Zachary T. Sampson, General Assignment Reporter

Zachary T. Sampson

General Assignment Reporter

I'm a general assignment reporter, which means I cover pretty much anything depending on the day. Think of me like a super utility player. Local, state, national, crime, weather, politics, and so on. I'm fascinated by where we're from -- how places shape us and how we shape them. I aim to tell stories that matter to you now, or will, or should. One day that might involve a police horse that paints, another how county officials spend your tax dollars. I'm from Rhode Island and will talk to you about it. I've coached youth baseball -- yes, the loud one. Okay, maybe I was checking the score on my phone under the table. I'm sorry. Call me with anything. I'm friendlier than my face suggests.

At Rays Fan Fest, a childhood test at home plate

Penelope Guzman-Ramos, 6, of Palm Harbor, picks the pink bat to swing with during the Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field. TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times
Kids grabbed plastic bats to prove they could hack it under bright stadium lights, as shrieks and giggles and blasting pop music echoed across the ballfield.

Bicyclist struck by car and killed on 49th Street N
A 28-year-old woman died when she was hit by a car about 12:45 a.m., troopers said.

Pedestrian killed in crash late Friday in St. Petersburg
A woman was hit by a car on Fourth Street N, according to police.

Bump stocks have been banned for months in Florida, but is anyone listening?

A bump stock device that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is shown here at a gun store on October 5, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Several months after a ban in Florida took effect, apparent problems with its implementation provide a lesson for how a similar federal prohibition could falter.

Federal agents interview employees at embattled Tampa Bay CareerSource centers

An exterior view of Career Source Pinellas office on 8th Avenue S in St. Petersburg. (DIRK SHADD   |   Times )
For the first time, federal agents interviewed employees Wednesday at the offices of scandal-plagued CareerSource Pinellas, subject to allegations of phony hiring reports and questionable spending.