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Kameel Stanley, Times Staff Writer

Kameel Stanley

Kameel Stanley covers the St. Petersburg Police Department and public safety issues in southern Pinellas County for the Tampa Bay Times. She grew up in Michigan and started with the Times in January 2009 after graduating from Central Michigan University. Before coming to the Florida, she racked up bylines during summer internships at several newspapers, including the Grand Rapids Press and the Washington Post. She lives in St. Petersburg in a charming 1920s bungalow she swears she will repaint someday. A crazy Boston terrier keeps her company. When she's not working, she's usually shopping. Find her thoughts about style and fashion at the Deal Divas blog. Drop her a line if you want to talk crime patterns, police tactics or the advantages of a platform pump.

Phone: (727) 893-8643


Twitter: @CornAndPotatoes

Blog: Deal Divas

  1. Mayor, Tampa police ask feds to review enforcement of bike laws

    Public Safety


    The U.S. Department of Justice will review the Tampa Police Department's enforcement of bicycle laws after a Tampa Bay Times investigation found 79 percent of the agency's bike tickets go to black residents.

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Wednesday that he and police Chief Jane Castor asked federal officials to review the program because their expertise can "bring clarity to us and to the community and may help evolve our current strategies."...

    Tampa police Chief Jane Castor defended her department’s operations during a news conference Wednesday. She touted the reduction in crime in Tampa but acknowledged the ticket disparity shown in the Tampa Bay Times investigation.
  2. Are Tampa police violating civil rights law with bicycle stops?

    Public Safety

    Tampa City Council Chairman Frank Reddick called Monday for an investigation into whether the Tampa Police Department is violating civil rights law with its long-standing practice of targeting poor, black neighborhoods for bicycle tickets.

    Reddick said he wants police Chief Jane Castor and Mayor Bob Buckhorn to publicly answer questions about how officers are handing out tickets.

    Reddick's call was in response to a Tampa Bay Times report on Sunday that revealed police have been using bicycle law as an excuse to stop, question and search riders in high-crime neighborhoods. ...

    Lloyd Brown, 63, center, of Tampa Heights, shown at the Joe Haskins Bicycle Shop on March 27, was stopped by Tampa police for not having his lights on. He was then searched by the officer, who found a small amount of crack cocaine, leading to his arrest and a charge of felony possession. 
  3. How riding your bike can land you in trouble with the cops — if you're black

    Public Safety

    If the tickets are any indication, Tampa residents must be the lousiest bicyclists in Florida.

    They don't use lights at night. Don't ride close enough to the curb. Can't manage to keep their hands on the handlebars.

    In the past three years, Tampa police have written 2,504 bike tickets — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined....

    [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  4. Ever wonder what it would be like to have a personal stylist? Here's your chance to try it out - for free!


    If you're reading this blog, you probably love to shop. And you know we love to shop. Yet as much fun as the process is (the hunt! the deals! The crying in the dressing room!), sometimes it's nice to have someone just do the work for you.

    Which is what happened to me Monday night. Sort of.

    It started when Tampa Bay Fashion Week guru Nancy Vaughn (White Book Agency) reached out to the Divas a little while ago and told us about a neat service being offered at International Plaza. This month, the mall booked a trio of stylists to give shoppers free styling sessions. They last for one or two hours and you can even get some other perks if you bring a friend....

    We had a blast playing dress up in Kate Spade, which hands down has the best dressing rooms anywhere. Plus, I found a great pair of nude shoes. I'm just going to need to borrow $350 from you first...
  5. Hey shawty: A Deal Diva's dilemma about ‘half-pants'


    Remember a month ago when it got cold for 2 seconds and we all freaked out? Ha. These days it seems as if spring skipped us altogether and was just like, "nah, let's just go to summer."

    In short, it's been a little steamy lately. Even above average temps, according to the weather forecasters.

    So now that it's hot, I'm back to my annual conundrum: to rock shorts or not....

    Printed? Tailored? It's all too much to contemplate. These cute pair are from Zara, $50
  6. St. Petersburg announces plan to buy con­tro­ver­sial Woodson African American Museum

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city will try to purchase the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, quelling a controversy that has been brewing for months.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin announced their intentions Tuesday at a news conference outside the small community museum on Ninth Avenue S near 22nd Street, an area in Midtown targeted for rejuvenation.

    "The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American museum is not only an important cultural asset in this city but is also an important historical asset to this community," Kriseman told the crowd, which included residents and city officials. "This city has a keen interest in making sure it not only survives, but thrives."...

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announces the city’s plan to purchase the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum on Tuesday morning. 
  7. Feds put restrictions on St. Petersburg's plan to sell African-American museum's home

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Visiting federal officials on Thursday checked the local housing authority board's plan to sell the building that is home to the city's only African-American museum.

    Volunteers who run the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum were told in January that they had six months to vacate the property at 2240 Ninth Ave. S.

    But for the building to be sold, there needs to be demonstrative public support for such a plan, officials from the U.S. Department of Housing an Urban Development reportedly told Mayor Rick Kriseman and other top city officials. What's more, even if the building is sold, it must remain an African-American museum, Kriseman and others were told during a meeting Thursday afternoon at City Hall. ...

  8. Why your next favorite shopping spot might be ... the Tampa International Airport?


    Did y'all hear about the new stores that may be coming to Tampa International Airport?

    Our colleague Jamal Thalji has the scoop here, but the basic idea is this: The airport is about to get a bunch of upgrades, which will include more than just new airport-y things. Passengers will eventually see new retail and food options (read more on that last part here)....

    Did you hear? TIA might be getting a bunch of new stores, including a Victoria's Secret. We know how you feel Tyra. Everybody, now: "Yay!"
  9. My Outfit Tuesday: For when you can't get your act together on Monday


    You ever have one of those Mondays where It. Just. Gets. Real.

    Yea, that was my yesterday. I was out in the field all day, doing some door-knocking, and completely forgot to post what I was wearing. Sorry about that. When I did get home and realize my mistake, I tried for a pitiful mirror selfie. Two words: hot mess.

    So! Here's my outfit today.

    Let's start with the obvious. This is a made up dress....

    I'm staying on the cool side of the color wheel today. CAUSE I'M COOL.
  10. Should St. Pete spend more as co-sponsor of city events?

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — At least three times in the past year, Mayor Rick Kriseman had to deal with flareups over the city's co-sponsored events process.

    First, he found out about a hold-over pledge to give money to the Blue Ocean Film Festival, which made its debut last fall.

    Then, St. Pete Pride organizers questioned why they received no financial support from the city while others like the Suncoasters get money each year without question. ...

  11. What happens when a Deal Diva breaks her own shopping rule?


    These days when I'm going shopping I operate under a loose set of rules, partly for my wallet and partly for my poor closet. They include things like: 

    • Never paying more than $10 for sunglasses (y'all know I'm constantly breaking pairs) 
    • Walking away from things I "like" and only nabbing those I "love"
    • Giving myself a cooling off period, especially if the cart gets to be too full (if I come back and it's still there, fate!)

    Forcing myself to try new things and patterns, even if they don't end up going home with me. ...

    You might see me in this dress .... one day
  12. St. Petersburg firefighters sue, claiming helmets cause injuries


    ST. PETERSBURG — A group of retired and active firefighters have sued the maker and distributor of their city-issued helmets, saying design flaws have led to injury.

    The five firefighters say the helmets they were given a few years ago, the 1044 Cairns model manufactured by Pennsylvania-based Mine Safety Appliance Co. and distributed by Bradenton-based Ten-8 Fire Equipment Inc., were designed poorly and caused neck and head injuries....

    Attorney Jim Magazine likened the helmets to top-heavy bobblehead toys.
  13. St. Pete to continue using its social grant funds for homeless issues

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For the past four years, the city has put all its social action funding grant money — nearly $450,000 annually — toward reducing homelessness.

    Late last year, some started to wonder whether it was time for a change.

    Despite encouraging signs of an economic rebound and years of hard work, city officials and some council members say they'd prefer to stick with the current focus....

    “We’re not doing the job sufficiently, how do you take money away from it?” said Council member Jim Kennedy
  14. St. Pete: Let's figure out a way to welcome Uber, Lyft

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — One thing is clear: Elected officials in this city are far more interested in accommodating the rising popularity of ride-sharing companies than regulators in neighboring Hillsborough County.

    At a workshop that lasted for more than three hours Friday morning, City Council members pledged to revamp the city's existing vehicle-for-hire ordinance in hopes of making room for entities such as Uber and Lyft — which first came to town last summer. ...

    The St. Petersburg City Council is trying to find a way to allow ride-share services to operate with regulations and satisfy vehicle-for-hire companies.
  15. SIDS deaths in Florida have plummeted: Why?


    For decades, new parents have worried about something beyond their control: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Shortened to "SIDS," the term pops up regularly in society's lexicon. It goes on pamphlets. Nurses warn mothers about it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a section about it on its website and calls it the top cause of death for infants less than 1 year old.

    Yet over the past decade some medical examiners in Florida and across the nation have stopped using the term, contributing to a plummeting number of SIDS death reports. They're down 86 percent in Florida compared to two decades ago....

    Dr. Jan Garavaglia says the term SIDS is useful.