Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer

Michael Kruse

Michael Kruse, winner of the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism and the American Society of News Editors' distinguished nondeadline writing award, is a staff writer on the enterprise team at the Tampa Bay Times. His three-part series in 2013, The Last Voyage of the Bounty, won a Green Eyeshade Award and a Gold Medal from the Florida Society of News Editors and was a finalist for ASNE's Punch Sulzberger Award for Online Storytelling, and his story about a woman who disappeared inside her home was anthologized in Next Wave: America's New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. In 2012 he gave a TEDx talk on the importance of story. His work has been recognized, too, by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society for Features Journalism, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Headliner Awards and the Magazine Association of the Southeast, and in categories ranging from sports explanatory to business reporting, from short features to long profiles. Before the Times, he worked at the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson Valley, where he covered two towns and Major League Baseball and was the paper's writer at large. He is the author of Taking the Shot: The Davidson Basketball Moment and has written for Grantland, ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports and Outside, Our State, Charlotte, Parade and Men's Health magazines, and Harvard's Nieman Storyboard. Kruse, 36, was born outside Los Angeles and raised outside Boston and is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina. He lives in St. Petersburg with his family.

Phone: (727) 893-8751

Email: mkruse@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MichaelKruse

  1. 11 things that happened in August that would've been called SO FLORIDA had they happened in Florida


    I did it for January, and I did it for February, and I did it for March, and I did it for April, and I did it for May, and I did it for June, and I did it for July, so now I'll do it for August....

  2. There's no cemetery in The Villages


    Be sure to read Alex French on BuzzFeed:

    Seventy miles northwest of Orlando International Airport, amid the sprawling, flat central Florida nothingness — past all of those billboards for Jesus and unborn fetuses and boiled peanuts and gator meat — springs up a town called Wildwood. Storefront churches. O'Shucks Oyster Bar. Family Dollar. Nordic Gun & Pawn. A community center with a playground overgrown by weeds. Vast swaths of tree-dotted pastureland. This area used to be the very center of Florida's now fast-disappearing cattle industry. The houses are low-slung, pale stucco. One has a weight bench in the yard. There's a rail yard crowded with static freight trains. The owners of a dingy single-wide proudly fly the stars and bars....

    America's fastest-growing metropolitan area.
  3. It's an outrage that Pancho the crocodile of Coral Gables is dead


    The news today from near Miami:

    Pancho — a 12-foot, 300-pound American crocodile that has made its home in the backyard waters of the exclusive Gables by the Sea community — is dead.

    The croc died while fighting his capture early Friday morning, authorities said....

  4. The 'viral' Dunedin lemonade stand story started the way all 'viral' stories start


    Keyonna Summers put the story in last Sunday's Times pitting the neo-Rockwellian T.J. Guerrero against the grouchy Doug Wilkey. This morning's follow almost couldn't have been better. This thing is everywhere -- Gawker, NPR, CNN, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News Latino, MTV.com -- because now that's just how this stuff goes....

    Kiddie capitalism and the ways of the world.
  5. No 'major' football school in America has had a steeper decline in student attendance over the last five years than USF


    It feels like football's never been bigger. Certainly the NFL. Also college football. Tons of people waste giant chunks of their weeks this time of year watching it. Sorry. I'm just playing party pooper. We're inherently irrational animals and that's just the way it is and maybe even that's okay....

    USF's football coach and not so much of a crowd.
  6. Florida's newest institution of higher education has a library with no books


    Accreditation isn't the only thing Florida Poly doesn't have.

    The library at the STEM-centric school in Lakeland features a sunlit arched roof and cozy reading chairs -- but not a single book, former Times reporter Letitia Stein wrote for Reuters....

    The MIT of Orlampa.
  7. There are THREE articles in my paper this morning about St. Pete and its trouble with race


    1. Kameel Stanley on 1B: A string of city workers, union officials and community members went before the City Council on Thursday to demand that the city do something about racial tension within its workforce.

    "We have real issues here," said Robin Wynn, a stormwater worker who recently filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the city for what she calls discriminatory treatment. "This city promotes institutional racism."...

  8. E.O. Wilson, M.C. Davis, and the importance of Freeport, Florida


    Tony Hiss in the new Smithsonian:

    "Battles are where the fun is," said E.O. Wilson, the great evolutionary biologist, "and where the most rapid advances are made." We were sitting in oversized rocking chairs in a northwest Florida guest cottage with two deep porches and half-gallons of butter-pecan ice cream in the freezer, a Wilson favorite. He'd invited me here to look at what he considers a new approach to conservation, a new ecological Grail that, naturally, won't happen without a fight....

  9. The small town for sex offenders near Pahokee in South Florida


    Making the rounds are some new photos of Miracle Village. Readers of Floridian know Miracle Village.

    In 2009, Ben Wolford wrote last summer, an activist preacher named Richard Witherow decided he needed to do something about the men he called "modern-day lepers."...

  10. She doesn't like him.
  11. Jeff Klinkenberg on the couple and the crocodile in the canal


    You heard, yes, about this unprecedented "attack" earlier in the week in a tony part of South Florida? The state's foremost nature and culture writer had this to say about it for the blog:

    A tough place, Metro-Dade County. Horrific traffic, no place to park, too much crime, rude waiters, overweight men in thong bathing suits, iguanas eating your prized hibiscus. In late summer, even the land crabs can get on the nerves. On roads along Biscayne Bay, they sometimes swarm out of burrows by the thousands and migrate across roads looking for mates and for trouble. Some stretch 15 inches from claw to claw. Pop! There goes your tire, dummy....

    An American crocodile of Florida.
  12. Sunshine


    Click to watch mentions of the following:

    1. Adam Smith: The single-biggest obstacle to Crist this year is voter turnout history. In 2002, 40 percent of Democrats turned out to vote and 46 percent of Republicans turned out. In 2006, 40 percent of Democrats showed up, and 45 percent of Republicans. In 2010, Scott won when just 38 percent of Democrats voted and 46 percent of Republicans did....

  13. Top manatee expert: Keep 'em on the endangered species list!


    James Powell, Ph.D., the founder and executive director of Sea to Shore Alliance:

    I grew up in Crystal River. I saw my first manatee 55 years ago when I was 5 while I was fishing with my dad. It glided under our boat and my dad was frightened that it would tip us over. To me they were magical and on that day, I became fascinated by these gentle, lumbering creatures....

  14. '... as nasty as anything Florida has ever seen'


    "I can't remember a governor's race that was so focused on the negatives of your opponent, rather than what you thought you could bring to the people if you were elected governor," said Bob Graham, a Democrat who served two terms as Florida governor and three as a U.S. senator. "All of American politics, unfortunately, are getting more negative, but it's also the personalities and the decisions the candidates have made to put all their energy and money toward attacking the other candidate." Click....

  15. Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens in Tampa sounds like a terrible idea


    A freefall designed to mimic a falcon's dive? Six windswpet seconds at 60 miles an hour? With the use of high-powered magnets and a 68-ton countwerweight inside the tower? Midair face-plant? The first drop tower in the world to put riders face-down as they hurtle toward the concrete?

    "The worst part of the ride is on the way up," Joseph Pringle, a tourist from the United Kingdom who was taking a moment to catch his breath before getting up the courage to ride again, told the Times' Sharon Kennedy Wynne. "There's something wrong with you if you aren't scared."...