Colleen Wright - St. Petersburg Reporter

St. Petersburg Reporter

My 91-year-old Abuela says my career in journalism is what the American Dream is all about. My Abuelo fled Cuba and arrived in Miami in 1962. He washed dishes in the old Miami Herald cafeteria to support his family, including a baby girl on the way — my mother. Almost half a century later, the Herald gave me my first journalism job as a 17-year-old high school intern. I interned at newspapers all over the country, including at the Tampa Bay Times in 2014. It was the Times that gave me my first job after I graduated from the University of Florida, covering education in Pinellas County from 2015 to 2018. Then I returned to Miami to cover education and the nation’s fourth-largest school district for my hometown paper for three years. Now I’m back at the Times, covering St. Petersburg’s government and people. Miami may be my hometown, but the Sunshine City is my home. I live and breathe local journalism, and I’m proud I’ve spent my career working at Florida’s best newspapers.

  1. Patrons sit in outdoor seating during dinner at Wild Child restaurant on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 in St. Petersburg.
  2. La ex fiscal, abogada litigante y defensora del vecindario de Crescent Lake, Lisset Hanewicz, es candidata a la vacante del puesto del Concejo Municipal del Distrito 4 de St Petersburg.
  3. Former prosecutor and trial lawyer and Crescent Lake neighborhood advocate Lisset Hanewicz has filed for the District 4 St. Petersburg City Council seat being vacated by Darden Rice.
  4. Richmond “Richie” Floyd, is a 30-year-old former aerospace systems engineer and on-leave public school teacher.
  5. St. Petersburg Mayoral candidate Darden Rice smiles while greeting voters at Pasadena Community Church, 227 70th St S, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  6. Mayoral candidate Ken Welch addresses supporters gathered during an election-night watch party at Painting With a Twist. The race continues into November for a runoff between Welch and Robert Blackmon, Tuesday, August 24, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  7. Ken Welch and Robert Blackmon
  8. Ken Welch and Robert Blackmon will be in the runoff for St. Petersburg mayor.
  9. Public safety personnel in Tampa Bay, including police officers in Clearwater, come in close contact with the public on a day-to-day basis. Those agencies who could provide an estimate say the rates of COVID-19 vaccination among their employees are lower than in the local population as a whole.
  10. Poll workers disinfect the hand rails leading to the entrance in-between voters shortly after the doors opened for the St. Petersburg Primary Election at Lake Vista Recreation Center, 1401 62nd Ave S, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  11. Voters head to the polls as the doors open for the St. Petersburg Primary Election at Lake Vista Recreation Center Tuesday morning.
  12. St. Petersburg city officials suggested dividing up $45 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act proportionally among five categories that residents recently had a chance to rank in public workshops. Some City Council members said more funding should go toward affordable housing, the No. 1 ranked issue.
  13. St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman unveiled the seven proposals under consideration for the redevelopment of the city's Tropicana Field site on Jan. 26.
  14. A bowl of "I Voted" stickers outside the Supervisor of Elections Office in St. Petersburg in 2020.
  15. Tampa Bay Watch volunteer Frank Gallant, of Tampa, works to remove plastics and polystyrenes in 2018 from a Watergoat which has been installed on Lake Maggiore at Dell Holmes Park in an effort to protect wildlife and the stop debris from causing damage to the ecosystem. A crack in a 10-inch reclaimed watermain in a canal that feeds into Lake Maggoire dumped over 605,000 gallons of fully treated reclaimed water on Aug. 8, 2021.
  16. A Pfizer vaccine is prepared during a community outreach event and vaccination drive hosted by Not My Son and Today's Church in July. COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Florida and in Pinellas County, but the City of St. Petersburg has decided against mandating vaccinations for its employees and declaring a state of emergency.
  17. A cyclists rides pas palm trees near the south yacht basin of the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.
  18. A Facebook post by Robert Blackmon in which he wrote in the caption, “He’s within grabbing distance !!” referencing Donald Trump’s taped remarks about women that surfaced during the 2016 election.
  19. St. Petersburg City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman proposed reinstalling plexiglass dividers among council members in the council chambers. The council ultimately voted 5-3 to reinstall the dividers
  20. Kanika Tomalin, St. Petersburg’s deputy mayor for the past seven and a half years, will join Eckerd College’s ranks as vice president for strategy and chief operating officer in January.
  21. Residents at the Enoch Davis Center on July 26 rank which of St. Petersburg's most pressing issues — affordable housing, health, economic recovery, public safety, infrastructure — should receive $45 million in federal stimulus.
  22. The Dali Museum has proposed its own 400-space garage and a 20,000-square-foot building to include a virtual reality exhibit, an event space and a restaurant. If City Council approves, St. Petersburg voters could have a referendum on their Nov. 2 ballot.
  23. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Monday to make it harder for social media companies to punish users who violate terms of service agreements.