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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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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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Retail is changing fast, and there will be winners and losers. Florida Matters Host Robin Sussingham talks to the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Ashley Gurbal Kritzer; David Ortinau, a Marketing Professor at USF's  Muma College of Business; and Paul Rutledge, First Vice President, retail brokerage in CBRE’s Tampa office about the secrets to retail success. And also, why do the big drug stores always want to be right next to each other?

Carlton Ward Jr. / Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

This week on Florida Matters we meet explorers with the Florida Wildlife Corridor and discuss their upcoming expedition which gets underway later this month.


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Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Carlton Ward, Jr., and Joe Guthrie are getting ready to set off once again into the wilds of Florida as members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition team. In this podcast, they speak with Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham and WUSF's assistant news director Steve Newborn about the problems that Interstate 4 presents to wildlife trying to make its way across the state.

Also, how can you hike for 1,000 miles and still gain weight?

Carlton Ward Jr.

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition team has trekked through scrub, swamp and forest from one end of the state to the other. 

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about some of the key takeaways from the 2018 legislative session.

We break down parts of the state budget as well as measures on school safety, gun control and opioid prescriptions. We also debate the session's "winners and losers."


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On this week's podcast, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to Steve Bousquet, Tallahassee bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times, and Zac Anderson, political editor of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, about what changed -- and what didn't -- as a result of this year's legislative session.

Bousquet says the new law that generated the most passionate debate gives private school vouchers to kids who have been bullied so they can leave their public schools.

Gina Jodan/WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're discussing the biggest takeaways from the state's 2018 legislative session.


Want to hear more about live music in the Tampa Bay area?

Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham sat down with Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini and WUSF reporter Daylina Miller and asked them about their experiences with and impressions of the local music scene.

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This week's Florida Matters features highlights from a recent town hall meeting in Tampa about school safety. The discussion took place in the wake of the school shootings at a high school in Parkland, and focused mainly on violence and gun control. 

This week on Florida Matters we debate the pros and cons of online learning in high school with a panel of experts and with comments our listeners submitted about their experience with virtual education.


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This week on Florida Matters, we're talking about the fact that every public high school student in Florida must take an online class in order to graduate, but some students and parents say it's not a good fit for everyone. Should an online class really be mandatory? 

We continue the conversation on the podcast, with Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talking to the President and CEO of Florida Virtual School,  Dr. Jodi Marshall; Joanne Glenn, principal of Pasco County's eSchool; Carol Crawford, director of Club Z! In Home Tutoring Services; and Adam LeMee, Physics Teach-In-Residence for the University of Central Florida.

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On this week's podcast, we carry forward the conversation started at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs about the connection between  international tourism and arts and culture in St. Petersburg. We hear about the Tampa airport's importance to the effort, and WUSF News Director Mary Shedden talks to Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham and producer Stephanie Colombini about the three new museums coming on line in St. Petersburg. Also, the meaning of "City of Green Benches" is explained.

 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida Matters recently moderated a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs called "Arts Mecca: International Cultural Tourism in the Sunshine City." We talked with experts about how to draw culture-lovers from around the world to the Tampa Bay area.

This week on Florida Matters we'll hear highlights from that conversation.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida Matters recently hosted a panel discussion in front of a live audience at the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. We talked with experts about how the Tampa Bay Area is becoming a cultural mecca for international tourists.

We’ll hear highlights from that conversation on this week’s episode.


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After the horrific shooting at the Parkland high school, Florida Democrats have made gun control their political rallying cry. What will the fallout be -- in our schools and in our politics? Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to WUSF's Steve Newborn, Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, and Florida Matters producer Stephanie Colombini. Plus, can the upset win by a Democrat in a Sarasota House seat be seen as a bellwether?

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