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Carson Cooper

Host, Morning Edition and 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.

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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.

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? 

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.”  

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

Lucielle Salomon / WUSF

For years, claims of abuse, beatings, rapes and murder of students by staff have come from those who survived the Dozier School for Boys,  the now-closed state-run reform school in the Florida Panhandle.

Many families are still wondering what happened to their loved ones, and some are getting answers as researchers from the University of South Florida identify remains that have been exhumed from the grounds of Dozier.

This is our submission for Best Newcast. It was recorded Oct. 27, 2014.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

The transition from military service to civilian life can be full of challenges.

As part of our Veterans Coming Home project -- made possible in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- we gathered a panel to talk about this transition at the Veterans Legacy Summit hosted by The Patterson Foundation on Nov. 15 at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. 

Republican Pam Bondi has been re-elected as Florida's attorney general.

Voters on Tuesday chose the incumbent Bondi over Democrat George Sheldon. With over half the expected vote counted, Bondi led 55-42 percent.

The 48-year-old Bondi is a close ally of Gov. Rick Scott and is confident Scott will be re-elected. She raised more than $4 million for her re-election. That dwarfed the money raised by Sheldon, a former legislator and Department of Children and Families head.

FHP

Since February, there have been five wrong-way crashes that have caused 11 deaths on highways in the Tampa area.

We will take an in-depth look at this apparent outbreak of crashes this week on Florida Matters on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

According to transportation experts and law enforcement, alcohol plays a huge role in the fatal wrong-way crashes.

Lottie Watts / WUSF Public Media

This November, voters will decide the fate of Greenlight Pinellas, which includes a one-cent increase in the county’s sales tax in exchange for a long-term plan for light rail and expanded bus service.

This week on Florida Matters, we will hear from both sides of the debate. The conversation airs Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

AHRQ.gov

 The last time you felt dizzy or experienced an unusual pain, be honest.  Did you Google it? Or have you ever read a post on Facebook that got you worried about your health?

Florida Matters this week took a deeper look at human trafficking, including the role physicians in the state play in identifying those at risk, and treating those who have been victimized.

Mary Shedden / WUSF

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida is third in the number of calls to the national human trafficking hotline.

FEMA

On Friday, Aug. 13, 2004, while many in the Tampa Bay area braced for what they thought may be a direct hit, the Category 4 Hurricane Charley took a right turn into Charlotte County and Punta Gorda. A decade later, we go back to just hours after that devastating blow, when it was a tense time in that small community of mostly senior citizens nestled between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. We also revisit the quaint DeSoto County town of Arcadia, where sustained winds of a hundred miles an hour ripped down walls and roofs from its historic main street.

Tampa's cruise industry could be heading into rough waters. Cruise ships are getting bigger, but the Sunshine Skyway Bridge isn't. A new study by the Florida Department of Transportation looks at three options: build a taller bridge, build a new cruise facility west of the Skyway, or do nothing.

We discuss these options, and hear the opinions of passengers just returning from a seven-day cruise aboard the Carnival Legend at Cruise Terminal #2 at Tampa's Channelside.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

This Friday will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the historic military landing at Normandy during World War II. 

This week on Florida Matters, we'll take 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. 

State lawmakers ended this year's 60-day legislative session by passing a record $77.1 billion budget, along with laws that deal with everything from immigrant tuition to medical marijuana.

We take a look at what lawmakers did and did not do on Florida Matters tonight at 6:30 p.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM. 

Our panel includes state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, state Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa, and senior political reporter William March of The Tampa Tribune.

Credit: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg Times) 1980

It’s been nearly 35 years since the Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse. On Florida Matters (Tuesday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 at 7:30 a.m.), we take a look back at the disaster. What do you remember about that day? We're asking our listeners to share their memories with us in the comments below. 

This is the entry for Green Eyeshade Award Best Newscast, which aired May 8, 2013. The anchor is WUSF's Carson Cooper.

This is the entry for PRNDI Award Best Newscast, which aired May 8, 2013. The anchor is WUSF's Carson Cooper.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

At age 26, he was the youngest member of Congress when he took office in 2001, but after a decade in Washington, Adam Putnam of Polk County said he wanted to leave on his own terms and come back to Florida.

“Nobody wonders now why it was that I wanted to get out of Congress.” Putnam told Florida Matters. “At the time, I said I wanted to get out with my soul and my sanity still in tack and I’m proud that I did. But the things that were frustrating me in Congress have only gotten worse. It’s just a hot, wet mess in Washington.”

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

How do young adults diagnosed with a form of autism describe themselves?

This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, 23, who interviewed his peers about their diagnosis and how they define themselves. And Andrew explains how he manages with Asperger's Syndrome which is on the autism spectrum.

Tampa Bay Times/Courtesy Turner family

UPDATE at 12:38 PM Monday, July 1st: According to a release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, an arrest has been made in connection with Saturday's killing of Fred William Turner, Jr., who was shot to death on Interstate 4. A press conference is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon. No other information is available at this time.

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Original post at 10:43 AM Monday, July 1st

Investigators in Hillsborough County have a mystery on their hands: who shot and killed a man driving on Interstate 4 over the weekend?

The Tampa Bay Lightning

The National Hockey League 2013-2014 season will be different in several ways this year in Tampa.

There's re-alignment -- which takes the NHL's six-division format -- and makes it four divisions.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be in the Eastern Conference Division C -- along with Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.

Another change for the Lightning will be the absence of Vinny Lecavalier.

He learned Thursday morning while he was having breakfast with his family that his contract was being bought out by the team.

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