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Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer

Molly Moorhead

Molly Moorhead joined the Times in 2002 and spent nine years writing about Pasco County, covering city government, the Sheriff's Office and the courts, and writing occasional human interest columns. In 2011, she joined the national staff of, checking political claims from Washington and the 2012 presidential election. She returned to the Times' Pasco operation as editor in June 2013, and is currently the breaking news editor for She is a native of St. Petersburg and graduate of the University of Florida journalism school. She lives with her husband and son in San Antonio.

Phone: (813) 226-3371


Twitter: @MollyMoorhead

  1. Da Vinci, van Gogh and now Chihuly: Art thieves strike everywhere


    ST. PETERSBURG — It was just gone, the delicate glass masterpiece likely slipped inside an overcoat or dropped into a handbag.

    Dale Chihuly's Cobalt and Lavender Piccolo Venetian with Gilded Handles was discovered missing Monday from his collection on Beach Drive. The work, just 8 inches tall, is valued at more than $20,000....

    "The Scream'' by Edvard Munch was stolen from an Oslo museum in 2004 and found two years later. [File photo]
  2. Thirteen years ago today, we all rejoiced 'Bucs win!'


    It's been a rough few months — okay, years — for Tampa Bay Bucs fans. Lost games. Lost seasons. Fired coaches.

    Even the good (signing the No. 1 draft pick, Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston) has happened in the shadow of bad (while he was the focus of a protracted sexual assault investigation)....

    Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and players celebrate after Keenan McCardell's touchdown at the end of the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego on Jan. 26, 2003. [Jim Damaske | Times]
  3. Presidential campaign music: a brief history


    Bernie Sanders' campaign released a new ad in the waning days before the Iowa caucuses using Simon & Garfunkel's anthem America as its soundtrack. The ad has no narration, just video of regular folks working on farms, talking around the dinner table and interacting with the presidential candidate as the song plays and its signature lyrics "They've all come to look for America" appear.

    Candidates have gone to the musical well for decades to connect with voters. Some pairings have become part of our political lore. Some have led to cease and desist orders....

    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders hugs a member of the audience after speaking at a county meeting at U.M.B.A. Hall in Pottawattamie, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
  4. QUIZ: Are you smarter than an honors college student in civics, current events?

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth is teaching a civics course in the Honors College at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

    To kick off the semester, Ruth gave his students a 20-question diagnostic quiz — to "assess the health of the patient," as he put it. The quiz, he said, tells him how much the students already know (or don't know) about the functions of democracy, what's happening in government at the state and national levels, as well as general interest events in the news lately....

  5. Florida's death penalty has a long, tortured history


    In Florida, even the death penalty is very ... Florida.

    Renegade. Immune to national trends. Often tested, never defeated.

    Until this week. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida's unique capital sentencing system, saying the state gives too much power to judges, and not enough to juries, to sentence someone to death. The ruling threw Florida's nearly 400 death row cases into disarray....

  6. Lottery winners among us


    Wednesday's Powerball drawing, worth more than $1.5 billion, or roughly how much Donald Trump spent on hair products last year, has Tampa Bay residents lining up for tickets and dreaming of embarrassingly large yachts.

    Yes, the odds of winning are long.

    Long, like the distance from Pluto to the sun.

    But somebody's going to beat the odds, and plenty of times, that somebody has been one of our neighbors....

    Reggie Harvey, who split an $83 million dollar  jackpot with co-workers at Whispering Pines Nursing Center in New Port Richey in 2000, informed two of the other winners via telephone who were away on a cruise as his wife, Alexis, poured champagne. The couple later retired in Louisiana. [Times files]
  7. From the archive: Abraham Shakespeare, a lottery winner who lost everything, including his life

    Human Interest

    Lottery history is riddled with rags to riches — and back to rags — tales of people who struck gold only to see it all slip away.

    Wednesday's Powerball jackpot, likely to exceed $1 billion, has us thinking back on winners whose luck didn't stick....

    Florida Lotto winner Abraham Shakespeare, of Lakeland, won a $17 million jackpot, only to squander virtually all of it away within two years. [Times files]
  8. Federal College Scorecard provides pocketbook data on Tampa Bay higher education


    The College Scorecard, an online tool to help families assess and compare colleges and universities in areas like cost, graduation rates and student debt, rolled out last month with new updates and more information.

    The scorecard is an Obama administration project that puts troves of federal data about American colleges and universities online in a searchable format. It has been scaled back from President Obama's original promise of rating schools based on affordability and return on investment — a contrast to other private rankings that emphasize prestige and endowment size. ...

    CHERIE DIEZ  | Times]
  9. From USF to Sun City Center, Playboy has ties to Tampa Bay

    Human Interest

    It's a little harder to recognize America's cultural landscape after you read this headline: "Playboy to Drop Nudity as Internet Fills Demand."

    (Which might also be read as "Playboy to Drop Nudity Blah Blah Blah.")

    But the words mean what they say. The venerable men's magazine announced it will stop publishing photos of naked women, its response to the ubiquity of Internet pornography as well as the evolving habits of news consumers. ...

    In a Pinellas courtroom in 1983, an exotic dancer bent over in front of Judge David Demers to defend her outfit in a trial charging her with violating the county's nudity ordinance. The photo appeared in Playboy later that year. [Times files]
  10. Man charged in transgender woman's slaying a person of interest in second Tampa homicide


    TAMPA — The man accused in last week's shooting death of a transgender woman also is a "person of interest'' in a second slaying that happened Sunday, according to Tampa police.

    Keith Lamayne Gaillard, 18, is being held in the Hillsborough County jail on a first-degree murder charge in the death of India Clarke, whose body was found July 21.

    Gaillard also is being looked at in the homicide investigation of Tyrone Sean Davis, who was found dead Sunday in Temple Crest Park. Davis' family said they believe he was gay....

    Keith Lamayne Gaillard, 18, is charged with murder in the death of India Clarke.
  11. Supreme Court vacates death sentence of Pasco man convicted in Land O'Lakes murder


    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday vacated the death sentence of a Pasco County man convicted of killing his onetime girlfriend in 2006 and ordered that he be set free.

    The court said the state's case against Derral Wayne Hodgkins was "purely circumstantial" and skewered prosecutors for mischaracterizing crucial DNA evidence.

    Bjorn Brunvand, the Clearwater defense attorney who defended Hodgkins in his 2011 trial, praised the ruling....

    “I’m ecstatic that they had the courage to rule in his favor,” said defense lawyer Bjorn Brunvand.
  12. New Pasco Times debuts May 2


    The Pasco Times is about to become a "newspaper within a newspaper."

    Beginning May 2, we will introduce a reimagined Pasco Times, a weekly Friday section that will bring a more analytical and insightful look inside government, business, economic development, schools, crime and more. We'll tell stories of interesting characters in our community and keep you in the loop about upcoming events. ...

  13. Arnades left lasting legacy in San Antonio

    Human Interest


    Charles Arnade used to drive to the post office dressed in a Speedo, mesh tank top and flip-flops. He'd emerge engrossed in his mail and begin to walk home, forgetting about his car parked nearby with the engine running.

    That story about the venerable Dr. Arnade was shared by his son Tim, who returned to San Antonio last weekend with his siblings to pay tribute to their mother, Marjorie, who died almost a year ago. Dr. Arnade, a Fulbright scholar and charter member of the USF faculty, died in 2008, a year after the couple sold their stately white house overlooking the city park....

  14. Jan Glidewell, Times' colorful North Suncoast columnist, dies of cancer


    DADE CITY — Jan Glidewell rolled into the St. Petersburg Times newsroom, a high school dropout with an unapologetic swagger. He was hired against the advice of the paper's executive editor and retired 30 years later a local icon.

    He reported on serial killers and hookers, dirty politicians and kidnapped children. When he became a columnist, readers on the North Suncoast found an unlikely breakfast table companion, a nudist hippie airing liberal political commentary and tales of his five marriages....

    Jan Glidewell spent a week in July 1986 paddling a canoe alone from Lacoochee in northeast Pasco County to Dunnellon in Marion County.
  15. Pasco officials support Rep. Mike Fasano's hope to be tax collector


    Rep. Mike Fasano's popularity with his constituents was starting to look like a disadvantage after he announced his interest in becoming Pasco's next tax collector.

    Fasano said last week that he would like to replace Mike Olson, who died last month after 32 years in office, prompting numerous emails from residents beseeching him to keep his job in the Florida House.

    "We need you up in Tallahassee to be a voice for the people of Pasco County," one email read....