Sunday, December 10, 2017


Lisa Gartner

Lisa Gartner

Lisa Gartner is a writer on the enterprise team at the Tampa Bay Times. In 2016, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for "Failure Factories," a series chronicling how a local school system turned five once-decent neighborhood schools into the worst in the state for black children. The series also won Gartner the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the George Polk Award for Education Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal, among other honors. Gartner, who joined the Times in 2013, has also been recognized at the national and state levels for her feature writing, beat coverage and breaking news reporting. She grew up in Wellington, Fla., and attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. After graduating in 2010, she joined The Washington Examiner to report on education in the D.C. metro area. At the Times, Gartner covered Pinellas County Schools and higher education before joining the enterprise team in 2016. She lives in St. Petersburg, and is always looking for a good story to tell.

DIRK SHADD   |   Times  Rep. Wengay Newton (left), D-St. Petersburg, filed House Bill 927 this week, which would make it a second-degree misdemeanor to leave your car unattended without first stopping the engine, removing the key from the ignition, and locking the door.

Bill would punish car theft victims

Left your car running, and a teen stole it?Some state lawmakers think you should be criminally charged for that.Rep. Wengay Newton, D-St. Petersburg, this week filed House Bill 927, which would make it a second-degree...
Published: 12/08/17
Emergency personnel work to clear the scene of fatal high-speed crash on Aug. 6 in Palm Harbor. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the three boys who died in the crash had

DJJ proposes stronger consequences for teens who steal cars

Florida’s juvenile justice department will propose sweeping changes Monday that would make young auto thieves more likely to face consequences.This overhaul of the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument — the first time the tool has been modified...
Published: 12/08/17
Three teens died in a fiery stolen SUV crash on Tampa Road in Palm Harbor in August. Pinellas County is in the midst of a juvenile auto theft epidemic. [LUIS SANTANA |  Times]

National study to focus on juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas

A national think-tank has begun a sprawling study into Pinellas County’s juvenile auto theft epidemic, hoping to stop the problem before more teens die in stolen cars.The $85,000 research project, expected to culminate in policy recommendations...
Published: 11/27/17
Lori Rosso, Ybor City
On loud nights Lori Rosso's whole apartment shakes and she keeps an odd sleep schedule to accommodate this. She goes to bed by 9, wakes up around 11:30, stays up until 3 or so, and then goes back to sleep until morning. While she's awake in the middle of the night, her table shakes and the walls reverberate. She calls these

She lives above the Ritz but is still searching for her place

YBOR CITY — The bouncer was already at the door, checking IDs, when Lori Rosso came home from work on a recent Friday. The sidewalk outside her building is usually lined with cross-legged adolescents waiting for a show to start at the Ritz Ybor; Lori...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/25/17
Pam Kelly, a gynecologist at Tampa General Hospital's Family Care Center at HealthPark, teaches future doctors at the University of South Florida how to identify and treat victims of sexual assault. Gabriella Angotti-Jones  | Times

Encounters: In the quiet of exam rooms, women have been saying ‘Me too’ for years

TAMPA — Meet her with her clothes on.Don’t make her greet you in a paper gown, slits down the front and flimsy ties. Shake her hand, if she wants to, and introduce yourself. Pause between sentences. This will make it clear that you are...
Updated: 2 months ago
DIRK SHADD   |   Times  
Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on

Speakers: Getting tough can’t be only response to teen car thefts

ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.Forty years later, Dillinger is the Pinellas-Pasco public defender, but the same poverty zones...
Updated: 2 months ago
This photo provided by Caribbean Buzz shows boats clustered together after Hurricane Irma Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. The death toll from Hurricane Irma has risen to 22 as the storm continues its destructive path through the Caribbean.
The dead include 11 on St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands and four in the British Virgin Islands. There was also one each in Barbuda, Anguilla, and Barbados. The toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach some of the hardest-hit areas. [Caribbean Buzz via AP]

Historic and harrowing: Chronicling Hurricane Irma's destructive path

The storm left us powerless before moving on to devastate areas outside its path, that didn't see what was coming.
Updated: 3 months ago
Kennedy Waechter, 10, left, and Danika Kubiak, 7, wait for customers at their stand that included coffee and a power strip. 

When life (and a hurricane) gave her neighbors lemons, this girl made lemonade

Friends sell cups of pick-me-ups to neighbors in St. Petersburg.
Updated: 3 months ago
Three-year-old Josiah Lee pokes his head out from between the two cots where his family stayed at John Hopkins Middle School on Sunday. At one point, volunteers threatened to pull a cot away for another family, but Josiah's mother explained that her youngest son has medical needs. Space got tight because the staff closed three buildings, worried over their condition.

Fighting the fear, from the cot under the window

A family of six struggles through the storm together, fighting the fear at a shelter in St. Petersburg.
Updated: 3 months ago

Questions. Worries. Fears. Oh, my.

Editor's Note: We typically swim in our fishbowls, having a million different conversations as we go about our daily lives. But this week in Tampa Bay, we're all asking the same questions, speaking the same fears and telling the same jokes. Our...
Updated: 3 months ago