Carson Cooper

Host Morning Edition/Florida Matters

Carson Cooper has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the host of "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for three decades.

He has been the host of WUSF's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.

Ways To Connect

Tim Redman

The Florida Orchestra has begun its 48th season, and the orchestra has a new music director. 

Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly was elected to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional district in a special election in 2014, and was re-elected in November 2014. 

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 a.m.), we feature a newsmaker special with Jolly, who is now campaigning for the Senate seat being vacated by  U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.  

Tampa Bay Rays

News that the Atlanta Braves may want to move its spring training facility to Pinellas County has caught the attention of Major League Baseball.

Many baby boomers are looking for work to do after they stopped working full-time.


Heroin overdoses are rising most everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in Manatee County.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

In 2013, Florida had more new cases of HIV than anywhere else in the nation. When it comes to the presence of HIV in Florida, the state’s six largest metropolitan areas could be states unto themselves.

You can join us and be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall on the rising tide of HIV infection in Florida.

We take a look at how you can prepare if any storms do come our way.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Big changes are coming to Tampa International Airport, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7:30 a.m.), we’re bringing you a special newsmaker edition of the show with airport CEO Joe Lopano.

One of our burning questions: Is it TPA – or TIA? According to Lopano, it’s both.

Village of the Arts

Sarasota is known around the world for its arts scene. Can Bradenton and Manatee County become a destination for the arts? 

Back in June, state officials decided to allow bear hunting in Florida for the first time in 20 years. The season will open on Oct. 24, and could last for up to a week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the hunt is part of its comprehensive bear management plan, and will be open in four of the seven “Bear Management Units.”

Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

Same-sex couples have been able to marry in Florida since Jan. 6, 2015. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. What are the impacts of this ruling on Florida’s same-sex couples? And what questions are they asking as they consider tying the knot?

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

To most Floridians, manatees are cute, docile creatures that hang out in crowded springs, and often get too close to boats -- or rather, boats get too close to them. But down on the other side of the Florida Straits, they sometimes end up on someone's dinner table.

WUSF's Steve Newborn recently tagged along with Dr. James “Buddy” Powell of Sea to Shore Alliance -- a Sarasota-based conservation group -- on an expedition to Cuba to find out how manatees are doing in the waters off the island.

Daylina Miller / WUSF

The next White House Conference on Aging - which is aimed at finding new ways to improve the lives of older Americans - will take place July 13 in Washington, D.C. 
Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

June 6, 2015 will mark the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the historic military landing at Normandy during World War II. 

This week on Florida Matters, we a look at D-Day through the eyes of a C-47 pilot who was there.  First Lt. Gerald “Bud” Berry was among those who flew paratroopers behind enemy lines in the hours before the beach invasion. 


 Lawmakers are heading back to Tallahassee on June 1 for a three-week special session.

The Florida Legislature was unable to agree on a single balanced budget during the regular session, which the House sent screeching to a halt three days early.

The divide between the two chambers was sparked by the likely loss of more than $1 billion in federal Low Income Pool money for hospitals that is to set to expire June 30.

It was Friday, May 9, 1980 at 7:33 a.m. when the freighter Summit Venture rammed into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a severe storm.  The roadway above crashed into the waters of Tampa Bay. Though the blinding rain, drivers in the southbound lanes were unable to see the missing roadway ahead.  Six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound Bus plunged into the waters below, and 35 people were killed.

The Florida House and Senate have been going back and forth over whether or not the state should accept billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid in the state.  The Senate wants take the money and steer it into private plans.  The House want no part of it.  In fact, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli suggests that the public is against the idea.

Crisafulli said, "Medicaid expansion isn’t necessarily a very popular issue on the street."

We spoke with Josh Gillin of Politifact for the ruling.


Doug Parton / DP Photography

 The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments April 28 on the issue of same-sex marriage.  

Several cases from Cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky have been combined into one case, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.


In Florida and in Tampa Bay, ties to Cuba run very deep. In March, federal officials participated in a forum with community leaders in Tampa to discuss what may lie ahead, as some restrictions on travel and trade have been eased under changes announced earlier this year by the Obama administration.

Some Tampa Bay area business leaders have wanted better relations with Cuba for years. What lies ahead as relations between Cuba and the United States are changing?