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Scholarship honors former Times reporter

A former St. Petersburg Times reporter who is now battling breast cancer will have a scholarship named in her honor by the newspaper.

Bryanna Latoof, who wrote for the Times from 1988 until 1995, was known for her compassion and tenacity as a journalist. She once dropped her notebook at an accident scene to comfort a child.

Latoof, 39, now lives in Houma, La., near New Orleans. At the suggestion of her former co-workers, the paper established the Bryanna Latoof Scholarship, which will be given to a reporter intern who exhibits Latoof's ideals. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded annually.

"I'm flattered beyond words to be honored this way," Latoof said Wednesday through her husband, Mark Green.

"It's not something you think about when you're in the trenches getting the facts, rushing back to meet deadline."

Among other things, Latoof has written about murders, plane crashes, parenting and Barney.

Paul Tash, executive editor of the Times, said the scholarship is a "reflection of our high regard for her both as a journalist and as a person."

Latoof used a version of the golden rule to guide her life.

"Of course, there were many times in my career where I had to wrestle with people for being dishonest, unfair, or outright idiotic. It's hard to stay cheerful under those circumstances," she said.

"But all in all, being a decent human being is what life is about. If you miss that boat, you've missed the point altogether."