Sue Carlton - Consumer affairs reporter

Consumer affairs reporter

My dad always said the Carltons were thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia, which makes me a bona fide Floridian going back generations. I grew up in Miami and landed in Tampa, a town that said “bland” to the world but turned out anything but. I live in an old bungalow in an old neighborhood with my husband and a very enthusiastic dog. I’ve covered everything - crime, courts, the homeless, and a parade of political characters let's just call interesting - and been an editor, too. I’ve come to love this place of outrages and injustices, history and culture, café con leche and the Deep South. Next assignment: consumer affairs — the ways we buy and consume in a world currently upside down — the scams, the trends, the way we live now.

  1. Some consumers decided the pandemic was a good time for a long smoke. And perhaps a bidet.
  2. Streaming has helped stave off boredom in pandemic times. But bed alert for scams.
  3. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, pictured with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in 2019.
  4. Is your still up?
  5. Plenty of Americans need that $600 stimulus check. But what should the ones who don't do with it?
  6. Pat Frank, a fierce Florida politico, retires in a few days at 91 after 16 years as Hillsborough's court clerk. She's also served on the Hillsborough school board and county commission and the Florida House and Senate.
  7. Remember lipstick in a pre-pandemic, maskless world?
  8. America could use more of these.
  9. Oh, the present possibilities. Golden Retriever Cali sports a festive red hoodie at the Downtown Dogs boutique in Hyde Park Village in Tampa. Christmas 2020 could be a banner year for pets.
  10. The coronavirus vaccine may not be available just yet, but scammers are already ready.
  11. A Christmas tree is lit in the empty lobby of the 100 North Tampa building on December 4 in downtown Tampa. Many traditional downtown holiday parties are cancelled this year, courtesy of the pandemic.
  12. A list of potentially dangerous toys was released Monday to help gift-givers make safe choices this Christmas. [Associated Press]
  13. The Churches of Madiera Beach sell  Mowbots like this one, a little lawn mowing robot that works like a Roomba. They named theirs Li'l Mo.
  14. After months of dressing down in the stay-at-home pandemic, are Florida consumers ready for a little dressing up?
  15. Experts say Internet romance scammers are adjusting their game to include the coronavirus.
  16. Los estafadores han aumentado las llamadas, los mensajes de texto, los correos electrónicos e incluso las visitas en persona.
  17. Customers of both Duke Energy and Tampa Electric Co. have gotten calls from scammers.
  18. This photograph shows the Sunshine Skyway Bridge with only half its colorful lights lit in October. Now the lights are off on both sides of the bridge.
  19. Felix Luis C. Rodriguez is serving time on vehicular homicide and other charges. He's also suing the company that rented him the car.
  20. A  65-year-old Bradenton Beach man was died from an electrical shock in his home during Tropical Storm Eta.
  21. A  65-year-old Bradenton Beach man died from an electrical shock in his home Wednesday during Tropical Storm Eta.
  22. What consumer Thanksgiving traditions will survive the pandemic?
  23. If that text offering you money to be in a coronavirus clinical trial sounds too good to be true, it is, says the Better Business Bureau.