Claire McNeill, Times Staff

Claire McNeill

Times Staff

I've been dog-earing magazines since I was little, and I’m still a constant reader. I love reporting deep on complicated ideas and telling intimate stories that reveal the human experience: a forgotten school shooting victim, a Syrian refugee in a Southern fraternity, a mother-turned-drug smuggler for her dying son. I grew up in a small town in South Jersey and made my way here after attending the University of North Carolina. I covered all kinds of news in Pasco and Pinellas counties before leaping into the higher education beat and then onto the enterprise team. Outside of work, I hoard books, stress-bake and balance my soccer/softball/rock climbing routine with a serious Taco Bell habit. I live in St. Pete with my introverted Pomeranian, Wilson.

‘We have to speak truth to power.’ Four questions for Lester Holt and the chairman of The New York Times Co.

Lester Holt performs on the bass during the Bowtie Ball at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort at St. Pete Beach, Fla., on December 8, 2018.  Holt, the anchor for Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, was honored with The Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. [Photo by Carrie Pratt]
The NBC anchor and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. spoke with the Tampa Bay Times before the Poynter Institute’s Bowtie Ball on Saturday.

Harmony 101: Lessons in how to love and disagree

Valerie Holguin, a 20-year-old Eckerd College junior, and Sharon Joy Kleitsch, an 80-year-old community organizer, came together at Eckerd College Tuesday night. CLAIRE MCNEILL / Times
Discussion panelists, attendees trade suggestions, advice for finding peace.

Politics, practicality, price: Across Florida, rural students put off by perceived weaknesses of higher education

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In rural enclaves, practical-minded students are losing faith in the value of college. Many see it as an outright corrosive force and are frustrated by its outsize costand perceived uselessness.

Rick Scott declares victory in Florida U.S. Senate race over three-term incumbent Bill Nelson

Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott kisses his wife Ann as he speaks to supporters at an election watch party, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Naples, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) FLWL108
Buoyed by his own money and a highly-motivated Republican turnout, Scott was edging Nelson in a race that was tight from beginning to end.

Bill Nelson, last Democrat standing in Florida politics, remains silent in defeat

Supporters of Sen. Bill Nelson react to results in the election at Nelson's election night party, in downtown Orlando on Tuesday. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
The fabled blue wave failed to materialize for Nelson in his bid against Rick Scott.