Kathryn Varn, Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

Kathryn Varn

Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

I cover breaking news and public safety in Pinellas County. That includes police and fire departments, hurricanes and any other topics in the death and destruction arena. In other words, I’m really fun at parties. Before coming to the Times in 2015, I was a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. I picked the major as a prerequisite for law school, but once I started covering crime for my college newspaper, I couldn’t get enough. When I’m not sweating under deadline, I’m singing with my rag-tag adult A Cappella group, Weird and Wonderful, or hanging out with my fat cat, Rose.

Five things to know on the one-year anniversary of the Clearwater parking lot shooting

July 19 marks a year since Michael Drejka, left, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater convenience store. [Times files]
Much has changed in the year since Michael Drejka fatally shot Markeis McGlockton. But one thing remains the same: Florida’s divisive stand your ground law

In Florida, a haze builds around pot law enforcement as technology catches up to policy

Texas hemp enterpreneur Zachary Miller, interviewed here by a television reporter, was arrested in Okaloosa County after products found in his car tested positive for THC. THC is illegal in Florida unless prescribed by a doctor for medical use but trace amounts are allowed in now-legal hemp products. [Courtesy of Zachary Miller]
A law that took effect July 1 legalized hemp and CBD products containing traces of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high. But field tests and crime labs haven't caught up.

Texas family among dead in crash of plane bound for St. Petersburg

Federal officials discussed Sunday’s crash of the Beechcraft BE-350 King Air, which was headed toward Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg. Some of the passengers had ties to Pinellas...

Clearwater authorities identify man crushed in construction-site trench

Clearwater Fire & Rescue identified the man killed in a construction accident as Manolo Ruiz-Sanchez, 36. [KIRBY WILSON | Times]
The man was identified Wednesday as 36-year-old Manolo Ruiz-Sanchez of Dunedin.

Prosecutors who charged Michael Drejka push back against effort to disqualify them

Assistant State Attorneys Scott Rosenwasser, left, and Fred Schaub confer during a bond hearing for Michael Drejka at the County Justice Center. Drejka is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton. [Times (2018)]
The Monday court filing comes in response to a defense motion accusing the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office of giving in to political pressure.