Dishing with Mark and Carrie

Nephew of the Week: Jeff Shepetuk

Born in New York, Jeff now calls Tampa his home. He is a recent USF graduate who enjoys hockey and good times with his friends.

Halloween in Ybor City

This year there are many more fun things planned for Halloween. There will NOT be a fence. There will be HUGE parties at all your favorite clubs. The Ybor Merchant Association is planning “Fantasma Fest.” There are many events planned, including a ”7th Avenue Bed Race.”

Tea Cup’s Birthday

A HUGE thank you to the hundreds of people who sent me birthday wishes on facebook and in person. The celebrations started on Thursday and went full power into Monday night! WOW, what a crazy fun weekend! Again, thank you for a memorable birthday!

The Tampa Citizen Police Academy: Week 2 of 9

This week we were off to the Tampa Police Department’s Communications Center. The building is just north of Hillsborough Avenue in a hurricane bunker. The center is run by TPD Retired Major Tom Wolff.

Into the training room. This room is also used for special communications event hubs like the RNC last year. Together the instructors have 130+ years of experience. Major Diane Hobley-Burney talked about the importance of a priority 1 call and how one shouldn’t say there is a gun when there is not.

Officer Maginnis took us through a variety of live call-ins and videos. He explained there are three different sections in the call center. The first is the 911 calls; this is where the police and fire/EMS calls come in. The second section is dispatch. This is where they send out the police and/or fire departments. The third area is non-emergency; this is the administration department and where the most irate calls are answered.

Over 30,000+ calls come in every month. A priority 1 call is dispatched in 45 seconds or less. Priority 2 calls are dispatched in 2 minutes and follow standard operating procedures.   The peak time for calls is 5 p.m.

There were many different screens for an assortment of things. Phone calls pop up with maps and locations. Many times the callers are confused and give the wrong locations. The call operators speak English and Spanish but they do have translators avaliable a short call away.  Everything seemed to be going great, but new software would help here.

Next week we will be with the TPD K-9, mounted horse patrol and air service demo.  Can’t wait! (Read the full police academy column at

New at Carmine’s on 7th Avenue!

Who can go a week without Carmine’s famous baked chicken, yellow rice and black beans? Not us! The great food is still there but the are many new changes inside. Owner Gino gave us a glimpse of some of the new changes in the works.

There’s retro Edison lighting and retro light fixtures, white subway tile in the newly relocated sandwich area and fun collectibles everywhere. A private room for special events and parties is also an added feature.

The new upgraded seating comes with comfortable chairs and an old world charm.

One of the best views of 7th Avenue would be through the knee high-to-ceiling windows. Best of all, the friendly management and staff are all there to make you feel right at home.

Stop in and see the changes right here in GaYBOR/Ybor City.