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.

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Straz Center

Javier Burgos, General Manager of Habana Compas Dance, says you can't take the music out of Cuba.

It's as natural as a beating heart.

Paula Poundstone has been finding the humor in everyday life at least since kindergarten. That's when her teacher Mrs. Bump noted in a summary letter sent home to her parents, in lieu of a report card: "I have enjoyed Paula's humorous comments about our activities." 

A copy of that letter lived near the doorway Poundstone would walk through to get to the set of her short-lived TV show. 

Lora Warnick Photography

Joseph Volpe had only been on the job for a short time when WUSF spoke to him at his new office with the Sarasota Ballet. In his role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he had about 850 employees, now it's more like 70, including the dancers.

City of Tampa

A new Wallet Hub study ranks Tampa ahead of New York and Chicago for cities in which to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The financial website graded cities in its highly unscientific survey on the percentage of people with Irish heritage, number of festivities and parties for the day per person, along with the number of Irish pubs and restaurants per capita. 

Dave Parkinson/Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

If you visit Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, you'll be lucky to catch a glimpse of the elusive clouded leopard, which is housed in a foliage-rich enclosure near the entrance to the zoo. The Clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa is the shy type, native to Southeast Asia. But the zoo just welcomed two new clouded leopard cubs. And staff provided this closeup of the male and female cubs.

Courtesy of the Texas Guitar Quartet

A chamber music class at the University of Texas-Austin has turned into a ten-year collaboration for the Texas Guitar Quartet. Isaac Bustos says the quartet is a place of real growth for all of them.

Steve Newborn

The U.S. Department of Transportation put out the call for carriers to apply for 20 coveted daily flights to Cuba. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

If there ever was a "typical opera singer," Ashley Thunder Lowe is not it. She grew up thinking that you get an education, then work hard at a job from 9-to-5.

AJ Mast

This Saturday, (January 30th), Michael Feinstein will perform with The Florida Orchestra lead by new Music Director Michael Francis at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. It is the orchestra's Gala fundraising event.

Someone is impersonating police in Temple Terrace. Twice now, residents have opened their doors to individuals dressed in what appeared to be dark police uniforms, wearing badges and one of them carried a gun.

In the first case, it was a man and a woman, both White with dark hair. In the second case last week, a man with a badge in dark trousers and a dark shirt knocked on someone's door asking to speak to the homeowner.

Susan Giles Wantuck

It's hard to believe that "The Nutcracker" ballet was not a hit from the get-go. Maybe it's because the premiere came during a double-bill performance that included Tchaikovsky's lyric opera Iolanta.

Nutcracker is the dreamy story of a girl who rescues a nutcracker prince during a battle with the Mouse King and his minions. It was cooked up in a novella called "Nutcracker and Mouse King," by E.T.A. Hoffman in the 19th century.

Tchaikovsky wrote the music for the ballet and apparently bristled against the tight dictates for the composition. 

During this Thanksgiving week, we're taking a second listen to our show on  food, family and traditions. From passing on the recipe for French Canadian meat pie, to making the perfect rice and meeting the bakers who make award-winning pies in Lakeland, our reporters are taking you into the kitchen. 

Ayumi Sakamoto

You might not want to ask The Ringling International Arts Festival Curator Dwight Currie how many mountains he had to move to make this year's RIAF happen.  This year, ahead of the Ringling's opening of its Asian Arts and Cultural Center, the focus of the festival is Asian artists.

Tim Redman

This weekend, Michael Francis will take the stage with The Florida Orchestra as its new Music Director. For the concerts to open the Masterworks season, Francis chose Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, which will feature Valentina Lisitsa.

Francis said his idea was to present "two true epics," adding that they represent "very much the start of an American journey."

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A Florida man could get 20 years in prison. Joshua Ryne Goldberg is accused of masterminding a plan to plant a pressure cooker bomb loaded with nails and rat poison near a 9/11 remembrance day ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri this weekend. His story has been picked up by news outlets across the world

Goldberg is 20 years old and lives with his parents in Orange Park, near Jacksonville.

RobertVickrey.com

Bill Meek, is the owner and director emeritus of the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples.  He wanted to bring the work of American Master Robert Vickrey to his alma mater, Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Meek was friends with Vickrey for 30 years. And tomorrow night, Sept. 11, Meek will lead a walking tour of the Vickrey exhibition.

findingsamuellowe.com/press

Your Real Stories is putting on the 2nd annual "Story Days in Tampa Bay" this week. It starts September 8th with events through September 12th. 

Lillian Dunlap, co-founder of Your Real Stories, said "Our aim for story days is to have a lot of different ways for people to hear, tell and experience stories."

The lone survivor of a house fire in Tampa that killed his grandmother and two other young boys earlier this week has died.

Romello Jackson, 8, was taken off life support at Tampa General Hospital Wednesday.

Tampa Fire Rescue officials said the family could not escape the flames because of burglar bars on the windows of the house at 3720 E. Paris Street. The home did not have a working smoke detector. The fire was likely triggered by a faulty power cord. 

A funeral is planned for September 12th, but the place and time has not been named. 

Wikimedia Commons

Millions of puzzle fans opening their Sunday crossword this week didn't know the game they crave lost one of its masters: the inimitable Merl Reagle. The Tampa resident died over the weekend from complications due to acute pancreatitis, his wife told the Tampa Bay Times.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

The National Weather Service said river flood warnings continue for the Peace River at Zolfo Springs, Bartow and Arcadia, and the Horse Creek near Arcadia. 

Flood warnings are also in effect for the Myakka River at Myakka River State Park. 

The heavy rain of the past few weeks has also created a situation where the Little Manatee River at Wimauma could flood, as well as the Alafia at Lithia. 

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