Kathryn Varn, Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

Kathryn Varn

Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

I cover breaking news and public safety in Pinellas County. That includes police and fire departments, hurricanes and any other topics in the death and destruction arena. In other words, I’m really fun at parties. Before coming to the Times in 2015, I was a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. I picked the major as a prerequisite for law school, but once I started covering crime for my college newspaper, I couldn’t get enough. When I’m not sweating under deadline, I’m singing with my rag-tag adult A Cappella group, Weird and Wonderful, or hanging out with my fat cat, Rose.

Clearwater parking lot shooter may skip stand-your-ground hearing, argue self-defense before jury

Michael Drejka, right, speaks with attorney Bryant Camareno during a hearing in a Pinellas County courtroom Friday. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Michael Drejka's lawyers said they are more likely to follow the route George Zimmerman's legal team took when they won him acquittal in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Kids share Hurricane Michael stories: ‘We were crawling through the trees and jumping’

Steve Jordan, 10, at left, RJ Cywinski, 11, Jessica Debiana Aguilar, 9, Deashia Tubbs, 9, and Izabella Vazquez, 10, talked about their experiences during Hurricane Michael at Parker Elementary School in Panama City. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Fourth- and fifth-graders at Parker Elementary in Panama City sit down to talk about one of the strongest hurricanes on record.

St. Pete bicyclist dies after riding into passing car on 64th Street S

Sheldon Wagner Jr., 64, made a sudden attempt to cross 64th Street S, police said. He collided with a Nissan Altima.

Search is on for missing boater off coast of Clearwater Beach

Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
The Coast Guard found the boat early Thursday about 10 miles offshore. The missing boater is from Citrus County.

Parkland parent slams Gualtieri for using NRA TV to push arming of teachers

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri chaired the commission that investigated the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. [Tampa Bay Times]
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, both members of a state school safety commission, appeared on separate segments to discuss the panel's findings.