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 just about everything else 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; and how the BP Deepwater Horizon spill affected Florida.

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. Steve is a graduate of the journalism department at the University of South Florida.


7:00 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Bill Clinton Comes to Tampa to Stump for Charlie Crist

Together Again

Former president Bill Clinton will headline an early vote rally in support of Charlie Crist this Sunday, October 26th at 5:00PM. The rally will be held at Cyrus Greene Park in Tampa.

Doors will open for the public at 3:15 p.m.  Anyone wishing to attend the event should visit for tickets.

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12:56 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Joe Maddon's Leaving the Tampa Bay Rays

Credit twitter

After nine seasons, 754 wins, 4 playoff appearances and an American League Championship in 2008, Joe Maddon is no longer the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Maddon was the guiding force behind the Tampa Bay Rays' drive from perennial cellar-dwellers in the American League East to the World Series in 2008. 

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4:16 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Another Poll Shows Governor's Race Deadlocked


The Florida governor’s election between former Gov. Charlie Crist and incumbent Gov. Rick Scott is essentially tied, according to a new poll from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

With less than two weeks before the election, Crist leads, 43-40 percent, with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie pulling 8 percent, and 9 percent of likely voters saying they are undecided.

Crist’s lead is within the poll’s margin of error, and the race can be described as a statistical tie.

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University Beat
5:21 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

USF Cancels African Journalists Visit; Ebola Fears Blamed

African journalists from the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists pose along the USF St. Pete waterfront

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:21 am

Officials at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg have canceled a five-day visit by 14 African journalists that was to begin Oct. 31, because of fears of the Ebola virus.

In a letter today written by Han Reichgelt, regional vice president for academic affairs (see below), he says they're doing so out of an abundance of caution.

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12:48 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Governor's Debate Live Chat Tonight

The 2014 gubernatorial election is being watched by politics buffs across the nation. It's a competitive race, and Florida voters will have plenty to decide on.

In preparation for our coverage of the first English-language debate, public radio stations across the state have worked together to bring you stories about some of Florida's big issues.

Click on the icons to see what Floridians across the state are voting on.


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5:58 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Jill Biden, Annette Taddeo Campaign on Education at USF

Jill Biden presses the flesh with USF students
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

As the race for governor heats up, the Democrats are calling on some big names to help out Charlie Crist. Vice President Joe Biden is in South Florida this afternoon, and his wife Jill appeared today at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She listened to a group of students talking about making college affordable.

Biden says the average college student is weighed down with about $30,000 of debt when they graduate.

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10:57 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Could Ferguson Happen in the Tampa Bay Area?

The panel at USF, from left to right: NPR television critic Eric Deggans, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper, James Cole, president of the Hillsborough Sheriff's Black Advisory Council, and attorney Alec Hall
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri that were sparked by the police shooting of a black man have led many communities to reassess how their police departments interact with the community. A forum held Thursday night at the University of South Florida Tampa campus talked about just that.

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Law & Order
3:08 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Dozier School Victim's Casket Opened; No Body Found

USF anthropologist Erin Kimmerle inspects the casket
Katy Hennig/University of South Florida

Both the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Times are reporting that USF researchers sent to exhume the body of a boy who was killed at the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna and buried in a Pennsylvania cemetery found nothing when they opened the casket.

Nothing, except for a few pieces of wood.

Here's what the Times wrote:

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4:31 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

John Morgan Brings Amendment 2 Bus Tour to USF Tampa

John Morgan poses for a selfie with a supporter at USF's Marshall Student Center
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Orlando attorney John Morgan -- famous for his TV commercials and for his backing of the medical marijuana amendment in Florida -- stopped by the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida today.

It's part of a campus bus tour he's on this week to get out the youth vote for Amendment 2.

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5:17 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

USF Prof. MacManus - Negative Political Ads May Decrease Turnout at the Polls

Dr. Susan MacManus

The avalanche of negative ads that are permeating both sides of the race for governor is bound to turn off a lot of voters from going to the polls in November. That's the word from USF political science professor Susan MacManus, who says this is having a corrosive effect on democracy. She tells WUSF's Steve Newborn that all this negativity may persuade undecided voters to sit this one out.

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1:55 am
Wed September 24, 2014

PolitiFact Florida: Dissecting Ads by Pam Bondi, Charlie Crist

It's election season, and the ads are coming fast and furious on the airwaves. So we talk with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen to cut to the chase with ads by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi - and Democratic candidate for governor, Charlie Crist.

First, Bondi's new TV ad is called "Streets," and shows a serious-looking Bondi touting her accomplishments during her first term in office. One of those is a claim that she has closed down all of the state's so-called "pill mills." Those are the rampant cases of prescription drug abuse by Florida doctors.

"With our amazing law enforcement, we closed down the pill mills. Of the top 100 oxycodone-dispensing doctors in the country, 98 of them lived in Florida. Today," she says, "there are none."

Here's PolitiFact Florida's take:

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1:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

President Obama Puts the Islamic State in His Sights During Tampa Address

The president addresses the nation from MacDill Air Force Base

President Barack Obama put the Islamic State - or ISIS - squarely in his sights Wednesday during an address at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. He spoke to more than 1,000 servicemen and women at the home of Central Command, which conducts operations in the Middle East.

The president reiterated earlier comments that the U.S. will not go it alone against the Islamic State, but coordinate with more than 40 countries in a combined effort to contain and ultimately push back the militants.

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6:34 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Q&A With Public Transportation Advocate Arthur Guzzetti on Greenlight Pinellas

Arthur Guzzetti

Both sides on November's mass transit referendum to replace property taxes with a sales tax hike in Pinellas County are gearing up their campaigns for an against Greenlight Pinellas. We recently talked to Randal O'Toole of the libertarian Cato Institute, who claimed light rail doesn't work.

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6:15 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Q&A With Cato Institute's Randal O'Toole on No Tax for Tracks

Randal O'Toole

Both sides on November's referendum to replace property taxes with a sales tax hike in Pinellas County are gearing up their campaigns. The opposition has brought in a big-name consultant, who will take part in a debate Tuesday night in St. Petersburg. WUSF's Steve Newborn spoke to Randal O'Toole about why he rails against light rail.

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Health News Florida
4:33 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fight Against Hunger Gets a High-Tech Edge

Adam Putnam talks with students helping bag sweet potatoes at the hunger relief forum
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The fight against hunger is getting a high-tech edge.  Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam was in Bradenton today to announce a new program to make it easier to match food relief programs with hungry people.

Putnam helped local Future Farmers of America students unpack donated sweet potatoes during a hunger relief forum in Bradenton, sponsored by The Mosaic Co.

"So which school are you all from? Palmetto? Good to have you here."

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