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 last year, The Last Voyage of the Bounty, won a Green Eyeshade Award 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 joining 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

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  1. Sunshine

    Blog

    Late start today because of late travel last night. Apologies. Seven (and then some) things now.

    1. Are cruise ships worth it? I think it's time for everybody in the Tampa Bay area to read (or re-read) David Foster Wallace's Harper's essay on the matter....

  2. The Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force Report

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    I finally read it — it came out last week — and here are 11 things I underlined:

    1. Sea Level Rise is an inevitable consequence of the warming of the oceans and the accelerated melting of the planet's ice sheets — regardless of cause....

  3. Sunshine

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    Morning. Seven quick things because I'm on the road today.

    1. Standing before a glass display case of handcuffs, gun holsters and utility knives, Gov. Rick Scott vowed Monday to show no mercy toward criminals in Florida. Scott was talking crime before a subdued crowd inside Patrick's Uniforms, an Adamo Drive business specializing in law enforcement uniforms and accessories. At the campaign stop, he touted the state's 43-year low in the overall crime rate. The Times' Steve Bousquet points out the following: His "Let's Keep Florida Safe" tour went to Tampa and Hialeah to tout a steady drop in the crime rate and his opposition to any changes to a 1995 state law that requires inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. The Senate sponsor of that law? Charlie Crist, back when he was "Chain Gang Charlie." Crime was a huge issue because of crack cocaine and killings of foreign visitors that threatened Florida's tourist-friendly image....

  4. 'This store is the point of convergence for everything that is cracker and the history of Florida'

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    The New York Times' Lizette Alvarez reporting from Chokoloskee Island:

    The Seminole medicine man climbed the steep wooden stairs to the Ted Smallwood Store and shuffled past the counter used to measure raccoon hides, past the Jeris Hair Tonic bottles, the Sloan's Liniment for aches and Dr. Gunn's mid-19th-century "Home Book of Health."...

  5. Hannah Stanford's true love

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    John Pendygraft yesterday in Floridian in the Times: The dancer spends every day in pain and doesn't dare show it. She knows not to drop her head or grimace when the instructor is looking. Moping, complaining or being injury-prone gives a dancer a fatal reputation. Six hours of daily training is the norm, and the competition at the Next Generation Ballet school at the Patel Conservatory is fierce. The teenage-mean-girl factor is off the charts, especially for Hannah Stanford, who stands out. Her face is on a banner draped on the side of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. She is headed on scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London. The day she was cast as the lead in Sleeping Beauty, a dozen other equally driven teenage girls weren't. More....

  6. Did you read Weston Phippen in Floridian in yesterday's Times?

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    For ex-con, there's no glamor in straight life, but it still beats prison:

    A knock on the motel door at 6:30 a.m. wakes Tony Ferrentino. He lifts his 315-pound body a few steps to the door, where a Louisville Slugger leans by the window. His arms are tattooed from wrist to shoulder with dapper mobsters and sprawling, cat-eyed women flashing those parts typically left to the imagination. A nearly 40-year heroin habit has withered his veins. With swollen hands he sweeps aside the drapes....

    Tony Ferrentino.
  7. Eli Saslow on 'la gran madre,' the great mother, of Miami

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    Read this:

    The first emergency phone call of the morning is the one that wakes her up, and Nora Sandigo, 48, answers one of the three phones she keeps within reach of her bed. "Hello. How can I help?" she says, because someone is always asking for her help. She gets up, pours herself coffee and takes down notes as she listens. "Sebastian. 12. U.S. citizen," she writes. "Father deported. Mother detained. Drs appointment today, 2:45."...

  8. Sunshine

    Blog

    Long weekend's over. Seven things now.

    1. Don't miss what Drew Harwell had today on 1A.

    2. Says here Florida is one of just five states that hasn't made texting while driving a primary offense....

  9. Claire Wiseman on Aspiring Martian Hampton Black of Temple Terrace

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    What makes a middle-aged man want to take a one-way trip to Mars? Set for Floridian in Sunday's Times:

    Hampton Black plans his mission to Mars from a 6- by 10-foot office. Inside this windowless capsule, there's just enough room for a desk, a computer, a water heater and a corkboard, where he tacks important papers....

    "... the last frontier that hasn't been explored."
  10. "The biggest thing that went wrong is that Davion spent 15 years in the system."
  11. Sunshine

    Blog

    Morning. It's Thursday but it kind of feels like Friday. Seven things now.

    1. From the Times' Alex Leary in Washington: The White House has a Medicaid expansion argument for Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Republicans: It creates jobs. A state-by-state report released Wednesday estimates Florida will lose out on 63,000 new jobs, mainly in health care, from 2014 to 2017. That's the three years the federal government would have paid the entire cost of providing health care to 848,000 people....

    American icon Terry Bollea of Tampa.
  12. Bill Sutton and the power of helping people not forget

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    Bill Duryea's column in the July Floridian set for Sunday's Times:

    In 1943, the Army tried to turn an American lit expert into a mechanic. It took Bill Sutton's superiors most of the next two years to figure out he was no mechanic. In early 1945, the Army got smart and sent the bespectacled 29-year-old Ph.D. to France to be a military historian....

  13. What you need to know about Florida's "pill mill" crackdown

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    Andy Meacham today on 1A:

    1. A report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a 23 percent reduction in prescription drug deaths in Florida from 2010 to 2012.

    2. Pinellas County, which was home in recent years to about 65 "pill mills" where doctors prescribed drugs illegally, has now seen unscrupulous pain clinics nearly wiped out, said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri....

  14. Sunshine

    Blog

    Okay. High time for your seven things.

    1. My favorite sentence in today's paper? Craig Pittman wrote it: The manatee, a native Florida marine mammal, is as big as a couch and shaped like a yam with flippers.

    2. Brazilian tourists have dethroned the British as Florida's largest group of overseas visitors by country of origin. Orlando was by far the most popular destination. At Perfumeland on Orlando's touristy International Drive, where many of the 200 sales associates speak Portuguese, Brazilian tourists buy extra suitcases to fill with electronics, sunglasses, watches and perfumes, said Alejandro Pezzini, chief operating officer of the company. "It's the equivalent to 40 consecutive days of Black Friday," said Pezzini, describing the busy months of June and July, winter break for Brazilian visitors....

  15. The letter to the editor of the day comes from Holiday's Pete Wilford

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    From this morning's Times:

    With all the problems facing Florida, why are the candidates quibbling over tax returns? Perhaps they should be discussing the following:

    • Massive voter suppression with consequent clotted polling places; endless lines with six- to eight-hour waits and voters being turned away left and right....