Anastasia Dawson - Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

I’m an east Hillsborough County native whose ancestors were among the first settlers in the community of Dover. My parents built their home on an old family orange grove, sandwiched between my grandparents’ home (where my mother grew up) and a 100-year-old house built by my great, great grandparents. Still, I couldn’t resist my big city dreams, so after earning my journalism degree from the University of South Florida I moved to bustling Riverview. A two-week internship at the Tampa Tribune turned into three years of covering education in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In 2016 I joined the Times as a general assignment reporter in Tampa, which often means running into family, friends and former classmates while out gathering the news. A majority of those stories involve our local criminal justice system.

  1. Joshua Michael Nichols, 21, was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday in connection to the early morning shooting death of an unidentified man during an argument outside a Spring Hill home. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
    One person is in custody. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
  2. Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden told employees Wednesday morning that health problems have forced him to step down at the end of his fifth term, in January 2021.
    After 21 years in the job, Belden plans to retire when his term ends Jan. 3, 2021
  3. Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, posted this photo and open letter to Judge Thomas Palermo to her Instagram account on September 10, the day after she lost custody of her 4-year-old son Noah McAdams. The boy's parents wanted to treat his leukemia with natural health care remedies instead of chemotherapy. [Instagram]
    The couple refused chemotherapy for their son, instead seeking alternative treatments including dietary plans, alkaline water and THC and CBD oil treatments
  4. Hillsborough County will dedicate about $1 million each school year to employ crossing guards at all 43 of its public middle schools. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times (2014)]
    While the board’s new Democratic majority fought for modest increases in taxes and fees next fiscal year, the commission voted Thursday night to forego any changes to the millage rate.
  5. A high school student in Massachusetts uses a vaping device near a school campus last year. In Hillsborough County, officials are considering new restrictions on teen use of vaping devices,
    The board asked county staff to bring back proposals. One commissioner termed the vaping phenomenon a "serious public health issue.''
  6. A horse from the east coast of Florida is riding out Hurricane Dorian at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Tuesday. The center is now sheltering about 50 horses evacuated from other counties, and more are on their way to Tampa.
    The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center has more than 100 reservations from owners who are evacuating their horses from Florida’s east coast.
  7. Hurricane Dorian seen from a camera outside the International Space Station.
    Children ages 5 to 14 can attend the county’s “Camp Days” program free of charge at select recreation centers.
  8. Florida Department of Health staffers set up beds at an evacuation shelter for people with special needs, in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, at Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School in Stuart, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Some coastal areas are under a mandatory evacuation since the path of the storm is still uncertain. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
    Florida officials were left to ask themselves an unanswerable question: Where might Dorian hit next?
  9. Deshon Powers, 26, was booked into Pinellas County Jail on Sunday on a charge of first-degree murder.
    One man is dead and another faces a first-degree murder charge.
  10. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
    Kris Thomas Geidel was behind the wheel when the vehicle apparently rolled forward and crashed into a fence Friday night. His body was discovered the next morning.