Jessica Jenkins, recent U.S. Naval Academy graduate.

Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Affordable Housing Development Opens In Mango

SabalPlace is a new affordable housing development located in Mango, Hillsborough County. The 4-story, garden-style housing community consists of 112 units. There are a number of units designated specifically for those transitioning from homelessness.

SabalPlace features open floor plans, kitchen islands, large closets and multiple energy-efficient features. The site amenities include a gathering room, fitness area, splash pad, activity room, on-site laundry, free parking and on-site property management.

The development was made possible by a collaboration between Hillsborough County and Metropolitan Ministries, along with their financial partners, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Chase Bank and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds.

Valrico Native Graduates From The U.S. Naval Academy

Jessica Jenkins of Valrico successfully completed four years of challenging academic, physical and professional military training, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as a U.S. Navy Ens. She is a graduate of Bloomingdale Senior High School.

Mad Hatter Tea Blending Class At Center Place

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in Brandon is hosting a pop-up tea blending class with Regalitea Teas on Thursday, August 12 from 6-9 p.m. Come make your own tea blend wearing your best Mad Hatter hat; the best hat wins a prize.

Tickets are $40 and include wine, food and tea blending supplies. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and a gift basket raffle. Preregistration and payment is required; call 685-8888 to reserve your spot.

Free Kindergarten Readiness Program

Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association in Brandon is offering play sessions through Learn & Play Tampa Bay, a free kindergarten readiness program, on Friday mornings from 10:15-11:45 a.m. throughout July.

To register, visit or call 426-7529.

Yoga Classes At Center Place

Center Place Fine Arts And Civic Association in Brandon is hosting regular yoga classes. Holy Yoga Flow will take place on Saturday, July 17 from 8-9 a.m. and is geared towards beginners. Hatha Yoga Flow is also on July 17 from 10-11 a.m. and is for both beginners and intermediate yogis.

An evening yoga class is available on Thursday, July 29 from 7-8 p.m. Evening yoga is also suitable for both beginners and intermediate yogis. All yoga classes are $20. To register, call Center Place on 685-8888.

Dementia And Alzheimer’s Support Groups Now Meeting

Care partners of those with any type of memory loss, whether family, friends or professionals, need to be equipped with the knowledge to best support their loved ones. A great way to learn and share are the new hybrid Alzheimer’s Association support groups which are now being held via Zoom and in person at Tessera of Brandon.

One is an evening group and the other is midday. The evening group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. (Zoom meeting number 897 6781 0479, password: evening). The midday meeting is on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. (Zoom meeting number 869 4044 7508 password: support).

Tessera of Brandon is located at 1320 Oakfield Dr. Call 607-6880 for more information.

Chill Cawfee Hosts Wellness Luncheons

Chill Cawfee will be presenting monthly Wellness Luncheons with Dr. Kelly King at Releaf MD. The luncheons will answer questions about CBD medical marijuana, ailments that qualify, products that are available at dispensaries and the processing of state information.

Dates for upcoming luncheons are on Saturday, July 24, August 21 and September 18. The luncheons will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Chill Cawfee at 3407 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. The luncheon charge is $5, which will include pizza from Rosati’s, and space is limited.

For more information and a list of in-store events, visit or follow its Facebook page @chillcawfee.

Executive Director And CEO Of The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Announces Retirement

After four decades in the transportation industry, Joe Waggoner, executive director and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA), has announced his intention to retire in February 2022. THEA is a public agency of the state created by the Florida Legislature to provide local, user-financed transportation services that reinvest customer-based revenues back into the Tampa Bay community. THEA owns and operates the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, Brandon Parkway, Meridian Avenue and the Selmon Greenway.

In August 2007, after a nationwide search, Waggoner was chosen to lead the agency. As Executive Director and CEO, he was faced with the challenging task of making the agency financially independent and able to take on projects that would benefit the Tampa Bay region. Waggoner has been a community champion and critical leader in promoting partnerships for multimodal transportation, transit-orientated development and walkable neighborhoods.

“THEA is recognized locally, statewide, nationally and internationally as a premier tolling agency with a forward-thinking approach to finding solutions to regional congestion,” said Waggoner. “That’s a result of excellent leadership by our board of directors and hard work by a lot of amazing and talented people. With the next executive director, I hope that the trend will continue.”

Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Creates Citizen Liaison Position

In an effort to further assist the public with the sometimes complicated questions regarding his office, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser (HCPA) Bob Henriquez has created a citizen liaison position to help guide citizens through any uniquely challenging inquiries related to their property. Nereia Cormier Wilson, who is also serving as the HCPA’s special projects administrator, will be taking on the role

“Our first priority is quality customer service to the citizens of Hillsborough County,” Henriquez said. “I believe the position will further enhance our ability to address the more complex issues we face upon occasion.”

You can contact Wilson through a contact form at and send a brief summary of their concerns or questions as well as attach documents and photographs.

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