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Anastasia Dawson - Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

I’m an east Hillsborough County native whose ancestors were among the first settlers in the community of Dover. My parents built their home on an old family orange grove, sandwiched between my grandparents’ home (where my mother grew up) and a 100-year-old house built by my great, great grandparents. Still, I couldn’t resist my big city dreams, so after earning my journalism degree from the University of South Florida I moved to bustling Riverview. A two-week internship at the Tampa Tribune turned into three years of covering education in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In 2016 I joined the Times as a general assignment reporter in Tampa, which often means running into family, friends and former classmates while out gathering the news. A majority of those stories involve our local criminal justice system.

  1. Tampa firefighter Tanja Vidovic steps out of the federal courthouse in Tampa in during the 2017 federal trial of her sexual discrimination case against the city of Tampa. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON   |   Times]
    Tanja Vidovic will run against incumbent Joe Ayoub in the city’s March 2020 elections.
  2. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
    James Busch, 53, is in “extremely critical condition" after he shot himself in the head, then was shot twice in the arms by a responding deputy.
  3. Tampa and Hillsborough County are back in the hunt for a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark.
    St. Petersburg officials confirmed Friday that Hillsborough County can talk to the team about a Tampa ballpark.
  4. Nancy Millan, director of community relations in Doug Belden’s office, has announced her candidacy for tax collector.
    Former Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen and longtime Tax Collector employee Nancy Millan file to run for public office
  5. Four, six-week old puppies rescued from Trish's All Breeds Pet Grooming on Sept. 23 wait to be checked by veterinary staff at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. County staff removed 352 dogs from the facility. The property owners could now face charges of animal cruelty.
    Commissioner Ken Hagan is asking staff to strengthen county regulations on commercial pet breeders after 352 dogs were seized from a Tampa facility.
  6. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, executive director of the county's now-shuttered Civil Service Board, filed to run for clerk of court on Oct. 1, the day after his agency was dissolved. [Times (2013]
    Kevin Beckner, 48, is taking another shot at replacing longtime Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank, who is retiring in 2020.
  7. All looks well in their official portrait, but ferry plans and residential development have helped open rifts among members of the Hillsborough County Commission. Back row, left to right: Stacy White, Kimberly Overman, Sandra Murman, Mariella Smith and Ken Hagan. Front row, left to right, chairman Lesley "Les" Miller andvice chairwoman Pat Kemp.
    Stoked by Facebook posts, email blasts and angry comments from the public, board meetings showcase infighting
  8. Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, right, addresses the audience after the Board of County Commissioners Investiture Ceremony in Nov. of 2018.
    The county commission chairman says he plans to retire at the end of his current term.
  9. Joshua Michael Nichols, 21, was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday in connection to the early morning shooting death of an unidentified man during an argument outside a Spring Hill home. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
    One person is in custody. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
  10. Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden told employees Wednesday morning that health problems have forced him to step down at the end of his fifth term, in January 2021.
    After 21 years in the job, Belden plans to retire when his term ends Jan. 3, 2021