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.

Ways to Connect

In 2013, the U.S. TV news market witnessed the debut of Al Jazeera America. The network, based in Qatar and funded by that nation's royal family, was considered to be the crowning touch of their  web of TV networks.
 

You Tube

What's Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's stance on cap and trade - and has it changed over the years? Rubio says no, but some of his opponents aren't so sure. To do some fact-checking on that claim - and whether a lack of dentistry can prove fatal - WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Three Florida nurseries filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for an injunction to delay the state's medical marijuana process in three of five state regions.

McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, San Felasco Nurseries and Tornello Landscape's 3 Boys Farm filed the suit in Leon County Circuit Court against Florida's Department of Health and the nurseries approved to cultivate medical marijuana.

Susan MacManus

The Iowa caucuses are the first vote in the long haul to the presidential election in November.

University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus is there, and says she's sensing a lot of voter anxiety about the economy - and their own personal security.

"People just don't feel that they have been a part of the economic recovery that supposedly happened after the great recession, and that's what we're seeing all over the country - a frustration about that," she said.

CNN

While the boisterous Republican presidential debates have captured headlines with the candidates trading accusations and charges, there hasn't been that kind of buzz from the Democrats. So when the chair of the Democratic National Committee said their debates are getting maximum exposure for their candidates, that raised the eyebrows of PolitiFact Florida. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that - and Marco Rubio's boots - with fact-checker Josh Gillen.

Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

There's nothing like a little celebrity gloss to fire up the ratings of any news story. So when Sean Penn made headlines for his role in the interview - and eventual capture of Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo," probably the biggest drug lord in the world - it set off ripples throughout the news world.

But what really made members of the media all atwitter was his comments about the profession to Charlie Rose of 60 Minutes:

The issue of Iranian hostages was back in the news recently - the hostages from way back in 1980. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought up Ronald Reagan's role in their release. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that and Jeb Bush's claim that he reduced the number of teens using heroin with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Relations with Iran have been in the headlines recently, with the relaxation of sanctions in light of the deal to curb the development of nuclear weapons in the rogue nation.

Tampa Bay Times photo

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the 2016 legislative session by touting his familiar goals for growing jobs, the economy and education funding. But he also made one over-arching claim: he has "completely turned our economy around." To check on that, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of the PolitiFact Florida team.

There were few surprises in the governor's State of the State address. He touched on his mantra of less government, job and more jobs, and of course, less taxes.

Sen. Marco Rubio poses with supporters after the event
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio made a rare appearance in the Tampa Bay area today, speaking at a boat manufacturer in Manatee County. 

He came to Sarasota for a long-planned fundraiser, and added on a last-minute campaign stop with about 300 people at boat manufacturer Marine Concepts.

There, he spoke for more than a half hour on lowering taxes to make America competitive globally, keeping the prison open at Guantanamo Bay, and promising a more robust campaign in the fight against terrorists.

Feds Seek to Change Manatee Status to 'Threatened'

Jan 8, 2016

Pointing to increased numbers of manatees and improved habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it wants to change the status of the sea cows from endangered to threatened.

Ammon Bundy, the leader of the armed occupation of an Oregon U.S. Fish and Wildlife Building
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has been all over the news, as a group of armed ranchers are demanding the government give back the federal land to "the local people." They said they're doing it to protest the prosecution of father-and-son ranchers who were convicted of setting government-owned land on fire.

AP

The 2016 Florida Legislative session starts Jan. 12, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 a.m.), we are previewing some of the bills lawmakers are proposing.

You may have seen the billboards by now: They have a photo of a guy in handcuffs with the caption "Don't Lie for the Other Guy." It's part of a media blitz of the Tampa Bay area as a consortium of law enforcement agencies attempt to battle illegal gun purchases.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the most contentious environmental issues facing state lawmakers in the upcoming session is what to do with Amendment 1. That mandated a large pot of tax money be used to buy and protect environmentally-sensitive land. But just how that money should be used is muddying the political waters.

Contemplations in Old Havana
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The easing of travel restrictions to Cuba could unleash a torrent of 'Yanqui' tourists, something that has the potential to transform a poor island that is rich in history, architecture and natural beauty.

WUSF's Steve Newborn visited Cuba with Sarasota-based Sea to Shore Alliance before the United States embassy reopened. He takes us on a tour of Old Havana and sees what is being done to prepare for a possible influx of newcomers.

It's that time of year to once again cast our gaze on some of the most outrageous comments made by politicians. WUSF talks with PolitiFact Florida's Amy Hollyfield about their latest stocking stuffer - The Lie of the Year.

Juvenile sturgeon
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The newest food gracing high-end retail stores comes from an area known more for cattle ranches and citrus groves than sturgeon. We go to an experimental farm far inland from the Gulf of Mexico, where a treat many of us have never tasted is being raised.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

That fish gracing your dinner table now is either caught in the wild - or raised in offshore cages. But with demand growing, researchers are looking for new alternatives to raise food. We take a tour of an experimental farm run by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. There, fish - and vegetables grown using fish waste - are being raised far inland from the Gulf of Mexico. 

NBC News

Does the fact that people getting married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator mean that states have the power to regulate marriage? And did Sen. Marco Rubio really compare Muslims to Nazis (not really...) To get the answers to those questions, we ask Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.
 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has always opposed same-sex marriage, and when he was asked if he'd work to overturn the recent Supreme Court ruling, he said he doesn't think the Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage.

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