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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Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis recommended Friday that the Florida Supreme Court adopt a set of congressional districts proposed by voting-rights organizations.

The ruling is a blow to the state House and Senate, which argued that maps drawn by lawmakers and aides would better comply with Florida's anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" standards.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The issue of illegal immigration has taken the stage front and center in the Republican presidential debates. So WUSF checks in with the fact-checkers from PolitiFact Florida to take on one claim from presidential aspirant Ben Carson.

There's been no shortage of claims from candidates for president about what to do about the quote-unquote "problem" of illegal immigration. So it was no surprise when this comment from West Palm Beach's Ben Carson came up during the Values Voter Summit in Washington:

The U.S. recently opened its shuttered embassy in Havana, but relations between the U.S. and Cuba are still far from normal. And emotions on both sides of the debate about normalization are still running high. That was evident Monday night during a debate at the Centro Asturiano club in Ybor City, hosted by the Tampa Tiger Bay Club.

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Philadelphia’s mayor was critical of how the media covered Pope Francis’ trip to his city, saying the media scared people away by talking about the crowds. We ask Poynter’s Kelly McBride if this is another case of "shooting the messenger."

The big news recently was His Holiness, the Pope, making a grand tour of the U.S. His final stop was in Philadelphia, where huge crowds greeted the pontiff. But apparently that wasn't enough for The City of Brotherly Love's Mayor, Michael Nutter, who took a shot at the news media:

One of the world's largest fertilizer makers is settling a massive hazardous waste lawsuit for nearly $2 billion to help clean up pollution and upgrade leaky facilities in Florida and Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Former Governor Jeb Bush is taking to the airwaves with his first commercial, saying during his time in office, he he cut spending and Florida led the nation in creating new jobs. To check on those claims, WUSF's Steve Newborn checks in with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen.

The presidential campaign is beginning to swirl, and one of Florida's favorite sons is stirring the mix with this political message:

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The recent Republican presidential debate was all over the field - not only in regards to the issues brought up, but time - at three hours. To talk about some of the claims brought up by the candidates, WUSF's Steve Newborn checks in with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Our first "Florida-centric" claim comes from former Gov. Jeb Bush, who accused part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump that he tried to bring a few Trump casinos into Florida.

Florida League of Women Voters

A Tallahassee circuit judge is looking over seven maps that could determine the state's new Congressional districts. Three come from the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Wikipedia Commons

If there's one critter considered to be one of the emblems of Florida - besides the manatee, of course - and never mind the mouse - it's the Florida panther.

The felines once prowled the entire Southeast, but relentless hunting thinned the herd to a mere 30 animals by the 1960's. Protections were put in place, and their recovery has been successful enough that there have been a growing number of complaints among ranchers about panther attacks on cattle and other domesticated animals.

Little Bird Key
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Four environmental groups recently sued the state over Amendment One, which overwhelmingly was passed by voters last year. They claim state officials are diverting money that should go into the state’s conservation land-buying fund. So other groups are trying to fill the gap. Recently, one of the most productive bird nesting islands in Tampa Bay was bought by the Audubon Society. WUSF takes us on a trip to Little Bird Key, and tells us why the group is trying to raise money to pay for it.

I hop aboard an outboard with Ann Paul, who manages Audubon Florida's Coastal Islands Sanctuaries. She points her boat to the newest wildlife refuge in Tampa Bay.

Jeb Bush Jr.
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The Jeb Bush for President campaign opened its state headquarters Thursday in Tampa. Jeb wasn't there, but the star attraction was his son, Jeb Bush Jr.

"(There's) been a lot of energy," Bush Jr. said. "Whether it's been Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, it's been great."

Bush Jr. opened the headquarters at an engineering office near Tampa International Airport. He was joined by two prominent Florida Republicans: Attorney General Pam Bondi and former House speaker Will Weatherford.

Dave Gordon
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

It's been 14 years since we were glued to the television, watching those riveting images of planes flying into the World Trade Center, and the towers collapsing into dust. One photographer living near Boston at the time was troubled by those repeating images, and drove to Manhattan to capture what he says is the human toll of the attacks.

A University of South Florida event Thursday called “Violent Extremism in the Greater Middle East and the Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy”  will address the pending nuclear deal with Iran and how to deal with the growing threat of the Islamic State, or ISIS.

WUSF's Steve Newborn discusses what to expect with USF Professor Mohsen Milani.

Fox News

Much of the buzz around Donald Trump has circulated around his outspoken views on immigration, particularly of the illegal sort from Mexico. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has had a much softer tone on the issue. But has he swung to the right in the face of Trump's surprisingly strong campaign?

"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. You woudn't even be talking about it."

That was Donald Trump talking to Chris Wallace at the first of what will likely be many Republican debates:

TECO Energy, the parent company of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System, will be sold to Canada-based Emera Inc. in a deal estimated at $10.4 billion, the companies announced Friday.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2016.

Carribean American Civic Movement photo

Europe and the U.S.-Mexico border aren't the only frontiers being crossed by migrants. Thousands of Haitians are being deported from the neighboring Dominican Republic, and one local group is trying to help some of those those left behind.

University of South Florida

UPDATED AT 4 P.M. with quotes from Judy Genshaft & David Jolly

John F. Germany, who was one of the most influential lawyers in Florida and one of the instrumental forces in the creation of the University of South Florida, died Wednesday morning.

Published reports say Germany, 92, died of cancer.

He was a founding partner of the Holland & Knight law firm, one of a handful of men who pushed aside obstacles to build USF and the downtown Tampa public library that bears his name.

The politics of abortion and use of fetal tissue for research has come front and center with the showing of clandestine videos taken during meetings with Planned Parenthood. But just where do the candidates for president stand? WUSF talks with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida about the history of two of the candidates from Florida.

The political fallout from the videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue has landed on the presidential aspirants from Florida.

The state Legislature has released its base map for next week’s special session.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee next Monday to redraw the state’s congressional borders, and Wednesday leadership released the map that will serve as the session’s starting point.  Completely gone is the snaking North-South District 5 currently represented by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL5).  Instead, it now runs along the northern border of the state from Liberty to Duval County. 

Daylina Miller / WUSF News

As of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, here is the latest information regarding Pasco County Government’s response:


  The Anclote River remains at major flood levels.

  The National Weather Service shows a peak of the Anclote River Tuesday night at 25.25 feet and is expected to continue to fall to minor flood stage by Friday evening at 8 p.m. The historical record of 27.7 feet occurred in 1945.