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.


7:05 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Mass Transit Headed Back to Hillsborough Voters in 2016?

Coming soon to a stop near you?

Hillsborough County might be on its way to having another major referendum on public transportation - in 2016.

A board made up of county commissioners and the county's three mayors unanimously agreed to move forward on a plan that would increase the size of the county's bus system, repave roads - and create the county's first light rail line.

A similar referendum was defeated at the polls in 2010, during the height of the recession.

Hillsborough County Adminstrator Mike Merrill said officials have a chance this time to change that outcome.

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9:31 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Arcadia Moves On 10 Years After Hurricane Charley

Arcadia's water tower lays crumbled after the storm alongside State Road 70

Ten years ago Wednesday, (Aug. 13),  Hurricane Charley swirled its way inland through the quaint DeSoto County town of Arcadia. Sustained winds of a hundred miles an hour ripped down walls and roofs from its historic main street - dealing a major blow to its antiques district. WUSF's Steve Newborn was there in the aftermath, and returned a decade later to see how the town has changed.

Ten years ago, the grind of buzz saws was the sound heard most often in Arcadia

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10:11 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A Chat with the Authors of "Home to Havana"

Francisco Serrano, 17, an aspiring ballet dancer from Sarasota, performs at Havana's National Theater during an international ballet competition in Cuba, the land of his parents' birth. Though he has been dancing only four years, Serrano recently won a fu
Elaine Litherland Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A reporter and photographer from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune took their first trip to Cuba recently. Dance critic and arts writer Carrie Seidman and photographer-videographer Elaine Litherland covered a Sarasota ballet troupe taking part in an international dance competition.

They documented the life of Ariel Serrano, who defected to the U.S. in 1993 and found his way to Sarasota. His 17-year-old son, Francisco, the only American ever to dance in the April event, followed in his dad's footsteps, and danced his way to the gold medal.

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12:57 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Hillsborough Commissioners Move to Protect Gay Rights

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner

Hillsborough County Commissioners today voted to legislate protection of gay, bisexual and transgender people. If it is enacted in an upcoming session, the ordinance would be an about-face of a 1995 vote that excluded those civil rights protections.

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3:25 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Duke Energy Holds Open House on New Crystal River Power Plant

An artist's drawing of a power plant that Duke Energy proposes to build in Citrus County. The giant plant would run on natural gas. (Duke Energy / July 8, 2014)

Duke Energy Florida will host an open house on its proposed combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County Thursday.

It will be held between 3 and 7 p.m. in the Magnolia room at the Plantation on Crystal River, 9301 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River.

On May 13, Duke Energy Florida announced plans to construct a new combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County to supply 1,640 megawatts of generation to help serve Florida's approximately 1.7 million customers in 2018.

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2:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

USF Study: Skin Lesions on Fish Decline Years After BP Oil Spill

Prevalence of skin lesions at sampling sites in 2011: White dots indicate 0 percent skin lesions, red circles are proportional in size to the percent frequency of lesions. DWH is the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and gray shading is the surface extent of oil as seen from aircraft and satellites.
Credit Transactions of the American Fisheries

A new study by marine biologists based at the University of South Florida shows that an outbreak of skin lesions and oil residue signatures discovered in fish a year after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be related to the catastrophe.

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5:34 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Old Tampa Federal Courthouse Gets New Lease on Life

Steve Newborn WUSF

The old federal courthouse used to be one of the most imposing buildings in downtown Tampa. That was before federal officials decamped to a new skyscraper and left the old building to the harsh Florida elements. After being left empty for for decades, the courthouse is now the Le Meriden hotel. Today's grand opening has been a long time coming.

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4:30 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

New Director Slated for Helm of TBARTA

Bob Clifford

For only the second time in its history, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority has a new person at its helm. The TBARTA Board of Directors unanimously selected Don Skelton as interim Executive Director.

Skelton will replace Bob Clifford, who has served as the board's sole executive director since it was formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007. Clifford resigned to join the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff.

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Health News Florida
4:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Q&A on Donating Eggs and "The Cost of Life"

Justine Griffin
Credit Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Reporter Justine Griffin recently wrote a series in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about her experience selling her eggs to an infertile couple living thousands of miles away. She became an egg donor after seeing a childhood friend die young, and witnessing that girl's mother trying to conceive again.

Griffin tells WUSF it wasn't just the nausea, migraines, and high levels of hormones coursing through her body that makes her say she'd never do it again.

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3:58 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Buccaneers Owner Malcolm Glazer Dies

Malcolm Glazer

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reporting that long-time owner Malcolm Glazer has died. says Glazer passed away Wednesday. Here's their report:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saddened to announce the passing of Owner/President Malcolm Glazer earlier this morning at the age of 85.

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Florida Matters
9:38 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Taking a Tour of the Past to Preserve Our Future

Jason Dickens, right, gives Tampa historic preservation director Dennis Fernandez a tour of the renovated Design Styles Architecture
Steve Newborn WUSF

It's been said that in Florida, any building that's more than 30 years old is well, old, and worthy of being torn down for something new and shiny. That mindset has changed somewhat in recent years, and we take a tour of one historic neighborhood that's coming back to life.

A handful of architects and preservationists took a break from the recent Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Conference to take a bus ride around Tampa Heights and Ybor City.

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6:04 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Guide Released to Helping Hooked Pelicans


It's an all too-common sight on Tampa Bay and the surrounding area – pelicans with fishing hooks and line caught in their throats or tangled around wings, legs, or bodies.

Hooked birds are at severe risk of entanglement as they roost, causing slow, painful deaths. When adult birds die they leave chicks orphaned in nests, to succumb to predation and starvation. But there are steps that fisherman and others can take to save hooked birds instead of just “cutting the line.”

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7:47 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Feds Earmark $1.5 Million to Fight Citrus Greening

Federal agriculture officials are spending more than $1.5 million on so-called “bio-control” efforts to combat citrus greening in crops in Florida, California and Texas.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday the money will be spent in the three states in hopes of figuring out how to contain the disease.

Part of the plan is to release a tiny parasitic wasp that eats the eggs of the Asian citrus psyllid, which causes the greening.

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4:53 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Homelessness Jumps in Sarasota, Manatee Counties

Homelessness in Manatee and Sarasota counties jumped up nearly 9 percent from a similar count done two years ago.

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10:53 am
Tue May 6, 2014

WUSF News Wins 5 Regional Green Eyeshade Awards

WUSF News is the proud recipient of not one, but five 2014 Green Eyeshade Awards. These are regional awards for best journalism in 11 states in the Southeast, given out by our peers in the Society of Professional Journalists.

Since 1950, The Green Eyeshades have recognized the very best journalism in the southeastern United States, in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

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