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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State Archives of Florida

This Christmas, a new movie based on Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night" is coming out. It's a story about a wayward son of a Boston cop who moves to Tampa's Ybor City and gets into bootlegging and becomes a gangster. Author Lehane divides his time between his native Boston and Florida, where he teaches creative writing.  

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For 14 years, State Sen.  Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) has been a driving force to bring communities and food together in this region around this time of year. The food doesn’t actually come from him or his partners this year, Rep. Chris Latvala (R-Clearwater), or Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Springs). 

Courtesy of Sarasota Music Festial

Pianist and Conductor Jeffrey Kahane grew up in Southern California at a time when the Beach Boys provided the soundtrack for teenagers trying to catch a wave.  He said the legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix was on his radar, but he was more influenced by folk rock and drawn to the music of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 

Susan Giles Wantuck/WUSF News

Today is Election Day. Say you’re one of the more than 700,000 Florida voters holding a vote-by-mail ballot that needs to be turned in.

The deadline is still 7 p.m. tonight for you to turn in that ballot and have your vote be counted. So what are your options?

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We're just days away from Election Day and close to one-third of the state's registered voters have already cast their ballots with vote by mail or early voting.  That's four million ballots, already in. 

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Halloween is upon us and with the coming of this day, comes another reminder that buyers should beware.

What does state law have to do with the house you buy in Florida? A lot, and in ways you might not have imagined. If you're not buying a newly-constructed house, there's a history to be considered. Cooley Law School Assistant Professor Remalia DuBose says laws vary from state to state about what sellers must disclose to potential buyers---like, if the house is haunted.

When Florida voters look at their ballots for the general election, they'll see six names printed in the presidential race box. But there are an equal number of qualified "write-in" candidates for president. Names you've probably never heard before.

Courtesy of MOSI

On Sunday, Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry welcomes its National Hispanic Scientist of the Year. Her name is Dr. Adriana Ocampo. She's the woman who discovered the dinosaur-killing asteroid and lead NASA's Pluto Mission

Courtesy of Visit Tampa Bay

Never mind the hurricanes and the Zika that have come to Florida. Santiago Corrada, the CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, says it's been a banner year for tourism in Hillsborough County.

The close of the fiscal year, September 30th, showed record-breaking numbers and he's waiting to see how the calendar year ends.  Corrada says if the tourism agency hits the mark it expects to then, which is $600 million in taxable hotel revenue, it will mean yet another record and a special designation.

Sure you can use Facebook to mark yourself "safe" if there's some sort of natural disaster. But what if you're involved in an emergency situation and for some reason you can't communicate?

Pasco County School Public Information Office

It's homecoming week at Pasco County's Wiregrass Ranch High School. Students were expected to come in costumes, such as Superman one day this week. Three of them came, they said, as ghosts. And nothing happened, that is until school authorities found more information on social media.

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.

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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.

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