Susan Giles Wantuck


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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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.

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."

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.