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Bethany Barnes - Deputy Investigative Editor

Deputy Investigative Editor

I’m on the Tampa Bay Times investigations team, where we examine big problems in Florida. I’m particularly interested in labor issues. Also, the federal government. If you’ve got insight on these matters – or any trouble that Floridians need to know about – get in touch. I started at the Times in 2019. I moved here from Portland where I covered education for The Oregonian. Before that, I wrote about courts, prisons and corruption in Las Vegas. My reporting has won awards, but more importantly it’s brought wrongdoing to light. I grew up in Arizona in a town not far from the Mexico border and have a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in journalism from the University of Arizona.

  1. A yearbook photo of Wharton High School teacher Todd Harvey.
  2. Katie McGill, longtime executive director of Dress for Success Tampa Bay, collected clothing and purse donations on May 31, 2012, at the non-profit's storefront.
  3. Drone images of the Shore Acres neighborhood in St. Petersburg, where there is a lot of flooding, Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023.
  4. Max Sparra helps to tape up the windows of a neighbor's house in Pass-a-Grille as Hurricane Idalia makes its way toward the Florida Gulf Coast.
  5. Melanie Copeland reported Wharton High teacher Todd Harvey for racial harassment in 2017. Years later, after a Times story brought to light that the district didn't retain her complaint, an investigator is asking about the allegations.
  6. Tampa Police on Saturday arrested a 38-year-old man in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a DoorDash driver.
  7. A Riverview man died Saturday, April 22, 2023, after a car turned in front of him on U.S. 41, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  8. Austen Peffley is speaking out about disturbing comments made by a Wharton High teacher after a Tampa Bay Times investigation into similar complaints.
  9. March 12, 2023• Investigations
    A yearbook photo of Wharton High School teacher Todd Harvey.
  10. Melanie Copeland felt unheard as a freshman at Wharton High after she reported a racist incident involving her teacher.
  11. Anthony Prado, with the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team (FL-TF2), ducks into a collapsed roof while searching for people Wednesday in Fort Myers Beach. Hurricane Ian devastated the town when it made landfall nearby on Sept. 28.
  12. A man is evacuated by the United States Coast Guard after being found among the wreckage of homes on Fort Myers Beach on Thursday, Sep 29, 2022, which was mostly destroyed after Hurricane Ian made landfall overnight on Wednesday.
  13. A pickup truck navigates a flooded section of First Street outside of the United States Courthouse in downtown Fort Myers on Wednesday, where storm surge continued to inundate Lee County long after the eye wall passed into Central Florida.
  14. Kiwi, a parakeet, arrives with his family at one of Hillsborough County’s pet-friendly shelters in preparation for Hurricane Ian at Durant High in Plant City on Tuesday.
  15. Madisyn Slater poses for a portrait at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park on Monday, June 21, 2021 in Tampa.
  16. Jimmie Keel a longtime assistant county administrator with Hillsborough County, pictured around the time of his retirement in 2001. That year Hillsborough County also named the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library at 2902 W Bearss Ave. after the county's first Black social worker and assistant county administrator. Keel died on Saturday, April 16. He was 83.
  17. Police in Dade City are investigating a hit and run crash that severed a pedestrian in two, killing her; and another crash in which a truck hit part of the body and early hit deputies investigating the first incident.
  18. A shooting in the parking lot of a Tampa strip club early Sunday left one person dead, police said.
  19. “It’s just so crazy to see they are actually caring about stuff now,” Rebeca Braukman, a senior at Blake High School, said of the school’s recent efforts to address students’ concerns about sexual harassment. “I felt seen, heard.”
  20. People hold signs outside of the Hillsborough County School Board meeting in Tampa on Tuesday. They were there to demand an independent investigation in response to a Tampa Bay Times story.
  21. Rufus del Valle, a former student at Blake High School, left, hugs his father, Gregory del Valle, moments after sharing memories from his time at the school during public comment at the Hillsborough County School Board meeting on Dec. 14.
  22. Rufus del Valle, a former student at Blake High School, breaks down as he speaks about his experiences at the school during the public comment portion of the Hillsborough County School Board meeting Tuesday at the district offices in Tampa.
  23. Rufus del Valle says that during his time at Blake High School he saw friends suffer from what he understood to be sexual abuse. When de Valle tried to speak up during his freshman year of college, he says no action was taken by the administration.