Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Writers

Malena Carollo, Times staff writer

Malena Carollo, Times staff writer

Malena Carollo covers consumer issues, utilities and insurance topics in Tampa Bay. Before joining the Times, she covered cybersecurity for The Christian Science Monitor. She earned her M.S. degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on investigative and data reporting. Her master's project, published by the Monitor, examined the burgeoning industry of social media monitoring companies that claim to be able to prevent school violence.



Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano's office is issuing a warning to local auto dealers to beware of Marlin Financial.
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
 file photo]

Pasco County Tax Collector warns businesses about Marlin Financial

The Pasco County Tax Collector’s office is issuing a warning to local auto dealers: Beware of Marlin Financial. The office will begin circulating a letter Thursday to auto dealers it does business urging them to "think long and hard" before...
Published: 09/18/18
The National Partnership for Women & Families gave Florida a

Report: Florida’s family caregiver laws not so family-friendly

Florida may be known for its family-friendly beaches and theme park attractions, but a recent report says not everything in the Sunshine State is as embracing of families. The National Partnership for Women & Families gave Florida a "C-minus" grade...
Published: 09/17/18
Tampa Bay residents commuting with electric cars save an average of $115.38 compared to those with gas-fueled cars, according to a study by Crescent Electric Supply Co. Pictured is the BMW i3 car in 2014. [Melissa Lyttle | Times, 2014]

Electric cars could save Tampa Bay residents $115 per year in fuel

Tampa Bay residents commuting with electric cars save an average of $115.38 compared to those with gas-fueled cars, according to a study by Crescent Electric Supply Co. That puts the bay area at No. 3 for electric savings compared to other metro areas...
Published: 09/14/18
Marlin Financial, an online auto loan company, has an office in downtown Miami. Pictured is the office building in December 2017. (Malena Carollo  | Times, 2017)

Customers say Marlin Financial’s auto loans are deceptive. Now the state is investigating

Isaiah Burgman needed $10,000, and he didn’t have much time to get it. The quickest way, the Temple Terrace resident figured, was to take out a loan against his car, and an online company helped him do just that — it even wired the...
Published: 09/14/18
TECO Peoples Gas customers will see a bill reduction beginning next year. | [Courtesy of TECO Peoples Gas, 2018]

TECO Peoples Gas monthly bills will drop by $1 in 2019

TECO Peoples Gas customers will see about a $1 drop on average in their monthly bills starting next month under a plan approved Wednesday by the Florida Public Service Commission.The 5 percent reduction comes courtesy of $11.6 million a year...
Published: 09/12/18
Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. are both sending fleets to the Carolinas. Pictured are linemen from Duke Energy working to restore power after Hurricane Irma in 2017. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times, 2017]

Tampa Bay utilities send crews to Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Florence

Recent forecast models predict that most of Florida will be spared from the brunt of Hurricane Florence. But Tampa Bay utilities are planning to head straight into what will be the most-affected areas to help in the aftermath. Duke Energy Florida and...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa Electric Co. is rolling out smart electric meters for its customers. Pictured is Nancy Tower, CEO of Tampa Electric in 2018. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times, 2018]

Tampa Electric rolls out smart meters for homes

Tampa Electric Co. is rolling out smart electric meters for its customers. In a statement released Monday, the Tampa utility described the meters as part of a smart energy grid that will "deliver safe, more reliable and affordable energy to more than...
Published: 09/10/18

Florida gas prices drop despite impending Hurricane Florence

Gas prices are usually one of the first things to be affected when a named storm threatens the U.S., but Hurricane Florence hasn’t touched the Sunshine State’s fuel prices — yet. Unleaded gas was selling at $2.76 per gallon on average statewide...
Published: 09/10/18
Florida led all states in growth of women-owned businesses over the last decade, a new report says. This file photo shows the Tampa skyline.
 [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times file, 2018]

Report: Florida is tops in adding women-owned businesses

Florida led all states in growth of women-owned businesses over the last decade, a new report says.According to American Express’ "State of Women-Owned Businesses Report" for 2018, Florida firms owned by women posted the largest percentage...
Published: 09/06/18
Illinois-based Automated Industrial Machinery Inc. is moving its headquarters to Tampa and plans to hire 45 employees. Pictured is its website in 2018. | [Courtesy of Automated Industrial Machinery, 2018]

Illinois wire-bending company relocates headquarters to Tampa

A wire bending machine supplier is relocating its headquarters to Hillsborough County. Illinois-based Automated Industrial Machinery Inc. plans to hire 45 employees from the area, and is investing $4 million into its 52,900-square-foot location at...
Published: 09/05/18