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Robin Sussingham

Reporter/Host

Robin Sussingham is a reporter,pr oducer and host at WUSF Public Media.  A native of Lakeland, she hosts Florida Matters, the WUSF public affairs show, and 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 University, and went to New York University for a Master's 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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Walking or bicycling the streets of Tampa Bay can be a very dangerous way to get around. Why is that and what can be done about it?

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about pedestrian and cyclist safety in our region and how to balance that with the needs of drivers.


So many complaints about the Tampa Bay area come back to transit. What's it like to be responsible for transportation planning (when everyone who drives considers himself an expert?) Host Robin Sussingham sits down with Christine Acosta, Executive Director of Walk Bike Tampa (an advocacy and education  nonprofit organization); Beth Alden, Director of Hillsborough’s Metropolitan Planning Organization; and Whit Blanton, Executive Director of Forward Pinellas, which is that county's transportation planning agency.

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The Tampa Bay region consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous places in the nation for pedestrians and cyclists.

This week on Florida Matters, we're talking about how to improve safety on the roads while balancing that with the needs of drivers eager to get where they need to go as fast as possible.

For today's podcast , Florida Matters host  Robin Sussingham is bringing you along on the tour she took through the William Dean Chocolates kitchen.  It’s like a real-life trip with Willy Wonka through the Chocolate Factory. Is it possible to sample a little too much chocolate?  We'll find out.

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After the Parkland, Florida, school shooting last February, a new state law requires public schools to put armed guards on every campus. Host Robin Sussingham talks about the practical ramifications of that with Superintendent Kurt Browning of Pasco County Schools; Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd of Polk County Schools; and Bridget Ziegler, chairwoman of the Sarasota County School Board.

This week on Florida Matters, we're talking with Tampa Bay area officials about how their school districts are complying with a new state law that requires there to be at least one armed security guard in every school. 

In this podcast, host Robin Sussingham talks to political reporter and Tampa Bay Times correspondent William March and WUSF News Director Mary Shedden about the goings-on in Florida's political scene. There's enough controversy to keep it interesting. Comparisons to an episode of "Survivor" are made.

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State politicians are jockeying for position before the August primaries. Pulse nightclub first responders are still struggling with PTSD more than two years after the mass shooting that killed 49 people. We take a deeper dive into these stories on this week’s Florida Matters monthly news roundtable.


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Parkland, Florida, high school student and mass shooting survivor Leonor Muñoz records a riveting audio diary for this week’s Florida Matters. On this week's podcast, host Robin Sussingham and Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini sit down with reporters from Miami’s public radio station WLRN to talk about Leonor’s experience, and how they’re covering the aftermath of the massacre.


WLRN

Seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland recently celebrated graduation, but they had to do so while still dealing with the trauma from the February mass shooting. This week on Florida Matters, we meet one of the graduates and hear about her life since the massacre.


Robin Sussingham sits down with Jeff Huffman, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, to talk about how much he hates -- really hates -- to be asked about the seasonal hurricane forecast. It's irrelevant! And not very accurate! Plus, how to lower your anxiety level as a hurricane approaches.

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This week on Florida Matters we talk to weather experts and hear stories about how communities across the state are preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

While across the nation the cultural and political tug-of-war over health care rages on, locally, healers keep on healing. But providing care for people can get complicated when they don’t have health insurance.


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In this podcast, WUSF's Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini and Julio Ochoa break down the recent Florida Matters Town Hall that was recorded in front of a live audience in St. Petersburg.

Florida sues the nation’s biggest drug makers, political battles heat up and Hillsborough attracts a Fortune 500 company headquarters.

Those are just some of the latest state news stories we’ll discuss with reporters on this month’s edition of our Florida Matters news roundtable.


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This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable.

We'll talk with journalists about some of the latest stories impacting our state, including Florida's lawsuit against opioid companies and phosphate giant Mosaic moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County.


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Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks to Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve; Daniel Elias, president of Pharmacology University, a medical marijuana education program; and Darrin Potter, Chief Horticulture Officer at GrowHealthy in Lake Wales. GrowHealthy and Trulieve are licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and are authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana in Florida. They tell us that you're going to need very deep pockets to get started in the medical cannabis business in Florida.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

More and more Floridians every week are signing up for access to medical marijuana, and with over 100,000 patients already on the registry, there is clearly money to be made.

Mark, flickr

Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly available in Florida despite ongoing court battles over state regulations for the young industry. We're talking with people who work in the business this week on Florida Matters.

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He'll tell you himself: the most dangerous place in Polk County is to get between Sheriff Grady Judd and a TV camera. Polk County Sheriff Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior, and he's played a big role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to the Sheriff about juvenile justice and more.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior. He has recently played a major role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with Sheriff Judd as part of our ongoing “Newsmaker” series.


Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our ongoing "Newsmaker" series. We talk with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd about a number of issues, including the programs his department runs that train and arm staff members in schools to fend off active shooters.


Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University's inaugural class graduated Friday with more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees.

The state's newest university opened its doors four years ago in Lakeland. 

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Taxpayers in Tampa Bay have never given the “green light” to a transit rail system, but maybe fast, cheap buses will prove more popular.

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On this week's acronym-rich podcast,  we're talking about the future of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Tampa Bay with Dennis Hinebaugh,  the program director for transit research at CUTR, The Center for Urban Transportation Research, and the Director of CUTR's National Bus Rapid Transit Institute (NBRTI); Brad Miller, the CEO of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); and  Sharon Calvert,  co-founder of the Hillsborough County tea party and a longtime critic of expensive transit projects. Dennis tells Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham that BRT is not the consolation prize for a failed push for light rail in the area, but a real transit solution.

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Following our Florida Matters reporters roundtable for April, host Robin Sussingham picks up the conversation with a discussion on changes in Cuba; the new museum of western and wildlife art in St. Pete; a ban on greyhound racing; and how to juice a marijuana plant. She's joined by longtime political writer William March, Justine Griffin of the Tampa Bay Times, and Florida Matters Producer Stephanie Colombini.

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Flamingos are Floridians, too! Sandhill cranes, Pileated Woodpeckers, egrets and pelicans -- Florida  is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to birds. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to Ann Paul, Tampa Bay area Regional Coordinator for Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries; Mary Keith, president of the Tampa Audubon Society; and  Dave Goodwin, former president of the Florida Ornithological Society, about Florida's birds -- their success stories and their perils.

Doug DeNeve / Tampa Audubon Society

The Tampa Bay Area is a mecca for bird-watchers year round. But spring is particularly special, when Florida’s native species are joined by large numbers of other birds migrating north.


Doug DeNeve

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about bird-watching in the Tampa Bay area and the people who make it their hobby – or life passion.


Madison Marquette / Flickr

Shopping as we know it is changing fast. Big box stores are vanishing; Amazon is going bricks and mortar. What does it all mean for the health of our local economy?


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