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Laura Byrne

There's no place like home! It may sound cliché, but after 10 years of moving from place to place, it's good to be back in the Tampa Bay area. I graduated from Gaither High School in Tampa before moving on to Florida State University where I majored in Communication. I'm a third generation FSU grad!

I joined the 10 Connects team in March 2009 from WINK-TV in Fort Myers, where I spent my last year covering the crime beat. While there, a photographer and I traveled to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification where scientists are working to identify eight skeletons discovered in a wooded area of Fort Myers. They've made the call for family members of missing people to send in their DNA so they can see if there is a match. So far, only a few of the eight have been identified. The mystery of what happened to them has yet to be unraveled, but the opportunity to share with our viewers about what's going on behind the scenes was an unforgettable experience.

I've also worked as a reporter with WCTV in Tallahassee and SNN in Sarasota. During that time, I was recognized by the Florida Associated Press for my work, including Individual Achievement. You might be noticing a trend. I've only worked for Florida TV stations! It was all part of my plan. I grew up as an Air Force brat, so we moved around a lot when I was a kid. My dad retired from the Air Force when I was in middle school and we planted ourselves in Tampa. If there was an opportunity to stay in Florida, I was going to find a way!

I've been so lucky to keep my career in Florida. It's allowed me to keep tabs on what's going on throughout the state over the years, cover the action at the Capitol and of course, there are the hurricanes. Of all the storms, I'll never forget covering the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. I was a reporter with WCTV in Tallahassee at the time and made the drive to Punta Gorda on my own, carrying nearly 100 pounds of gear (camera, mic, tapes, batteries, tripod, edit deck) I had been to Punta Gorda before the storm, but the city was unrecognizable as I drove in. The side of a hotel had been torn off, buildings were reduced to toothpicks and all of the street signs were gone. The challenge was trying to capture all of this on tape to share with the viewers at home. Years later, I've been able to cover a number of stories in Punta Gorda and the efforts to rebuild. It is a beautiful place. You must make the short trip to visit!

There are many times when you will see me out in the field missing something. A photographer! I'm a multi-media reporter here at 10 Connects, which means I know how to do it all! Shoot, write, edit, etc.!

I'm always looking for a good story! There are a number of ways you can connect with me:
email me at lkadechka@wtsp.com
twitter: @laurakade