Robin Sussingham

Reporter/Producer/Host

Robin Sussingham is a reporter/producer and host at WUSF Public Broadcasting.  A native of Lakeland, she frequently reports on events and issues in Polk County.

She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and has an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and online reporting. 

Robin majored in chemistry at Duke, and went to NYU for a Masters Degree in Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting. She's reported on everything from the Olympics to the oil spill, but will jump at a chance to talk about food or books.

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Culture
12:48 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Remembering the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Collapse

Credit Bill DeYoung

Bruce Atkins was 32 years old, an experienced mariner, and an apprentice harbor pilot in Tampa Bay. It was his last training mission, and he was shadowing Captain John Lerro, as Lerro steered the 606 foot cargo ship Summit Venture through  the  twists and turns of the shipping channel in the shallow bay.

May 9th, 1980, was a rainy, misty morning -- but not unusual Florida weather. No one predicted the sudden, freak storm with gale force winds, that seemed to come out of nowhere.

"It became a blinding, driving, rain, wind," Atkins recalls.

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Culture
3:00 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Astronaut Garan Gives An "Orbital Perspective"

Ron Garan
Credit Ron Garan

Retired Astronaut Ron Garan tells WUSF's Robin Sussingham in this interview, "we need to find the low-hanging fruit" of international cooperation. He is the author of the book The Orbital Perspective.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
4:55 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

The Florida Wildlfife Corridor Expedition on the Withlacoochee

Kayakers on the Withlacoochee River "Trail Mixer"
Robin Sussingham

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is crossing the state to bring attention to Florida's wilderness and the need to connect it all. Expedition members Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Joe Guthrie and Carlton Ward recently met up with several dozen friends and fellow environmentalists in their first "trail mixer" along the Withlacoochee River.

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Culture
1:52 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

NPR's Alan Cheuse With His Current Favorites

Credit Josh Cheuse

Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books for NPR's All Things Considered since the 1980s. He's giving a talk this week at All Saints' Academy in Winter Haven, where he'll also be teaching student workshops.

He sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham to talk about his favorite books now, and what advice he'd give to book clubs.

The books he suggested:

"Honeydew" by Edith Pearlman

"Twelve Days" by Alex Berenson

"The Other Joseph" by Skip Horack

"The Architect's Apprentice" by Elif Shafak

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Culture
6:05 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Wedding Bells Ring for Same-Sex Couples

Couples gather in the courthouse square park before the mass wedding
Credit Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

Tuesday 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. Some of the couple had waited decades for this.

The church bells rang out near the Joe Chillura courthouse square. The sun was shining and at noon Pat Frank took the podium in front of 20 or 30 same sex couples - plus a throng of reporters and well-wishers.

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Florida Matters
12:21 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Reececliff's Pies A Lakeland Tradition

Pies on display at Reececliff

Reececliff Family Diner in Lakeland has been turning out its award winning pies since the 1930s, and lots of families rely on them every year for their Thanksgiving dessert. The restaurant has been operating in the Dixieland neighborhood since 1934.

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Transportation
5:12 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Polk to Vote on Sales Tax for Transit

Debate rages in Polk County over transit referendum
Credit Robin Sussingham

Greenlight Pinellas is not the only mass transportation referendum coming up in the next election.  Polk County is also having its own vote on public transportation -- and it’s own raging debate. The so-called My Ride, My Roads plan will push the sales tax to 8 percent, raising money for road maintenance and greatly expanded bus service in Polk.

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Health News Florida
11:01 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Polk Sheriff Judd, John Morgan Square Off Over Medical Marijuana

Credit Robin Sussingham

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 700 people packed into a high school auditorium in Lakeland Thursday night. They came to see Florida heavyweights John Morgan and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd square off over legalizing medical marijuana.

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Education
4:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Q&A with Florida Polytechnic University President Randy Avent

President Randy Avent of Florida Polytechnic University
Credit Florida Polytechnic University

Saturday, Aug. 16, marks the grand opening for Florida's 12th university. Florida Polytechnic University, in Polk County, will offer a tuition-free STEM education to its inaugural class of about 550 students, who start class on Aug. 25.  President Randy Avent  sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham to talk about his vision for the university.

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Florida Matters
4:41 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Florida Matters: 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Charley

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.

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Florida Matters
2:52 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Nine Years after Hurricanes, Insurance Costs Still High

Here's an impressive stat: six of the 10 most costly hurricanes in U.S. history hit Florida during 2004 and 2005. Insurance companies took a big hit financially  and, as you'd expect, our property insurance coverage got more expensive. But the state saw its last hurricane nine years ago. So why are we still paying such high rates?

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Florida Matters
1:03 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Florida Matters Preview: A Boom in Backyard Ag

Chicks in the incubator
Robin Sussingham

All over Florida, laws are changing to make it easier for suburban homeowners to do a little farming. It's becoming more and more common to have a neighbor who's growing his own organic vegetables, collecting eggs from his own chickens, or even raising bees for their honey.

We will take an in-depth look at the increasing popularity of backyard agriculture this week on Florida Matters on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 a.m. on WUSF 89.7 FM.

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Environment
4:40 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Is Help on Tap for Florida's Springs?

Algae clouds part of Rock Springs swimming area
Robin Sussingham WUSF News

A comprehensive bill to protect and restore Florida's natural springs has been moving through the state senate with strong bipartisan support. Support for springs in the Florida House, however, is far less certain. Still, it's the biggest burst of momentum and  public attention concerning these natural wonders in recent memory.

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Environment
3:35 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Tegu Invasion Worries Florida Wildlife Biologists

Argentine Black and White Tegu
Credit IFAS

Giant lizards called Argentine black and white tegus are coming out of hibernation right now -- and they're in the Tampa Bay area. Wildlife officials say the invasive species eat everything -- including the eggs and hatchlings of native animals that conservationists are trying hard to protect.

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