Anastasia Dawson, Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

Anastasia Dawson

Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

I’m an east Hillsborough County native whose ancestors were among the first settlers in the community of Dover. My parents built their home on an old family orange grove, sandwiched between my grandparents’ home (where my mother grew up) and a 100-year-old house built by my great, great grandparents. Still, I couldn’t resist my big city dreams, so after earning my journalism degree from the University of South Florida I moved to bustling Riverview. A two-week internship at the Tampa Tribune turned into three years of covering education in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In 2016 I joined the Times as a general assignment reporter in Tampa, which often means running into family, friends and former classmates while out gathering the news. A majority of those stories involve our local criminal justice system.

The rain keeps falling. The water keeps rising. And catfish roam the streets.

A small catfish was spotted swimming across flooded River Drive in Lithia on Saturday as the nonstop rains caused the nearby Alafia River to rise by about 2 feet over flood stage. [ANASTASIA DAWSON   |   Times]
The constant thundershowers caused more street flooding, filled rivers, caused discharges from manhole covers — and gave catfish something new to do this weekend.

Dispute ends in gunshots, murder of Belleair Bluffs man in his own home, deputies say

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The 24-year-old victim was chased into his home by his gun-toting assailant, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Vader, the Siberian Husky shot by a Riverview security guard, recovering after surgery

Kelley Hill, 32, sits in the backseat with her dog Vader on their way home from Fetch Veterinary Centers in Brandon. The Siberian Husky was shot and wounded. [ANASTSIA DAWSON   |   Times]
The dog will recover from the shooting incident. But for the neighbors who witnessed the shooting, recovery will take quite a while longer.

Pinellas deputies investigating possible drowning, fight off Gandy Beach

Sheriff's deputies and a St. Petersburg Fire Rescue crew arrived at a small inlet on the south side of the Pinellas County approach to the Gandy Bridge by about 6:30 p.m., witnesses said.

A security guard shot a dog in its own yard in Riverview. Neighbors are shocked.

Vader, a 7-year-old rescue dog, was shot and wounded at home in Riverview, his owners say. Photo courtesy of Kelley Hill.
Vader is expected to live. His owners are trying to understand what happened.