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Tracey McManus - Clearwater and Scientology Reporter

Clearwater and Scientology Reporter

I cover a range of topics in Pinellas County with a focus on the Church of Scientology, which is downtown Clearwater's largest and most influential property owner. Before joining the Times in 2015, I spent five years with The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia. I've wanted to be a journalist pretty much since I was old enough to read the newspapers my dad kept stacked near the kitchen table every day. I was born in Brooklyn but grew up in south Florida and graduated from University of Florida in 2010 with degrees in journalism and Spanish. When not on deadline, I'm usually out running with my two dogs Tiger and Ollie, both strays I found in Georgia.

  1. Renderings of the proposed Anclote Harbor Apartments are seen in this image taken from video. A three-judge panel has upheld the city's 2021 approval of the project amid a legal challenge from Concerned Citizens of Tarpon Springs.
  2. Jaye Matthews will begin as Clearwater's Community Redevelopment Agency Director on Dec. 5 after serving as an operations officer with Baltimore's housing department since 2019.
  3. The Dunedin City Commission on Nov. 15 votes to settle a Sunshine Law violation lawsuit with Bill Gay, a local government watchdog.
  4. A Tampa federal judge heard arguments Thursday in a human trafficking case brought against the Church of Scientology by three former members. The church wants the case to be heard by an internal panel of loyal Scientologists instead of the court system.
  5. Recently poured concrete forms the shape for the North Bluff Walk, in foreground, as seen from the third floor of the Clearwater Main Library on Monday, Nov 7, 2022, which will provide access to Imagine Clearwater’s new 4,000-seat covered bandshell, in background, at Coachman Park.
  6. Clearwater voters passed a referendum for the city to sell its vacant City Hall to build two apartment towers, shaded at right, and the former Harborview site to build a 13-story hotel, shaded at left. The project also would include a two-story building with commercial space. The parcels border the city's $84 million renovation of Coachman Park, shown in the rendering's foreground.
  7. In this livestream image from a July 26, 2022, Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners meeting, then-City Attorney Tom Trask answers questions from commissioners about his law firm's billing statements. Trask later resigned, citing "baseless public attacks" on the firm.
  8. Clearwater Gas System’s headquarters, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at 777 Maple Street in downtown Clearwater.
  9. Tarpon Springs Commissioner Mike Eisner reads from city emails about the Anclote Harbor project during a Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday that stretched into Wednesday.
  10. The Salvation Army's red kettles are a fixture during the holidays. The organization's branches in Clearwater/Upper Pinellas and St. Petersburg are seeking donations for programs that provide gifts for children and seniors who would otherwise go without them this year.
  11. BayCare Ballpark, the spring training facility for the Philadelphia Phillies and home to the minor league Clearwater Threshers, is the centerpiece of the city-owned complex next to U.S. 19. The Phillies say they have developed conceptual plans for revamping the complex that include new technology for developing players.
  12. Clearwater voters will decide Nov. 8 whether the city should sell its vacant City Hall to build two apartment towers, shaded at right, and the former Harborview site to build a 13-story hotel, shaded at left. The project also would include a two-story building with commercial space. The parcels border the city's $84 million renovation of Coachman Park, shown in the foreground of this rendering.
  13. State Attorney General Ashley Moody, left, Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and Senate President Wilton Simpson stand behind Gov. Ron DeSantis while he shows signed bills to limit COVID-19 vaccine mandates last year. A panel of lawmakers awarded 238 projects last month across Florida worth $175 million, including more than 30 in Tampa Bay. But DeSantis did not distribute the money to state agencies by a Sept. 30 deadline.
  14. Beulah Stang, a sixth-grade math teacher at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, carries a pillow and suitcase into the Pinellas County special needs shelter at the school on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in St. Petersburg. The shelter had a capacity of over 700 people.
  15. Members of PostcardMania’s search engine marketing team meet at the open-concept meeting room at the small business marketing company on Friday, March 12, 2021, in Clearwater. Founded in 1998, PostcardMania has over 290 staff and operates out of a 69,800-square-foot campus where they produce millions of direct-mail postcards each week, and deliver online advertising through Google and Facebook.
  16. Alejandro Riddick, 18, who recently moved from Philadelphia to Plant City with his family, carries a mattress inside one of Hillsborough County’s pet-friendly shelters in preparation for Hurricane Ian at Durant High in Plant City on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
  17. On Nov. 8, voters will decide whether the city should sell its vacant City Hall to build two apartment towers, shaded at right, and the former Harborview site to build a 13-story hotel, shaded at left. The project also would include a two-story building with commercial space. The parcels border the city's $84 million ongoing renovation of Coachman Park, shown in the rendering's foreground.
  18. Open doors lead to the lobby of the old Clearwater City Hall, which was vacated in 2019 and will be replaced by a new City Hall a few blocks to the east in downtown. The City Council has approved a contract to design a new building on the northwest corner of S Myrtle Avenue and Franklin Street.
  19. Anthime Gionet, wearing sunglasses, participates in rally outside the Illinois State Capitol on Oct. 2, 2021, to protest COVID-19 mandates. Gionet, also known as Baked Alaska, lives in Pinellas County, where he hosts a livestream show that spreads antisemitic and racist rhetoric. Standing next to him wearing black is Nick Fuentes, another white nationalist figure.
  20. The city's former Fire Station No. 45 is in the foreground on Franklin Street with the Church of Scientology's Flag building to the west.
  21. The North Greenwood Library was set to receive two new positions in the coming year, but those are being cut under a new budget plan being considered by the Clearwater City Council.
  22. At a July Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners meeting, City Attorney Tom Trask answers questions from commissioners about his law firm's billing statements. Trask later said he would resign.
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