Malena Carollo - Utilities, Consumer Issues, Technology, Insurance and Nonprofits Reporter

Utilities, Consumer Issues, Technology, Insurance and Nonprofits Reporter

I’m a digger who covers utilities, consumer issues and insurance. My passion is watchdog reporting, and I want to know what’s going on in your part of Tampa Bay. Hidden fees on your bills? A company taking advantage of customers? Something that just doesn’t sit right with you? I’m all ears. What should I have my eye on? Reach me by email ( or phone (727-892-2249). Want to talk more securely? Text or call me 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. Before working at the Tampa Bay Times, I covered cybersecurity for the Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode section.

  1. A company called Flock Safety is selling automatic license plate readers to neighborhood associations to cut down on crime, and Tampa neighborhood Paddock Oaks is one of their customers. Pictured is a Flock camera on Paddock Oaks Dr. | [Luis Santana | Times]
    Atlanta-based Flock Safety has provided 14 area communities with high-speed, high-definition cameras for surveillance.
  2. Jessica LaBouve, a penetration tester for cybersecurity company A-LIGN, poses for a portrait in the A-LIGN office on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 in Tampa. Companies hire A-LIGN to figure out where their digital security weak spots are, and LaBouve is one of the "benevolent hackers" that finds them.
    Jessica LaBouve of A-LIGN works with companies to make their applications and platforms more secure.
  3. 7-Eleven Inc. is opening its first location in a Brandon mall. Pictured is a location in Port Richey in 2018. | [Times (2018)
    It is the first of eight mall locations opening this year.
  4. Gas prices could surge over the coming days because of a sharp drop in Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Pictured is a man filling up his car. | [Times file photo]
    A weekend drone strike on an oil processing facility caused the kingdom to cut production in half.
  5. TECO Peoples Gas ranked highest among its peers in the South for J.D. Power customer satisfaction rankings. Pictured is the company's headquarters in Tampa in 2017. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times (2017)]
    It ranked as the top utility for customer satisfaction among midsize utilities in the south.
  6. A quarterly economic forecast by the University of Central Florida said that a number of factors used to evaluate the national economy point in a positive direction. But other economists have reservations about being too optimistic. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
    But not all Florida economists agree.
  7. Tampa Bay residents hold on to Toyota Land Cruisers the longest of any car, according to iSeeCars. Pictured is a Land Cruiser in 2008. [Reed Saxon | AP]
    The area’s longest-held car is a favorite among metros across the country.
  8. Floridians' credit card debt is rising according to a recent report by WalletHub. Pictured is a woman in Tampa using her credit card in 2016. [Times (2016)]
    According to a WalletHub report, the state’s total credit card debt reached $66.4 billion.
  9. Tampa Bay gas prices went down about 3 cents per gallon on average over the past week  Pictured is a man pumping gas in 2017. | [Times file photo]
    Florida gas is down 2 cents per gallon on average, while Tampa Bay gas dipped 3 cents per gallon on average.
  10. Volunteers and employees of ExecuJet and KForce load a Falcon 900 jet in the ExecuJet hanger at Tampa International Airport on Friday. Supplies and relief aid are going to the Bahamas.
    Efforts range from a pledge to match up to $500,000 in donations to overseeing evacuations from Hope Town.