Steve Newborn

Interim News Director

Steve Newborn is WUSF's interim 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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University of South Florida

UPDATED AT 4 P.M. with quotes from Judy Genshaft & David Jolly

John F. Germany, who was one of the most influential lawyers in Florida and one of the instrumental forces in the creation of the University of South Florida, died Wednesday morning.

Published reports say Germany, 92, died of cancer.

He was a founding partner of the Holland & Knight law firm, one of a handful of men who pushed aside obstacles to build USF and the downtown Tampa public library that bears his name.

The politics of abortion and use of fetal tissue for research has come front and center with the showing of clandestine videos taken during meetings with Planned Parenthood. But just where do the candidates for president stand? WUSF talks with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida about the history of two of the candidates from Florida.

The political fallout from the videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue has landed on the presidential aspirants from Florida.

The state Legislature has released its base map for next week’s special session.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee next Monday to redraw the state’s congressional borders, and Wednesday leadership released the map that will serve as the session’s starting point.  Completely gone is the snaking North-South District 5 currently represented by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL5).  Instead, it now runs along the northern border of the state from Liberty to Duval County. 

Daylina Miller / WUSF News

As of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, here is the latest information regarding Pasco County Government’s response:

FLOOD WARNING

  The Anclote River remains at major flood levels.

  The National Weather Service shows a peak of the Anclote River Tuesday night at 25.25 feet and is expected to continue to fall to minor flood stage by Friday evening at 8 p.m. The historical record of 27.7 feet occurred in 1945.

The subject of what to do about lagging graduation rates for black students is being addressed as the presidential race heats up. Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton have aired opposite views of whether schools are more segregated now than they were forty years ago. WUSF talks with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida to hear them out.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Tampa Electric announced Tuesday the utility will build the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area.

It is planned to be 25 megawatts, with the capacity to power more than 3,500 homes. It would include more than 70,000 solar panels on 125 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.

Company officials say it should be completed in 2016.

Emergency Management Services of Pasco County

Pasco County Commissioners today rescinded the evacuation order for residents affected by flooding in the Elfers area. They also lifted a Flood Watch on the Anclote River. Officials say Elfers residents are now safe to return to their homes.

Commissioners also declared a Local State of Emergency to help recovery efforts from this week's heavy rains. They met during a special session Friday afternoon.

In two words, He's baaaack. But then again, did Charlie Crist ever really leave us?

After all, he's the eternal candidate. Crist has run for everything from education commissioner to to attorney general to governor and Senator.

Fl Dept. of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission unanimously appointed Shannon Shepp as interim executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus on Wednesday. Shepp replaces Doug Ackerman, who resigned Monday following his arrest last week on a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge.

Shepp has served as the Department’s deputy executive director since August 2013, where she has been responsible for overseeing administrative operations as well as nutrition, quality and economic research.

On Monday, Pinellas Congressman David Jolly announced he's running for the U.S. Senate, vying to succeed Marco Rubio. So that means he's now in the sights of the fact-checkers at PolitiFact Florida. WUSF's Steve Newborn speaks with PolitiFact's Amy Hollyfield about some of Jolly's claims to be a true conservative.
 

The Florida Legislature will hold a nearly two-week special session in August to draw up new congressional districts.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner announced Monday that the special session will last from Aug. 10 until Aug. 21.

The state Supreme Court earlier this month threw out the state's existing districts. The court ruled that the map violated a voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting political lines from being drawn to favor incumbents or a political party.

Congressman David Jolly, who represents northern Pinellas County's District 13, announced Monday he's running to fill the seat being vacated by Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. Jolly says he'll make a formal announcement Monday night at 7 at the Republican Club of Greater Largo, at Alfano’s Restaurant in Clearwater.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said Wednesday he's running for U.S. Senate.

In a video released by his campaign in advance of an afternoon announcement in Miami, Lopez-Cantera confirmed what he's been signaling for weeks.

 

 

The decision by Marco Rubio to run for president has set off a series of ripples in the political world, as several people are vying to replace him in the Senate. One of those is Orlando-area Congressman Alan Grayson, who has developed a not-undeserved reputation for outlandish comments. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about some of his claims with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a liberal firebrand, will take on fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy for a Senate seat in 2016.

wikipedia.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released bleak numbers on Florida's citrus crop for the 2014-2015 season, reporting a decline in the orange harvest of more than 60 percent since the peak of production.

The report, which is the final one of the season, was released Friday. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the statistics are a "new low" for Florida citrus.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state's congressional maps don't meet the requirements of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits political lines from being drawn to favor incumbents or a political party. The court ordered the Legislature to try drawing the maps again.

Jeb Bush has been getting a lot of attention for his stances on education in his run-up for the GOP nod for president. But his past is also getting a look under the political microscope. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about Bush's stances on higher education with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

 

It's been just a couple of days since Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for president - and already his time in Tallahassee is getting a lot of scrutiny. Did he cut $19 billion dollars in taxes? And what about those purges of voter lists? WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about this with PolitiFact Florida's Amy Hollyfield.

dallasnews.com

Here's the text and audio of Jeb Bush's announcement for president Monday in Miami:

Thank you all very much. I always feel welcome at Miami-Dade College. This is a place that welcomes everyone with their hearts set on the future – a place where hope leads to achievement, and striving leads to success. For all of us, it is just the place to be in the campaign that begins today.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to make his long-awaited announcement Monday that he's running for president. Bush plans to speak at 3 p.m. at Miami Dade College's campus in Kendall. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus about how Bush will fare in his home state, against another favorite son and candidate, Marco Rubio.

MacManus believes there's a "generational divide" over people who are opposed to a possible "dynasty" with three Bushes in the White House.

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