Jack Prator - Climate/Beaches Reporter

Climate/Beaches Reporter

I cover climate as well as Tampa Bay’s beautiful beaches. A Floridian through and through, I’ve reported on a number of environmental issues our state has recently faced. I was on the ground in my hometown of Fort Myers during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian. I’ve written at length about the impact of the Clean Water Act on Tampa Bay. And I covered the state’s response to manatee deaths hitting a record high. As an audio storyteller, I think people’s voices can be our most powerful tool. I graduated from the University of Florida in May 2023, where I studied journalism and sustainability. Go Gators! While I do have a professional obligation to the local beaches, you will probably still find me there on a day off.

  1. A St. Petersburg police officer was arrested Wednesday in Hillsborough County on a battery charge after he pushed a woman during an argument, records show.
  2. The scene following an early morning shooting along Ybor City’s 7th Avenue in Tampa on Oct. 29.
  3. Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw, Hillsborough State Attorney Suzy Lopez and the family of Harrison Boonstoppel discuss the arrest of a second suspected shooter in connection with a gunfight that took place in the 1600 block of East Seventh Avenue in Ybor City on Oct. 29, killing Boonstoppel and a 14-year-old boy.
  4. Police investigate the scene at a home at 1760 17th St. S. on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
  5. Volunteer Rose Munoz sorts through items at Feeding Tampa Bay Tuesday in Tampa.
  6. In June, a dead tiger shark washed up on Indian Shores, prompting town leaders to pass a ban on shark fishing from land.
  7. An aerial drone view of the Gulf of Mexico looking west west from the beach on Treasure Island Beach on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023 in Pinellas County.
  8. Citrus County Sheriff's Office deputies discovered the body of a man inside the trunk of a vehicle at an Inverness home Thanksgiving morning. The homeowner, who is a suspect in the case, was found injured in his house and was taken to a hospital.
  9. Tammy Burch, the 15-year-old Gulfport girl struck by a trolley in downtown St. Petersburg Sunday, poses in this photo taken before her first Homecoming dance at Boca Ciega High School in October 2023.
  10. University of Florida and University of Maryland graduate students Komalpreet Singh, left, Sanneri Santiago and Kyle Brumfield process water samples taken from storm surge during Hurricane Ian in a University of Florida laboratory at the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment. Vibrio vulnificus infections peaked statewide last year, with most cases found in Southwest Florida after Ian.
  11. Jimmie C. Gardner, seen in 2017 during the Belmont Heights Celebrity Softball game.
  12. Tampa police investigators check the scene after a fatal shooting last month in Ybor City. Police arrested a 14-year-old boy Thursday in connection with the shooting.
  13. Dionne Neal, 53, of Tampa, addresses her concerns to the Police Department during a Town Hall Tuesday event at Centro Asturiano de Tampa on Tuesday in Tampa.
  14. Lovebugs crawl across the top of a red rose. Lovebugs, a twice-a-year phenomenon in Florida, have gone away and no one really knows why.
  15. Hillsborough County sheriff's Deputy Manuel “Manny”  Santos, 31, speaks to reporters at Tampa General Hospital on Saturday after he was released.  Santos and Cpl. Carlos Brito were hit by a suspect's vehicle in Brandon during a call for service on Thursday. Both deputies suffered leg injuries. Standing behind Santos is Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister and standing at right is Santos' wife Chelsea.
  16. A heavily-damaged Florida Highway Patrol car sits on Interstate 275 near the Interstate 4 interchange in Tampa on Saturday after a suspected impaired driver drove into a construction zone and rear-ended the patrol car, troopers said. The trooper, the driver and a passenger were all seriously injured.
  17. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred near an Advanced Auto Parts in Brandon.
  18. Nahshon Shannon attends his sentencing hearing before 13th Circuit Judge Samantha Ward on Thursday. Shannon was found guilty of killing his 13-year-old daughter, Janessa, in September.
  19. From left: Ava, Brucie and Karel Boonstoppel, the family of Harrison Boonstoppel, are pictured together in Ybor City Wednesday evening during a vigil and march in honor of the people who were killed or injured during a shooting early Sunday. Two people were fatally shot and 16 others hurt when gunfire broke out after a disagreement between two groups of people in the entertainment district. Police haven't named those killed or injured, but Harrison Boonstoppel's family identified him as the 20-year-old man killed.
  20. Cynthia Lewis, director of the Keys Marine Laboratory, monitors coral rescued from the ocean as an unprecedented marine heatwave threatened a mass coral die-off. This week, hundreds of corals were returned to sea as ocean temperatures begin to cool.
  21. Jaliyah Pollack of Tampa, left, throws a pretend punch while celebrating Halloween on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg in 2021. Above-average temperatures will haunt Tampa Bay this Halloween weekend, but a possible cool front next week could help usher in fall weather.
  22. Land O’ Lakes High School closed Tuesday after a “report of a suspicious substance” that was found in the mail at the school, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The agency's hazmat team responded to the area, with the help of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. Investigators found another suspicious package after student dismissal Wednesday, and it was deemed to be the same non-hazardous substance found in the previous mail item, authorities said.
  23. Dry grass that has resulted from drought is pictured in St. Petersburg.