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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.

Ways to Connect

Democrats picked up a rare seat in the Florida House Tuesday. Democrat Margaret Good bested two challengers in a special election for Sarasota's House District 72.

Good's decisive victory gave the minority Democrats in Tallahassee a win in a Republican-leaning district.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we’re taking another listen to our conversation about the promise and prognosis of solar power in the Sunshine State.


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Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claims? And did slaves really help build the "old" state Capitol in Tallahassee? PolitiFact Florida answers these claims by politicians.

Renderings provided by CambridgeSeven

Mote Marine Laboratory announced plans Thursday to build a new aquarium alongside Interstate 75 in Sarasota. It's been in the works for five years. It's planned for Nathan Benderson Park, at Interstate 75 and University Parkway. The four-story building would be double the size of the existing aquarium.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

After three years, the first leg of one of the biggest construction projects was unveiled Wednesday at Tampa International Airport.

"We did it! We did it!" exclaimed airport CEO Joe Lopano, as he  helped cut the ribbon alongside Governor Rick Scott on the SkyConnect train. It connects the Main Terminal and the new Rental Car Center, built on the periphery of the airport.

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A special election will be held Feb. 13  in Sarasota to replace State Representative Alex Miller, who resigned in September. Three political newcomers are on the ballot - including a third-party candidate. But do non-traditional candidates really stand much of a chance of winning?

Tampa Bay Next

Hillsborough County's transportation planning board on Tuesday approved a plan that would widen the clogged approaches to Tampa coming off the Howard Frankland Bridge. It could start as early as next year.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

A familiar name in Tampa will be on the ballot for mayor next year. Ed Turanchik got a jump on the competition Friday, and said he's hoping to do better than the last time he ran, in 2011.

AP

One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

Several prominent mayors from around the country boycotted a meeting with President Donald Trump Wednesday because of a Justice Department crackdown on what's commonly referred to as "sanctuary cities." But many went.

One of those was Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He said the benefits outweighed any controversy.

One of the key reporters behind the Watergate investigation and the subsequent resignation of President Richard Nixon is coming to St. Petersburg Wednesday night.

Bob Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post, is speaking at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater. WUSF's Steve Newborn asked him about his talk and if the controversy over "fake news" is affecting the ability of legitimate journalists to connect to their audience.

State Attorney Andrew Warren has decided he will seek the death penalty for the man accused of murdering four people in Seminole Heights.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The year that was - 2017 - turned out to be quite the year for news. And quite the year for fact-checks about everything from "fake-news" - last year's catchword - and all sorts of dubious claims.

Photo by Carlton Ward, Jr./Courtesy Florida Wildlife Corridor

After being starved of money for years, several proposals are gaining ground in Tallahassee that could set aside money to buy and preserve what's left of Florida's natural lands. 

Facebook Live

Is the only tax that half the voters in the country pay the payroll tax? That's what U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said. We tackle that claim and another by Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wants the entire state to be a "sanctuary" for people in the country illegally.

Massive hurricanes, corrupt politicians and the tragic death of a famous manatee – there was a lot of big news in Florida this year. This week on Florida Matters we talk with local journalists about some of 2017’s top local stories.


State Sen. Jack Latvala resigned from the Senate Wednesday, just a day after a report concluded there was evidence that he sexually harassed several women.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

What has been called one of the most beautiful theaters in the world has been showing its age lately. So the Tampa Theatre was shut down for six weeks. The first phase of its facelift is done - but it wasn't without some challenges.

Voters around Plant City will go to the polls Tuesday to elect a new state House representative. The special election for State House District 58 is being held to replace Republican Dan Raulerson, who stepped down for medical reasons.

PolitiFact/Tampa Bay Times illustration by Ron Borresen

It's that time of the year again for PolitiFact's Lie of the Year. And this year's whopper goes to... drum roll please... President Donald Trump. That may not be such a surprise, given the president's propensity for - shall we say - stretching the boundaries of the truth.

Courtesy Latvala for Governor campaign

Campaign donations for State Senator and candidate for governor Jack Latvala have dried up since allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.

There are many stories of the state's pioneers of broadcasting, and author Donn Colee will bring to life a few of those to life when he speaks Wednesday night at the Tampa Bay History Center.

HART

Jeffrey Seward has been named as Interim Chief Executive Officer of HART, replacing Katharine Eagan, who resigned effected Jan. 5 to be the CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pa.

The HART Board of Directors announced the move Monday, while they conduct a national search for a permanent replacement. 

Democrats may soon have a rare chance to swing a moderate district their way. But first, voters in Sarasota have to choose between which Democrat they want to represent them in Tuesday's primary.

The District 72 primary pits Margaret Good, a Sarasota attorney and political rookie, against Ruta Jouniari, a Sarasota staffing agency owner. Political reporter William March says Jouniari considers herself an activist, which may not be sitting too well with more established members of the Democratic Party.

Allegations of sexual harassment surrounding a noted playwright has forced Tampa's Jobsite Theater to cancel an upcoming production. And its producing artistic director says this wasn't an easy decision.

 

David Jenkins has worked for years with famed playwright Israel Horovitz, so he said it was "stunning" to hear about the allegations from nine women.

WFTX

Has Gov. Rick Scott really cut taxes 75 times in office, cutting $7.5 billion dollars from the tax rolls? And has that resulted in over a million new jobs being created in Florida? WUSF's Steve Newborn and PolitiFact Florida's Allison Graves look at that claim and another from candidate for Gov. Chris King, who says Hispanics have started three times as many businesses as white men.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Rick Scott stopped at a Tampa elementary school Monday morning, touting what he called a record budget for education. Scott may not get what he wants from lawmakers, but he vowed to push forward, anyway.

Yuisa Rios / FEMA

More than two months after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, thousands are still fleeing the island and many are coming to Florida.

This week on Florida Matters we'll discuss the impact of the Puerto Rican migration to Florida during the latest edition of our monthly news roundtable.


There are two special elections planned for the upcoming months - one on Sarasota and one centered on Plant City. 

Steven Shepard / FEMA

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll discuss how the Puerto Rican migration to Florida after Hurricane Maria could impact our state.

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