liquid gold before and after the storm passed through, carbs became a must-buy again, and following Irma’s destruction, residents found themselves tasked with extensive clean-up efforts and—in many cases—in the dark.

Continue Reading >>

Hillsborough, Pinellas special needs and general shelters to open ahead of Irma

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Hillsborough County is issuing a voluntary evacuation for special-needs residents located in Evacuation Zone A starting Friday, Sept. 8, at 8 a.m. Two shelters will be opened to accommodate special-needs residents only. Residents can confirm evacuation zones at HCFLGov.net/StaySafe or call (813) 272-5900.

Hillsborough County strongly urges special-needs residents to observe to the voluntary evacuation notice.

Continue Reading >>

Gay Cuban journalists detained while covering hurricane preparations

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez (L) and Maykel González on the roof of their apartment building in Sagua la Grande, Cuba, in 2015. Rodríguez and González said they were detained on Sept. 6, 2017, after they tried to interview a local official about Hurricane Irma preparations.(Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Two gay Cuban journalists said authorities detained them on Wednesday as they covered Hurricane Irma preparations

CiberCuba, a news website that operates independently of the Cuban government, reported Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez and his partner, Maykel González, were reporting for Periodismo de Barrio, an affiliated online outlet, in the city of Sagua la Grande when the reported incident took place.

Continue Reading >>