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. Rick Scott, All Aboard Florida, the Sabal Trail Transmission, and linking the personal to the political


    Time's Michael Grunwald:

    The Florida governor has been questioned about his investment in a natural gas company and his aide's involvement in a rail project.

    A few months ago, I wrote about an epidemic of fake Republican scandals that Democrats were hyping for 2014, starting with a nothingburger of a whatever-gate involving Florida Governor Rick Scott. My point was that political scandals rarely get traction, and shouldn't get traction, without a semi-plausible link to significant public policies. Let me put it a different way: Damaging scandals look more like the two latest messes involving Governor Scott....

    Rick Scott.
  2. John Romano on Dunedin Elementary and school grades and what's really the problem


    In his column today, which you should read, here are the three most important points he makes:

    1. One small problem with school grades: They're a sham....

  3. Because this is the biggest issue facing Florida and America right now?


    You saw this on 1A of today's Times?

    What Marco Rubio says: "Those who support same-sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislatures to change state laws. But Americans like myself who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing that overturned by a judge. ... I will be attacked as a hater, a bigot or someone who is anti-gay. This intolerance in the name of tolerance is hypocrisy. Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is not anti-gay, it is pro-traditional marriage. And if support for traditional marriage is bigotry, then Barack Obama was a bigot until just before the 2012 election."...

  4. Lionfish!
  5. Marco Rubio on the J.C. Newman cigar factory in Tampa's Ybor City


    Remember this from the other day? Here's what Rubio had in this morning's paper:

    When my grandfather was a young boy growing up in Cuba, he was afflicted by polio that permanently disabled his legs and rendered him incapable of working in the tobacco or sugarcane fields like most boys his age. Instead he was sent to school, where he learned to read and write and developed a lifelong passion for learning....

    A Tampa institution.
  6. Charm, vim and 'swagger,' thanks to fancy boxes in city centers


    Three things I underlined in Drew Harwell's important story today on 1A:

    1. "The younger generation, under 35, they don't want to own homes. They don't want a yard. ... They watched what happened (during the recession), watched their parents lose their houses," said John Stone, a managing director of multifamily housing for Colliers International, a real estate brokerage. "They have a different taste, a different value system. ... These kids are more than happy to pay $1,200 in rent to walk out their door and immediately go to their favorite bar, their favorite restaurant."...

    This is Adrienne Hatch. She's paying $1,330 for a 700-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment. In St. Pete!
  7. Sunshine


    Morning. Thursday already? Seven and then some.

    1. ... possible cheating on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test at an elementary magnet school in St. Petersburg. Click.

    2. From Forbes: Florida has crawled back from the depths of the recession and the  employment outlook is bright, particularly for the retirement enclaves in the southern part of the state. Leading the way is Naples, which is expected to have the fastest job growth rate among the 200 largest metro areas with an annual rate of 4.1% through 2016, according to Moody's Analytics....

  8. 'Such a mixed multitude,' Florida


    Five things I underlined in Rollins College English professor Maurice J. O'Sullivan's piece in the current issue of the magazine of the Florida Humanities Council:

    1. It may seem surprising that Florida's first poem was written in French -- as was our first novel, Atala (1801), by Francois-Rene, the vicomte de Chateaubriand -- but our state has always been both multilingual and multicultural....

  9. Daily Beast sponsored content says it's 'Tampa Time' this summer but uses a photo of St. Pete


    Melissa Lyttle noted the flub. Here's the ... piece of content:

    Heat is an inescapable part of Tampa's essence, and while visitors this summer will sweat profusely, they'll also be out experiencing the rich, understated history, natural beauty, and one-of-a-kind food and drink of this fast-rising Southeastern metropolis. These suggestions will help you wring every last drop out of the season, guaranteeing you'll fall into autumn bursting with more knowledge about a place that is much more than the cigars and outrageous pirate parties that the rest of the world seems to know it by. Keep reading....

    Not Tampa.
  10. Sunshine


    Wednesday now. Seven and then some.

    1. The news today on 1A: An estimated 931,000 Floridians could lose $4.8 billion in subsidies to buy health insurance if a federal appeals court decision Tuesday striking down a major part of President Obama's signature health care law is upheld.

    The take back in the editorials: In an ideal world, there would be no issue about whether health coverage was bought through a state exchange or the federal one. But Florida Republicans and conservatives in other states fought the Obama administration at every turn and refused to create state exchanges. That forced 5.4 million Americans to obtain coverage through the federal exchange, and the vast majority qualified for subsidies. Despite website issues, constant political attacks and now a shortage of doctors in some limited plans, health care reform is working. More than 983,000 Floridians signed up for health coverage through the federal exchange, and more than 9 of 10 of them received a subsidy. Yet opponents who have failed to persuade Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act continue to fight various provisions in the courts. If the full appeals court panels examine fairly the intent of the Affordable Care Act, they will conclude the subsidies are legal and this issue will never reach the U.S. Supreme Court....

  11. See Florida?


    Spotted this in "World in a Snap" in today's tbt*. The picture was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station on July 15. The long glow is from Miami, says Phil Plait on Slate, but you can see where the people are over on our coast, too, from Naples on up and then across the peninsula on and around I-4....

    Lights in the dark.
  12. Lauren Groff in Oxford American on the mermaids of Weeki Wachee


    I mentioned the piece here last month when the magazine showed up in the mail. Looks like now you can read it for free. Worth the click.

    A few miles southwest of Gainesville, the arching oaks of central Florida loosen into long fields full of beef steer. They tighten up again into the Goethe State Forest (pronounced, hereabouts, as Go-thee), and finally peter out into US-19, a soulless and endless miracle mile of corporate chains from Applebee’s to Zaxby’s, hitting nearly every letter between. In the town of Homosassa, I saw a smiling gray manatee the size of a VW van on the side of the road, surrounded by a sea of yard-sign valentines that someone had left to fade in the March sun. Homosassa is famous for being one of the best places in Florida to view West Indian manatees, those gentle thousand-pound sea cows that are routinely torn up by jet skis and motorboats. Skeptics believe that sailors mistook sea mammals like manatees and dugongs for women, giving rise to the myth of the mermaid. After a few months at sea, one starts to see what one expects to see, and long ago, sirens were a matter of fact, not myth. Henry Hudson reported a sighting of a mermaid and Christopher Columbus saw a manatee surfacing somewhere near the Dominican Republic on January 9, 1493, and noted in his diary that mermaids were not nearly as beautiful as they were painted. True. Manatees are pewter-colored and have faintly hound-doggish heads and platters for fins; they don’t look much like Daryl Hannah. Still, the word manatee comes from the Taíno word for “breast,” and a manatee on her back, with her forefins folded on her chest, can appear to have a goodly bosom. It’s not hard to see how, after months of male company, the sight of one rising from the waves like a massive and fleshy woman could evoke intense erotic yearnings. Keep reading....

  13. What we talk about when we talk about invasive species is ... Florida


    17 things I underlined in this week's Time magazine cover story on invasive plants and animals:

    1. "Removing a huge portion of all the mammals from the Everglades is going to have a dramatic impact on the ecosystem," says Michael Dorcas, a snake expert at Davidson College. "But right now we don't have anything that can significantly suppress the python population."...

    Jeff Fobb with a python.
  14. Here are three quotes from the story about cigars and Ybor City and Tampa on the front of this morning's New York Times


    Following the Times' Susan Thurston's story from earlier this month. Here's the NYT piece.

    1. "When the cigar industry relocated to the Ybor City area, it basically transformed the economy of the state from agriculture to industrial."...