Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the paper in 2014 and covered general assignment news in Pasco and Pinellas counties. She grew up in a one-square-mile town in South Jersey and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she studied journalism and political science. She has worked for The Boston Globe and The Charlotte Observer. She lives in St. Petersburg.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]

New dorm still coming to USF St. Petersburg, but in a smaller package

ST. PETERSBURG — Originally pitched as a nine- or 10-story, 550-bed dorm for the overcrowded University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, USF’s latest residence hall project will likely look much different by the time it’s done.For...
Published: 06/20/18
Lorena Grizzle, candidate for Pinellas County School Board in District 6, which covers parts of Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park and the south Gulf beaches.

Pinellas School Board candidate calls opponent’s district address ‘disingenuous’

In an email blast on Tuesday, Pinellas County School Board candidate Matt Stewart accused his opponent, Lorena Grizzle, of "misleading voters."He called Grizzle's recent change of address into question and said voters would "see it...
Published: 06/12/18
After getting his diploma, Davion Only-Going hugs his adoptive mom Connie Going during the Pinellas MYcroSchool for Integrated Academics and Technologies graduation ceremonies at the Palladium Thursday. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

Davion Only, the foster kid who pleaded in church for anyone to adopt him, graduates with family looking on

ST. PETERSBURG — Girls swabbed on blush and bobby-pinned their silver graduation caps in the room under the Palladium Theatre, and Davion Only-Going shook his head to see his orange tassel bounce.He always knew he would graduate. Knew he needed...
Published: 06/08/18
At one of the Pinellas County School Board's regular meetings in Largo, board chairwoman Rene Flowers appears on the television monitors. Flowers and other incumbents on the board were not endorsed for reelection by the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association for the 2018 election. The union says it is pushing for new blood on the board. [Times (2014)]

Pinellas teachers union endorses School Board candidates, steering clear of incumbents

As three Pinellas County School Board members try to hold onto their seats this summer, the teachers’ union will throw its weight behind new blood. The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association endorsed each incumbent in 2014, but PCTA president...
Published: 06/07/18
Pinellas School Board hopefuls now up to 14

Pinellas School Board hopefuls now up to 14

With Pinellas County School Board member Terry Krassner filing her reelection paperwork today, 14 candidates now vie for four seats in August's countywide school board election.First elected in 2010, Krassner will seek her third...
Updated one month ago
The Herrin family traveled in November to SkyDive City in Zephyrhills to celebrate Cameron Herrin's 18th birthday. This image is taken from a video posted online. From left are Cameron's brother Tristan, the teens' father Chris Herrin, Cameron Herrin, and mother Cheryl Herrin. [YouTube]

Parents of teens in fatal Bayshore crash described as loving, attentive and devastated

TAMPA — It was late April when the shiny black muscle car rolled off the lot of a Tampa Ford dealership.
Updated one month ago
CHRIS URSO   |   Times
A vehicle passes a roadside memorial for Jessica Raubenolt, 24, and her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia Thursday, May 31, 2018 in Tampa. A black Mustang that fatally hit the young mother and her toddler daughter as they crossed Bayshore Boulevard last week hit 102 mph according to an arrest warrant filed in Hillsborough County Court last week and obtained today by the Tampa Bay Times.

Report: Mustang was going 102 mph before hitting mother, daughter crossing Bayshore

TAMPA — A black Mustang that fatally hit a young mother and her toddler daughter as they crossed Bayshore Boulevard last week hit 102 mph, then began braking hard before impact, according to an arrest warrant obtained Thursday by the Tampa Bay...
Updated one month ago
Tampa police investigate the scene of a fatal May 23 collision on Bayshore Boulevard. The driver of a black 2018 Mustang GT is accused of fatally running down a mother and her 21-month-old daughter while they legally crossed the road. Three people now face charges in the case, accused of illegally racing before the fatal crash. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

2018 Mustang GT in fatal Bayshore crash was built for speed

The car that Tampa police said fatally struck a mother and her toddler while they crossed Bayshore Boulevard on May 23 was built for speed.Here’s what Ford and the automotive press had to say about the latest iteration of a 56-year-old American...
Updated one month ago
A view of the USF St. Petersburg campus from Sixth Avenue S. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Increased scholarships aim to boost college access in Pinellas County

A handful of new scholarship opportunities and initiatives will aim to boost local access to higher education in Pinellas County, state representatives and higher education officials announced this week.The goal is to help local students...
Updated one month ago
Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student fell from a ladder on campus in the hours before her graduation ceremony and remained hospitalized Wednesday with head injuries.Chicago native Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, known as Becca on campus and...
Updated one month ago