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Megan Reeves, Times Staff Writer

Megan Reeves

Megan covers news in Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs. She is from the Jacksonville area and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in photojournalism in May 2015. She joined the Times in January 2016 after spending one year at the Lake City Reporter.

Phone: (727) 445-4153

Email: mreeves@tampabay.com

Twitter: @mreeves_tbt

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  1. Fun and family help elevate Gold & Diamond Source and Barbizon Modeling to top workplaces

    Business

    This year, 20 businesses graced the list of Tampa Bay's Top Workplaces for the first time, standing out as great places to work. The Tampa Bay Times talked with the owners and operators of two of them to find out what put them on top.

    • • •

    Barbizon Modeling USA began in New York City more than 75 years ago as a modeling and acting school for youth ages 8 to 18. After changing hands a few times, Barbizon is now run by Dave Harris, who purchased the company with a partner in 2000, and is headquartered at 4950 W Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa....

    Pat Kelly, store manager at the Gold & Diamond Source in Clearwater, illustrates how he examines diamonds.
  2. Newcomer to Tarpon Springs commission sees opportunities for improvement

    Local Government

    TARPON SPRINGS — Jacob Karr took his place on the dias this week as Seat 1 Commissioner, expressing gratitude to voters who gave a political newcomer a chance.

    Karr, a 30-year-old purchasing manager for a national healthcare company based in Clearwater, was elected to the spot last month over former Mayor Frank DiDonato and Tim Keffalas, who has run for local office four times. Karr took 46 percent of the vote....

    Jacob Karr
  3. Answers to questions on parking in downtown Dunedin

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — After months of criticism coming from residents and merchants frustrated by the downtown paid parking pilot program, city leaders have come up with some changes.

    Along with adding more free spots and better signage, the city has streamlined parking fees. And within the next two weeks, dilapidated free lots will be resurfaced with asphalt millings.

    City staff say feedback from residents and merchants — as well as data provided by the company that manages the electronic parking meters — inspired the changes, attempting to make the system less complicated and more user-friendly....

  4. Our reporters took slow and slower routes from mid Pinellas to Pasco. Who got there first? (w/video)

    Transportation

    It's a commute that makes drivers pick their poison: To get from mid Pinellas County to the Pasco County line, should you risk bumper to bumper traffic on McMullen-Booth Road and the Bayside Bridge or suffer through stop and go traffic on U.S. 19?

    We decided to put our journalism degrees to use and conduct our own non-scientific experiment of which route is faster. On a weekday. At 5 p.m. rush hour....

    [Photo from video]
  5. Safety Harbor candidates focus on downtown development

    Elections

    SAFETY HARBOR — Residents have a lot of names to get familiar with before election day as six candidates vie for two open seats on the City Commission.

    For Seat 1, voters will choose among former commissioner Nancy Besore, political newcomer Cameron Boozarjomehri, and Damon Lister and Scott Long, who have each dabbled with service on city boards. Luanne Lambert challenges incumbent Carlos Diaz for Seat 4....

    Damon Lister
  6. Tarpon Springs candidates focus on infrastructure, business, taxes

    Elections

    TARPON SPRINGS — Names both familiar and new will grace city ballots next month when residents will choose a new Seat 1 commissioner to replace Townsend Tarapani, who has reached his term limit.

    After a loss in the race for mayor last year, former Mayor Frank DiDonato says he has chosen to make another run at a spot on the dias. He is up against Tim Keffalas, who lost his race for Seat 3 last year, and political newcomer Jacob Karr....

  7. Safety Harbor mayoral candidates focused on downtown

    Elections

    SAFETY HARBOR — On March 14, voters will choose between former mayor Joe Ayoub and current Seat 1 Commissioner Janet Hooper to replace Mayor Andy Steingold, who has decided to step out of local politics for the first time in a decade. The Tampa Bay Times asked the candidates to share a bit about themselves and what they plan to do if elected.

    Ayoub, 40, has lived in Safety Harbor for 26 years. He is a chief financial officer for Georgia-based company Data Blue and has been involved in civic and professional groups in Pinellas County. He has served on the Pinellas Planning Council, Pinellas County School Transportation Safety Committee, Safety Harbor Middle School Advisory Council, Safety Harbor Budget Advisory Committee and as board chairman of Plato Charter School Academy and board member of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. Ayoub served as a city commissioner from March 2007 to January 2013, when he was elected mayor. He held the city's top spot until March 2014, when he lost to Steingold....

    Joe Ayoub, 40, wants to bolster downtown businesses.
  8. Two Tarpon Springs neighbors flood police department with complaints about marina next door

    Public Safety

    TARPON SPRINGS — Since it was annexed into the city more than a decade ago, police have regularly responded to Marker 25 Marina along the Anclote River.

    In the past year alone, officers have visited the commercial-residential property dozens of times for complaints of noise and code violations, most of which police Chief Robert Kochen called "unfounded."

    "It is a constant stream of complaints . . . and we keep investigating the same thing," he said. "Only about 5 to 10 percent of complaints are found to be legitimate."...

    Jeremy Sibert, 44, who has lived in a rental duplex at the Marker 25 Marina for two years, walks along the dock. The property has several rental homes and a rented workshop space.
  9. Mysterious mayoral race robocalls fly through Dunedin ahead of Election Day

    Elections

    DUNEDIN — A string of robocalls bashing Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski has trickled through the city this past week, ringing the phones of hundreds of residents — including the mayor herself.

    The calls harped on personal issues Bujalski's opposers have called her out on before, so naturally the incumbent and her supporters have looked to her opponent, Vice Mayor Bruce Livingston, to claim responsibility....

    Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski blames Vice Mayor Bruce Livingston.
  10. Democratic Florida House candidate David Vogel defends mocking Facebook posts

    State Roundup

    Democrat David Vogel said his Facebook posts name-calling Republicans and mocking the religious should have no bearing on his candidacy for the Florida Legislature.

    He called the posts his "analysis" of the Republican Party. He said they're just friendly exchanges.

    The 49-year-old lawyer, who is opposing Republican incumbent Chris Latvala for the Florida House District 67 seat, said harshly worded posts labeling some as mindless, poorly educated and "bigoted piece(s) of trash" actually go back a decade on his page....

    Incumbent Chris Latvala says the posts show Vogel is unfit for office.
  11. Albanian family thanks Bill Clinton for helping bring them to America

    Blog

    It was 1999 when the Shala family first met Bill Clinton.

    He was still president when he visited the refugee camp in Macedonia, where the Albanian family of 30 fled after war pushed them out of Kosovo, their southeast European home near Serbia.

    The camp had little shelter, no food and no showers. Disease was spreading fast. When Clinton arrived promising to help the hundreds of thousands of people there relocate to safer parts of the world, the Shalas told him they wanted to go to America....

    Elhame Shala, left, and husband Raif greet former President Bill Clinton after his speech on Oct. 11 in Safety Harbor.
  12. Nearly two decades later, Albanian family thanks Bill Clinton for helping bring them to America (w/video)

    Human Interest

    SAFETY HARBOR

    It was 1999 when the Shala family first met Bill Clinton.

    He was still president when he visited the refugee camp in Macedonia, where the Albanian family of 30 fled after war pushed them out of Kosovo, their southeast European home near Serbia.

    The camp had little shelter, no food and no showers. Disease was spreading fast. When Clinton arrived promising to help the hundreds of thousands of people there relocate to safer parts of the world, the Shalas told him they wanted to go to America....

    Members of the Shala family stand with both the American and Albanian flags. The Albanian family credits President Bill Clinton with helping the family relocate from a refugee camp to Safety Harbor. [Courtesy of Shala family]
  13. New Safety Harbor ordinance prohibits the retail sale of pets

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A topic first brought to the commission by a concerned resident about a year ago was passed by the City Commission as a new ordinance Monday prohibiting the retail sale of cats and dogs within city limits. There are currently no animals sales happening in the city, according to City Manager Matt Spoor, and the ordinance was created as a preventative measure. The move made Safety Harbor the second city in Pinellas County to pass such an ordinance, the first being St. Petersburg....

  14. Fenway Hotel to hold restaurant, rooftop bar

    Business

    DUNEDIN — Developers have dished more details about what's in store for the historic Fenway Hotel, including information about its future restaurant and rooftop bar.

    The restaurant will be a chophouse named Hew, a word meaning "chop or cut" by definition, and also the initials of the Fenway's original architect, Herman Everett Wendell. The rooftop bar will be called HiFi, a call-out to one of Pinellas County's original radio stations....

  15. Democratic newcomer faces Republican incumbent Chris Latvala in state House District 67 race

    Elections

    Democrat David Vogel is going head-to-head with Republican incumbent Chris Latvala for the District 67 seat of the Florida House of Representatives, saying he feels a "social responsibility" to represent Pinellas County's Democratic voters.

    A longtime lawyer who moved to Clearwater two years ago, Vogel says that when no other Democrat stepped up to challenge Latvala in the race, he decided he had no choice but to do it himself....

    Democrat David Vogel’s priorities are education and health care.