Friday, February 16, 2018
Business

Times wins highest honors, 13 firsts in Sunshine State Awards contest

Times staff

The Tampa Bay Times received top honors, including 13 first places and 25 wins overall, in the annual Sunshine State Awards competition.

The statewide contest is sponsored by the South Florida Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Two series that received Pulitzer Prizes earlier this year won in the Special Categories division.

• Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner won the James Batten Award for Public Service for "Failure Factories," a series about failing Pinellas County schools.

"Insane. Invisible. In Danger," a joint Times investigation with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about Florida's mental hospital system, won the Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting for Times reporters Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier and Herald-Tribune reporter Michael Braga.

Also placing as finalists in Special Categories were Steve Bousquet in the Integrity Florida Award for Public Corruption Reporting for "Florida Department of Law Enforcement chief's firing is investigated"; and Sherri Day in the Diversity Award for her commentary on race.

This year's first-place winners in the Newspapers and Online divisions are:

• Leonora LaPeter Anton, Anthony Cormier and Michael Braga in Series for "Insane. Invisible. In Danger." They also won first place in Online Package.

• Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner in Data Reporting for "Failure Factories." They also won second place in Series.

• Alexandra Zayas and Kameel Stanley in Non-Deadline Reporting for "Biking While Black."

• Ben Montgomery, Craig Pittman and Zachary T. Sampson in Breaking News Reporting for "Florida mailman lands gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn."

• John Romano in Commentary &Criticism-General for a collection of columns on Florida.

• Jay Cridlin in Beat Reporting on the Arts for a collection on music.

• Laura Reiley in Beat Reporting on Food/Travel for coverage of Florida cuisine.

• William R. Levesque in Beat Reporting on Consumer Issues for a collection on aviation.

• Craig Pittman in Beat Reporting on Environmental/Health/Science for coverage of environmental affairs.

• Kelly Parsons in Beat Reporting on Sports for a collection of stories.

• Cameron Cottrill in Art/Photo Illustration for a collection of illustrations.

• John Pendygraft in Video for "Insane. Invisible. In Danger."

Times staffers also winning second-place awards: Alex Leary in Beat Reporting on Government/Politics for a collection; Marlene Sokol in Beat Reporting on Education for a collection; Times staff in News Web Site for tampabay.com; Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick, Lisa Gartner and Nathaniel Lash in Online Package for "Failure Factories."

Winning third-place awards: Marc Topkin in Beat Reporting on Sports for a collection; James Borchuck in Video for "Florida mailman lands gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn"; Times staff in Online Social Media Package for "Tropical Storm Erica."

Ron Borresen, now a designer at the Times, won second place in Art/Photo Illustration for a collection while at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Comments
Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

Trump administration recommends stiff penalties on steel, aluminum imports

The Tampa arm of Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau S.A. was cautiously optimistic Friday after the Trump administration took a big step toward a policy Gerdau has been vocally advocating for — higher tariffs on imported steel. "We’re hopeful that President...
Published: 02/16/18
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Associated PressNEW YORK — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook’s financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Me...
Published: 02/16/18
Inexpensive Tampa Bay homes gain the most value of any in U.S.

Inexpensive Tampa Bay homes gain the most value of any in U.S.

Owners of affordable homes in the Tampa Bay region are seeing the biggest gains in equity among the nation’s top 20 housing markets. A bay area home now worth $110,000 rose 20 percent in value over the past year while a house now worth $337,400 incr...
Published: 02/16/18
Amid CareerSource controversy, allegations of a love affair, big raises and family favoritism at the top

Amid CareerSource controversy, allegations of a love affair, big raises and family favoritism at the top

The anonymous letter described a possible love affair at the top of the local jobs center. President and CEO Edward Peachey was in a romantic relationship with top administrator Haley Loeun, it said.It described how Loeun was seen at a conference co...
Published: 02/16/18
Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s experimenting with takeout-only locations

Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s experimenting with takeout-only locations

Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill have become household names in casual dining. Now, their parent company, Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands is taking the "dining" part out in a concept that it’s bringing to Tampa Bay for the first time. A ne...
Published: 02/16/18
Which Tampa Bay ZIPs had the priciest, least expensive and most house sales in 2017?

Which Tampa Bay ZIPs had the priciest, least expensive and most house sales in 2017?

If you bought or sold a house in Tampa Bay last year, you were a player in one of Florida’s hottest real estate markets.Even though prices eased a bit from their torrid pace in 2016, the median cost of a single family home shot up 11 percent. That’s ...
Published: 02/16/18
Florida’s liquor license lottery can make you a ton of money. So why is it such a secret?

Florida’s liquor license lottery can make you a ton of money. So why is it such a secret?

Every year, millions of people play the Florida Lotto. Their chances of winning are about as great as those of being struck by a comet. Fewer than 12,000 enter a much lesser known lottery that also is run by the state. Yet the odds of winning are vas...
Published: 02/16/18
Travel insurance company brings tree houses, beer kegs and creativity to former church

Travel insurance company brings tree houses, beer kegs and creativity to former church

ST. PETERSBURG — Neither the Lutherans who first occupied the 4300 block of Central Avenue, nor the evangelical congregation that followed could ever have imagined tree houses sprouting in their church sanctuary.Yet that’s one of the plans of new own...
Published: 02/16/18
Prosecutors drop drug case against ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini

Prosecutors drop drug case against ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini

TAMPA — ConnectWise co-founder David Bellini won’t be prosecuted on a drug trafficking charge filed by Tampa police this week, the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. The county’s top prosecutor instead applauded police for helpi...
Published: 02/15/18
Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium may be named for PepsiCo’s Tropicana orange juice, but that’s not stopping the baseball team from switching its pouring rights to Coke.The Rays said Wednesday the ballpark would begin serving Coca-Cola pro...
Published: 02/15/18