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Amy Gehrt - Editor, Breaking News

Editor, Breaking News

I’m a second-generation journalist. I fell in love with the written word as a young child, and I knew early on that I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps and help readers stay informed about their communities. I landed my first paying journalism job as a college freshman working for my school newspaper, The Vidette. Born and raised in Illinois, I worked there until 2015. But after driving home during yet another blizzard, I decided to say goodbye to cold, snowy winters. A few weeks later I drove across the country to my new job in the Sunshine State. I spent several years as the web editor at The Ledger in Lakeland, and I survived and covered Irma, my first major hurricane. I’m excited to be part of the Times’ breaking news team, and I thank you for trusting us to give you the latest news and the information you need to keep your family safe. When I’m not working I can be found rooting on my beloved Chicago Cubs, reading, swimming, watching the wildlife in my yard or obsessing over my plants. My golden retriever, Santo, is never far from my side.

  1. The Falkenburg Road Jail in Tampa is seen in a Google image from 2018. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, staff at the county’s Falkenburg Road Jail in Tampa discovered Clarence Valentine, 47, “unresponsive” in the medical services on Saturday, and he was pronounced dead the following day at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital. His death is under investigation.
  2. Officers were called to the 1700 block of East 24th Avenue in Tampa around 10:21 a.m. Tuesday and discovered a man with a gunshot wound, the Tampa Police Department said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. The man later died.
  3. Michael Bogsted was arrested at his Plant City home on Tuesday after authorities say he tried to sell or mortgage several properties that didn’t belong to him. He faces a charge of scheme to defraud.
  4. Amjad Namrouti, 28, has been arrested in connection to the death of 42-year-old Jamie Hobdy of Tampa, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
  5. Tony Thongdeng, 35, was arrested during a traffic stop Thursday on an active warrant related to a 2016 shooting at the 4 Play Gentlemen's Lounge in unincorporated St. Petersburg on Sept. 25, 2016, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  6. The bodies of a 70-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman were found inside a home in the 1800 block of Stancel Drive in unincorporated Clearwater on Friday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The two died  “from apparent gunshot wounds,” Sgt. Amanda Sinni, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, told the Times. The man and woman were identified Saturday morning.
  7. The body of missing 18-year-old Derrick Gray was found in a wooded area in the eastern part of Clearwater on Friday, according to police. His family reported him missing on Jan. 7.
  8. A man is dead after being shot multiple times Friday evening in Temple Terrace, city officials said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.
  9. A 36-year-old motorcyclist from Riverview was driving at “a high rate of speed” when he struck the back of a pickup truck on Causeway Boulevard in Hillsborough County Friday afternoon and was ejected, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He later died at an area hospital.
  10. Stephanie Contreras, a 29-year-old mother of four from Dover, was named by the Florida Highway Patrol on Thursday as the woman who was found lying on the shoulder of Interstate 275 on Christmas morning with critical injuries and later died.
  11. Largo police are investigating the deaths of two people at Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park, the city’s police department said Monday evening.
  12. Adam Garabrant, 60, of Seminole, was the real driver behind the wheel when a pedestrian from St. Petersburg was hit and killed last December, not the woman who was arrested at the scene, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release Friday evening.
  13. Cortavius Thompson is facing a charge of first-degree murder while engaged in child abuse in connection to the death of a 1-month-old infant, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
  14. Two people were thrown from a motorcycle after the Florida Highway Patrol says the driver ran a red light and collided with a sedan at a Pasco County intersection Tuesday.
  15. A man is dead after a two-vehicle crash on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon, according to police.
  16. A 63-year-old Plant City motorcyclist has died after a crash at the intersection of State Road 574 and North Forbes Road in Hillsborough County Monday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  17. Troopers say a 75-year-old motorcyclist has died after colliding with a sedan and a pickup truck on Interstate 75 on Sunday evening.
  18. A driver involved in a road rage incident shot at a Hillsborough deputy Wednesday evening, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
  19. A 64-year-old pedestrian who was walking on U.S. 41 when he was struck by an 18-year-old driver's sedan Tuesday evening has died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  20. A screenshot from video recorded by a Pinellas deputy's body camera on Nov. 12 shows Tampa police Chief Mary O'Connor and her husband, Keith, during a traffic stop.  O'Connor identified herself as chief, pulled out her badge and asked the deputy to "just let us go" when told they'd been pulled over for not having a tag on the golf cart while he was driving on a public road.
  21. A 38-year-old Tampa officer was taken to Tampa General Hospital Thursday after a crash on Adamo Drive around 11 a.m. Thursday, according to police.
  22. A crash in the area of McKinley Drive and East Bougainvillea Avenue in Tampa around 4:46 p.m. Wednesday has killed a motorcyclist, according to the Tampa Police Department.
  23. A jury has found 20-year-old Jy’Quale Samari Grable of Tampa guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy and robbery in connection to the shooting deaths of two men, federal prosecutors announced Monday.