Susan Giles Wantuck

Reporter/Host

Susan Giles Wantuck is our midday news host, and a producer and reporter for WUSF Public Media who focuses her storytelling on arts and culture. 

She also serves as a music host on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9. 

She is a lifelong resident with family roots that stretch back in Florida before it garnered statehood.  Susan holds a B.S. in Mass Communication from USF. The Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have honored her hosting and reporting work.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Tucker Hall

You will soon be able to test ride the new Cross-Bay Ferry.

One of the architects of the project, Ed Turanchik, said the plan is to give the public a chance to try out the ferry for free during Thanksgiving week. There will also be Friday through Sunday service offered for entertainment and tourism purposes beginning Nov. 4.

Courtesy of Sarasota Orchestra

The remembrances of Maestro Paul Wolfe have been pouring in since news of his death became public this week.

Wolfe was the co-founder of the Sarasota Music Festival, the longtime Artistic Director of the Sarasota Orchestra, and established and nurtured four chamber ensembles while serving in the latter capacity. 

Wolfe attended the High School of Music and Art in New York, Queens College, the Juilliard School and Columbia University. He went on to work with the likes of Paul Whiteman and Frank Sinatra in New York.

A record number of heroin overdoses in Manatee County has put a strain on families and facilities.

Those same overdoses are pushing the limits of the medical examiner's office, which has seen record numbers of autopsies in July and August of this year, according to the Bradenton Herald.

Wikimedia Commons

Tonight (Aug. 30), there's a town hall meeting at The Dream Center at 922 24 St. East in Bradenton from 6 to 8 p.m. At issue is the desperate need for foster care families to take in the children who've lost parents to a heroin epidemic in Manatee County.

St. Lawrence Catholic Church

Monsignor Laurence Higgins died of heart failure Wednesday morning. He was 87. He served the parish he created for nearly 50 years, a term the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg Robert Lynch, called "unheard of."

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Public school students went back to class today in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee Counties. Next week, students in Pasco and Polk Counties start the 2016-17 school year. And for students in Sarasota County, the start date is August 22.

And all of these students are heading to school in cars, on bikes and on foot. For those getting to school on foot, they might not know that Florida is among the deadliest in the nation.

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The blood bank that serves Sarasota and Manatee Counties now is joining other blood banks in testing donors for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects such as microcephaly.

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The systemwide Southwest Airlines computer glitch from yesterday has been repaired.  It grounded flights across the country and left passengers in the lurch. But there's been a ripple effect today for passengers.

By around 7:30 this morning, Southwest had about 13 cancellations and 23 delays out of Tampa International Airport, according to airport spokesman Danny Valentine.

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Computers are essential to the operations of airlines. And Wednesday afternoon, a glitch at Southwest Airlines grounded departures across the country, including at Tampa International Airport.

First Draft Facebook

Jay Thompson is from Chicago where live storytelling is a big deal. That's one of the cities that regularly hosts events such as The Moth, where true stories are shared live at a mic in front of an audience. So when she moved here, she wanted to bring storytelling with her.

Florida Studio Theatre

The 8th annual Sarasota Improv Fest gets underway Thursday night at Florida Studio Theatre. Comedy troupes from across the U.S. and world are returning to Sarasota to perform and hold workshops.

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Tampa Police say Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Gregory Patterson was killed after hitting a downed live electrical wire while riding his bike on the Courtney Campbell Causeway early Wednesday morning. It happened around 6:40. 

A medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, but police say it appears he was electrocuted.

St. Pete Fire and Rescue

St. Pete Fire and Rescue firefighters put out a tanker fire that had closed both directions of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Department of Transportation inspectors were checking the bridge structure on the soughbound span to ensure its safety.

But the northbound side was open for travel.

Late last week, Sarasota County NAACP President Trevor Harvey reached out to the Sarasota Police and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. He called for a "frank discussion with our community and law enforcement" following the deaths of two black men who were shot by police, in Louisiana and Minnesota, and the deaths of five Dallas police officers. 

Courtesy of Sarasota Co. Sheriff's Office Emergency Operations

Sarasota County has become among the first counties in Florida to be able to accept text to 911 emergency messages. But Emergency Operations Manager Kris Adams stresses that if you can speak, it's still best to call though.

Polk County Sheriff's Office

The autopsy results for 65-year-old Polk County inmate Keith Harrison are in. Authorities said he was found unresponsive in the medical dorm of the South County jail on Sunday morning. 

And Polk County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said the autopsy results are consistent with a death from chronic medical problems.  

Temple Terrace Public Library Facebook page

What if you could head down to your local public library and check-out a sewing machine or a stand mixer?

The City of Temple Terrace is trying to make that a reality with donations from the community.

Anton Grassl / ESTO

This Sunday (May 15), The Ringling Museum will open its new Center for Asian Art.

David Berry is the Ringling's Assistant Director for Academic Affairs and is one of the project managers for the Center. He said the time is right to open a new home for a permanent collection of traditional, modern and contemporary art from Japan, Korea, China, India and Southeast Asia.

Joe Worthem

As a former Tampa Bay crime reporter, Ace Atkins has seen the best in people and also, the worst. He folded that knowledge into his fifth Robert B. Parker novel, "Slow Burn," about the Private Investigator Spenser, which revolves around the Boston Fire Department.

Courtesy of St. Petersburg MFA

MIT Electrical Engineering professor Harold Edgerton was trained in photography by his uncle. That uncle taught him how to take pictures and how to develop them. 

Edgerton's photographs ultimately stretched the limits of human vision by capturing images never before seen. That tick when a bullet hits an apple, that moment of impact before that apple disintegrates into a million little pieces. That Edgerton photograph is called "Bullet Through Apple."

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