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Sara DiNatale, Times Staff Writer

Sara DiNatale

Sara DiNatale is a digital and breaking news reporter who keeps on the pulse of what people are buzzing about in Tampa Bay. She is from Buffalo, New York, where she graduated with a degree in English from the University at Buffalo. She has worked for the Boston Globe, the Oregonian and the Buffalo News.

Phone: (727) 893-8862


Twitter: @sara_dinatale

  1. How old is too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween?

    Human Interest

    Brandi Eatman guesses the boy was at least 15.

    If he had a costume on, it wasn't obvious. He was actually talking on his cellphone when he approached the door that Halloween night. He didn't say "trick or treat." He didn't say "thank you." He didn't even make eye contact.

    "He was sure he would get candy because he had a pillow case," she said.

    It was eight years ago, before Eatman had the three children who now dominate her attention on the annual evening prowl for candy. But the experience fortified Eatman's answer to a question parents, tweens and teens face every year come Oct. 31: How old is too old to go trick-or-treating?...

    Costumes at House of Make Believe, 1055 N Hercules Ave., in Clearwater are ready for Halloween revelers of any age.
  2. Owners baffled by escaped dog's bloody crate prior to Delta flight at TIA

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — William Gideon and Christie Pennell planned meticulously for their dog Brady's trip to Bermuda.

    She wouldn't fly with them when they moved to the island from Tampa in the dead of summer, when Gideon started his new job as head chef at a Bermudan resort. Instead, they'd wait until fall, as airlines recommend, when things cooled down. They left their beloved pup in the care of a family friend....

    Brady, 4, managed to escape from her crate before she was loaded onto a plane at Tampa International Airport. When her owners were sent a photo of a crate, they saw it was covered in blood. (Courtesy of Christie Pennell)
  3. Dog still missing after escaping crate on Tampa International Airport tarmac

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — A family's dog has been missing since Wednesday after she chewed through her crate and ran across the Tampa International Airport tarmac before she was loaded on a Delta flight to Bermuda.

    Brady was last seen running into a wooded area, said airport spokeswoman Emily Nipps. Her devastated family has been eagerly awaiting updates from their new home in Bermuda.

    "We really want to get this dog safely back to her owners," Nipps said. ...

    Brady, a 4-year-old hound-mix, has been missing since Wednesday after she chewed out of her metal crate as she was being boarded onto a plane to Bermuda. (Via Facebook)
  4. Missing: The Captain America bike a Pasco 5-year-old uses to raise money for charity

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — Waylen isn't your average 5-year-old.

    While his classmates were still learning to pedal on two wheels, Waylen was begging his mom, Tonya Huff, for an electric dirt bike.

    But he didn't want a motorized bike to be cool. He wanted it so he could be part of 2Wheel Heroes, a charity group that uses its love of motorcycles and superheroes to raise funds and help children. ...

    Waylen, 5, is member of charity group 2Wheel Heroes. (Courtesy of Clark Schueller)
  5. Another 'Rick and Morty' fiasco: The great Szechuan sauce letdown


    It’s official: The Tampa Bay area has too many Rick and Morty fans.

    For the second time in barely two weeks, droves of fans who adore the demented, adults-only Cartoon Network show filled long lines for another special Rick and Morty-themed event.

    And just like last time, most left empty-handed.

    So, let’s rewind: In April the cartoon made a joke about Szechuan sauce, a limited-edition sauce for Chicken McNuggets offered by McDonald’s in 1998 for the debut of the Disney animated movie Mulan....

    Rick and Morty fans demanded McDonald's bring back its Szechuan Chicken McNugget sauce, and the restaurant chain on Saturday did that -- but quickly ran out, angering those fans.
  6. Where to get Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce in Tampa Bay for one day only


    Rick and Morty fans might be taking over.

    Just over a week ago, so many local fanatics showed up to a Tampa event related to the adult humor cartoon that it had to shut down early.

    Now, McDonald's across Tampa Bay — and the country — are likely to have long lines on Saturday as devoted fans try get their hands on a limited edition McNugget sauce from the '90s the show made popular. ...

    After an old promotional McNugget sauce gained popularity on hit show Rick & Morty, McDonald's has decided to bring it back for one day only Oct. 7. (McDonald's)
  7. SPCA Pet Walk: Does your dog have what it takes to impress costume-fiend Ezra the Yorkie?

    Human Interest

    You remember Ezra the Yorkie, right? He's the St. Petersburg puppy mill dog who stole hearts last year as he gained fame on Instagram dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Donald Trump, Captain America and, well, the list could go on close to forever.

    Ezra is not lacking for dress-up clothes and snappy ensembles. ...

    SPCA Tampa Bay will hold its annual Pet Walk and costume contest to raise money for the animal rescue organization this weekend. (Courtesy of SPCA Tampa Bay)
  8. Publix faces federal lawsuit over dreadlocks after store tells Rastafarian he must cut his hair


    Florida's leading grocer Publix is facing a federal lawsuit after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it didn't allow a Nashville man to work in one of its Tennessee stores because he wouldn't cut the dreadlocks he wears as part of his religion.

    The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Nashville, Tenn., says Publix broke the law when it hired Guy Usher, 28, but then forced him to quit a day before he was set to start because store managers said he needed to cut his hair above his shoulders....

    Publix Supermarkets is being sued by a federal agency because a Nashville man says he was told he would need to cut his hair, despite wearing it long because of his religion.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES
 file photo]
  9. They've collected tons of supplies for Puerto Rico, but they can't get a plane to deliver them

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — More than 100 tons of food and water sat in a packed hangar this weekend waiting to be flown to Puerto Rico.

    There are more warehouses just like this one across the bay area, stocked with diapers, food, generators and bottled water donated by Floridians to ease the suffering of millions. Volunteers on the devastated American territory are waiting, already coordinating with churches to ensure the so desperately needed goods go to the right people....

    Emergency relief supplies ready to be flown to Puerto Rico sit inside Pemco World Air Services hangar at Tampa International Airport on Friday. Organizers are frustrated that they haven't been able to fly the supplies out yet. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  10. How much longer until my debris is picked up? City of St. Pete has a map for that.


    ST. PETERSBURG — Still staring at a browning pile of branches and leaves every day thanks to Hurricane Irma?

    Yeah, you and much of the rest of the city. (And really most of Tampa Bay.)

    But the city of St. Petersburg has a nifty map on its website to help residents get an idea of how much longer debris will line their streets and kill their curbside grass.

    It's not an exact schedule, and there's even a disclaimer warning that the information may not be totally accurate. But it shows swaths of the city in green (they've already been cleared), yellow (they're in the process) and pink (they're next). ...

    Yard debris from the winds of Hurricane Irma line many yards along Pinellas Point Drive South, St. Petersburg, 9/22/17.
  11. Tampa police, big crowd wreck 'Rick & Morty' Rickmobile event

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — More than 1,500 fans of the definitely-not-for-little-kids cartoon Rick & Morty overtook a bar and its surrounding neighborhood Wednesday night, creating such a big crowd that the event was riggity riggity wrecked when Tampa police officers and organizers had to end it early.

    Rick & Morty is an animated science fiction comedy about the interdimensional adventures of depraved scientist Rick and his anxious grandson Morty, which has produced a cult hit for Cartoon Network....

    Fans of TV show Rick & Morty were turned away after a Tampa event featuring the 'Rickmobile' was ended early because too many people showed up. (Courtesy of James Kirkbride)
  12. Hernando Sheriff's Office identifies bank robber killed after chase, places 7 deputies on administrative leave


    Authorities have identified a bank robbery suspect fatally shot by Hernando County sheriff's deputies after a wild chase Friday in which the fleeing suspect rammed several patrol cars in Brooksville.

    The suspect, Scott Michael Chamberlain, 44, was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The name of the hospital and time of death were not given in a Hernando County Sheriff's Office news release Saturday....

  13. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Both were heartbroken, frustrated and hoping for some kind of mini miracle. One of the couples got lucky and now the other may have reason not to give up hope.

    Michael White works for Pike Electric in Indiana. When he left Florida with his crew, he unknowingly left his ring behind in Brooksville. It had fallen to the ground while he was working....

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  14. Clearwater man arrested after DNA ties him to St. Pete rapes in 1999 and 2001


    ST. PETERSBURG — After almost two decades, police said, they have made an arrest in two unsolved sexual assault cases by matching DNA evidence to that of a Clearwater man.

    Terry Dewayne White, 49, was arrested Thursday and faces charges of sexual battery in cases from 1999 and 2001, according to St. Petersburg police.

    White's DNA was entered into the FBI's national database as part of another agency's investigation, and St. Petersburg police matched it to the DNA evidence collected in the cold cases....

    Terry Dewayne White, 49, was arrested Thursday at his Clearwater home.
  15. Deputies: Woman and stepmother assault driver in Pasco road rage incident caught on video


    NEW PORT RICHEY — A woman and her stepmother were accused of pulling another woman through her car window and then beating her unconscious in the roadway in an apparent road-rage incident, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

    The incident took place about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday when two cars were stopped next to each other in the northbound lane of Little Road at Trouble Creek Road. Pasco deputies said Alicia Nikole Scarduzio, 20, and her stepmother, Shelley Lyn Gemberling, 49, started arguing with the driver of the car next to theirs, which was in the left lane of Little Rock Road....

    Charged: Shelley Gemberling, 49, and Alicia Scarduzio, 20.