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Malena Carollo - Technology, Cyber Security, Insurance and Energy Reporter

Technology, Cyber Security, Insurance and Energy Reporter

I'm passionate about writing stories that expose broken systems and wrongdoing. My work brought to light an auto lender taking advantage of Floridians, highlighted burgeoning neighborhood surveillance and prompted an investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office. Help me learn what's going on in your part of Tampa Bay. Contact me more securely on Signal at (813) 591-0688. I earned my master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where I studied investigative and data reporting and practical digital security. Before the Times, I covered cybersecurity for the Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode section.

  1. Eric Carrasquillo, 35, the general manager of Butter's Burgers, 777 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, on Tuesday. Butter's Burgers bar and restaurant opened March 13th, just days before it would be forced to close because of the pandemic. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  2. A defiant message was written on a plywood board covering the window of a West Tampa house as Hurricane Irma approached in 2017: "I am ready for Irma." [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Tampa General Hospital is launching a new consulting service that will help walk businesses through reopening safely. Pictured is Tampa General Hospital. [Times file]
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  5. David Eliasson, 48, Tampa, owner of Snack Attack Vending, has seen his sales shrink 50 percent since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. He services 250 accounts around Tampa Bay. He poses at home May 19, 2020, with his van that carries his inventory snacks and drinks [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  6. The price for a regular gallon of gasoline, $1.85, is displayed Thursday on an electronic sign at the Wawa located at 2177 Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  7. Suncoast Credit Union will no longer acquire Miami-based Apollo Bank. Pictured is Apollo CEO Eduardo Arriola (left) and CEO of Suncoast Kevin Johnson (right).  [Courtesy of Suncoast Credit Union] [Suncoast Credit Union]
  8. J.C. Penney plans to close a third of its stores after a bankruptcy filing announced on Friday. Pictured is a J.C. Penney department store in Colorado. [David Zalubowski | Associated Press] [DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP]
  9. A video display reads "Keep Florida Safe. Stay Home. Save Lives" visible on screens throughout the airport including this one at the airside shuttle entrance to Gate C at Tampa International Airport on Thursday, May 7, 2020 in Tampa. TIA travel has dropped by 97 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic which translates to a huge dollar amount loss. This is more than the loss after 9-11.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  10. Duke Energy Florida plans to spend $6.4 billion to harden its grid over 10 years. Pictured is a lineman with Service Electric Co., a subcontractor with Duke Energy, in January. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
  11. USAA will return $280 million more to auto policyholders because of reduced driving rates during the pandemic. Pictured is a Florida Highway Patrol officer is driving south along US 19 in early April. [Chris Urso | Times] [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  12. Consumer sentiment in Florida dropped by the third-highest amount in the index's history. Pictured is the state's consumer sentiment over the past year. [Courtesy of the University of Florida] [University of Florida]
  13. Some issues, such as a power outage or broken pipe, can’t wait during the pandemic. Here’s what to expect in Tampa Bay if you need help from a service provider during COVID-19. Pictured is a Duke Energy employee trying to get power back on in a Clearwater neighborhood in 2017. [Times (2017)] [-  |  LARA CERRI]
  14. Cheryl Parrish, a business owner in Tampa, received emergency federal funding for small businesses, but someone broke into her bookkeeper's accounts and was able to siphon off a portion of it. Pictured is Parrish. [Courtesy of Cheryl Parrish] [Cheryl Parrish]
  15. The Florida Public Service Commission approved temporarily lower bills for four utilities Tuesday to help residents cope with financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured is a screen capture of a feed on the Florida Channel showing commissioner Gary Clark, who was the only commissioner physically present at the meeting. Other commissioners videoconferenced in. | [Courtesy of the Florida Channel] [The Florida Channel]
  16. Several environmental groups urged Gov. Ron DeSantis in a letter this week to require utilities to keep power on for customers during the pandemic. Pictured is a lineman subcontracting with Duke Energy in January. [Douglas R. Clifford | Times] [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
  17. Many businesses such as Squeeze Juice Works located in St. Petersburg were left out of the state's small business bridge loan process even though owner, Kelly Lessem (pictured) applied for the funding. To make matters worse Lessem didn't qualify for unemployment either. Despite the setback Lessem was busy with a construction project inside the building aimed to improve the business.  [Boyzell Hosey ]
  18. The price of gas is currently down to as low as $1.69 per gallon in some areas including this Marathon gas station on West Green Street, Monday, April 20, 2020 in Tampa.  [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  19. Florida’s March unemployment jumped to 4.3 percent, according to state figures released Friday. Pictured is an unidentified employee at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library handing an unemployment application to a motorist Monday. | [Chris Urso | Times] [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  20. Duke Energy’s nonprofit arm pledges $1 million in COVID-19-related grants. Pictured are linemen with a Duke Energy Florida subcontracting company in January. [Douglas R. Clifford | Times] [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
  21. Thousands of Tampa Bay employees are working from home. What about after quarantine? Pictured is Curtis Hixon Park and downtown Tampa in January. [Luis Santana | Times] [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
  22. Frontier Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday. Pictured are flags in front of its Tampa office. [Times file photo]
  23. AAA offering free roadside service to medical workers, first responders in April. Pictured is traffic along U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park in March. [Chris Urso | Times] [CHRIS URSO   |  Times]
  24. Auto insurers cut rates as customers drive less and file fewer claims. Pictured is traffic along U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park March 11. [Chris Urso | Times] [CHRIS URSO   |  Times]