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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PolitiFact, the national fact-checking service that got its start in the Tampa Bay area, turns 10 this year. Before a reception Tuesday night at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg - which owns the Tampa Bay Times, its parent company - Associate Editor Amy Hollyfield reminisced about its beginnings.

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They're beautiful - and they're deadly. And they're here. Lionfish are infesting waters around Florida, and there might be one tasty way to stem the tide of this invasive species.

Lionfish were  named for the beautiful mane of deadly stingers that surround their body. They were introduced in South Florida in the mid-1980's, and have since spread throughout the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast to New England. They're voracious eaters, outcompeting everything in their path.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The usual summer rainstorms held off for a day, so several thousand people crowding into Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry's parking lot for the once-in-a-generation solar eclipse didn't walk away empty-handed.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Protesters gathered Thursday at the Confederate statue in downtown Tampa. It happened the day after Hillsborough County Commissioners backtracked on removing it from public display.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The Confederate statue at the county courthouse in downtown Tampa may not be moving after all. Hillsborough County Commissioners are now asking the public to pay for it.

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Between 2014 and 2015, the number of police officers killed in the line of duty nationwide rose a staggering 56 percent. But what about the loved ones they left behind?

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Cities around the country are moving to remove symbols of the Confederacy from public places. 

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State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam of Bartow comes from a long line of citrus farmers, so it's no surprise he's in favor of a continued flow of migrant labor to help pick that fruit. But is he in favor of "amnesty"  for all people in the country illegally? 


Photo Courtesy The Ledger

One of the longest-serving mayors in Lakeland's history has died. Mayor Ralph "Buddy" Fletcher passed away Tuesday at the age of 84.

HART

The Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority, or HART, is set to embark on a major realignment of its countywide bus routes.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The newest segment of the Pinellas Trail opened Thursday, connecting it to Pasco County. It's part of a trail that will eventually allow bikers and hikers to travel all the way to the Atlantic coast.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Hillsborough County Commissioners voted Wednesday to move a Confederate memorial that has stood outside the county courthouse for more than a century.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

A cleanup of one of the most urban - and polluted - streams running through Sarasota began Saturday.  We visit one condominium, whose residents not only asked for help to restore Phillippi Creek - but are helping to pay for it, as well.
 


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has been criticized in some quarters for not holding a Town Hall on the Republican attempt to repeal and possibly replace Obamacare. So he recently held an audience-free Facebook Live post, saying reports that Floridians will be kicked off of Medicaid under the pending Senate health care bill are missing the mark.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Tampa is in the market for a new police chief as of Thursday, after Eric Ward submitted his resignation.  The city will now start a nationwide search for a successor.

Drivers got a taste of freedom from high prices at the gas pump over the long Independence Day weekend. But these low prices may soon be a thing of the past.

Gas prices have been flirting with going under the $2-a-gallon mark for a couple of weeks now, and were at their lowest price for the July 4th holiday in over a decade.  

Courtesy of Florida Museum of Natural History

A new disease has been found in five Florida counties, including Hillsborough. It goes by the name of rat lungworm, and it comes courtesy of snails.

Researchers at the University of Florida have found the parasites can cause meningitis in people. And it's been found in Hillsborough, along with Alachua, Leon, St. Johns and Orange counties.

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A 30-year veteran of TECO and a Tampa contractor were killed in an accident Thursday at the Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach. 

 

The explosion happened when the workers were trying to unclog a blockage in a tank where molten coal slag falls into cooling tanks after being burned to generate electricity.

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The south side of St. Petersburg - best known among locals as "Midtown" -- is a predominantly African-American area with a high rate of poverty.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Last week, Hillsborough County Commissioners voted against removing a Confederate memorial that has stood outside the county courthouse for more than a century. On Tuesday, a group of protesters met to keep up the pressure.

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