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. Have You Not Hard of Floryda?

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    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....

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

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    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.
  3. Sunshine

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    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....

  4. See Florida?

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    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.
  5. Lauren Groff in Oxford American on the mermaids of Weeki Wachee

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    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....

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

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    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.
  7. Here are three quotes from the story about cigars and Ybor City and Tampa on the front of this morning's New York Times

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    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."...

  8. Sunshine

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    Tuesday. Back on track. Seven things.

    1. It is not insignificant that Kriseman chose an African-American to be St. Petersburg's new chief. That reinforces his campaign message to residents in low-income, predominately black neighborhoods that their voices will be heard, and some of the scars left by the 1996 racial disturbances have not healed. Some black residents have fresh complaints about uneven or unfair policing, and Holloway has experience effectively dealing with such frustrations in Clearwater's North Greenwood neighborhood. Click....

  9. A path to the middle class in Central Florida

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    Something I noted in a story I read in the Wall Street Journal I picked up at my hotel over the weekend:

    From 2000 to 2010, the number of registered nurses increased by 24%. But the aging of the baby-boom generation will sharpen demand even as it reduces supply: Roughly a third of today's nurses are more than 50 years old....

  10. Y'all read in Sunday's New York Times how the influx of South Americans is reinventing Miami?

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    13 things I underlined in the piece by Lizette Alvarez:

    1. ... a tableau vivant of the new Miami, which has gone from a place defined by Cuban-Americans to one increasingly turbocharged by a surge of well-educated, well-off South Americans in the last decade. Their growing numbers and influence, both as immigrants and as visitors, have transformed Miami's once recession-dampened downtown, enriched its culture and magnified its allure for businesses around the world as a crossroads of the Spanish-speaking world....

  11. Sunshine

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    Late-night edition because early this morning I was having technical issues and then I really had to finish a draft of a story. So. Seven things.

    1. There's a lesson for Florida in Atlantic City, the New Jersey beach town that sought to re-create its former glory by marketing itself as Vegas East. Three decades later, the risks of gambling on such an economic development model are apparent. Unemployment and poverty both remain high, and one out of every three casinos is threatening to shut its doors. The industry is not the panacea supporters claim it is, and Floridians should take note. Click....

  12. Still thinking about Robin Speronis of Cape Coral

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    I love this sort of stuff. Speronis, though, is taking it to another, even more interesting level. Here's the story again from today from the Fort Myers paper. Here's her blog. And here's the recent feature in Bloomberg Businessweek:...

  13. A higher power in Orlando

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    Mina Kimes in the current ESPN The Magazine:

    A few weeks ago, as the first stirrings of World Cup mania rolled through this country, the city of Orlando unveiled plans for its own paean to the beautiful game: a sparkling new stadium for a new MLS team. The Orlando City Soccer Club's $110 million facility will contain 20,000 seats, dozens of luxury suites and a massive lion statue that rotates to face the pitch during matches. The city is ready to break ground, but there's one thing standing in its way: a tiny church....

  14. 'If you stand by values and principles and don't mindlessly submit ... things will be OK'

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    The most interesting Florida thing I've read so far today:

    The saga continues in one Cape Coral resident's fight to live without electricity or running water.

    Robin Speronis, 54, was expected Thursday in a code enforcement hearing at City Hall. She didn't show, and now she is expected to correct the issues with her home or vacate it by July 28....