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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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Did Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson really vote to hike taxes nearly 350 times while in Washington D.C.? And did he really  stop oil drilling off Florida's Gulf coast? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott has spent millions over the airwaves in his quest to take over the U.S. Senate seat held by "career politician" Bill Nelson. Here's one snippet:

"And besides reading speeches, what's Nelson done all those years? 349 times, he's voted for higher taxes."

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays unveiled their long-awaited plans Tuesday for a new ballpark in Tampa's historic Ybor City.

The ultramodern design includes glass walls, a translucent dome to let in sunlight to potentially allow for natural grass, while having features that tip its hat to the surrounding Latin district.

USF College of Marine Science

A study seven years in the making by University of South Florida researchers has created a map of how many species live in the Gulf of Mexico. This will give experts an idea of how much damage would take place from a future oil spill.

YouTube

We check out two claims from candidates for governor with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said fellow Democratic candidate Philip Levine passed resolutions during his time as mayor of Miami Beach banning assault weapons and raising the minimum wage -- even though both never had any chance of being enforced.

And Republican candidate Adam Putnam claims that Florida taxpayers “pay tens of millions of dollars a year to feed and house criminal Illegal aliens."

Kathy Castor

If you weren't looking, Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor was just re-elected for another two years in Washington, D.C.  That's because no one else qualified by Friday's deadline to run.

NPR.org

Has there really been more students killed in schools this year than U.S. troops killed in war zones overseas? And just how "independent" is Florida's Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson? WUSF's Steve Newborn looks into these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida. 

Climate change could impact the strength of hurricanes in the Atlantic. That’s according to Senior NASA Scientist Timothy Hall, who spoke Wednesday during a webinar hosted by ReThink Energy Florida, an environmental advocacy group.

Wikipedia Commons

A new solar co-op is being formed in Sarasota to leverage the power of group buying to get solar power installed in homes and businesses. The co-op will begin Wednesday.

Hands Across the Sand

An annual protest against oil drilling off Florida's coasts will once again be held Saturday. Clearwater Beach will host one of the main events for "Hands Across the Sand."

Agriculture Commissioner - and candidate for governor - Adam Putnam is claiming in his push for vocational-technical training that welders come out of tech schools making $28 an hour.

The saga of the freighter El Faro became news when its captain ventured into the path of Hurricane Joaquin in 2015. Thirty-three people died after it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic. But the crew of another freighter fared very differently. And a Clearwater-based Coast Guard unit was instrumental in their rescue.

Fl House of Representatives

After months of considering a run for governor, Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran will stay out of the race and instead back Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Flickr

Will a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott result in making more of Florida's beaches off-limits? And does U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson really have an anemic record of getting bills passed in Congress, as his opponents allege? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the lowdown on those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Flickr

Former Congressman Alan Grayson has announced he wants to return to Washington, D.C. The liberal firebrand - once said on the floors of Congress about a Republican plan to overturn ObamaCare, "Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."

He plans to take on incumbent Democrat Darren Soto in Congressional District 9, which includes northeast Polk and Osceola counties and parts of Orlando. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Grayson about why he's opposed by the Democratic Party establishment.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

While thousands of Puerto Ricans protested Tuesday over what they say is a lack of resources dedicated to their island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, a group of islanders in Tampa gushed over Florida's governor as he runs for U.S. Senate.

Gov. Rick Scott pressed the flesh and spoke in Spanish to a group made up mainly of Puerto Ricans who now live in Tampa. He was feted by the territory's congressional representative, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, who introduced him during a campaign stop at La Casona Restaurant in West Tampa.

Wikipedia Commons

Tampa Bay has the dubious distinction of being the largest metro area in the country without any kind of local passenger rail service. So as our rush hour commutes crawl to a standstill, transportation planners are taking yet another shot at mass transit. The latest proposal might not include rail at all.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Three environmentalists with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition have wrapped up seven days trekking through Florida's urban midsection. Their mission - paddle and hike through a narrow funnel of wild land to see how animals survive the journey. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

It was tough going, but members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finished their "mini-trek" over the weekend, traversing a green corridor between Tampa and Orlando. The explorers say they saw the most wildlife once they got past their biggest barrier - Interstate 4.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition emerged from a swamp south of Interstate 4 late Thursday and crossed underneath the busy highway.

Alex Morrison / Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are encountering some rough patches as they try to follow a stretch of preserved land between Orlando and Tampa.  They're not expecting to cross their biggest barrier until late Thursday.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition twice embarked on 1,000-mile treks across the state in the past seven years. Their mission: to bring attention to the need to protect corridors between preserved areas so wildlife can migrate through Florida.

Twitter

House Speaker Paul Ryan isn't the only longterm politician who is calling it quits.  Congressman Dennis Ross announced Tuesday he's ready to retire.

Ross has represented Florida's 15 Congressional District since 2013; and the 12th Congressional District before redistricting lines were redrawn. The Lakeland Republican serves an area that sprawls from Temple Terrace and Brandon through northern Polk County to Clermont.

Flickr

Is Florida really going through its sixth straight year of record education funding, as Gov. Rick Scott claims? And we also look into how an attack ad is crafted, with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

YouTube

Bold predictions about the future will be on the mind of Michio Kaku when he speaks Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. 

Wikipedia Commons

A new report shows Florida has some of the worst water polluters in the country. And some of the worst violators are in the Tampa Bay area.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor spoke at a forum of high school students and school board members in Tampa Monday. He told the students to keep on demonstrating for gun control -- but be prepared if little happens.

AP Photo/PolitiFact Florida

Do just one percent of licensed gun dealers supply more than half the guns recovered in crimes? And is Florida one of the only states that prohibits a gun registry? WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the answers from PolitiFact Florida's Allison Graves.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says the state’s pending school marshal program is the “first-of-its kind” in the nation.

And the Congressman representing Parkland said mass shootings went up 200 percent in the decade after the national assault weapons ban expired.

WUSF's Steve Newborn gets to the bottom of these claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The president of the Tampa Bay Rays spoke Thursday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg for the first time since the team announced it wants to move to Tampa. He fielded some hostile questions - but said a move is almost inevitable.

The national president of the Audubon Society will be speaking at its Sarasota chapter Monday (March 12). WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with David Yarnold about the local impacts of preservation and climate change, such as preserving Sarasota's Celery Fields birding area and artificial islands created to stem erosion in Tampa Bay.

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