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Lane DeGregory, Times Staff Writer

Lane DeGregory

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer who prefers writing about people in the shadows. She went to work with a 100-year-old man who still swept out a seafood warehouse, hung out beneath a bridge with a colony of sex offenders, followed a feral child who was adopted.

Lane graduated from the University of Virginia, where she was editor in chief of the Cavalier Daily student newspaper. Later, she earned a master's degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia.

For 10 years, she wrote news and feature stories for the Virginian-Pilot, based in Norfolk, Va. In 2000, Lane moved to Florida to write for the Times. She's married to a drummer, Dan DeGregory, and they have two teenage sons, Ryland and Tucker.

Lane's stories have appeared in the Best Newspaper Writing editions of 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. She has taught journalism at the University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard University and has won dozens of national awards, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

Other awards include:

2014: Finalist, American Society of Newspaper Editors Batten Medal for portfolio.

2012: Finalist, American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for nondeadline writing.

2011: Inducted as a Fellow with the Society of Professional Journalists for lifetime achievement.

2010: Winner, American Society of Newspaper Editors Batten Medal for portfolio.

2009: Winner, National Headliner Award for feature writing.

2008: Winner, American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for nondeadline writing.

2007: Winner, Ernie Pyle Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for human interest writing.

Phone: (727) 893-8825


Twitter: @LaneDeGregory

Phone: (727) 893-8825


Twitter: @LaneDeGregory

  1. How do you tell a story without words? Two dancers give it a spin.


    ST. PETERSBURG — The dance came from a conversation. About having conversations. Some of the best ones, the two dancers agreed, had been with strangers.

    So they started there.

    Kellie Harmon, 27, told her friend about a girl she had met on a New York subway. The girl was 6, maybe 7, and asked Kellie if she had any princess songs on her phone.

    Crystal DelGiudice, 30, told her friend about a man she met in an Ybor City bar. He looked like some hipster jock but wanted to discuss philosophy and astronomy, the meaning of life....

    Kellie Harmon and Crystal DelGiudice will perform their piece at the Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday, as part of the festival.
  2. This painting made two people fall in love and helped a man connect with the dead

    Human Interest


    One night last spring, Gordon Stevenson plugged his name into Google. Up popped a link to an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

    "Gordon Stevenson," read the link. "Portrait of a Man Painting, ca. 1940."

    His grandfather, his namesake, had been a painter. Gordon had only one of his works, a portrait of his departed dad. It hangs above Gordon's bed in his Tampa home, and was watching over him that night....

    Steven Nicoll and Catherine Rogers fell in love after the painting, which Nicoll bought at a Siesta Key yard sale in 1987, brought them together in Charleston, S.C. They brought the portrait to St. Petersburg last month  and gave it to Gordon Stevenson, whose grandfather painted it.
  3. A month after mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, survivors struggle to keep the dead alive

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — They stood on the second-floor balcony of his townhouse, staring over the chain-link fence, into the parking lot of what's left of Pulse nightclub.

    One month to the day after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, cleaning crews scuttled in and out. Police still surrounded the broken building, their red and blue lights striping the streets.

    From their perch, Brock Cornelius, 40, and his friend Samantha Stone, 36, watched the throngs stream to the makeshift memorial, cradling daisies, setting up candles, dropping to their knees to pray....

    The website created by Brock Cornelius is a memorial to the Pulse shooting and those who died.
  4. For these sick children, each tiny bead is a badge of courage

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — After the transplant team finished its rounds, after nurses checked her oxygen level and a doctor came to say: Yes, she would have to have surgery again today, Maddie Price asked her mom to hand her the paisley drawstring bag hanging in her hospital room.

    Maddie, 16, struggled to sit up. She was pale and puffy from all the medication. A month earlier, she had received her second new heart and suffered all kinds of complications....

    Maddie Price, 16, takes stock of her beads in her room at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 
St. Peters?burg on May 11. Maddie receives beads for different medical tests and procedures she goes through at the hospital.
  5. After a lifetime of labor and sleepless nights, a Tampa doctor decides to deliver his last baby, No. 7,357

    Human Interest

    By LANE DeGREGORY | Times Staff Writer


    His pregnant patient was progressing slowly at home. So the doctor told her to head to the hospital. He would meet her there.

    Dr. Bruce Shephard, 72, walked through his office, where the walls were filled with children's faces.

    Sleeping infants, laughing toddlers, gap-toothed grade schoolers, prom princesses. Every age, from a minute old through motherhood....

    Dr. Bruce Shephard plays with Kimber Papadopoulos, 18 months, held by her mother, Amber Papadopoulos, 38, of Tampa in the waiting room of his doctor's office Tuesday. Shephard delivered both Kimber and her mother. CHERIE DIEZ | Times
  6. The aftermath of the Orlando nightclub shooting tests the courage of gay youth

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — Matt Casler didn't recognize his neighborhood as he drove home last Sunday morning.

    Cop cars lined every corner. Barricades blocked the streets. Sirens screamed.

    A few hours after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, it had been turned into a war zone.

    He steered past armed troopers, beneath hovering helicopters. Dizzy and disoriented, the 18-year-old kept checking his phone: 20 dead so far, and the count would climb....

    Orlando siblings Sara Casler, 22, left, and Matt Casler, 18, were seared by the carnage at the warm gay nightclub in their neighborhood.
  7. Drag queen who escaped Orlando shooting calls for the music to play on

    Human Interest

    ORLANDO — The drag queen dressed in all black. For mourning. She stepped onto the stage in her long-sleeved gown, towering in her sequined heels.

    At the edge of the stage she stopped. So did the music. She looked into the crowd, which got quiet.

    She was supposed to be lip-synching, sashaying down the runway. But since Sunday, she hadn't felt like dancing.

    "You all are brave," she told the crowd in Orlando's Parliament House Resort at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. "I know your parents told you not to come out tonight. But you did. And we thank you. We're here to give you a show."...

    Drag queen Angelica Sanchez lip-synchs to Jennifer Hudson’s “Bring Back the Music.” Three nights earlier she was at Pulse.
  8. At report card time, kids bring their grades to 'Grandmom'

    Human Interest


    She wasn't sure, with the rain and all, how many kids would come by. She couldn't sit out on the porch and call them over. It was still too wet.

    So on the last day of school, she spread the bulging candy bags across her coffee table, set out cookies, chips, a stack of new $1 bills, and sank into her sofa to wait.

    Marian Evette Williams, 59, lives in a one-story bungalow in Childs Park, near the empty corner lot where the neighborhood kids hang out. She knows them all by name, knows who lives where and what school they go to. She fusses at them: "Pick up that trash! Pull up your pants! Stop cussing! Don't give me no sass, now. I'm not playin'!"...

    This photo from the 1960s shows Ruth Williams, standing center, and her daughter Marian Williams, who is standing in front of and looking up at her mother, with a group of teens and children at the Jordan Park Community Center. 
  9. Community gathers to thank Alberta, the yellow lab guide dog who served them all


    ST. PETERSBURG — All afternoon, they streamed into Alberta's home. Students and professors, kids from the church down the street. A yoga teacher. A tennis pro. Friends from the dog training club.

    They came bearing cookies, cheese and wine, a poster to sign. The dean had bought sparkly paint. The Uber driver brought meatloaf.

    For five hours, they shared stories and hugs as they said good-bye and wished Alberta a happy, healthy retirement....

    Pam Hogle, left, joins Deni Elliott, center, and her guide dog Alberta, along with other friends on Sunday, May 1. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
  10. A Mother's Day message from jail (w/video)

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — She sits outside the sewing circle, her plastic chair tipped toward the door. Like all the other inmates, she wears gray scrubs. The dark roots of her honey-colored hair mark the months she has been behind bars.

    Michelle Duhamel, 47, had been in jail before.

    But since she walked into that Walmart last summer and stole a pineapple, nectarines and a fist full of sports bras, she has lost everything....

    Michelle Duhamel holds the pillow she made for her mom.
  11. Chasing the light: A photographer faces frailty as she captures images of young lives in peril

    Human Interest


    In the morning, after driving her kids to school, after twisting silk flowers into her strawberry hair, Sheri Kendrick slides a memory card into her camera and heads to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

    She steers to the top of the parking garage, onto the roof, and always takes the sunniest spot.

    For a while, she sits in her quiet car, trying to clear her head. Forget about her kids; they're fine. Forget about the rent; the landlord will understand. Forget about that fight with her boyfriend, that session with her therapist. For the next few hours, she has to focus....

    Sheri Kendrick uses a gloved hand to touch the hands of Holly Castro, 26, and her daughter, Bailey Sims-Castro, 2, at the cardiac intensive care unit at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg Sept. 18, 2015. Kendrick is a St. Petersburg photographer who takes photos of families with critically and terminally ill children for free. She founded the non-profit Little Light of Mine.
  12. Jonchuck ruled still incompetent to stand trial for dropping daughter to her death


    ST. PETERSBURG — John Jonchuck, the 26-year-old man accused of dropping his daughter off the Dick Misener Bridge, is still incompetent to stand trial, according to a report from the court doctor, which was read during a hearing Tuesday.

    Jonchuck will be returned to a state mental hospital to continue treatment. Another hearing to determine if he can face first-degree murder charges will be held Oct. 18, according to public defender Jessica Manuele....

    Michele Jonchuck, the mother of John Jonchuck, tearfully watches the proceedings Tuesday at his competency hearing before Judge Chris Helinger at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater. Jonchuck, who was not present in the courtroom, is accused of dropping his 5-year-old daughter off the Dick Misener Bridge to her death on Jan. 8, 2015, in St. Petersburg. One month later, he was sent to a state mental hospital, where doctors have been working to get him competent to stand trial. Story, 3B. For a video report, visit
  13. Deputies: John Jonchuck refused treatment ahead of latest hearing


    CLEARWATER — John Jonchuck, the 26-year-old man accused of dropping his daughter off the Dick Misener bridge, will have a competency hearing Tuesday to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

    Jonchuck's hearing had been scheduled for April 18, but his new public defender, Jane McNeill, said that he had not been taking all of his medications in the Pinellas County Jail, so the judge postponed the hearing until Tuesday....

    John Jonchuck is accused of dropping his  5-year-old daughter Phoebe Jonchuck off the Dick Misener bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway bridge in January 2015. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  14. John Jonchuck competency hearing pushed back


    CLEARWATER — The competency hearing for John Jonchuck, 26, that was scheduled for this morning has been delayed until April 26. Jonchuck, who had not been back to court in more than a year, was to appear this morning to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. But his new public defender, Jane McNeill, said that he had not been taking all of his medications.

    Jonchuck will be reevaluated by a psychologist....

  15. Jonchuck moved back to Pinellas County ahead of hearing


    CLEARWATER — John Jonchuck, the 26-year-old man accused of dropping his daughter off the Dick Misener bridge, returned to the Pinellas County jail today.

    Jonchuck, whose 5-year-old daughter Phoebe died Jan. 8, 2015, had been in a state mental hospital for more than a year while doctors tried to determine whether he's competent to stand trial for first-degree murder. In February, a judge ruled that he was not, and scheduled another competency hearing for June. ...