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

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority held a virtual town hall meeting Monday night to show off designs for the Selmon Expressway extension project. There are two designs of what they call "the pier" to choose from. One is called "Vivid," the other "Estuary." 

National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline

 

There is a sort of criminal cottage industry that crops up when disasters go down. 

And there are task forces are made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to fight illegal activity following Hurricane Irma.


NationalVoterRegistrationday.org

As of August 31st of this year, there were nearly 13 million active registered voters in Florida. 

And today is National Voter Registration Day, a day when elections supervisors across the state are bringing voter registration drives out into the community. But the community piece is key. 

National Weather Service Image

Hernando County is opening a shelter in Brooksville for people escaping the high water of the Withlacoochee River.  Residents along the river, near Trilby in eastern Hernando County, have been asked to voluntarily evacuate.

Wikimedia Commons

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is putting blue plastic sheeting on homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.

Wikimedia Commons

Remember that line used by President Ronald Reagan, "trust but verify?"

With news about the calamity and suffering in Texas wrought by Hurricane Harvey, the first instinct for many may be to send clothing or food.

But Ashley Post of Charity Navigator says giving money is the most effective way to help right now.

Manatee County Historical Records Library, Bradenton Herald Archives

Next month, the South Florida Museum will host an open house for the public to remember what was the world's oldest living manatee in captivity.

Snooty the manatee, who died in an accident last month, will be remembered on Sept. 10, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. 

Courtesy of NASA

About two weeks from now on August 21, a lot of people will be looking up. They will be witnessing the first "coast to coast" solar eclipse visible in the United States in about 100 years.

You can use this interactive map from NASA to find exactly when to look for the effects of the eclipse in your part of the world. And if you need help converting UTC or (UT) time, check here.

Howard Hochhalter manages the Bishop Planetarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. He says in Florida, we'll get about 83 to 85 percent of the eclipse.


Wikimedia Commons

Florida's school districts are figuring out how to respond to a new state law that covers quite a lot, and may have a major impact.

On Tuesday, in what the Sarasota Herald-Tribune calls a "sharply-divided unanimous vote," Sarasota County's School Board voted not join a possible lawsuit.

George Schellenger/GHOF

The folks who work at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University are hoping that people will come to understand the critical link between sharks and ourselves.

Wikimedia Commons

You've probably heard of AmeriCorps, but did you know there's also Senior Corps? A new study of senior volunteers by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency which oversees both, now says there's a connection between volunteering and a boost in health and well-being for seniors. 

Wikimedia Commons

It's happening again, and may happen more and more.  A death sentence has been overturned in Florida, because the sentence was imposed under a state law that is now unconstitutional. 

Authorities are calling the Pasco County sinkhole that swallowed up two homes last week the biggest sinkhole in the state in recent history.  At last check, it was 225 feet wide and 50 feet deep.  

Because many residents in the area of the Lake Padgett sinkhole depend on well water, Pasco Emergency Management personnel are taking water samples to be tested for E. coli and other contaminants.  

NOAA

Hurricane season is here and you're probably hearing a lot of talk about maps; storm surge maps and perhaps even flood zone maps. Here are some clear differences to help you understand what they mean for you.

Let's start with storm surge maps. They help emergency managers make plans to protect the nearly 21 million people who call Florida home -- by predicting how high the water wall forced onshore by a storm might be and how far inland it will invade. That will also help you know when it's time to head for higher ground. 

Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport had a record number of passengers during Spring Break.  Spokeswoman Emily Nipps said part of that growth is coming from new and expanded destinations from airlines that already serve the airport.   

Chris Sampson, WUSF

More than 140 wildfires are burning in the state of Florida today.

It's a "red flag warning" day in inland portions of West Central Florida today, which means high winds, no rain in sight and low humidity. Florida remains under a state of emergency because of a rash of wildfires, with a declaration from the governor last month.  

Florida Forest Service

It's been hot and dry and it's peak wildfire season in Florida. That's a point drawn home to the families who live near River Ridge Middle School and High School. They are close enough to the big fire in Starkey Wilderness Preserve that the campuses were cloaked in smoke yesterday.

That is why Pasco School Superintendent Kurt Browning decided to push back the schedule for those two schools, which are opening at 10:45 in the morning and ending the school day late in the afternoon for the rest of this week.

Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez

This Saturday, New College is wrapping up a yearlong series of events around the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. 

New College professor Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez organized the Cubano-American Community Project, which looks at the deep roots Cuban-Americans have in this part of Florida.

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit is adding Tesla model X's to its pilot program which it hopes will bring more bus riders on board.

Cesar Hernandez of HART says they're trying to address the "last mile" challenge of riders getting to the bus stop or getting home after a long day. Hyperlink will take bus riders for an extra fee.  And riders can pay cash and even call to book the ride if they aren't able to use the app. 

But let's face it, some people have historically not ridden the bus because they're in a hurry. 

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