Sunday, December 17, 2017


Michael Van Sickler

Michael Van Sickler

Michael has been with the Tampa Bay Times since 2003. A Cleveland, Ohio, native, he graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., and got his master's degree at the University of Florida. He has worked at the Ledger and the Palm Beach Post. For the Times, he has covered everything from mortgage fraud, growth and development in Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg City Hall and state government in Tallahassee. After a stint as assistant metro editor for the paper, he is now the government and politics editor.

State lawmakers are considering making it a primary offense to text while driving, a move that is gaining support, but also sparking concerns that it will lead to racial profiling. [Tribune file photo]

Poll: Are tougher penalties in Florida for texting while driving a good idea?

Florida lawmakers are considering making driving while texting a primary offense, so that law enforcement can pull you over if they see you do it.
Published: 12/06/17
Congressman Charlie Crist talks with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa

How Charlie Crist is spending the summer

With the Tampa Bay Bucs stars of this year's Hard Knocks on HBO, showing up for an ordinary practice could reap some...
Updated: 4 months ago
Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune to replace Edmund Kirby Smith?

Representing Florida since 1922 in the U.S. Capitol has been the likeness of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. Why him?
Updated: 4 months ago
Coke is not it for some House Republicans

Should soft drinks be purchased by those on public assistance?

Florida House Republicans have felt little hesitation in judging the actions of those who use food stamps, making it harder for many recipients to use them. Earlier this year, they pushed a
Updated: 4 months ago
Adora Obi Nweze

NAACP demands Rick Scott and lawmakers remove Confederate symbols from Capitol

Given the vacuum left by Gov. Rick Scott's silence on the matter, the NAACP Florida State Conference is...
Updated: 4 months ago

Republicans back Rick Scott's removal of Aramis Ayala in Kissimmee police shooting case

The Kissimmee police shooting over the weekend also sparked the latest round between Gov. Rick Scott and Republicans and Orlando State Attorney Aramis...
Updated: 4 months ago
Sen. Dennis Baxley

The guy who killed slavery monument scheduled to speak on importance of Confederate monuments

It's no secret that Sen. Dennis Baxley loves the losing side in the U.S. Civil War. The descendant of a Confederate soldier, Baxley, R-Ocala, has never hesitated to promote his heritage. In 2007, he objected when lawmakers discussed changing...
Updated: 4 months ago

Joe Henderson: Let Richard Corcoran sweat it out in a classroom

The latest from Joe Henderson: You've seen and heard the stories about how air-conditioning breakdowns created sweltering conditions in many Hillsborough County public schools. It is a sweaty, stinking, ongoing mess, and there is no quick...
Updated: 4 months ago

Eisnaugle's House seat up for grabs: Olszewski wins GOP primary

Remember when Eric Eisnaugle was slated to become a House Speaker? Well, those days are long gone. Eisnaugle was
Updated: 4 months ago
Scott denounced racism, but not Trump

Scott won't criticize Trump, but does blast racism

Racism is bad, Gov. Rick Scott said Monday during a news conference in Lake Mary. While that...
Updated: 4 months ago