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Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writer

Waveney Ann Moore

Waveney Ann Moore is a general assignment reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. She covers a wide range of topics in the metropolitan area, most recently the debate over the future of the St. Petersburg Pier.

She was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. The series won the Dart Award for covering trauma, the Casey Medal for exemplary reporting on children and families and first place for nondeadline reporting in the 2010 Green Eyeshade competition run by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Moore was also a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer as part of a team that covered the story of the Rev. Henry Lyons, former head of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A.

She's a former reporter for the Kansas City Star.

Born in Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, she is a naturalized American citizen.

Phone: (727) 892-2283

Email: wmoore@tampabay.com

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  1. Mayor Rick Kriseman raises LGBT flag amid applause and protest

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For the third year in a row, the Pride flag is flying below the Stars and Stripes at St. Petersburg's City Hall.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman raised the rainbow flag Thursday, ahead of a weekend of events culminating a month of LGBT Pride.

    "I'm so proud to live in a city that values diversity and inclusion," Amy Foster, chairwoman of the city council, said during a brief ceremony that had a noticeable police presence....

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Nadine Smith, co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, raise the American and Pride flags at St. Petersburg City Hall on Thursday as part of a ceremony honoring Gay Pride Month. This weekend is St. Petersburg's annual Pride Festival. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. St. Petersburg, preservationists agree on demolition of "cheese grater" buildings

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Demolition will go forward of two historic buildings on prime downtown property considered ripe for redevelopment.

    Preservationists, who sued to save the buildings on Central Avenue's 400 block, have agreed to drop their lawsuit. The announcement came Thursday evening, minutes before City Council members were to vote on a request by St. Petersburg Preservation to designate the former Pheil Hotel and Theater and Central National Bank as local landmarks....

    The owners of a historic downtown St. Petersburg block will now be able to demolish the buildings after the preservationists who had tried to prevent the razing agreed Thursday to drop their lawsuit. [RON BRACKETT   |   Times]
  3. St. Petersburg's Beach Drive restaurants may get competition from pier establishments

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There is consternation in some quarters about the city's plans to establish three restaurants in the new Pier District expected to open two years from now.

    With a total of about 725 seats, the proposed restaurants could mean competition for businesses now thriving on popular Beach Drive and other spots downtown. There is also worry about the loss of green space along the city's prized waterfront....

    With a total of about 725 seats,  the proposed restaurants in the Pier Districtg could mean competition for businesses now thriving on popular Beach Drive and other spots downtown. There is also worry about the loss of green space along the city's prized waterfront. 
[JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times (2014)]
  4. St. Petersburg Pier approach options could get costly

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The $66 million Pier District budget is getting even tighter.

    City Council members heard Thursday that they will have to decide what takes priority in the portion of the project designed to link the new pier to downtown.

    Among the questions: How much parking should there be and is there too much restaurant space? And what about the so-called arts bridge with a possible price tag of up to $1.5 million?...

  5. Public art subject to wear and tear — then repair

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Michael Mantei said he was upset after learning that one of his workers had damaged a poignant piece of public art at Fire Station No. 4.

    The artwork featured cold-cast bronze sculptures of a boy and girl sitting on a granite bench. The boy's right hand touched a firefighter's hat. Engraved on the bench were the words: In Lasting Memory of St. Petersburg's Fallen Firefighters....

    Repairs have also been done to Beach Balls, one of the city’s best known public art displays, at North Shore Pool.
  6. Rising number of homeless families concerns advocates

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County is short of emergency shelters for homeless families, a crisis described in dire terms Friday, with talk of families with kids driving hopelessly from agency to agency in search of a temporary roof over their heads.

    "We are inundated with families in need of emergency shelter," said April Lott, president and CEO of Directions for Living, a social services agency in Clearwater....

    Advocate April Lott says a vital social service referral program went away without notice.
  7. Panel weighs public artwork for St. Petersburg pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Although the demolished inverted pyramid was itself a work of art for some, the new pier will have something the old one did not — actual public art.

    A committee appointed by the city's public art commission held its first meeting last week to determine how to spend what could be a minimum of $500,000 on artwork for the Pier District that's scheduled to open in the fall of 2018....

    The first piece of public artwork in St. Petersburg was Chuck Fager’s Beach Balls at North Shore Pool. 
  8. To ease homeless issue, St. Petersburg mulls tiny homes

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Could tiny houses help alleviate St. Petersburg's intractable homeless problem?

    It might be a solution, if those living on the streets can be persuaded to take up offers to settle into permanent housing being built at places like Pinellas Hope or the 400- to 500-square-foot homes being planned by Celebrate Outreach.

    The homeless issue in St. Petersburg flared this month after complaints from residents of nearby downtown neighborhoods about men and women loitering for blocks around the St. Vincent de Paul shelter....

    St. Vincent De Paul is blamed by some for a growing homeless population in St. Petersburg.
  9. Downtown St. Petersburg's about-face with street parking

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The words "back-in-head-out parking" should explain it all.

    Alas, for a number of confused motorists, they do not.

    A new way to park in St. Petersburg — introduced on one downtown block — is said to be safer and easier than traditional diagonal or parallel parking.

    But not everyone has caught on to how it works.

    Some drivers, probably excited at spotting a precious parking space, zip across oncoming traffic and maneuver their vehicle facing the wrong direction....

  10. Groups, city of Gulfport rally to save historic Lincoln African-American cemetery

    Local Government

    GULFPORT — After decades of neglect of Lincoln Cemetery — the African-American burial ground where Civil War and other military veterans are interred alongside prominent and ordinary citizens — help is on the way.

    That's in addition to those who are assisting 22-year-old Vanessa Gray, a restaurant server who single-handedly began cleaning up the graveyard in December.

    A posting for volunteers on her Lincoln Cemetery Society Facebook page drew about 30 volunteers the day before Mother's Day....

    Vanessa Gray brushes dirt off a grave in Lincoln Cemetery in Gulfport.
  11. 'Cheese grater' buildings denied historic status by preservation board

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city's Community Planning and Preservation Commission on Tuesday rejected a request from preservationists to designate the former Pheil Hotel and Theater and Central National Bank local landmarks.

    The commission's decision, reached by a 5-2 vote, will now go to the City Council, where a supermajority vote is required.

    It was an important victory for the owners of the buildings, which are on a prime downtown block along Central Avenue. The owners are trying to demolish the buildings to pave the way for a promised mixed-use project. If the buildings had been deemed historic, the designation would have complicated, or even delayed, those plans....

    A preservation group sought the status for the “cheese grater” property on a prime downtown St. Petersburg block.
  12. Preservationists persist in battle to save 'cheese-grater' buildings

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The battle over downtown's so-called cheese-grater buildings continues.

    Preservationists say the buildings on a prime Central Avenue block are historic and shouldn't be razed to make way for promised redevelopment.

    One group of owners has countered, setting up a Facebook page and taking out a full-page ad decrying preservationists for standing in the way of progress....

    The owners of a historic downtown St. Petersburg block are planning to raze their vacant buildings (from Central Avenue to First Avenue S, and Fourth Street to Fifth Street S) as they prepare to sell what will be prime real estate. But St. Petersburg Preservation wants to designate the buildings, the 11-story Pheil Hotel and Theater, which began its construction in 1916 and the Central National Bank in 1911, as historic.
  13. Man, 37, dead in deputy‑involved shooting in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A Pinellas County deputy fatally shot a man armed with an assault rifle during an auto theft investigation overnight in St. Petersburg, the Sheriff's Office said Saturday.

    Alton Fitzgerald Witchard, 37, was identified at an afternoon news conference by Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri as the man who was killed. A second man, the driver, was identified as Cory Williams, 31, who was arrested....

    Officers investigate the scene where a deputy shot a man armed with an assault rifle at 21st Avenue S and 23rd Street shortly after 3:10 a.m. Saturday in St. Petersburg.
  14. St. Pete Pier poised to survive doomsday sea level rise scenario

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — According to climate change experts, the Tampa Bay area doesn't stand a chance.

    A World Bank study ranks the region among the 10 most threatened by rising sea levels. A bipartisan report in 2014 declared that in addition to more frequent hurricanes, higher temperatures will likely cause up to 45 additional deaths per 100,000 people each year in Tampa Bay.

    "Between $15 billion and $23 billion of existing (Florida) property will likely be under water by 2050," according to the 2014 report....

  15. Neighborhood leaders decry reassignment of St. Petersburg community police officer

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — Neighborhood leaders in the southern end of town are effusive in their praise of police Officer Dennis Kelly.

    They say that as their community officer, he responded to calls promptly. He solved problems swiftly. He acted as though their neighborhoods were his own.

    Then he was gone.

    The outcry has reverberated by email, in letters to Mayor Rick Kriseman and police Chief Tony Holloway and complaints to City Council members Karl Nurse and Steve Kornell. There's talk of airing their frustration about Kelly's abrupt reassignment to the entire City Council....

    Officer Dennis Kelly served the city’s southern communities.