Anastasia Dawson, Hillsborough Commission and General Assignment Reporter

Anastasia Dawson

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.

It’s frisky feline time. Can Hillsborough snip the baby cat boom?

Kittens at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center slated to be sent to private animal shelters, rescue groups and other organizations who have joined the county’s new sterilization program, which aims to reduce the number of cats Hillsborough has to euthanize by reducing the breeding population that produces them in the first place. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Orphaned kittens remain the largest demographic of animals euthanized by the county. But a $100,000 pilot program aims to reduce that by spaying and neutering the breeding population.

Dingfelder heads back to Tampa City Council in big District 3 win

Former Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder is a candidate to rejoin council in the District 3 seat. [Dingfelder campaign]der]
Veteran politician John Dingfelder will return to council, defeating newcomer Stephen Lytle.

Dingfelder, Lytle vie for Tampa City Council District 3 in runoff election

Voters will choose between John Dingfelder (left) and Stephen Lytle in the runoff election for the District 3 Tampa City Council seat.
Voters will choose between John Dingfelder, a councilman from 2003- 2010, and Stephen Lytle, a corporate human relations manager.

Hillsborough County set to raise hotel tax

The tourism industry is already using tourist tax dollars heavily in Hillsborough County, including to promote the 519-room JW Marriott hotel under construction in downtown Tampa’s Water Street district. [ Image via Strategic Property Partners]
The 1 percent increase on hotel and rental stays will raise the tax to six percent.

Human error broke Hillsborough 911 system, made fixing it harder, reports say.

Dispatchers field 911 calls at the Hillsborough County Sherrif’s Office Communication Bureau in January in Ybor City. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times Staff]
A hardware glitch caused 911 operators to miss hundreds of calls. But the real culprit were the humans who should have kept that from happening in the first place, according to county officials.