Clear78° FULL FORECASTClear78° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

Caitlin Johnston, Times Staff Writer

Caitlin Johnston

Caitlin Johnston covers transportation, breaking news and features in Hillsborough County. She is a graduate of Indiana University, with her master's from the University of Maryland.

She's always looking for story ideas.

Phone: (813) 226-3401

E-mail: cjohnston@tampabay.com

Twitter: @cljohnst

link
  1. Sen. Latvala urges DOT to not put toll on existing Howard Frankland lane

    Transportation

    Another prominent elected official said Monday the Florida Department of Transportation mislead him about its plans to rebuild the Howard Frankland Bridge with one fewer free lane for drivers.

    Florida Sen. Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, wrote a letter to DOT District Secretary Paul Steinman conveying his "great concern" about the agency's plan to add a toll on one lane in each direction, creating "express lanes" that could cost as much as $6 to use. Drivers who don't pay will have three lanes instead of the current four....

  2. State's answer to Howard Frankland traffic: Pay a toll or lose a lane

    Roads

    Commuting across the Howard Frankland Bridge is already a slog.

    And state officials are poised to make the congestion even worse — unless you can afford to buy your way out of it.

    The Florida Department of Transportation plans to add a toll on one lane in each direction, creating "express lanes" that could cost as much as $6 to use. Drivers who don't pay will have three lanes instead of the current four....

    Traffic makes its way across the Howard Frankland Bridge on a rainy Thursday in June. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Jolly, Crist trade barbs over Trump

    Politics

    PINELLAS — U.S. Rep. David Jolly and former Gov. Charlie Crist have the same strategy in the race for the 13th Congressional District: link his opponent to Donald Trump.

    Crist issued a statement after winning the Democratic primary last week, turning his attention to the matchup against Jolly.

    "This Republican primary season has been pretty frightening," Crist said. "It saddens me to think that anyone who supports Donald Trump's agenda could ever represent Pinellas County."...

  4. St. Petersburg's Darryl Rouson takes Senate District 19 after Tampa foes knock each other out

    Elections

    The morning after he fell fewer than 100 votes short of a seat in the Florida Senate, Ed Narain's wife had one question for the soon-to-be former legislator:

    Did he regret running in the Senate race instead of seeking re-election in his Florida House of Representatives district?

    "I told her no, I really don't have any regrets," Narain said. "Over the last few years, I've accomplished so much....

    State Rep. Betty Reed of Tampa is set to retire from politics.
  5. Recount over: Darryl Rouson is the victor in Senate District 19 battle

    Elections

    It took four days and two recounts to confirm that state Rep. Darryl Rouson narrowly edged out fellow Rep. Ed Narain in the race to replace longtime Sen. Arthenia Joyner in the Democratic primary in state Senate District 19.

    Florida election officials won't certify the results until Thursday, but machine and manual recounts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties on Friday confirmed that St. Petersburg's Rouson garnered 75 more votes than Tampa's Narain in the state's most closely contested primary....

    State Rep. Darryl Rouson prevailed in Tuesday's Democratic primary in state Senate District 19 by a narrow margin. His 73-vote win was confirmed on Friday after four days and two recounts, though state officials will not certify the outcome until next week. Rouson watched the election results come in Tuesday at Green Bench Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg. [DIRK  SHADD | Times]
  6. Recount could soon decide Florida Senate District 19 primary

    Elections

    Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Thursday ordered a recount in the state Senate District 19 Democratic race, where Darryl Rouson currently leads Ed Narain by just 75 votes.

    St. Petersburg's Rouson has held a slim lead over Tampa's Narain since Tuesday's primary. The newly drawn district encompasses parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

    The nearly weeklong process to determine which of the two state representatives will replace state Sen. Arthenia Joyner should wrap up today, after both a machine recount and a likely manual recount take place....

    State Rep. Darryl Rouson and campaign manager Jason Holloway watch as the canvassing board reviews provisional ballots Thursday. Rouson continued to hold a 75-vote lead.
  7. Recount could loom as Darryl Rouson holds on to slim win in Senate District 19

    Elections

    With just 76 votes separating the two leading candidates in the state Senate District 19 Democratic primary, it's easy to fall down a rabbit hole of hypotheticals.

    Analysts are looking into anything that could have swung such a closely contested race: traffic, rain, rejected ballots.

    And it appears several of those factors lined up in favor of state Rep. Darryl Rouson on Tuesday night....

    Rep. Ed Narain, center, stands with the woman he hopes to replace in the state Senate, Arthenia Joyner, at a campaign watch party Tuesday in Tampa.
  8. Darryl Rouson, Ed Narain enter new phase in Senate 19 race

    Blog

    It’s going to be a long week -- or weeks -- for the candidates of Senate District 19.

    With all precincts reported (including vote by mail and early voting), unofficial results show that Rep. Darryl Rouson, St. Petersburg, leads Rep. Ed Narain, Tampa, by only 61 votes in the two-county race....

    State Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, who is running in the Democratic primary for Senate District 19, checks updates as the night gets later during a close race during his watch party at Green Bench Brewing Co. Tuesday evening.
  9. Darryl Rouson holds narrow lead over Ed Narain, Senate District 19 may go to recount

    Elections

    State Rep. Darryl Rouson held a tenuous lead of fewer than 100 votes over state Rep. Ed Narain late Tuesday night in the most closely contested primary battle in the Tampa Bay region.

    The Democratic primary for state Senate District 19 pitted three well-known black lawmakers and a self-funded political newcomer.

    Rouson declared victory, though his winning margin of less than half a percent would appear to trigger a recount....

    Tampa state Rep. Ed Narain gets a hug from his daughters Zahara, 7, and Elaina, 4, right, during the watch party for the state Senate District 19 primary at the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association on Tuesday night. Narain's rival, state Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, held a lead of fewer than 200 votes over Narain late Tuesday night, which could trigger a recount. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  10. Honoring Terry Tomalin's legacy: Embrace fear, explore Florida

    Outdoors

    Terry Tomalin left a legacy: Explore the world. Expand your perspective. Overcome your fears.

    DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times...

    Tara McCarty, in honor of Terry Tomalin's legacy of overcoming your fears, explores a zip ine course at the Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours in Ocala on Aug. 18, 2016. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
  11. Hillsborough buses to offer free rides for primary election

    Blog

    Registered voters in Hillsborough can catch a free bus ride to the polls on Tuesday to cast their vote in the primary election.

    Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority is offering free rides to customers with a valid voter information card. All they have to do is show their card to the bus operator when boarding.

    "I appreciate HART's partnership in helping voters get to the polls on Election Day," said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. "This is an important election because several new school board members and judges will be elected during this Primary. These are nonpartisan races that everyone will have on their ballot, whether they are affiliated with a party or not."...

  12. Florida Senate District 19 candidates connect on early childhood learning

    Politics

    TAMPA — The Democratic candidates in a hotly contested race to replace Sen. Arthenia Joyner are making their final push to connect with voters before next week's primary.

    The four Senate District 19 candidates fielded questions about early childhood education during a forum Tuesday night at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa organized by the Children's Movement of Florida, a group focused on increasing investment in children up to age five....

    Former state representative Betty Reed speaks Tuesday during a forum at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa organized by the Children’s Movement of Florida. [ANDRES LEIVA | Times] 
  13. Florida Senate District 19 candidates make final push before primary

    Blog

    TAMPA — The Democratic candidates in a hotly contested race to replace Sen. Arthenia Joyner are making their final push to connect with voters before next week's primary.

    Three former and current state representatives along with a lawyer who is self-funding his campaign will square off in another debate tonight, focusing on issues facing young children.

    The forum, organized by the Children’s Movement of Florida, starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa. All democratic candidates for Florida Senate District 19, which covers parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, are expected to attend....

    State Rep. Ed Narainï answers a question during the Tiger Bay Club event Friday. The candidates for state Senate District 19 discussed a variety of topics, including gun violence and for-profit prisons.
  14. Rep. Ed Narain, Augie Ribeiro trade barbs at Tiger Bay

    Local

    TAMPA — Tensions flared among Florida State Senate District 19 candidates during a joint appearance Friday, just 11 days before what's expected to be a close Democratic primary vote to replace Arthenia Joyner.

    The field includes two current state representatives and a former representative, along with a self-funded political newcomer.

    Rep. Ed Narain of Tampa and lawyer Augie Ribeiro of St. Petersburg exchanged verbal blows during the Tampa Tiger Bay Club appearance, most of them focusing on a spate of campaign mailers Ribeiro sent painting Narain as a Republican based on his campaign donors....

    Rep. Ed Narain answers a question during the Tiger Bay Club event Friday. The candidates for the District 19 seat discussed a variety of topics, including gun violence and for-profit prisons.
  15. State Senate | District 19, Edwin "Ed" Narain v. Betty Reed v. Augie Ribeiro v. Darryl Rouson

    Kyc

    State Senate | District 19, Democrats

    Three prominent black lawmakers, along with one political newcomer, will vie for Arthenia Joyner's state Senate seat.

    About the job: Senate District 19 once covered portions of three counties, but has now narrowed to Pinellas and Hillsborough. State senators serve four-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

    ...

    Caption: (Friday 01/10/2014 St. Petersburg) State Representitive Darryl Rouson and his wife Angela.
Summary: The 2014 Mayoral Ball at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg
Photo by James Branaman