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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Can you really "drive" a driverless car in Florida without a permit? And is the foreign policy hawk Senator Marco Rubio really pushing for a bill to cut security at embassies overseas by half?  WUSF's Steve Newborn mulls over those claims with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

The sometimes raucous presidential debates gave plenty of fodder to fact-checkers in 2016. So it's no surprise that the Top Five most-viewed rulings from PolitiFact Florida revolve around claims made by the candidates. WUSF's Steve Newborn takes a look at them with PolitiFact's Josh Gillin.

In honor of the end of 2016, we take this look at the Top 5 most-clicked stories of the year from PolitiFact Florida:

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Kickoff for the biggest game in college football is just hours away. Thousands of people have gathered outside Tampa's Raymond James Stadium for the Clemson-Alabama championship game.

The line to get into the fan-only party zone wrapped a half-mile around the grass parking lot of Raymond James Stadium around noon Monday. When the metal gates were removed eight hours before game time, Jessica Fultz was there - first in line. The University of Alabama senior had been camping there for a day and a half. 

Photo courtesy PolitiFact Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is saying the federal government is shortchanging the state when it comes to doling out money to fight the transmission of the Zika virus. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida to see if it's true.

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Four environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to stop a plan to mine 50,000 acres of phosphate in three counties. They say the federal government hasn't looked at the overall impact of mining in the region.

As President Obama's second term ends, it's time to take a look back at some of the promises he's made. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida about the "Obameter," and whether he kept his promises - or broke them.


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 Florida's 29 electors cast their votes for Donald Trump inside the state Senate chambers as about 200 people protested outside the doors.

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While most people believe the election of Donald Trump is a done deal, it's up to the Electoral College to actually choose the next president. Florida's 29 electors will cast their ballot Monday afternoon in Tallahassee.

It's not over yet, but 2016 has already been one of the "newsiest" years in recent memory. But a lot of the news turned out to be fake. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida to talk about their Lie of the Year.

This year has been a banner one for the news business. The presidential election, the surprise result, the ongoing wrangling over which way the country could be turning - and a lot this news, well, it wasn't true. So that takes us to the 2016 PolitiFact Lie of the Year.

It's... drum roll please... fake news.

Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration

One of the rarest and least-known species of whales off of Florida's Gulf Coast could soon be listed as a threatened or endangered species.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of Tampa's most historic buildings has been given a futuristic makeover. The Fort Homer Hesterly Armory hosted Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Doors, and President John F. Kennedy four days before he was assassinated.

Thursday, it reopened as the Bryan Glazer Family JCC.

Is Obamacare really a creation of the "liberal elite?"  And have things gotten worse in Cuba for dissidents since Fidel Castro stepped down from office? WUSF's Steve Newborn digs into those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

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President Barack Obama says the fight he's led against the Islamic State group has been relentless, sustainable and multilateral. He says it demonstrates a shift in how the U.S. takes on terrorists around the world.

Obama spoke at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, home to U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Central Command. It's Obama's last major national security speech before leaving office.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott today announced a plan to give all state law enforcement officers a 5 percent pay increase.  It would be for state troopers, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

When Donald Trump takes office in January, does that mean oil derricks could soon be sprouting off Florida's beaches? And did state senators really vote to impose Islamic Sharia law in Florida? WUSF's Steve Newborn digs deeper into those claims with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

A lot of criticism has been aired about the Electoral College since Donald Trump won the presidency - even though he got fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. There have been moves to abolish the College. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with PolitiFact Florida's Katie Sanders about one way that could happen.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The Pinellas County legislative delegation met Wednesday to prevent another massive spill of sewage into the county's waterways because of overloaded - and outdated - sewage treatment systems.

But one thing is becoming clear after hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage overflowed into Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay after heavy rains this summer - a solution won't be cheap.

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Incoming President Donald Trump has been on the stump attacking Obamacare, vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act. One of the claims he's made is that Floridians will see a double-digit increase in their premiums next year. To dissect that claim, WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Charlie Crist completed his political comeback Tuesday, beating incumbent Congressman David Jolly for Congressional District 13. After his victory speech, the Democrat thanked the voters of Pinellas County.

“They have been very kind to me,” Crist said. “I'm going to work extremely hard for them and I want to make sure our seniors are protected, Social Security is protected, that we fight to protect our beautiful environment here in Pinellas County, it's the jewel of Florida.”

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

There's only one day to go before the election - and Florida is in the cross hairs of both parties today. Donald Trump spoke to about 5,000 raucous fans at a packed Robarts Arena in Sarasota Monday. His 50-minute address was basically his standard stump speech for the past week, which included a stop Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

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