Thursday, April 19, 2018

Writers

Susan Taylor Martin

Susan Taylor Martin

For someone who doesn't particularly care to fly, Tampa Bay Times senior correspondent Susan Taylor Martin has logged a lot of hours in the air — in the past decade she has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China. She covered the invasion of Iraq, the war in Kosovo and the war against terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On 9/11, she and two other Times staffers got in Martin's aging car and drove 24 hours nonstop from Tampa Bay to New York City, her hometown. Among the other breaking stories Susan has covered were the death and funeral of Princess Diana, the funeral of Jordan's King Hussein and the handover of Hong Kong to China. There have been lighter moments, too. Martin has written about a restaurant in Jerusalem dedicated to Elvis Presley's memory; a Scottish hamlet that finally got TV and hated it; and the gay and transvestite scene in Turkey, a conservative Muslim country. Her hobbies include figure skating, antiquing, flea-marketing, and rooting for the Blue Devils basketball team of Duke University (her alma mater). Martin has won numerous state and national journalism awards, including the 2007 Paul Hansell Award presented by the Florida Society of News Editors for distinguished writing and reporting.



Liquor behind the bar at the Pelican Pub, 18 2nd St N, in downtown St. Petersburg. The state's annual drawing for quota liquor licenses, which can be very lucrative for winners, was held today. 
[DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]

Most of Tampa Bay’s new liquor licenses won by applicants from South Florida, Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — The newest batch of quota liquor licenses for the Tampa Bay area will go to applicants from South Florida and Tallahassee. In its annual drawing, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco selected the winners of 51...
Published: 04/18/18
Traders are shown recently on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Andrew Berke of Apollo Beach has been sentenced to four months of house confinement and three years of supervised release in an insider trading scheme. 
 [Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Tampa executive sentenced to house confinement in insider trading case

Andrew Berke of Apollo Beach has been sentenced to four months of house confinement and three years of supervised release in an insider trading scheme in which his co-defendant, Tampa lawyer Walter C. Little, will soon begin serving 27 months in...
Published: 04/18/18
Despite a booming market, homes in the Tampa Bay area took longer to sell in 2017 than those in many other parts of the country. 
[AP File photo, 2014]

Tampa Bay homes selling less quickly than in many other areas

Despite a booming market, homes in the Tampa Bay area took longer to sell in 2017 than those in many other parts of the country. According to Zillow, the average time between listing and closing for a bay area home was 81 days last year, the...
Published: 04/17/18
Chris Moench, CEO of St. Petersburg-based Directed Capital Resources, shown in his downtown St. Petersburg office on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.
[WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times file photo]

Tampa Bay firm buys $80 million in loans backed by Louisiana hotels, restaurants, apartments

ST. PETERSBURG — The collapse of a New Orleans bank is proving a boon to a fast-growing St. Petersburg real estate finance firm. Directed Capital has acquired $80.2 million in distressed loans originated by the failed bank and collateralized by...
Published: 04/16/18
Pinellas County Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Grundmann, and his wife, Carol, spent four years battling their bank and loan servicer (Green Tree, now Ditech) over a wrongful foreclosure on their home in Seminole, background.
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times file, 2017]

Tampa Bay couple that suffered 'horrible treatment' settles with lender

SEMINOLE — After hearing Carol and Timothy Grundmann recount their six-year battle with a loan servicer, a Pinellas County judge had this blunt reaction:
Published: 04/13/18

New foreclosure filings plunge in the Tampa Bay area

New foreclosure filings have plunged in the Tampa Bay area. The number of foreclosure cases started in the first three months of this year was 844, nearly 40 percent fewer than at the same time last year, according to ATTOM Data...
Published: 04/12/18
The attorney for Shoppes at Park Place, the mega shopping center hit with a $73 million foreclosure suit, says the owner has made all payments on time but has been stymied by the lender in attempts to refinance.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

Attorney: Owners of mega Tampa Bay shopping center facing foreclosure paid on time

PINELLAS PARK — The attorney for Shoppes at Park Place, the mega shopping center hit with a $73 million foreclosure suit, says the owner has made all payments on time but has been stymied by the lender in attempts to refinance. In a...
Published: 04/11/18
.

Pinellas County doctor pleads guilty to kickbacks, conspiracy in $5.3 million scheme

TAMPA — A Pinellas County doctor has pleaded guilty to scheme that netted him cash kick backs and a luxury BMW but that duped federal health insurers out of $5.3 million. According to a recent plea agreement, Dr. Anthony Baldizzi of Tierra...
Published: 04/11/18
A home prepared by Liliana Warr, a professional home stager. Warr preps private residences like this one for sale in south Tampa. Staging increases the appeal of the home. Some stagers will move furniture into a vacant home to make it look live in The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Even in a seller’s market, staging a home can help sell it faster, staging pro says

April is Florida’s prime selling month, so if you’re putting your home on the market consider this: Cleaning and decluttering can improve the looks of a house but sometimes it takes more than that to really wow buyers.That’s where Liliana Warr...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/12/18
Shoppers come and go from a Target Store in the Shoppes at Park Place, Pinellas Park, which is facing a $73 million foreclosure suit and is up for sale. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

Big Tampa Bay shopping center, hit with $73 million foreclosure suit, is up for sale

By SUSAN TAYLOR MARTINPINELLAS PARK — Faced with a whopping $73 million foreclosure suit, one of Tampa Bay’s largest open air shopping centers is up for sale. Colliers International has begun marketing Shoppes at Park...
Published: 04/09/18