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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 SB Nation Longform, and Outside, Our State, Charlotte, Parade and Men's Health magazines, and Harvard's Nieman Storyboard. Kruse, 37, 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. Prayer carried students through the frantic moments after shooting started

    Crime

    TALLAHASSEE — Student Jason Derfuss walked with books in his backpack out the front of Florida State University's Strozier Library just before 12:30 early Thursday morning and heard a shot behind him. He turned and watched a man with a gun five feet away fire twice more, straight and close into the torso of another person, who collapsed. Derfuss ran.

    Inside, on the first floor of the crowded building, a group of Delta Alpha Chi sorority sisters were sitting together and working on papers for classes about religion when they heard shots, too....

    About 3,000 Florida State University students hold candles aloft Thursday evening at the Gathering of Unity vigil on campus after three people were wounded by a gunman inside Strozier Library. Student government president Stefano Cavallaro urged his classmates to look forward.
  2. The plight of the Florida grasshopper sparrow

    Blog

    Scientists are racing against time to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow, one of the most endangered birds in the United States, Margaret G. Zackowitz writes in this month's National Geographic.

    Says Audubon Florida: The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow is a federally endangered bird found nowhere else in the world. Despite public land managers' efforts to recover the bird its population continues to decline steeply on the very lands where it should be thriving. Without immediate intervention the outlook is dire for this diminutive Florida prairie specialist....

  3. What the Times' Craig Pittman wrote about Florida for Departures magazine

    Blog

    One of my favorite paragraphs in the piece: One of the things I love about Florida is that it embraces so many contradictions. We call ourselves the Sunshine State, but many of our cities get more rainfall than Seattle. Our economy depends on attracting millions of tourists a year and yet our first state flag said, "Let Us Alone." And our state animal is a tawny-furred predator that numbers no more than 160 cats in the wild. There are thousands more Florida panthers on our license plates than there are actual panthers. But do read it all....

  4. Marc Caputo's 10 takeaways from Florida's 2014 elections

    Blog

    Here's all of 'em. I'd say this one in particular:

    TV ads are still king in Florida. In the modern election world, there are any number of consultants and experts hawking the latest sophisticated research showing campaigns how to get an edge in social media or on-the-ground organizing. But the midterms showed that TV ads are still king. When Scott started his heavy TV advertising in March, Crist's favorable ratings started to nosedive in the polls. The Crist campaign's internal poll tracking showed Scott's last-week ad buys made a difference, too. Scott outspent Crist at least $70 million to $34 million on TV. So it ain't just what ya say in Florida that matters, it's what ya say in 30-second spots in the 10 major media markets that really counts....

  5. Everything about this story about snails

    Blog

    Do read Craig Pittman's latest:

    MIAMI — At a little-known government laboratory in South Florida, they keep the snails under lock and key. Sure, any escape would be sloooooow. But giant African land snails are such a threat to humans that the rules say they have to be kept locked away, just in case....

    South Florida's stucco-sucking mollusks.
  6. Video: The corpse in the house in Cape Coral

    Blog

    The Eleanor Rigby of SE 19th Lane. Heard from folks yesterday who said this reminded them of the story of Kathryn Norris. Cape Coral makes some sense too....

  7. Jitka Hyniova of Brooksville: big fan of Floridian

    Blog

    Her letter to the editor in today's paper:

    If the Times keeps running stories like "Girl Falls for the Teacher," "This Is Bill" and "The Vasectomy King," I will consider canceling my New Yorker subscription....

  8. The Vice News assessment of our complicated state

    Blog

    From earlier in the week:

    Florida is a geographic microcosm of America — in reverse.

    Its south, centered on the Miami area, is a bit like New York City: a diverse metropolis with large communities of Jews and African-Americans, Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, and transplants from the five boroughs....

  9. People in Florida should read this

    Blog

    John R. Gillis, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers, author of The Human Shore, on A19 of this morning's New York Times:

    To those of us who visit beaches only in summer, they seem as permanent a part of our natural heritage as the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes. But shore dwellers know differently. Beaches are the most transitory of landscapes, and sand beaches the most vulnerable of all. During big storms, especially in winter, they can simply vanish, only to magically reappear in time for the summer season....

    Indian Rocks after Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.
  10. Still your governor

    Blog

    Five things I underlined in the main article on today's front:

    1. ... the second Republican since Reconstruction to win two terms as Florida governor.

    2. The squeaker conclusion to the country's most expensive race of 2014 ...

    3. Florida Democrats bet their future on a life-long Republican ......

    Last night at a fancy Hyatt in Bonita Springs.
  11. Have you voted yet?

    Blog

    Numbed by all the attack ads, disheartened by lackluster choices, lots of people are in a mood not to vote. Bad idea, Carl Hiaasen wrote the other day in the Miami Herald.

    Go vote.

    "Washington is broken" is passive-voice bulls--t, Ezra Klein said this morning on Vox. Politicians in Washington do what they think will win them elections. If Washington is broken, then we voters bear some of the blame for breaking it — and everyone who is sitting back and complaining and not voting bears some of the blame for doing nothing to fix it....

    This morning in St. Pete.
  12. The health of the reefs in the Dry Tortugas is an exception among reefs in Florida

    Blog

    "Perhaps the best thing we can do to protect the oceans is to take better care of the land. This is especially true in Florida, where continuing to invest in conservation and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems is essential for protecting freshwater and wildlife resources near our own back yards as well as the oceans to which they are all connected." Click....

    Dry Tortugas National Park.
  13. The Koch brother who lives in Palm Beach

    Blog

    Times Washington bureau chief Alex Leary in Sunday's Floridian:

    "I'll let Mr. Koch know you're here," says the man at the door.

    Coffee or juice, he asks, then disappears. A small black orb protrudes from the ceiling — a security camera watching over artworks that would make a museum director drool: Monet, Picasso and Renoir. Sunlight animates an atrium in the distance, a statue of a nude woman rising from a pool....

    ... the yearning of a man who owns everything for something that doesn't come with a price tag.
  14. Jeff Klinkenberg's farewell piece in the Times

    Blog

    You read it in Floridian in Sunday's paper?

    When I started at the Miami News in 1966, I remember that reporters typed their stories with two fingers on cheap paper. If they needed to move paragraphs around, they did so with scissors and glue. They impaled finished stories on metal spikes for a psychopathic editor who forbade talking until sunrise....

  15. Florida from space

    Blog

    This ran in Sunday's paper in Perspective:

    Chris Hadfield, the retired commander of the International Space Station who famously performed David Bowie's Space Oddity while in orbit, has collected 192 of his favorite photos in a whimsical new book, You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes (Little, Brown; $26). It follows last year's bestselling An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. "Who'd have thought that five months away from the planet would make you feel closer to people," mused the Canadian astronaut a few days before his return trip back to Earth in May 2013. Hadfield's mastery of the camera — and Twitter, with his son's help back on Earth — catapulted him to fame. He took about 45,000 photos in all. His fully wired son, Evan, suggested via email-to-orbit that his astronaut father ask people on Earth what they wanted him to take pictures of. "The resounding answer was, 'I want a picture of my hometown, of where I'm from,' " Hadfield told the website Quartz. "To me that was delightful. At first I thought how narcissistic. But then when I thought about it, it struck me for two different reasons: People are proud of where they are from. And they have an ache and a desire to see how they fit in with everything else. It's a dawning self-awareness, like seeing yourself in a mirror for the very first time, but on a global scale."...

    The Sunshine State at dawn.