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.

Firefighters respond to gas leak on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg fire personnel are seen along Central Avenue near the intersections of 4th Street and 5th Street on Tuesday, July 16 in St. Petersburg. (BOYZELL HOSEY   |   Times)
There were no reports of injuries.

Pinellas Juvenile Welfare Board selects new CEO

St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s Beth Houghton speaks at podium after being honored as one of the “Five Fabulous Females” at Academy Prep Center ‘s “Friends and Flowers” luncheon at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on Feb. 4, 2014. (Times | 2014)
Beth Houghton, who is currently the head of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, will take over the board, which has a $93.4 million annual budget.

Baby grazed by falling bullet in St. Petersburg on Fourth of July

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Officials cited the shooting as yet another example of the dangers of celebratory gunfire.

Hurricane Michael destroyed their homes. Then the insurance heartache began.

Part of a house still lay submerged in a canal in Mexico Beach two months after Hurricane Michael. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Nine months after the storm, more than 20,000 property claims remain outstanding in Florida.

Hurricanes, home insurance and how to make sure youíre prepared

A home lay tossed onto its side in Mexico Beach two months after Hurricane Michael. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times (2018)
The process of filing a disaster claim can be stressful. Here are some tips for how to get ready.