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.


PolitiFact Florida
10:51 am
Wed June 17, 2015

PolitiFact Florida Checks out Jeb Bush's Tax Cuts, Voter Purge

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.

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5:05 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Read, Listen to Jeb Bush's Announcement for President


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.

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7:30 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Susan MacManus: Jeb's Announcement Will Expose 'Generational Divide' in GOP

Susan MacManus

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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Florida Matters
12:56 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Florida Matters: Cuba's Manatees

A group hosted by Sea to Shore Alliance gathers on the front of the diving boat
Steve Newborn WUSF News

To most Floridians, manatees are cute, docile creatures that hang out in crowded springs, and often get too close to boats -- or rather, boats get too close to them. But down on the other side of the Florida Straits, they sometimes end up on someone's dinner table.

WUSF's Steve Newborn recently tagged along with Dr. James “Buddy” Powell of Sea to Shore Alliance -- a Sarasota-based conservation group -- on an expedition to Cuba to find out how manatees are doing in the waters off the island.

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PolitiFact Florida
5:15 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

Is Rick Scott the Environmental Governor? And PolitiFact Fl on Marco and Job Creation

Is Rick Scott really the environmental governor? And did Marco Rubio strike a nerve when he said more businesses now fail in the country than start up? To answer those questions, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Let's take a trip back to Governor Rick Scott's economic summit last week in Orlando. There, he reeled off a bunch of statistics about Florida’s economy including this one: "If you care about the environment, we've got record funding."

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10:30 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Giving Cuban Manatees a Fighting Chance

James "Buddy" Powell scouts for manatees on Cuba's San Pedro River
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Most Floridians see manatees as cute, roly-poly animals that hang out in crowded springs and get too close to boats. Travel south a bit - to Cuba - and their plight is very different. There, the animals often end up as somebody's dinner. WUSF recently traveled with a Sarasota-based conservation group  to the island, where their groundbreaking trip tried to find ways to save this iconic creature.

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World Affairs
1:57 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Jose Marti's Legacy Lauded in Tampa by Cuban Consul General

Albert Fox, Jr., President of the Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, left, appears onstage with Llanio Gonzalez Perez, Consul General of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

A crowed overflowed the Sociedad La Union Marti-Maceo on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City late Sunday in a joint tribute with Cuban officials to the legacy of Jose Marti, considered the father of Cuban independence.

The afternoon opened with a speech extolling the virtues of Marti - who spent a great deal of time organizing cigar workers and Cuban ex-patriots in Ybor City - by Rafael Polanco Brahojos, Director of the Sociedad Cultural Jose Marti.

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PolitiFact Florida
4:00 am
Wed June 3, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Lobbyists and Jeb Channeling His Inner "Veto Corleone"

Is more money spent on lobbying in this country than on political campaigns? And did Jeb Bush really compare himself to "Veto Corleone?"  For the answer to those questions, we talk with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

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6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Sharing the Beach with Nesting Birds on Memorial Day

Hey, I'm nesting here!
Credit Audubon

It's not just people who flock to the shore during Memorial Day weekend. Audubon Florida is reminding Floridians that birds are also nesting on the shoreline.

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4:52 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Nelson Moves to Extend Gulf Oil Drilling Ban

Bill Nelson addresses the Senate, next to a picture of workers cleaning an oil-soaked beach in hazmat gear

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson today filed a bill that would extend the moratorium on oil drilling off Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast. The move comes the day after the fifth anniversary of the BP oil spill. 

The bill would extend the moratorium on drilling at least 125 miles off Florida's Gulf Coast until 2027. The ban currently is in place until 2022, but last week, another senator from Louisiana moved to repeal it. The bill by Sen. Bill Cassidy would allow oil rigs at least 75 miles closer to Florida's western coastline.

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9:08 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Scientists Link Dolphin Deaths in Gulf to 2010 BP Spill

Researchers recorded data and photographed a dead dolphin stranded along the coastline at Port Fourchon, La., in 2012
Credit ouisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

In a new study, a team of scientists says there’s a definite link between the massive BP oil spill in 2010 and a record number of dolphin deaths along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The scientists said large numbers of dead bottlenose dolphins found stranded along shores since the spill suffered from lung and adrenal lesions caused by swimming in oil-contaminated seas.

The research paper backs up previous findings linking dolphin deaths to the oil spill.

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PolitiFact Florida
6:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

PolitiFact Florida Checks Out Iraq Remarks by Jeb, Marco

The Iraq war is back in the news in a big way, after Jeb Bush stumbled on the question of "knowing what you know know, would you have invaded Iraq." We'll get to Jeb in a bit, but his potential adversary for the Republican nomination for president is also getting some grief on the topic. Marco Rubio was questioned repeatedly by Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace in a recent interivew, asking him if he’d changed positions on Iraq.

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PolitiFact Florida
1:01 am
Wed May 13, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Scott Giving LIP to the Feds; Clinton on Immigration

The quagmire in Tallahassee over health care spending forced an early end to the spring legislative session. At the heart of it is a federal program known as the Low Income Pool, or LIP. It reimburses Florida hospitals more than two billion dollars a year for providing care to low-income or indigent patients. The federal government is phasing the program out as it shifts to new programs provided by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Now, Gov. Scott is making the rounds in Washington D.C., trying to prod the feds to keep funding LIP. Now, Scott has backtracked from his previous position on supporting expansion of Medicaid in the state to serve low-income residents.

Scott recently spoke to reporters in the nation's capitol.

"The families that are covered through the Low Income Pool is a different group of individuals than are covered by Obamacare," Scott said.

Click on the video below to hear what he had to say about LIP and Medicaid:

PolitiFact Florida rated his statement "Mostly False," saying:

This makes it sound as if the people who would qualify for Medicaid under an expansion are completely different than patients who leave hospitals with unpaid bills the LIP fund helps pay to providers. Health policy experts said that while there would still be uninsured people not paying their bills under an expansion, plenty of overlap exists between the two, especially at lower incomes.

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9:33 am
Fri April 24, 2015

'Canopy Meg' Takes to the Treetops for an Evening of Women and Science

Meg Lowman

Margaret Lowman  got her nickname of "Canopy Meg" at an early age, for her penchant for climbing trees. Pretty soon, she became renowned in scientific circles for her research on the tops of trees - or their canopy.

She's speaking April 30th at the Tampa Theatre with another famous woman scientist, Sylvia Earle.  They will be introduced by WUSF's own Susan Giles Wantuck.

We talk with the Sarasota resident on why canopies are a vital part of the earth's ecology - and how women can succeed in science.

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9:01 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Marine Expedition to Investigate Plight of Manatees, Dolphins in Cuba

This has been a record year for counting the number of manatees in Florida, but what about our island neighbor to the south? Columbus first mentioned the waters off Cuba swimming with manatees, but since then they've been hunted for food.

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