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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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