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. An aerial view of Tropicana Field and the surrounding area looking east towards downtown, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  2. An aerial view of Tropicana Field and the surrounding area looking east towards downtown, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  3. Researchers, community members and Childs Park Neighborhood Association representatives gathered at The Gospel Ministries to observe the installation of a PurpleAir air pollution monitor on Thursday.
  4. City sanitation employees clean up a fish kill in Coffeepot Bayou Wednesday in July 2021.
  5. An aerial view of the Howco Environmental Services plant, on 8th Ave S between 43rd Street S and 44th Street S, with homes in the Childs Park neighborhood pictured in the background on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 in St. Petersburg. Pollution is so bad in the Childs Park neighborhood that Fairmount Park Elementary had to rush kids inside during recess a year or so ago. The NAACP is teaming up with the Childs Park Neighborhood Association and the Sierra Club to launch a "Smell something, say something" campaign for this years-long problem.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Shane McClanahan (18), Luis Patiño (61) and Cody Reed (54) practice a drill with assistant pitching and rehab coach Rick Knapp (92) at the Charlotte Sports Park spring training complex in Port Charlotte in March. Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a $35 million allocation for a youth sports complex in Odessa in Pasco County that had been earmarked as a potential future spring training site for the Rays.
  7. Where will the Rays play home games next. Hillsborough County officials still believe Ybor City makes the most sense. But St. Petersburg city officials believe the current Tropicana Field site is still very much in play and a decision, or at least movement, could be coming soon.
  8. The Pride flag is raised at City Hall on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.
  9. Former mayor of Sacramento and former NBA player Kevin Johnson, speaks at the podium, during a press conference Thursday, May 19, 2022 in St. Petersburg by local Black pastors announcing their official endorsement of Sugar Hill Community Partners developers as their choice for the redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site. A group of pastors were flown out to Sacramento by Sugar Hill to see their developments.
  10. Members of the "Classes of 1970" in St. Petersburg pose for a group photo during a reunion on May 14, 2022, at the Club at Treasure Island. Attendees recalled being uprooted from all-Black Gibbs High during the 1969-70 school year and sent to predominantly white schools as part of a desegregation plan imposed on the Pinellas County school district.
  11. The Pinellas County school district and the St. Petersburg YMCA have proposed a partnership middle school on 62nd Avenue NE, at the site of the old Riviera Middle School. This is an artist's rendering of the school from an aerial perspective.
  12. City leaders have been considering how to renovate the St. Petersburg Marina.
  13. Kayla Benning, 27, with her son Jarvis Maynor, 4, and daughter Khaliah Maynor, 2, in the front of their yard on the corner of Ninth Avenue S and 43rd Street in St. Petersburg. Pictured across the street is Howco Environmental Services, an oil recycling operation with tall black tanks that rise above the Childs Park neighborhood.
  14. St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, who marked his 100th day in office on Friday, talked about that milestone Monday on the steps of City Hall to highlight his administration's accomplishments.
  15. William Kilgore of the St. Petersburg Tenant's Union addresses the media, housing rights activists and residents of Paradise Apartments at 330 45th Ave. S in St. Petersburg during a July rally to talk about eviction practices at the complex.
  16. Ron Overing shelves books while working at the Mirror Lake Community Library. Living in St. Petersburg is a requirement for city workers but housing costs are making that unattainable. Overing had to apply for a residency waiver to live outside the city.
  17. Jamison Carnegie executive director of Mt. Zion Human Services, speaks shares information about Sankofa, a three-part project consisting of affordable housing and commercial space, during a luncheon of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership to discuss some of the upcoming projects reshaping the 22nd Street South corridor, “the Deuces,” once the thriving “Main Street” of the city’s African American community, at the historic Manhattan Casino, Tuesday, April 12, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
  18. A city flag flies during a news conference on Dec. 2, announcing former Mayor Rick Kriseman’s pick for Miami’s Midtown Development to redevelop Tropicana Field. Mayor Ken Welch says he will make the final decision.
  19. St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch appointed longtime official Rob Gerdes to serve as city administrator. His appointment must be approved by St. Petersburg City Council.
  20. In 2007, the Tampa Bay Rays proposed building a $450 million, 34,000-seat stadium on the site of Al Lang Stadium off St. Petersburg's waterfront with a sail-like retractable roof. The plan went nowhere, and 15 years later the Rays say a waterfront stadium could be more expensive because of climate change and the threat of flooding and rising seas.
  21. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
  22. A stationary front sitting across the Florida peninsula Saturday morning will meet an upper level of disturbance approaching from west. That combination plus ample moisture and instability is expected to produce widespread showers and thunderstorms for the Tampa Bay area, with the possibility of severe storms of damaging winds and large hail.
  23. Check for the latest breaking news and updates.

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