Craig Pittman, Environment, Growth and Development Reporter

Craig Pittman

Environment, Growth and Development Reporter

I’m a native Floridian whose family arrived here in 1850. I graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where my muckraking for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label me “the most destructive force on campus.” Since then I’ve covered a variety of beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Stories I have written on environmental issues have won national awards, and "The Daily Show" once called me a "nerd" about Florida history. I’ve written four books. The most recent one,Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, is a New York Times bestseller and won a Florida Book Awards gold medal in 2017.

Florida had a committee that targeted civil rights activists and homosexuals. Can it now apologize?

Jacksonville, Fla: Members of the Legislative Investigation Committee went into secret session in 1964 after selecting Rep. R.O. Mitchell (3rd right) to head the group for next two years. Others are (l-r) Sen. Charley Johns, Rep. George Stallings, Rep. William Owens, Rep. Leo Jones, Mitchell, Sen. C.W. Young and Sen. Robert Williams.
Named after powerful Sen. Charley Johns, the ‘Johns Committee’ operated from 1956 to 1965.

Heartland Parkway is the toll road that wouldn't die

https://www.tampabay.com/storyimage/HI/20190218/ARTICLE/190219671/TS/1/TS-190219671.jpg
Senate President Bill Galvano resurrects an expensive highway project that both Charlie Crist and Rick Scott killed.

Complaints about ZooTampa vet's manatee malpractice total 45, including one that blames him for giraffe deaths too

Ray Ball, the ZooTampa veterinarian under investigation for medical malpractice that may have killed manatees, did not have federal permission to conduct experimental treatments of injured marine mammals, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. [ZooTampa]
Self-described "rogue veterinarian" began drawing complaints in 2010, and one former employee says zoo officials knew about problems in 2012 but did nothing.

Smithsonian will get rare whale — after it spends spring buried at Fort De Soto

At Fort De Soto, scientists dug a hole and buried what remained of a Bryde’s whale found off of Everglades National Park. This spring, they will dig it back up and ship the skeleton to the Smithsonian Institution. [Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]
The 38-foot Bryde's whale turned up dead near Everglades National Park. After a thorough exam, biologists trucked it across the state for a temporary burial at the Pinellas County park.

‘Alligator Ron’ Bergeron is the Florida man of Florida politicians

Gov. Rick Scott, left, and Florida Wildlife Conservation Point Commissioner Ron Bergeron, right, at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in 2015 in Key Biscayne. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Gov. Ron DeSantis picked Ronald "Alligator Ron" Bergeron — former rodeo champ, python hunter, gator wrestler and wildlife commissioner — to replace pro-sugar water agency officials.