Steve Newborn

Assistant News Director

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues, politics and transportation in the Tampa Bay area.

He’s been with WUSF since 2001, and has covered events such as President George W. Bush’s speech in Sarasota as the Sept. 11 attacks unfolded; the ongoing drama over whether the feeding tube should be removed from Terri Schiavo; the arrest and terrorism trial of USF professor Sami Al-Arian; how the BP Deepwater Horizon spill affected Florida; and he followed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition through the state - twice.

Before joining WUSF, he covered environmental and Polk County news for the Tampa Tribune and worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center during the early days of the space shuttle.

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Courtesy Manatee Education Television

One of the most hotly contested races is for the newly redrawn state Senate District 23 seat held by Nancy Detert. It's been shifted south to include Sarasota and parts of coastal Charlotte counties. The five Republicans vying for the seat during Tuesday's primary are seemingly trying to out-conservative each other.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Donald Trump spoke to several thousand people Wednesday at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. There, he expanded his appeal to African-Americans and Hispanics, saying they can benefit from his proposed job programs as much as the rest of Americans.

PolitiFact.com

Battling claims about the upcoming referendum on medical marijuana are creating a cloud of confusion. So WUSF's Steve Newborn attempts to clear the air on Amendment 2 with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the more heated races coming up during the August 30 primaries is for State Senate District 19. It's a majority-minority district, being vacated by Arthenia Joyner, the longtime Tampa politician and the Senate minority leader.

Reporter Steve Newborn looks into this race with WUSF's political analyst William March, who says it's pitting a lot of black politicians in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties against each other.

PolitiFact.com

What's the buzz on claims that Gov. Scott somehow abetted the Zika crisis by cutting back on funding to combat mosquitoes? And how much of a "Charlie Crist Republican" is U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff?   WUSF's Steve Newborn digs down to the truth with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Ledger of Lakeland

Journalists at The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland voted overwhelmingly Thursday to form a union.  The 22 to 3 vote comes after years of cutbacks at the paper.

Unions are a rare thing in Florida, and amost unheard of at newspapers. So it made news when employees of The Ledger voted to become the only unionized newsroom in the state.

Does Florida really offer wages way below the national average? And are the Clintons really worth $100 million? We take a look at these claims with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took to the stage of the Coliseum in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon where she bashed rival Donald Trump's economic plan and promoted her own.

wikipedia.org

There's still a big hole in the ground where a 52-story tower was supposed to have been built by Donald Trump in downtown Tampa. But did he really "pocket the money and walk away" when it didn't get built? To answer that question, and see if Rick Scott is right on the economy, we talk with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.
 

During the recent Democratic convention in Philadelphia, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine took aim at Donald Trump, well, more than a few times. But one comment perked the ears of many people in Florida:

Democrat Patrick Murphy must have seemed like the perfect candidate when he announced he was running for U.S. Senate. The 33-year-old Palm Beach Congressman is young, telegenic and politically moderate.  But recently, a spate of controversies, along with GOP incumbent Marco Rubio’s surprise entry into the race, have called Murphy’s front-runner status into question.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Groups of community and religious leaders held news conferences throughout the state today to call for restoration of the right to vote for convicted felons who have completed their sentences. One such group met in Tampa.

A nonprofit group called The Sentencing Project estimates nearly 6 million Americans are affected. And about 1 1/2 million Floridians - nearly one in every 10 Floridians - can't vote. That's the highest rate in the country.

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There's a lot of talking going on in Philadelphia this week, as Democrats host their national convention. So with a lot of promises being bandied about, we check in with PolitiFact editor Angie Holan to do some on-site fact-checking.

Here's the scoop from PolitiFact:

1. "For families making less than $125,000 a year, we will eliminate tuition" for in-state students at public colleges.

Nick Solari (Wikimedia Commons)

There's been a lot of heartburn at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia as Bernie Sanders supporters bemoan the lack of respect they think their candidate has been getting. But Ramsay McLauchlan of Pinellas County, the Deputy Whip of the Florida delegation, said that's changing.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott was at Port Tampa Bay today to unveil two huge cranes that will allow port workers to unload cargo from larger ships going through the newly-widened Panama Canal. 

Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pushed a ceremonial button that activated a pair of towering gantries at Tampa's port. The 30-story cranes are part of a $24 million effort by the state and the port to accommodate larger ships coming from the Panama Canal.

In the past couple of decades, "unions" has become a dirty word in Florida. This is a right to work state, and it seems even mentioning the word has become kind of a political dagger - just think of teacher's unions.  Most of the remaining unions are focused on trades, so when news came about newspaper reporters at The Ledger in Lakeland wanting to unionize, that made headlines.  

en.wikipedia.org

With all the hoopla going on during the Republican National Convention, it can be difficult to figure out how true some of those speeches are. So WUSF's talks with Angie Holan, the editor of PolitiFact, who's in Cleveland to dissect Donald Trump's top 10 campaign promises.
 

We've all heard these campaign promises, or boasts, or whatever you want to call them. Building a wall, banning Muslims. So we're going to delve into those comments with Angie Holan, the editor of PolitiFact, who joins us from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Do two out of five Americans really know someone who has been killed by a gun? And is the leading Democratic contender for Florida's U.S. Senate seat really beholden to Wall Street financiers? WUSF's Steve Newborn takes aim at these claims with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.
 

tampaairport.com

Tampa Bay area residents may soon have daily flights to Havana aboard Southwest Airlines.  Tampa is one of 10 U.S. cities that received tentative approval from the U.S. government for commercial flights to Cuba. 

Wikipedia.org

Does Pinellas Congressman David Jolly favor offshore drilling? PolitiFact Florida digs deep into that charge made by his rival for Congress, former Governor Charlie Crist. And WUSF's Steve Newborn looks at the politics of funding to fight the Zika virus, with PolitiFact's Katie Sanders.
 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday continued to push for more federal funding to combat the spread of the Zika virus. But the governor has a bad track record in prying dollars from Washington. That's the word from PolitiFact Florida, which says he's only gotten half of his requests for declarations of "major disasters." WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that with PolitiFact's Josh Gillen.

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