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

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority

Bus riders in Hillsborough County have a new, smart phone feature that can help them find the most efficient route.

University of Florida

Scientists have yet to confirm whether Florida has its first “locally acquired” case of Zika. But Florida researchers are in hot pursuit for ways to eliminate the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.

U.S. Senate

Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham of Florida and his allies won a 13-year battle Friday when the federal government finally declassified 28 pages of the 2002 congressional inquiry into the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Wikipedia

The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to move out of Tropicana Field. So now, the question is what should the city of St. Petersburg move onto the 85 acres where the “Trop” sits?

Tech. Sgt. Krystie Martinez / U.S. Air Force

Commanding an Air Force Wing – like the 6th Air Mobility Wing in Tampa – is challenging enough.  Add to that being accountable for the security and daily operations of a high profile military base that is headquarters for U.S. Central Command, and those responsibilities grow "huge." That’s why the Air Force selected Col. April Vogel to take command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa.

MacDill AFB

The official MacDill Air Force Base Change of Command ceremony and transfer of power for the 6th Air Mobility Wing is scheduled today at 9 a.m. As a farewell to the men and women of MacDill and residents of Tampa Bay, Colonel Daniel H. Tulley, 6th Air Mobility Wing Commander, wrote the following:

Illustration by Corey Hook / Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

A new, more in-depth analysis of veteran records from all states from 1979 to 2014  indicates “that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide.”

An estimated 22 veterans a day – on average – committed suicide according to a Department of Veterans Affairs report in 2010. But that analysis was limited to data from only 20 states.

People's Choice Awards / AIA Florida

Just like art, people have varying opinions on what is “good” architecture.

For some it can be as simple as “I know it when I see it.” For others, important design criteria must be met such as “form follows function.”

Largo High School senior Konner Ross was one of 15 students selected for “The Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute silent hero project.” Fifteen teams of high school students and their teachers from around the country researched a soldier, sailor or airman from their home state, who is buried in Normandy.

Military with PTSD

Traditional Fourth of July neighborhood celebrations --- like backyard rockets and cherry bombs -- can be problematic for those who fought to keep the country independent. The red-white-and-blue yard signs say it all: “Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please be courteous with fireworks.”

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.

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