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 - and is currently following them on their latest journey.

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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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
11:12 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Braves the Icy Apalachicola

Waiting for a group paddle on Owl Creek, a tributary of the Apalachicola
Steve Newborn WUSF News

WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently kayaked down the Apalachicola River. It's at the heart of a water war pitting three states that has reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We met up with the group and paddled 50 miles downstream, where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico. Their trip started on the coldest day of the year.
 

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News
1:49 am
Wed February 18, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Jeb and Hispanics; Alcee Hastings and Bears

Jeb Bush is being touted in some quarters as the answer to the Republican Party's looming demographic problems. As their base in the white community shrinks in proportion to other ethnic groups, Bush's secret weapon could be his own  household: he has a Mexican wife and a son who identifies himself as Hispanic. Plus, Jeb speaks Spanish - fluently.

So two weeks ago, Bush told the Detroit Economic Club that "Florida’s Hispanic kids are the best of any Hispanic group of Hispanic students in the United States -- in fact, two grade levels ahead of the average in the United States,"  

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
4:26 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Takes Trip Back in Time to Steinhatchee

Steinhatchee River
Steve Newborn WUSF News

WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently visited the coastal hamlet of Steinhatchee, deep in the Nature Coast. We paddled with them down the Steinhatchee River, fording some falls and getting a lesson in how much preserving the lands can spark Florida's economy.
 

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Business
1:56 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Feds: Help is On The Way to Combat Citrus Greening

Fruit infected with citrus greening

Citrus greening, which has laid waste to vast swaths of Florida's famed orange groves, has definitely gotten the attention of the federal government.

Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced he was allocating $30 million for 22 projects to help citrus producers combat citrus greening. It's considered one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. It's also known as Huanglongbing, or yellow dragon disease. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.

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University Beat
5:48 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Two More Bodies Identified at Dozier School For Boys

USF Researcher Erin Kimmerle, with Det. Greg Thomas of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Credit Daylina Miller / WUSF News

2/21 1:30 p.m. 2nd paragraph corrected to indicate location of possible projectile found in one grave

Two more sets of remains were identified today from the Dozier School for Boys.

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Law & Order
10:00 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Update: Sami Al-Arian Leaves the U.S.

Dr. Sami Al-Arian (right) and his wife, Nahla, were deported to Turkey Wednesday, ending the former USF professor's almost 15 year battle with the U.S. government over terrorism-related charges.
Credit FreeSamiAlArian.com

UPDATE 2/5/15 10 a.m.

Sami Al-Arian's criminal attorney, Jonathan Turley, has confirmed what WUSF first reported Tuesday - the former USF professor has formally been deported from the United States.

In a statement posted on his webpage Thursday morning, Turley said Al-Arian and his wife, Nahla, left the country Wednesday night and arrived in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
10:59 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Paddling Florida's Iconic Springs with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

Expedition member Joe Guthrie dives into Manatee Springs, along with photographer Carlton Ward Jr.
Credit Carlton Ward Jr.

WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently paddled down the Withlacoochee River from the Green Swamp to the Gulf Coast. We  tagged along with them for a trip back to primeval Florida - paddling down one of the state's most pristine springs.

 

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
4:17 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hiking the Green Swamp with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

Cold morning steam rises from Silver Lake on the Withlacoochee River
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are in the second week of their 10-week, 925-mile trek from Central Florida to the Alabama State line.  Part of their trip goes through the Green Swamp.  It's a mysterious place to most people, but critical to the the water supply for Central Florida.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
5:00 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Journey of Nearly 1,000 Miles Begins with First Step

Expedition members Joe Guthrie and Mallory Lykes Dimmitt prepare to cross underneath Interstate 4 in Polk County on bicycles
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Three years ago, four conservationists embarked on a trip to walk and kayak the entire length of Florida. Their mission: to bring attention to the need to protect lands connecting the state's wild areas. Now, The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is back - and it's taking a different turn.

There's an old Chinese proverb that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Well, they're not going a thousand miles - only 925 miles, give or take. And their first step was on a pedal. Of a bicycle.

The members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are off on an encore version of their epic thousand-mile journey in 2012. Then, they trekked from the tip of the Everglades through the remaining wild spaces of the peninsula, north to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
5:46 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Kicks off First Leg

Members of the expedition use a cattle crossing underneath Interstate 4 in Polk County
Steve Newborn WUSF News

Back in 2012, four explorers spent 100 days walking and kayaking 1,000 miles up the length of Florida, from the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The mission – to publicize the need to connect the state’s remaining wild areas. This year, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is back.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
11:51 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition - Part II - Begins Saturday

Expedition members Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, left, Joe Guthrie and Carlton Ward Jr. speak at the Florida Aquarium kickoff event
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Back in 2012, four explorers spent 100 days walking and kayaking 1,000 miles up the length of Florida, from the tip of the Everglades to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The mission – to publicize the need to connect the state’s remaining wild areas.

This year, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is back.

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Environment
4:44 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Boat Springs Purchased for Preservation

Map of Boat Spring

The Southwest Florida Water Management District announced today it has closed on the purchase of Boat Spring. It's part of the headwaters of Hammock Creek spring system, located in Aripeka, on the Gulf of Mexico at the Hernando and Pasco County line.

Here's more information from the Southwest Florida Water Management District:

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Culture
9:02 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Leadership Tampa Media Day At WUSF

WUSF's Craig Kopp and Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's Sense-Making Project tape a show at WUSF Dec. 3
Credit Owen LaFave/Twitter

Leadership Tampa's 2014 class held its Media Day at WUSF Public Media on Dec. 3. About 55 people were on hand to witness a live taping of our Making Sense of the Media program, with host Craig Kopp and Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's Sense-Making Project.

After the taping, the class was split into four parts to see how reporters get to do their jobs.

Click on each of these audio links to listen to how the class did reporting the "news":

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Education
1:54 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Hillsborough's Elia Named Fl Superintendent of the Year

Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia was named Florida’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year today by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

Elia was recognized in Tampa during a joint meeting of the association and the Florida School Boards Association.

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Environment
5:11 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Florida Gets $34 Million Oil Spill Grant for Conservation

Florida has received $34.3 million in conservation grants from a settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The National Fish and Wildlife Federation on Monday said the money will fund nine projects that were decided upon in consultation with state and federal environmental agencies.

Gov. Rick Scott applauded the funding, many of which will benefit the Panhandle, and said the work will protect natural resources for future generations.

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