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Kathryn Varn - Breaking News Reporter — Pinellas Sheriff, St. Petersburg Police, St. Petersburg Courts

Breaking News Reporter — Pinellas Sheriff, St. Petersburg Police, St. Petersburg Courts

I cover breaking news and public safety in Pinellas County. That includes police and fire departments, hurricanes and any other topics in the death and destruction arena. In other words, I’m really fun at parties. Before coming to the Times in 2015, I was a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. I picked the major as a prerequisite for law school, but once I started covering crime for my college newspaper, I couldn’t get enough. When I’m not sweating under deadline, I’m singing with my rag-tag adult A Cappella group, Weird and Wonderful, or hanging out with my fat cat, Rose. Phone: (727) 893-8913

  1. People gather at a Minneapolis police precinct during a protest for George Floyd on Tuesday. Four Minneapolis officers involved in the Monday arrest of the black man who died in police custody were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving. [RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII  |  AP]
  2. Britany Berrian, of Largo, places a label on a vial containing a used COVID-19 viral test on May 6 at a testing site at Community Health Centers of Pinellas in Clearwater. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  3. Trainer Neil Magida, 44, and his client, Kevin Northcott, 31, both of Tampa, train at Optimum Gym on its first day opening back up for members, on Monday, May 18, 2020 in Tampa.  [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
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  5. James Nethery, 38, and Jason Canady, 39, are facing several grand theft auto and burglary charges following a 10-month investigation by St. Petersburg police. [Pinellas County jail]
  6. Ja'Cari Ellis, 5, died Saturday after he accidentally shot himself, according to St. Petersburg police. Family members remembered him as a child wise beyond his years with a shining smile. [Courtesy of Yolanda Allen]
  7. Ambulances line the entrance to the Seminole campus of the Freedom Square retirement community on April 17 to evacuate residents who tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has had one of the deadliest coronavirus outbreaks in the state and surpassed 30 deaths Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  8. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Lyons walks along the beach this week while on duty. Lyons is normally a cold case detective, but he got a big change of scenery when he was redirected to help ensure beachgoers were abiding by public health rules. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  9. Local law enforcement is looking toward this weekend as the true test of whether beaches and businesses can keep operating while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  10. Community Convalescent Center, conocido también como Community Care Center en Plant City. FOTO: Courtesy of Google Earth [GOOGLE EARTH  |  Courtesy of Google Earth]
  11. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
  12. This is a file photo of Community Convalescent Center in Plant City which has 73 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Photo pulled from a video shot on May 6, 2020. The state reports that 17 staffers and 55 residents —about half of the facility’s 120 bed capacity — were infected, according to the latest state data released Tuesday, May 5. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  13. Freedom Square of Seminole reported its 20th death Monday, weeks into a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected dozens of residents and staff members. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  14. Owner Galen Trent Wood, 36, left, was arrested for violating the safer-at-home order by keeping his tabletop gaming business, Kitchen Table Games at 9600 66th St. N in Pinellas Park, open for pick-up, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. On the right are Pokémon cards advertised by his business on Facebook. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office | Facebook]
  15. Clearwater Police Sgt. Meg Hasty, left, and Officer Shannon Kasparek both wear protective face masks and gloves on April 9 as they check on a Cleveland Street car wash that had not shut down as ordered. Law enforcement officers are facing a new array of challenges policing during a global pandemic. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  16. A St. Petersburg police officer was suspended after an internal investigation found that he used a Taser on his fiancé and a family friend. [SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  17. Clayton Snare beaming with one of his great-granddaughters. He died in the COVID-19 outbreak that afflicted St. Mark Village, a Palm Harbor retirement community. He was 95. [Courtesy of Clayton Snare II]
  18. Detectives arrested a 28-year-old man they say is responsible for a shooting April 20 at 1301 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St S. [Courtesy St. Petersburg Police Department]
  19. Tango Jessee, right, with daughters Pam Jessee, left, and Robbie Jessee, center, during Easter. [Courtesy of Robbie Jessee]
  20. Two Sunstar Paramedics' supervisor vehicles are seen Monday outside of St. Mark Village nursing home, which is grappling with a coronavirus outbreak. The facility saw its first death of a resident on Thursday, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  21. Ambulances line the entrance before the remaining 39 residents are evacuated from Freedom Square of Seminole on Friday. Two more nursing home residents have died of coronavirus, bringing the death toll to seven. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  22. Evelyn Kenney, 7, covers her ears in-between waving along with her grandparents Gene and Beckie Martin and her sister Alyssa on Wednesday as a parade of firetrucks, ambulances and police crusiers drive by with sirens and horns blazing to celebrate Evelyn's seventh birthday while she and her sister stay in Largo. The girls were sent to Florida by their parents, who must work the frontlines of the pandemic in North Carolina. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  23. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
  24. Owner Galen Trent Wood, 36, left, was arrested for violating the safer-at-home order by keeping his tabletop gaming business, Kitchen Table Games at 9600 66th St. N in Pinellas Park, open for pick-up, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. On the right are Pokémon cards advertised by his business on Facebook. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office | Facebook]