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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy is a Massachusetts native, meaning that like all residents is under state mandate to be a Boston Red Sox fan.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

Ways to Connect

Summer is in full swing and for those who can't get out of town, a staycation can make all the difference. This week on Florida Matters we're taking a look at some ways to escape the everyday hustle and bustle and have some fun in the Tampa Bay Area. 


Florida Aquarium

Governor Rick Scott was in Tampa Tuesday to unveil Florida's latest tourism numbers and he used the Florida Aquarium as the backdrop to his announcement.

Scott said an estimated 60.7 million tourists came to Florida during the first six months of the year. That's a 4.1 percent increase over the same time period in 2016.

Marion County Schools

Elementary school students in Marion County won't have any homework to do this school year.

Instead, the newly elected superintendent of the central Florida school district is asking families to read with their kids for at least 20 minutes a night.

Pixabay.com

The School Boards in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties have voted to authorize legal action to challenge a controversial new education bill.

Tampa Bay area school districts are still deciding whether to join them.

Cathy Carter

During a span of just two months in 2015, seven young black men were shot to death in St. Petersburg.

The murders were not connected.

But the random violence did serve as a clarion call for African-Americans and the community at large.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

Pixabay.com

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year.

Cathy Carter

Best known as a pioneer of modernist painting, Marc Chagall also worked with stained glass, tapestries and ceramics.

The world's most important museums display the artist's work, but it’s never been shown quite like the way it is right now at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Cathy Carter

There's little doubt that America is becoming more diverse.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the nation's public schools. But differences can extend beyond race and ethnicity, as students in Sarasota County are learning.

Courtesy Nathan Sawaya

Last year, visitors to Tampa’s Amalie Arena could "swim" in a million white plastic balls at an interactive exhibit called "The Beach.” 

Now, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is bringing another large-scale public art project to the city.

A towering oak tree draped with Spanish moss offers little relief from the Florida sun as Andrew Lumish scrubs grime from the headstone of a World War I veteran.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he says. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here."

Lumish, who has so far cleaned about 600 veterans' headstones, says he restores them out of respect for those who died and to learn about how they lived.

Pixabay.com

Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

Creative Commons

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

Creative Commons

Clearwater City Council voted unanimously Thursday to buy a prime piece of downtown real estate.

The 1.4-acre vacant lot next to City Hall was once intended to be the new home of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. But that plan was scrapped when the aquarium failed to raise enough money to build a new facility.

More than 4,000 people have weighed in on a plan that would change school schedules in Hillsborough County.

The average age when people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is falling. 

But a climate of growing acceptance doesn't necessarily translate to the current generation of teens wanting to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at school. To some, it's a place that still feels unsafe.

Courtesy Carlos Childs

The first thing you notice at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg are all the signs. An oversized poster reads "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses" in big block letters. A wooden plaque is inscribed in flowering cursive with the phrase, "Always Be Kind." The affirmations are just a part of an effort to transform the school's culture in the wake of a newspaper investigation on failing majority black schools in Pinellas County.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

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