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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Members of the media join the West Klosterman Preservation Group for a tour in November 2021 of 14 acres owned by Pinellas County Schools in Tarpon Springs. A state grant helped the nonprofit group close the gap to meet the school district's $3 million asking price for the land.
  10. Businessman Brian Scott, left, won the Republican primary for Pinellas County Commission District 2 on Tuesday. He will face incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard in the general election Nov. 8.
  11. The city of Clearwater's rates for water and sewer service will rise on Oct. 1, 2022, with subsequent increases over the next five years.
  12. Last October, Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers unsuccessfully pushed his colleagues to initiate a referendum limiting commissioners to three terms, or 12 years. Eggers’ effort failed again in December and February. The board is pictured at its Feb. 8 meeting.
  13. The city of Clearwater is preparing to buy Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church's parking lot for $1.85 million to build a garage that would help accommodate large events after the nearby Imagine Clearwater project is completed.
  14. A rendering shows the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority's proposed multimodal transit center planned for downtown Clearwater. Officials announced on Aug. 10, 2022, that the U.S. Department of Transportation had approved $20 million to help pay for the long-sought facility. It will feature six bus bays, bicycle and scooter storage, ride-sharing connections, solar panels and electric bus charging stations.
  15. Pinellas County Commission District 2 Republican primary candidates Debbie Buschman, left, and Brian Scott.
  16. A rendering shows the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority's proposed multimodal transit center planned for downtown Clearwater. Officials announced on Aug. 10, 2022, that the U.S. Department of Transportation had approved $20 million to help pay for the long-sought facility.
  17. Members of the Uhuru Movement interrupted a candidate forum with jeers and chants on July 10, 2017, at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. The incident was one of several where locals recall the group becoming increasingly contentious at city political events during that period.
  18. A rendering from The DeNunzio Group and the Gotham Organization shows their plan for the Clearwater bluff, which includes a hotel in the top center of the frame and two apartment towers to the right. If approved by Clearwater voters, the projects would surround the future Coachman Park.
  19. City Council member Kathleen Beckman, speaking at a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, opposed carving out $250,000 of federal COVID relief funds for a chamber of commerce business incubator.
  20. A sign advertises a rental home in the 1100 block of Eighth Street N in St. Petersburg on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. A Pinellas County tenants bill of rights applies countywide unless cities opt out before it takes effect Oct. 3.
  21. A rendering of the 158-room hotel and two-story commercial building planned for the Harborview site at the corner of Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street. Two apartment towers with up to 600 units are planned for the City Hall site a half block south.
  22. Clearwater City Manager Jon Jennings.
  23. People gather in an area tentatively named the Manatee Springs Rehabilitation Center while attending a press conference where plans for a new manatee rehabilitation expansion project were revealed on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater.
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