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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Even though violent crime has been steadily decreasing, can that be attributed to Florida's decade-old Stand Your Ground Law? WUSF's Steve Newborn poses that question - and another - if nearly half of all gun sales aren't registered - to Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Florida Department of Transportation

A bill that would eliminate building toll lanes on existing free interstate highways has moved through the transportation committee of the Florida Senate.

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A rally to drum up support for a bill that would ban fracking for oil and gas in Florida is expected to draw people from around the state Wednesday morning on the steps of the state capitol. Hundreds are expected to attend from throughout the state.

The rally will feature appearances by State Senators Jack Latvala of Pinellas County and Gary Farmer of Fort Lauderdale. They're backing a bill to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that has been introduced by Sen. Dana Young of Tampa.

Gov. Rick Scott gave his sixth State of the State address recently. He touched on some familiar themes, such as claiming to have helped create more than a million new jobs. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida to examine Scott's claims on commercial leases, teacher pay, tax cuts - and of course, jobs.

Courtesy Tampa Bay Times

Florida's legislative session is just beginning, but the battle over Governor Rick Scott's most prized programs has been going on for a while. 

One bill is making waves in advance of Tuesday's opening of the legislative session Tallahassee. It would restrict the rights of cities and counties to pass laws that haven't been given the OK by the state. And it is being backed by the speaker of the Florida House.

Laws passed by local governments - such as minimum wage raises, rules to curb pollution and protection for LGBT people - would be null and void, unless they have been given specific permission from the state Legislature.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

With the start of Florida's Legislative session just days away, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcocan traveled to Sarasota Thursday, offering a preview to members of The Argus Foundation at the Sarasota Yacht Club.

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Loosening regulations on who can own guns - and where they can be carried - is a hot topic in the run-up to this spring's legislative session in Tallahassee. The Florida Speaker of the House claims that most mass shootings happen in places where guns aren't allowed. WUSF's Steve Newborn checks out the claim with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn/WUSF News

A 515-mile pipeline is being placed through northern and central Florida. When it's completed, it will supply natural gas from the North and Midwest to power plants throughout the state. And the construction has attracted protesters and fired up neighbors affected by the project.

Gov. Rick Scott has been on a very visible tour of the state recently, painting efforts to pare back on some of his programs as potential job-killers. WUSF's Steve Newborn looks at those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

The speaker of the Florida House is trying to end funding for Visit Florida. He's claiming that the state's tourism marketing effort isn't having any noticeable impact on the number of visitors to the state.

But is it? WUSF's Steve Newborn runs the numbers by Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

A squabble among Republican leaders in the state legislature has some people talking about a possible government shutdown.

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Build the wall? Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says it wouldn't make much of a difference. WUSF's Steve Newborn looks at that claim and another comment on immigration from Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

 

For all the talk about President Trump's moves to restrict the flow of illegal immigrants into the country -- and yes, build the wall -- there might be more people who simply fly into the country and overstay their visa.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Donald Trump spoke Monday afternoon at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where he addressed the troops of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command.

There, he pledged to honor the men and women of the military, and vowed he will give them the "tools to get the job done."

Daylina Miller/WUSF

*The story was updated in the early afternoon to include more people who joined the protest.

President Trump's first visit to Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base is underway. He’s scheduled to meet with leaders from Central Command and Special Operations, and have lunch with some of the troops during the brief visit.

This morning and afternoon, about 30 people* from local advocacy groups held what they called an "unwelcome" party for President Trump.

Courtesy Miami Herald/PolitiFact Florida

Is Florida really at the bottom of the pack of states when it comes to paying for mental health care? And was Miami-Dade the first place to declare itself free of the Zika virus? WUSF's gets to the bottom of those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

UPDATED: 1/31:

Manatee County Commissioners extended a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of the Wingate East phosphate mine until Wednesday.

Commissioners Monday finished a two-day public hearing, where most of the speakers opposed the mine expansion. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, they'll question Mosaic engineers and county staffers, beginning at 9 a.m. The board is expected to vote on the rezoning request at the end of that meeting.

Monday, dozens of people told commissioners what they think about the mine expansion.

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday unveiled a $1 trillion plan aimed at rebuilding the nation's crumbling, roads, bridges and airports. During a visit to Tampa, Nelson says it would create more than 15 million new jobs by fixing roads, expanding bus and rail systems and modernizing ports and rebuild public schools.

Donald Trump has been president for less than a week, but fact checkers are already busy. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida about one claim the new president made during his inauguration, and another a day later at the CIA.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The first hint that Mosaic's Wingate Mine is no ordinary phosphate mine comes when you drive down a dirt road and see a large dredge boat listing in a pond that can barely contain it. Drive a few more minutes, and prepare to board a tugboat in a huge artificial lake.

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