Special  Reports

From the St. Petersburg Times
For interactive graphics, slide shows and video see our multimedia reports

From 2010
Times investigations
  • RxOD: The prescription drug abuse crisis in Florida
    A St. Petersburg Times investigation found that the system for identifying and disciplining doctors is plagued with long delays, often light penalties and testy finger-pointing among regulators, law enforcement and lawmakers over who should be doing what. [9/26/10]
  • Oil spill cleanup in the gulf
    After a deepwater drilling rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana on April 20, about 4.9 million barrels of oil spewed into the water. The spill was capped on July 15, but its aftermath still affects Florida. [4/20/10]
  • U.S. Navy Veterans Association: Under the radar
    Is the U.S. Navy Veterans a helpful charity or an illusion? Try finding the leaders and following the money. [3/21/10]
  • Haiti Earthquake
    On Jan. 12, a magnitude-7 earthquake devastated Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. The international Red Cross estimates that 200,000 were killed. [1/12/10]
  • Scientology: The Truth Rundown
    High-ranking defectors provide an unprecedented inside look at Scientology, its leader and the Lisa McPherson case. [6/21/09]
  • Right by Miles
    Two teenage boys are in a car chase with a reckless, sexually perverted Polk County sheriff's deputy. The boys crash, killing Miles White, 16. But the sheriff's office does not investigate its deputy's involvement. Why? [8/31/08]
  • The Girl in the Window
    Three years ago detectives and a social worker arrived at a dilapidated house in Plant City and made a heartbreaking discovery: A tiny girl living in a dark closet. Would she ever find a family to love her? [7/31/08]
  • Florida's Double Dippers
    A growing number of elected officials are collecting a state pension while still getting a regular paycheck from taxpayers. [5/6/08]
From 2009
  • Second chances
    For at least two decades, the Florida Department of Children and Families has granted people with felony backgrounds the opportunity to show "clear and convincing evidence" that they've been rehabilitated and can be trusted to care for other people's children in child care or foster care. [12/13/09]
  • Scientology: The Truth Rundown
    High-ranking defectors provide an unprecedented inside look at Scientology, its leader and the Lisa McPherson case. [6/21/09]
  • Swine flu
    We'll answer questions like: What is the scientific name for swine flu? What organism causes swine flu? How is the swine flu transmitted? Are my sneezing and coughing swine flu symptoms? [5/23/09]
  • Right by Miles
    Two teenage boys are in a car chase with a reckless, sexually perverted Polk County sheriff's deputy. The boys crash, killing Miles White, 16. But the sheriff's office does not investigate its deputy's involvement. Why? [8/31/08]
  • Felon changes tune on mortgage fraud
    A series of stories in the St. Petersburg Times chronicled many questionable loans by a felon named Victor Clavizzao, who was working as a loan officer. [8/23/08]
  • Chasing a developer's dream
    Hillsborough Community College put its faith in Greg Neal's plans to expand the campus and make it a world-class sports-medicine destination with a luxury hotel and a culinary institute. But a Times investigation revealed exaggerations and lies. [8/17/08]
  • The Girl in the Window
    Three years ago detectives and a social worker arrived at a dilapidated house in Plant City and made a heartbreaking discovery: A tiny girl living in a dark closet. Would she ever find a family to love her? [7/31/08]
  • Florida's Double Dippers
    A growing number of elected officials are collecting a state pension while still getting a regular paycheck from taxpayers. [5/6/08]
  • A Cry in the Night
    Almost 25 years after a murder shocked the little city of Gulfport, the man convicted of the killing hopes that DNA evidence can clear him. Here, for the first time online, is the St. Petersburg Times’ 1988 series about the case. [4/13/08]
  • What's going on with our teachers?
    You knew the question had to come, with three female teachers arrested for on charges of having sex with students in such short order. [3/20/08]
  • Hillsborough jail abuse
    A citizen panel will investigate conditions and complaints at the Hillsborough agency. [2/12/08]
From 2007
  •  Happy Holidays
    Looking for the best light displays in your area? Are you seeking cookie recipes, gift ideas or decorating ideas? All this and more can be found on our holidays page. [12/4/07]
  •  Ballpark by the bay
    The Tampa Bay Rays hope to break ground on a downtown waterfront stadium in 500 days. But getting there will test the limits of government and the patience of people. [11/10/07]
  •  Beach Guide
    Sunsets. Sand. Surf. We offer the latest beach news, events and restaurant reviews.
    Check our new section before you make your next trip [9/30/07]
  •  USF students under suspicion
    The arrest of two University of South Florida students found with several suspected pipe bombs near a South Carolina naval base raised more questions than it answered. [8/7/07]
  •  Ultimate Guide to Tampa Bay
    You picked every single winner, the favorite bars, restaurants, personalities and attractions in Tampa Bay. [6/29/07]
  •  Pushing drugs to market
    An occasional series about how pharmaceuticals are brought to market – and who profits along the way [5/27/07]
  •  Elijah Dukes
    At age 22, Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes has amassed dozens of contacts with law enforcement and the court system. [5/4/07]
  •  Interweave
    Our workplace melting pot: An analysis of corporate diversity in the Tampa Bay region. [3/18/07]
  •  A journey from Steve to Susan
    Complete coverage of Steve Stanton's public transformation from a man to a woman, from its beginning in a circle of trusted colleagues through to Susan Ashley Stanton's first major public appearance to lobby in Washington. [2/22/07]
  •  The homeless struggle
    Rising costs. Fewer housing options. Less help. It's a scenario that sparks fears of a spike in Florida's homeless population. [2/18/07]
  •  Hiccups heard round the world
    Jennifer Mee, a 15-year-old St. Petersburg girl, has been living with hiccups for three weeks. She has seen doctors and tried "cures." Nothing has worked.
  • Jessica Lunsford Tragedy
    The coverage of the murder trial of John Couey, who is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in February 2005.
  •  Dungy is a champion. Amen.
    Tony Dungy got his Super Bowl title after 11 seasons as a head coach. He was fired in 2001, just one season before the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII. But Dungy said it was worth the wait. [2/4/07]
  •  A deadly night of storms
    A tornado tore it's way across central Florida in the wee hours of Feb. 2. Twenty people were killed. An unknown number were injured. [2/2/07]
  •  Against the wind
    and tide

    Six paddlers embark on a three-day 156 mile kayak trek on Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. [1/16/07]
  •  Dim view from a crowded jail
    How bad is the Pinellas County Jail's overcrowding? A Times reporter spends 48 hours there to see for himself. [1/14/07]
From 2006
  •  2006: Year in review
    By the end of 2006, the architect of the Iraq war had lost his job and even President Bush couldn't help but include Vietnam in the same sentence with Iraq. There were pleasant distractions from the grim realities: Florida basketball and football to name two. But is that really grouper? [12/19/06]
    •  BCS Title Game
      It's do or die in the desert for Florida and Ohio State on Jan. 8. Florida faces Ohio State for the national title after passing Michigan in the BCS standings. Check out our special coverage, photo galleries and polls. [12/19/06]
    • Vanishing wetlands
      Florida has more wetlands than any other state but Alaska. They stop floods, clean up water pollution, and replenish drinking supplies. Yet despite government promises they are disappearing.
    •  Lobbying Under Disguise
      To make their voices louder in Washington, corporations and trade associations pay "watchdog" groups and columnists
      to spread their messages. But readers and viewers aren't told. [12/11/06]
    •  Ninth or never
      For 40,000 kids in Florida every year, ninth grade is where it all falls apart. No other grade offers such an honest view into what schools are really like, and by extension, so brutally forces us to confront the flip side: How we raise our kids. [12/10/06]
    •  Brooksville: 150 Years
      The Times talked to some longtime Brooksville residents to mark the town's 150th anniversary. This is their story, in their words. [10/13/06]
    •  The Insurance crisis
      The cost of homeowners insurance in Florida has become prohibitive. Here is an archive of the Times' ongoing coverage of the issue. [10/6/06]
    •  Deal me in
      Enterprise Florida is a public-private partnership that helps determine where incentive money gets spent to create jobs in the state. Sometimes, board members' companies reap the benefits. [8/27/06]
    •  Republican vs. Republican: A cellular division
      Mutiny. Blackmail. Adorable children. The drama behind the bill to expand federal funding for stem cell research. It's a story of how Washington works.
      Part I | Part II | Multimedia [8/13/06]
    •  The Grouper Catch
      It's getting harder to get the gulf's signature fish on your plate. The long-liners and the little guy face off in the politics of overfishing. That grouper sandwich you ordered? Well, it might not be. [8/6/06]
    •  The Church of Scientology
      Coverage of the Church of Scientology including the special report that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for national reporting. [7/25/06]
    • Jessica Lunsford
      The coverage of the first murder trial of John Couey, who is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in February 2005.
    • 2006 World Cup coverage
      World championship of men's soccer is held every four years. Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the globe descended on Germany to help kick off arguably the world's most popular sports event with a show of solidarity. [6/7/06]
    •  Toxic indifference
      In 1991, two Hernando County employees sounded the alarm: The county's public works compound was an environmental time bomb. [4/9/06]
    •  2006
      NCAA Coverage

      They'll hang a brand new banner in the O'Connell Center soon proclaiming history at the University of Florida It will read: "Florida: 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions." [4/3/06]
    •  Your neighbor's tax bill
      Florida's property tax cap has created gaping disparities in what neighbors pay in property taxes. The cap is so valuable, some people can't afford to move because they would lose their tax discount. Now some lawmakers want to change the rules so you could take your tax break with you if you buy a new home. [3/26/06]
    •  2006 Winter Olympics
      News, updates, and sounds from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, updated daily. [2/17/06]
    •  Epiphany 1906 -2006
      Tarpon Springs' 100th annual Epiphany celebration, commemorating the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. This year's celebration was highlighted by the Diving for the Cross, presided over by His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church. [1/6/06]

    From 2005
    • 2005: Year in review
      As we head into 2006, take a few moments to reflect on the tumultuous year that was 2005. We have compiled the most compelling stories and images from around the corner and around the world.
    • Mama, I'm a big girl now
      Imagine the thrill of suddenly getting the one thing you have always wanted most in life. It happened to Michelle Dowdy, who graduated straight from high school to the New York stage. But was she ready? A six-part series.
    • The hard road
      Inside the Jennifer Porter hit-and-run case. A five-part series.
    • Medicare
      If nothing else, Congress has created a raft of new choices for people on Medicare. Here are step-by-step recommendations to help you navigate the new drug maze.
    • A killer within
      Times staffer Barry Bradley can't see the enemy, but he knows it's there; in fact, he found it.
    • Mary and Jim to the end
      Before Jim Morrison became famous with the Doors, he and Mary Werbelow were soul mates. She has never spoken publicly about their three years together - until now.
    • Capitalist China
      China's capitalist revolution is about more than cheap goods and labor. A tantalizing promise of wealth has created a freewheeling spirit and eager entrepreneurs. A special three-part series.
    • Remembering WWII
      For the 60th anniversary of the war’s end, we look back to pay tribute to those involved and to learn from its enduring lessons.
    • Home schooling:
      It's not what you think

      Yearbook, drama lessons, field trips, even classes at public school. Homeschooling gets a new look from a generation craving more time with their kids.
    • A day in the life of Fort
      DeSoto Park

      Stephen Leatherman, better known as "Dr. Beach," last month put Fort DeSoto Park's North Beach at the top of his annual list of America's best beaches. See Don Morris' sketches transform into video.
    • Vanishing wetlands
      Despite a presidential policy of "no net loss," Florida has lost at least 84,000 acres of wetlands in the past 15 years. How hard is it to get permission to destroy these "protected" areas? Just ask.
    •  A pipeline to promise, or a pipeline to peril
      The United States is betting the future of energy lies in the hard-to-reach Caspian Sea. With the $3.6 billion pipeline about to open it remains to be seen if the investment will show a return. [5/15/05]
    •  Risky business
      Incentives - good or bad business: The state uses millions in tax dollars to help certain companies create jobs. But does that strategy pay off for taxpayers? [4/10/05]
    • Terri Schiavo:
      A long, public death

      Before the prayer warriors massed outside her window, before gavels pounded in six courts, before the Vatican issued a statement, before the president signed a midnight law and the Supreme Court turned its head, Terri Schiavo was an ordinary girl. [11/13/02 -- 4/20/05]
    From 2004
    • photoA husband for Vibha
      Arranged marriage has been a cultural tradition for generations of Indians, including the family of USF student Vibha Dhawan. But what happens when a modern woman agrees to an ancient ritual?" [12/19/04]
    • Achievement
      photoReading, writing, race:
      Years of lagging performance have taken a toll on black students. Now educators struggle to close the gap.
      The invisible men
      Black male students have the most trouble navigating the education system. Few are making it through to college. [4/17/05]
    •  United by Faith
      About 50 Muslim families come for opportunity and liberty. In the wake of 9/11, they find themselves forced to reach out from their community in an uncertain time. [5/16/04]
    • photoFollowing Francisco
      In 1983, a young man left Mexico in search of a better life in "El Norte." He found it in Clearwater. Twenty years later, thousands from his region have found it too, enriching people at both ends of the journey." [4/25/04]
    •  Diagnosis diabetes
      Nearly 13-million are diagnosed. More than 5-million more have it and don't know it. The number of Americans now diagnosed with diabetes is about 13-million, nearly double what it was in 1990. [4/18/04]
    • photoThe last full measure of devotion
      Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith went to Iraq vowing to bring his men home alive. It would take everything he had to give. He found himself leading 16 GIs in a firefight against 100 enemy soldiers. Smith’s actions that day have earned him a nomination for the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for bravery. [1/25/04]
    From 2003
    • photoThe clogged commute
      The bay area's stunning growth during the past 10 years means motorists are spending more time each day on the road. The experts say get used to it. [11/30/03]
    •  Journal of an
      F year
      The state gave 64 schools in Florida an F grade last year, among them Shaw Elementary in a high-poverty area of Tampa.While politicians and academics debate school grading, the people at Shaw lived it. How one school battled the worst label in Florida [8/24/03]
    • Good clean fun?
      It's summer, and the swimming's easy, but keeping up a pool isn't. In Hillsborough County, Florida, more than 50 pools flunked five or more inspections. Check the pool in your neighborhood by accessing the St. Petersburg Times interactive database, part of a special report on Hillsborough's pools. [7/25/03]
    •  Korea:
      The Forgotten War

      On the 50th anniversary of the war's end, we look at why and how the war was waged and the effect it had on the United States, on our communities and on many of the tens of thousands Korean War veterans who live in the Tampa Bay area. [7/20/03]
    • A message from Roger
       Standing on Clearwater's Pier 60, a little boy put a note in a bottle: "To whoever finds this, please write me a letter and let me know." Nineteen years went by. Roger, we got your note. [7/10/03]
    • Too much exposure?
      Floridians especially should be aware of the health risks associated with prolonged sun exposure; damage done to the skin is cumulative. Sunscreen provides some protection, but it might not be enough. So before you head to the beach, take time to learn the basics of sun protection. [6/29/03]
    • The innocence defence
      In January 2003, Rudolph Holton walked away from death row. This is why he spent 16 years there: Tampa police never pursued a suspect accused of raping the murder victim. To set Holton free, it would take a lawyer who was too young and too reckless to know what she was up against. [6/6/03]
    • 13Life at the Edge of Everything
      Four Times staffers spent months shadowing a handful of Tampa seventh-graders. They went to the kids' slumber parties, hung out at their homes, witnessed all the mini-dramas of growing up. Along the way, they gained access into a secret world normally hidden from parents. [5/18/03]
    •  Tamiami Trail
      Ambition and sweat tamed the Everglades just enough to bring modern life to Tampa and Miami. Now, 75 years later, we speed along a road where civilization runs wild as the alligator. [4/20/03]
    • The poison in your back yard
      Arsenic is in the pressure-treated wood used to build decks, docks, gazebos and children's play sets. With evidence mounting that the poison can leak out, some people ask: Is it time to switch to a safer alternative? [3/13/01 -- 2/8/03]
    • XXXVII Xtra
      With a collective howl of elation and a few tense moments, fans across the Tampa Bay region heralded the area's first major sports championship in spirited Super Bowl celebrations that ended years of futility for the Bucs. [1/27/03]

    From 2002

    • Portraits in black history
      The photographs in this series were made in the middle of the last century by the Burgert Brothers commercial photography studio in Tampa. The Burgerts were white, but their photographs provide a varied record of African-American life during the days of segregation. [11/19/02]
    • photoThe Rev. Henry Lyons saga
      The leader of the National Baptist Convention (NBC), America’s largest black Baptist church group, saw his troubles begin in July 1997 with arson at a home he is alleged to own with a woman other than his wife. From the beginning, the St. Petersburg Times has reported on the Lyons case, which is chronicled in this comprehensive archive of stories. [6/8/97 -- 9/28/02]
    • photo09-11-01:
      One year later

      Sept. 11, 2001 was the New Day of Infamy, when foreign terrorism was unleashed on American soil.The Times Online presents a retrospective of 911and a look to the future, using some of the materials published in the St. Petersburg Times and others from the Associated Press. [9/01/02]
    • Walking to Paris
      Jim Miller’s adventurous life was interrupted in a violent collision of metal and flesh. He thought he knew how to get going again. He never imagined how hard that would be. [07/15/02]
    • photoThe Deuces
      In the decades of segregation in St. Petersburg, black residents made their own world on 22nd Street S -- The Deuces. The street was famous, then forlorn and finally, just forgotten. Where has it been and where might it be going? [6/28/02]
    • photoBeaches
      A special section on beaches. After all, if you live around Tampa Bay, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are right outside your door. [6/21/02]
    • photoAlone Together A year in the life of an Alzheimer’s support group -- Sometimes love isn't enough. [6/9/02]
    • photoPainful reminders Scars from run-ins with boat propellers are now being used to track and identify Florida's manatees. [5/5/02]
    • photoStevenson Creek's Struggle with Man
      As cities grow, the lakes, streams and creeks they surround suffer. Chances are, the issues that created the Stevenson Creek mess are the same issues that affect a creek near you. [3/10/02]

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