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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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Tampa Police Department

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn named Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan to become the next chief of the Police Department on Tuesday afternoon.  

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Theatre is one of the oldest movie palaces in the country - and it's showing its age. It's being closed for six weeks, and parts of it will be returned to its former splendor.

Photo Courtesy Florida Audubon

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed one of Florida's leading environmental advocates to run the state park system.

Eric Draper has been executive director of Audubon Florida for 18 years. At the end of the month, he'll take over as director of 164 state parks. It's a bit of a switch for a service that has been criticized in the past for proposals such as logging and grazing in state parks.

Did Obamacare exacerbate the opioid crisis in America? And is expanding the child tax credit the only way the middle class will get a break from the GOP's proposed tax plan? We tackle those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

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The Mosaic Company has announced it will temporarily close its Plant City phosphate processing plant at the end of the year. That comes despite the company reporting increased profits.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Gwen Graham wants to follow in her father's footsteps and move into the governor's mansion in Tallahassee. So she's copying Bob Graham's "work days," and served up Cuban sandwiches Thursday in Tampa.

As we head into the November 7th election, records are being broken in the race for St. Petersburg mayor - and it's not only in the amount of partisan rhetoric.  The race in the state's fourth-largest city has taken an outsized role in funneling outside cash.

Photo Courtesy American Phytopathological Society

A new statewide poll shows environmental issues to be one of the top five issues facing Floridians. But not all parts of the state have the same concerns.

Photo courtesy PolitiFact Florida

Now that the election season is in full swing, the claims are coming fast and furious from political aspirants.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Bipartisanship in Washington -- or lack thereof -- and what Florida voters can do about it. That's what two former Congressman are talking about in a series of town halls around the state.


Former Congressmen David Jolly, a Republican, and Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, are currently on a speaking tour to address the lack of bi-partisanship in Congress. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Public bus riders in Hillsborough County are in for some major changes this week. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority calls it "Mission Max."

Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

Are Florida's beaches and stormwater systems up to the test in the face of perhaps more - and more intense - hurricanes because of global warming? 

Photo courtesy World Rowing Championships

The best rowers in the world are converging on Sarasota this week. And over the weekend, the best of the best will compete in the World Rowing Championships.

Some of the spectators came a very long way to watch the action.


Suncoast Tiger Bay Club

Orlando attorney John Morgan continued his flirtation with running for governor during a stop Wednesday in St. Petersburg. There, he didn't hide his opinions.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Now there's a way to leverage the power of group buying to get solar power installed in homes and businesses. Two new cooperatives are being formed to spread the cost of getting solar power installed in homes in Hillsborough and north Pinellas counties.

The League of Women Voters and a consortium called Florida Solar United Neighborhoods started the solar power co-operatives. The co-op aids residents and businesses by using competitive bidding. 

Photo Courtesy PolitiFact Florida/Miami Herald

The subject of illegal immigration is never far from the front burner of politics, especially in the wake of President Trump's recent decision to look at rescinding DACA. That could revoke the legal status of children brought illegally into the country.

Most of Puerto Rico is without power Wednesday after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island as a Category 4 storm.

Now a Tampa attorney with roots on the island is collecting goods for survivors of the storm.

National Park Service

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc not only on people and buildings, but on nature. Birds were pushed by the winds from the Caribbean into Florida, and the Category 3 storm washed away beaches and bird habitat in the Everglades and Florida Keys. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, about Irma's impact.

Here's some of the impacts outlined by Audubon Florida:

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Even though Hurricane Irma is well behind us, many neighborhoods remain several feet underwater - including one along the Alafia River near Lithia.

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