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Woman Dies in Fire, Customer Service Champion Named, and Other Stories You Might Have Missed

Here's a second look at last week's top features and news on Seminole Heights Patch.

1. 

Laura Grumney, stepsister of  Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, was killed in a house fire on April 1. According to witnesses, Grumney repeatedly ran back in to her burning house at 5609 N. Seminole Ave. When fire rescue crews arrived, she was found dead in the rear doorway, overcome by smoke and flames. Higginbotham told the Tampa Bay Times that Grumney had struggled with mental illness, pain management from injury, and drug problems for several years. 

2. 

Tree of Life Medical Center is an "accident and auto injury medical clinic," according to its co-director Michael Stepakoff. The staff includes a medical doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, plus workers who help clients handle insurance claims. Stepakoff said Tree of Life only charges fees from personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance.

3. 

Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivered his first State of the City address in downtown Tuesday. Buckhorn held the event at  to highlight the progress and energy in Tampa today, including the , , which will light the downtown bridges, the new CAMLS facility, the , , and the first Opportunity Corridor on Ashley Street.

4. 

The tea room edged  by a final tally of 4,610 to 3,399 in  our readers' survey of which business in Central Tampa has the best customer service. We started out with  located in and around Seminole Heights, and after weeks of polling to narrowed down the field of players.

5. 

With a 7-0 vote, Tampa City Council approved the registry which will give gay and straight couples the right to make primary decisions and have access to each other in hospitals. It also allows partners to make life-and-death decisions about the other, including burial details, and it allows partners to list each other as emergency contacts for police and rescue officials, according to TBO.com.

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