Bobbie O'Brien

Reporter

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.

Bobbie also produces the blog, Off the Base, and covers military affairs, veterans’ issues and military families. She was named a Rosalyn Carter Fellow in 2010-2011. She supervises WUSF’s news interns and frequently contributes to NPR programs.

Prior to joining WUSF, she worked at WTVT- TV as a researcher/segment producer, at the Tampa Tribune and at WFLA-TV. She attended Kent State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida in 1980.

Her work has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Inc., American Women in Radio & Television, the Florida Associated Press and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Ways to Connect

USAF

Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base will welcome a new commander next week. Air Force Col. April D. Vogel will take over July 8, 2016 as leader of the 6th Air Mobility Wing and assume command of the base, which is home to U.S. Central Command as well as U.S. Special Operations Command.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s season ended prematurely with no Stanley Cup in hand. On Monday, a former Lightning captain was dealt a similar disappointing blow. After toiling for 23 years in the National Hockey League, Dave Andreychuk has been passed over, again, by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

the Office of U.S. Rep. David Jolly

Two Tampa Bay area members of Congress were in the middle of the battle Wednesday over gun legislation in Washington D.C.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa joined fellow House Democrats participating in a sit-in. The roughly 40 Democrats are demanding a vote on legislation that would prohibit gun sales to people on the government’s terrorism and no-fly watch lists.

Castor’s office emailed a link to video of her on the House floor leading the chant, “No bill. No break.”

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Imagine a baseball park that is free and open to the public when no games are scheduled. Imagine real grass but with a roof to shield you from Florida’s frequent rain storms.

Those are just a few of the ideas and innovations Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld has in mind for a new stadium no matter where it gets built.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Veterans who end up in jail or prison face a lot of problems when they get out – the lack of health care – finding employment - possible homelessness. To address those needs, the Department of Veterans Affairs has created several programs over the past decade.

The Health Care for Reentry Veterans program reaches out to veterans before they walk out of prison.

Tampa Bay Rays

“Pride Night” at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game this Friday is being dedicated to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. And all remaining tickets are priced at $5 to make the game more accessible, said Rays President Brian Auld.

Professors from the University of Florida have developed a mosquito trap that they say could help prevent the spread of the Zika virus. 
 
Professor Phil Koehler says the trap is proven to catch and kill mosquitoes but the public might not be able use it this summer because it’s awaiting federal approval. 

Konner Ross / Courtesy of the Chalcraft Family

Army Private Leo Kenneth Chalcraft was a green-eyed, brown-haired teen from St. Petersburg, FL when he was killed in action in World War II.  

It happened just six days after his 19th birthday.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Rays plan to launch a website soon that will let the public contribute their ideas, and feedback on what they'd like to include in a new ballpark.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

 The nation will remember those killed while serving their country on Memorial Day in just over a week. But a local group called Veterans Counseling Veterans wants people to think about another kind of Memorial Day – one honoring those who served in uniform and died by suicide -- and is planning such as service this Sunday in Tampa at American Legion Post 5.

The Chalcraft Family

The toughest writing assignment 16-year-old Konner Ross will have this year is to write a eulogy for a young man she’s never met. But there’s a part of him the Largo High School junior never forget – his green eyes.

“They have his wallet from when they found it on the beach and on his identification card, it says (he has) green eyes and brown hair,” Ross said. “I didn't know he had green eyes until then. So, that seems like something small, but it was really cool to learn for some reason.”

Hillsborough County

It was supposed to be “The War To End All Wars.” But World War I  lasted more than four years: July 1914 to November 1918. More than 20 million soldiers died, either killed in action or by disease, and another 21 million were wounded.

Image based on data mapped by Olga Wilhelmi / NCAR GIS program

At least two Florida Republicans in Congress have broken with their party and are calling on the GOP leadership to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat, said her fellow Floridians, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep.Vern Buchanan, understand the virus is a threat to the state’s top industry – tourism.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

When’s the last time you received a personal, handwritten or typed letter in the mail – snail-mail that is? There’s a concern that emails have turned letter writing into a lost art and is going the way of typewriters.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Many endured starvation, torture, forced labor, and others died unable to return home. They are the former POWs who will be honored Saturday during the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day.

U.S. Department of Defense / Pentagon Channel

The U.S. Secretary of Defense joined other top military leaders in Tampa Wednesday to mark the change of leadership at two major, joint military commands at MacDill Air Force Base.

Army Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas III is the new leader at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It may seem counterintuitive – but a military medic or corpsman, trained to save lives in combat and provide health care at home, does not qualify for most civilian medical jobs.

What’s worse – many veterans are at a competitive disadvantage when seeking admittance into nursing colleges.

MacDill AFB

You can expect crowd skies and streets this weekend in south Tampa as the MacDill Air Fest takes off. Admission is free and so is the parking, so, it's expected to draw 100,000 people.

Now that Donald Trump has won Florida's Republican presidential primary and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has suspended his run, members of the GOP are dealing with the fallout at the state and local levels.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Ever since the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was founded almost 50 years ago, Congress has been tweaking the federally backed program.

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