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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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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.

A familiar name in Sarasota County wants to replace outgoing Congressman Tom Rooney. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who has served eight years in the Florida Legislature, wants to move to Washington, D.C.

PolitiFact Florida

In the wake of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, accusations are going around at a fast clip. 

Parkland shooting photo: Leslie Ovalle, WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we’re hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable.

We talk with a panel of journalists about some of the major news stories impacting our state, including last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, a Democratic upset in a special election for Sarasota’s open state house seat, and the Tampa Bay Rays potential move to Ybor City.


Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak spoke Tuesday at the Sun Dome on the University of South Florida Tampa campus. While he isn't as famous as Apple's other co-founder, Steve Jobs, Wozniak  did attract an audience of nearly 5,000 people.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll talk with a panel of journalists about some of the latest news stories impacting our state including last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claim? 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

School districts across Florida are reviewing their security plans and addressing safety concerns after a mass shooting at a Broward County high school earlier this week that killed 17 people. 

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. 

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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.

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