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

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  1. Jeff Klinkenberg on the couple and the crocodile in the canal

    Blog

    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.
  2. Sunshine

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    "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....

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

    Blog

    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."...

    Why?
  6. '... voters deserve a better discussion about the serious challenges facing Florida'

    Blog

    Five questions:

    1. Who will stick up for the value of a liberal arts education and an engaged citizenry?

    2. Who will create a policy that encourages energy efficiency, emphasizes renewable energy and reduces the state's carbon footprint?

    3. Who will best manage growth as the economy rebounds and pursue a sound state water policy?

    4. Who will persuade the Legislature to take billions in federal Medicaid expansion dollars that could help cover more than 800,000 uninsured Floridians?...

  7. 8 things I underlined in Adam Smith's 5 things to watch over these next 70 days of Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott

    Blog

    From the piece today on 1A:

    1. Charlie Crist, the former self-described Ronald Reagan Republican, officially became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor Tuesday ......

    Your options.
  8. 'Boating is to Florida what skiing is to Colorado ...'

    Blog

    Lizette Alvarez in this morning's New York Times:

    MIAMI — In the clear waters of the bay here, not far from President Richard M. Nixon’s former compound on Key Biscayne, boaters enjoying a floating bacchanal routinely drop anchor on a sandbar, tether their boats together, and spend the day swimming, drinking, blasting music and jumping from boat to boat....

  9. Germany is trouncing the Sunshine State when it comes to solar energy

    Blog

    Martin Dyckman on Context Florida:

    In Germany two weeks ago, we were impressed by the multitude of solar arrays along the autobahn.

    There were too many to count.

    They perched on the rooftops of homes, apartment buildings, barns, offices, shops, storage sheds and garages. They were free-standing in cornfields and pastures — any place with a southern exposure and space to spare....

  10. 'What's up with all the sinkholes?'

    Blog

    Something I underlined in a paper by geologist Clint Kromhout that I saw mentioned in a short piece the other day from The Atlantic:

    Population growth has likely played the largest role in the perception that sinkholes are occurring more frequently. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Figuratively, sinkholes fall under that same quandary. In order for us to know a sinkhole has occurred, someone has to observe it. As we know, the population of our state is always growing, more people means more eyes and ears, and more media reporting outlets to document things. As Florida's population grows it expands into areas which may be potentially more susceptible to sinkhole formation. Therefore, as our population grows, covering more areas of the state, more sinkholes are being witnessed and reported. In this digital age news travels as fast as the telephone, television, and internet can distribute it, especially when an event is tragic (Seffner sinkhole tragedy) or novel (sinkhole forms in a lake and drains it)....

  11. Sunshine

    Blog

    Click to watch mentions of the following:

    1. Marlene Sokol: While most high school students feel comfortable in Hillsborough County public schools, many feel less secure when they head toward home. And, according a survey released Monday, neighborhoods are doing too little to fix that....

  12. 'This grotesque fact' about chronic absenteeism in Florida's schools

    Blog

    Daniel J. Cardinali, the president of Communities in Schools, in this morning's New York Times:

    For the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair. Given the hardships at home, poor kids might be expected to have the best attendance records, if only for the promise of a hot meal and an orderly classroom....

  13. 5 things to know about the imperiled Florida orange

    Blog

    Plucked from this helpful list compiled by Tamara Lush:

    1. Florida historians say citrus trees were brought to the peninsula in the mid-1500s by Spanish explorers and first planted along the state's northeast coast, near St. Augustine. Oranges and grapefruits have been farmed commercially since the 1800s. By the mid-20th century, an aggressive marketing campaign led Americans to associate the state's abundant sunshine with orange juice....

  14. The grouchiest grouch of Dunedin (uncut!)

    Blog

    Surely you read in yesterday's paper about Doug Wilkey, the man who's spent parts of the last two years railing away about 12-year-old T.J. Guerrero's lemonade stand. Wilkey, who didn't want to talk with the Times' Keyonna Summers -- shocker -- has sent at least four emails to city officials, and I wanted to read them, obviously. Keyonna passed them along to me. Now, after cleaning up some typos, I'll pass them along to you....

    T.J. Guerrero and his lemonade stand.
  15. Sunshine

    Blog

    Click to watch mentions of the following:

    1. "I've never seen an ad focus on the arts," Kornell said, contrasting that with cities like Memphis, Austin, Texas, and Santa Fe, N.M., which highlight their cultural amenities. "A whole host of cities do ad campaigns geared completely to the arts."...