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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

Benjamin Ealovega

Violinist James Ehnes made his reputation recording music like the Ravel Berceuse and other classical works, like Mozart's violin concertos.

But this weekend with the Florida Orchestra, he will play a work by James Newton Howard, who is best known for composing for the movies, like the Hunger Games franchise.

Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page

The twenty-four surviving members of the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office said good-bye to Sergeant Noel Ramirez and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey Tuesday.

Thousands of others, including law enforcement from around the state, were also on hand to pay their respects to the deputies who died in the line of duty last week in an ambush-style attack

Courtesy Drug Free Manatee

Manatee County is trying to turn things around for the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic - children.

Organizations within the community, such as Drug Free Manatee, are working with law enforcement, social service agencies and schools.

Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory

Florida beachgoers often imagine a day on the water. Colorful umbrellas peppered across the sand, the sound of waves foaming as they crash onto the shore and the inescapable smell of saltwater nipping at your senses.

Sometimes, instead of this picturesque scene, a sickening odor of dead fish wafts across empty beaches, local restaurants are closed because they can’t prepare seafood, and residents even experience trouble breathing. The culprit is red tide.

Wikimedia commons

Biking is a way of life for Kerry Bailey, who works for Coast Bike Share, the bike share network for both St. Petersburg and Tampa.

The cycling advocate believes two upcoming "Bike to Work' days in both cities provide an opportunity for others to discover what she calls a vibrant cycling community.

Julie DeMarre

Composer Michael Ippolito's early life in Florida was filled with music, in schools like Brandon's McLane Middle School. He says he was a little bit ahead of his classmates in music class and grew bored. That's when a teacher suggested he jot down the music in his head.

"Now, as an adult, I'm pretty sure my orchestra director was just trying to get me to be quiet, but she said, 'Why don't you write those down?' And it had never occurred to me  that one would write those things down," Ippolito said. "And it started from there."

Wikimedia Commons

There's been a lot of hype about the lunar eclipse coming on Wednesday morning. But there may be something else going on in the pre-dawn skies that is worth waking up early for. 

Howard Hochhalter manages the Bishop Planetarium at Bradenton's South Florida Museum.  And he loves teaching people about the stars and planets. He's calling this a "trifecta of lunar events."  That is, a supermoon, (or a slightly larger moon), a blue moon (a second full moon in a calendar month), and a lunar eclipse, all rolled into one.

Tampa Hits The Ice With NHL All-Star Game

Jan 24, 2018
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

This weekend, the Tampa Bay Lighting and the Bay Area play host to the best players on ice for the National Hockey League All-Star Game

Julian Torres

The folks at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales say they're expecting clear skies for their second annual "HARMONY Dark Sky Festival & Star Party" Saturday, January 13 from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Courtesy of Denise Mastanza-Taylor

You might think that running errands will keep you fit over the holidays.  But if that isn't working, here are some ways to apply technology to your training.

Fitness blogger Denise Mastanza-Taylor of deniseisrundmt.com says there are plenty of free apps to help motivate you through the holidays, especially if you can't carve out time to hit the gym. 

Courtesy of Tracy Shaw

Instead of buying a gift this holiday season, why not make something?  Here are some ideas about what you can create from Tracy Shaw, whose blog, havingfunsaving.com, says she gets the whole family involved in crafting for the holidays.

“I want simple. One of my favorites is mason jar crafts. They're easy, and you grab a couple cans of spray paint and we're done. You can fill 'em with candies, actually I've made several for my neighbors over the years and we put Christmas flowers in them too. 'Cause they're great for vases,” Shaw said.  

If your children are home from school over winter break, here are some ideas on how to keep them occupied. 

"Let's start with active, because if I don't get my kids out of the house, we're all going to lose our minds over the Christmas, or holiday break, " said Denise Mastanza-Taylor. She's the founder of Tampa Bay Bloggers.  

She also has her own fitness, food and family blog called "Run DMT."

Sometimes when something is as universal, necessary and mundane as eating, it's hard to make "food" sound special. But not for the people on this Florida Matters.

WUSF has been talking to people who communicate their passion about food in particularly interesting ways. Food...as muse.


AMICCO

This weekend, for the fifth year in a row, Symphony on the Sand is coming to Coquina Beach at Anna Maria Island. It's happening on Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m.

USF

Five world premieres will mark The Florida Orchestra's five decades of music-making in the Tampa Bay community. 


A new poll out of the University of North Florida says a potential 2018 matchup for the U-S Senate seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson between the incumbent and Republican Governor Rick Scott is too tight to call.

Michael Binder directs the UNF public opinion research lab. 

"The really surprising aspect for me was the fact that 49 percent of the sample didn't know how to rate Bill Nelson on his job approval. And that's a really shocking number for a three-term sitting U.S. Senator," Binder said.

NOPE Hillsborough Facebook Page

There will be candlelight vigils on both sides of the bay tonight to remember those who lost their lives because of drugs or alcohol.

Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education, or "NOPE," is holding the events.

Jo Ann Palchak

The lawyer who pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment is speaking at Stetson University College of Law Thursday.

According to Catharine MacKinnon, things are changing when it comes to sexual harassment - something that she said has been coming, as she calls harassment a practice of "sexual inequality."

Hillsborough County School Board

Here's a sample of what the start and end times may look like for students in Hillsborough County in the coming school year. Actual times for individual schools can be found here

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.

Pasco Sheriff's Department via Facebook

After Hurricane Irma ravaged parts of Florida and left others with minor clean up, neighbors are helping neighbors with food and other supplies.

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.

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