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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. Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige (inset) met for more than three hours Monday with Clearwater officials, including Jon Jennings, the new city manager. The group met inside this church office building at 118 N Fort Harrison Ave.
  2. The Clearwater City Council will vote whether to budget $1.8 million for an affordable housing development proposed for the site of former Fire Station No. 45, foreground, on Franklin Street downtown, with the Church of Scientology's Flag building to the west.
  3. The former site of HJ Demolition, at 607 Nicholson St. in Clearwater's North Marina Area remained vacant at the time of this photo in early November. The property is one of dozens purchased over the last two years by companies managed or operated by Church of Scientology members.
  4. Clearwater's newly appointed City Manager Jon Jennings speaks during his first City Council meeting on Nov. 18.
  5. Members of the media join the West Klosterman Preservation Group for a tour of 14 acres owned by Pinellas County Schools on Nov. 18 in Tarpon Springs. The nonprofit is working to raise $3.2 million by July 1 to preserve the land, which is in jeopardy of being cleared by developers.
  6. Scientology defector Aaron Smith-Levin, left, and community activist Lina Teixeira, right, are running for Clearwater City Council Seat 5.
  7. With the North Marina Area in the foreground, downtown Clearwater and the Memorial Causeway can be seen in the distance. Companies managed or operated by Church of Scientology members have purchased dozens of properties over the last two years in North Marina, a district the city wants to see redeveloped.
  8. Visitors watch as trainers work with Winter in the main dolphin tank at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The tank had been newly painted as part of preparations for the filming of Dolphin Tale 2.
  9. Winter la Delfin cuya historia fue inspiración para una película y  ayudó a que varias ni˜õs se sintieran identificados por tener uan cola prostética murió el jueves en la noche.  [JIM DAMASKE, Times]
  10. Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff tend to Winter the dolphin Thursday morning. Winter, the stranded dolphin who was the star of the hit movie "Dolphin Tale," died at the Clearwater aquarium Thursday night. A necropsy will determine the cause of death, but heart failure is suspected, according to aquarium board chair Paul Auslander.
  11. After a year of hearings, the city has approved a developer's controversial plan to build 404 luxury apartments on 74 acres along the Anclote River. Residents plan to continue fighting the project, while the developer pledges to build it "in a way that honors the site’s natural environment.”
  12. The YMCA of the Suncoast branch at 1005 S Highland Ave. in Clearwater will close to members on Jan. 1 after 50 years of operations. The facility is being purchased by LIFT, a nonprofit that helps children with autism.
  13. The Pinellas County Redistricting Board met for the last time on Wednesday.
  14. Luis and Rocio Garcia, former Scientology members, sued the church in 2013, alleging fraudulent tactics.
  15. Near the end of a 10-hour meeting that lasted to almost 5 a.m. Thursday, a Tarpon Springs resident holds a replica of Earth while speaking against a plan to build 404 apartments along the Anclote River. Looking on at left is Ed Armstrong, an attorney for the developer Morgan Group.
  16. Aaron Smith-Levin, right, is interviewed by Rick Wiles, left, on the TruNews website.
  17. Clearwater Gas System’s headquarters, on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at 777 Maple Street in downtown Clearwater.
  18. A view of the downtown waterfront on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, from the Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge looking east. Crews working on a renovation of the waterfront area damaged a water main on Wednesday.
  19. Lina Teixeira, a community activist, fashion designer and candidate for Clearwater City Council, poses for a portrait in her downtown Clearwater art studio.
  20. Clearwater attorney Pam Akin "kept the city out of trouble" during her career, said Mayor Frank Hibbard.
  21. An attorney for the Morgan Group, the developer that is hoping to build an apartment complex by the Anclote River, called the situation "a textbook case of bias."
  22. The Little Toot Dolphin Adventure boat returns to its slip on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at Clearwater Beach Marina after a tour of Clearwater Harbor.
  23. “I never thought I’d be up and picking up trash at 7 a.m. on a Thursday morning,” joked volunteer Melissa Hewett, 24, of Largo, as she worked at Clearwater's Eddie C. Moore Complex on Thursday. “It is crazy how much garbage is out here. Especially right in front of a garbage can.”