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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


  1. James Museum gives St. Petersburg a new option for downtown office space

    Real Estate

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Amid a hub of construction and closed sidewalks, the opening of the new Tom and Mary James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is months away, but leasing for its prime downtown retail and office space has begun.

    The museum at 100 Central Ave., where 400 to 500 pieces of Tom and Mary James' extensive art collection will be on display, will offer almost 35,000 square feet of commercial space....

    Mary and Tom James arrive at the Tampa Museum of Art in November. Their new downtown St. Petersburg project, the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, is months away from opening with 400 to 500 pieces of the couple's extensive art collection. But it will also offer 35,000 square feet of commercial office space that is now being leased. [AMY SCHERZER   |   Times]
  2. Meeting scheduled on Lincoln Cemetery effort

    Local Government

    GULFPORT — A community meeting to discuss plans for the historic African-American Lincoln Cemetery, 600 58th St. S, is set for 6 p.m., Feb. 27, at Greater Mount Zion AME Church, 1045 16th St S, St. Petersburg.

    Lincoln Cemetery, where African-Americans have been buried since 1926, has been neglected over the years. It is now being taken over by Cross and Anvil Human Services, the nonprofit arm of Greater Mount Zion AME Church. The Rev. Clarence Williams said the nonprofit will ensure that the 9-acre cemetery is properly maintained. There are also plans to use ground-penetrating radar to locate unmarked or sunken graves....

  3. Jordan Park deal is closer to reality

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The St. Petersburg Housing Authority is inching towards ownership of Jordan Park, the 24-acre public housing complex near 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue S.

    Tuesday, after months of negotiations, the agency signed a purchase and sale agreement with Jordan Park Development Partners — a partnership of the Richman Group of Florida and Landex of Jacksonville — to buy back the property it once owned....

  4. Congregation's ovation helps persuade Rev. Sykes to stay


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rev. Manuel Sykes, well-known pastor of Bethel Community Baptist Church, will not be retiring soon, after all.

    Sykes announced his plan to retire about four months ago, saying he would be devoting his time to his health and completing a dissertation for a doctorate in counseling psychology.

    Last week he said that those goals have not changed, but that his congregation had persuaded him to remain. That happened one Sunday about three weeks ago, Sykes said, when one of his ministers stood up in front of the church and "made an announcement that God put it on his heart that I'm not going to be leaving for another five years."...

    Pastor Manuel Sykes of Bethel Community Baptist Church has decided to postpone his retirement. Times files.
  5. St. Petersburg's mayor wants to bring renowned artist to Pier, but at what cost?

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pier District is the city's quest to build a world-class attraction, and that means acquiring world-class public art.

    That's why Mayor Rick Kriseman has urged a public arts committee to hire internationally renowned artist and Tampa native Janet Echelman to install one of her voluminous, floating sculptures at the Pier, where it would float above Tampa Bay.

    Echelman's work, displayed in places like the Smithsonian, a waterfront in Portugal and in a Phoenix park, is pricey. The Phoenix piece billows 145 feet into the sky and is illuminated with colored lights that change from season to season....

    Janet Echelman’s Water Sky Garden was erected in British Columbia, Canada, for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Mayor Rick Kriseman told the Pier Art Committee that he was willing to approach private donors to help pay for a Echelman piece at the Pier. [Courtesy of Janet Echelman]
  6. St. Petersburg church to take over neglected African-American Lincoln Cemetery

    Local Government

    GULFPORT — The perennially neglected Lincoln Cemetery, resting place of African-Americans dating back to a time when they could not be buried in the same earth as whites, has found a long-term caretaker.

    The historic cemetery is being taken over by the nonprofit arm of St. Petersburg's Greater Mount Zion AME Church, which announced plans to ensure ongoing maintenance, build a road, fence-in the 9-acre property and use ground-penetrating radar to locate every grave....

    After this 2-year-old boy’s grave was uncovered at Lincoln Cemetery, a volunteer brought this rocking horse from home to place beside the headstone.
  7. Block by block, St. Petersburg Preservation still fighting to preserve history

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The towers transforming downtown's skyline showcase the city's building boom, but those striving to preserve the city's history fear that progress could overshadow its past.

    "When we are in a boom like we are now, we lose more of our historic properties," said former City Council member Jeff Danner. "People are more likely to tear something down and build something new and bigger."...

    St. Petersburg Preservation President Emily Elwyn and her group are trying to have this home at 136 Fifth Ave. N and others on the block designated as historic landmarks before they're torn down for new development in the area. St. Petersburg Preservation's goal is to group together historic landmarks to create historic districts to advance their mission of preserving the city's historical buildings and architecture. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  8. St. Petersburg exhibit tells the stories of African-Americans who fought to fight in World War II

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG —The history of African-Americans in World War II is often told through the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, intrepid pilots like Benjamin O. Davis Jr., who became the first black general in the Air Force.

    But there were also those like Vernon Baker, whose initial efforts to enlist to fight for his country were dismissed with the words: "We ain't got no quotas for you people." The Army lieutenant went on to receive the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor....

    John T. Ayers, 93, of St. Petersburg fought with the Mont?ford Point Marines during World War II. He spoke of dealing with prejudice.
  9. House 69 candidates differ on mental health needs, fracking and other issues


    ST. PETERSBURG — In some ways, the candidates running for Florida House District 69 are a study in contrasts.

    Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters is at ease with her stump speech, amiably engaging audiences of familiar faces and seemingly oblivious to the woman who aims to supplant her.

    Political newcomer Jennifer Webb, the Democrat, is earnest and studied, less at ease and more likely to take shots at her opponent....

    Kathleen Peters says the sewer system is a top topic.
  10. Tampa Bay's Catholics assess Vatican's new instructions on cremation


    ST. PETERSBURG — More than 50 years ago, Catholics were given permission to cremate their loved ones. Now the Vatican has issued new instructions governing the practice.

    Ashes are not to be scattered or kept at home, according to the Vatican's new decree, but buried or deposited in a consecrated place.

    The instructions "regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in case of cremation" appeared Tuesday on the Vatican's website and were issued by its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith....

  11. Plaza seen as the 'heart and soul' of St. Petersburg's Pier District

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A large waterfront plaza has emerged as the centerpiece of the 25-acre Pier project planned for downtown, acting as a gathering spot that would serve as the city's "living room."

    It's "the heart and soul of the whole project," city architect Raul Quintana said Wednesday, addressing a committee that will decide what kind of public art should grace the $66 million Pier District....

     A view of the downtown St. Petersburg skyline and waterfront from over Tampa Bay looking west. The area in the center foreground, at the base of the old pier, is where officials envision a plaza that would be 'the heart and soul' of the planned Pier District.
  12. State House | District 69


    Incumbent Kathleen Peters, a Republican, was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2012 and has held the seat since. She is facing a challenge from a first-time political candidate in Democrat Jennifer Webb.

    About the job: State House District 69 includes Gulfport, Madeira Beach, Pinellas Park, South Pasadena, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island and parts of St. Petersburg. State representatives serve two-year terms and earn $29,697 a year....

    Kathleen Peters, candidate for State Rep., District 69.
  13. After eviction, Mosley residents find new 34th Street motels to call home

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Ashley Stahl and her family cut it close the morning that deputies arrived to evict the last residents from the derelict Mosley Motel.

    They made it out on that Oct. 3 day before the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office threatened to move them out. But the family didn't go far — they simply drove their packed minivan to another motel down the street.

    That's because closing the Mosley — a longtime home for poor families and the elderly, but also a magnet for crime — does not solve the larger socioeconomic problems of the 34th Street corridor....

    The Mosley Motel in St. Petersburg was closed Oct. 3 after dozens of residents moved out before deputies evicted them. [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
  14. Politics of forgiveness a topic for Yom Kippur in Tampa Bay area


    ST. PETERSBURG — Joseph Bensmihen, a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, managed to discover a spiritual moment during Sunday night's contentious presidential debate.

    The recognition came in the context of Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar, which begins today at sundown and marks the culmination of a solemn 10-day period of introspection, renewal, repentance and forgiveness....

  15. Shocker: Jeff Brandes wins re-election after "opponent" drops out


    On Sunday, Alexander Johnson wrote a one-sentence letter to the Florida Division of Elections. It said that he was withdrawing from the District 24 state senate race.

    His isn't a household name. Johnson, 23, was a write-in candidate for the seat held by incumbent Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. With no other opposition, that means Brandes cruises to an easy and predicted victory....