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.


Florida Matters
2:14 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Florida Matters: Preparing For A Hurricane



The Atlantic hurricane outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2015 will be a below-normal season, with six to 11 named storms. Of those storms, three to six could become hurricanes. But experts with NOAA warn that a below-normal season doesn't mean we're off the hook.

Florida has experienced below-normal seasons that have brought catastrophic impacts to communities -- including Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and Hurricane Charley in 2004.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM) we're taking a look at how you can prepare if any storms do come our way.

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Florida Matters
12:56 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Florida Matters: Cuba's Manatees

A group hosted by Sea to Shore Alliance gathers on the front of the diving boat
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.

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Florida Matters
4:53 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Florida Matters: White House Conference On Aging's Regional Forum In Tampa

Credit 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. 
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Florida Matters
4:22 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Florida Matters: Remembering D-Day

From left: Author Gary Mormino, military historian William Polson, First Lt. Gerald Berry (retired) and Florida Matters host Carson Cooper
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. 

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Florida Matters
12:06 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Florida Matters: Legislative Session Debrief, Look Ahead To Special Session

Florida lawmakers failed to pass a budget during their regular session. They will head back to Tallahassee for a special session on June 1.
Credit AP

 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.

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Florida Matters
4:08 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Florida Matters: Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster 35 Years Later

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.

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10:18 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Politifact Florida on House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Medicaid Expansion

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.


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Florida Matters
4:45 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Florida Matters Preview: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Same-Sex Marriage

Left to right: Mike Reedy with Equality Florida; Florida Matters host Carson Cooper; and attorney Alan Gassman in the WUSF studio after taping a Florida Matters panel discussion on same-sex marriage.
Credit 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.

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Florida Matters
1:19 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Florida Matters: Cuba Forum

Credit AP

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? 

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Florida Matters
4:31 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Florida Matters: Cancer Town Hall

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF

On April 5, WUSF-TV will air the first part of the new Ken Burns’ documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.”  

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Florida Matters
8:56 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Florida Matters: Energy in Florida

Duke Energy's Crystal River nuclear generator
Associated Press

 This week on Florida Matters, we're continuing our preview of the upcoming Florida Legislative session. State lawmakers have filed a half-dozen bills dealing with how your power company operates in Florida.  What are the chances that changes are on the way?  Our panel includes Tampa Bay Times reporter Ivan Penn  and state Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey.

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Florida Matters
4:32 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Florida Matters: Amendment One

Algae clouds part of Rock Springs near Apopka, Fla.
Robin Sussingham

Back in November, voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment One, which sets aside millions of dollars for land and water conservation.

This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at where exactly that money might go.

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Florida Matters
4:31 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Florida Matters: A Look at Mental Health Funding, Spending

Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc.

Florida ranks at or near the bottom when it comes to per capita funding for mental health services in the U.S. 

This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at just how that's playing out in Florida, along with the push for more funding -- and smarter spending -- for those services.

Law enforcement officials say that by the time a person reaches to the criminal justice system, the situation is at a crisis-level. Agencies that work with mental health patients say they serve thousands each year, but they are seeing just the tip of the iceberg.  

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Florida Matters
11:21 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Florida Matters: Same-Sex Marriage in FL

Jan. 6 marked the first day in Florida history that same sex couples were able to legally marry. To mark the occasion, Hillsborough County Clerk Pat Frank held a group wedding at a park across the street from the courthouse.
Robin Sussingham WUSF News

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Florida since Jan. 6, 2015. The issue is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, but in the meantime, marriage licenses are being issued to same-sex couples.

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Florida Matters
1:11 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Florida Matters Preview: The History of Gasparilla

The Tampa Rough Riders Club during the pirate invasion near the Tampa Convention Center.
Lottie Watts WUSF

When the famous and infamous Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates invades Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 31, it will be the 100th such procession along Bayshore Boulevard and the streets of downtown Tampa.

On Florida Matters Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., we take a look at this year's invasion, and the history of this curious event. Our guests are Sgt. Jarrett Seal of the Tampa Police Department, and Shamus Warren, a pirate with Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.

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