Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State. Join us each week as we journey across the state to explore the issues important to Floridians and cover the challenges facing our community and our state.

Florida Matters: Dozier School

Mar 30, 2016
USF Department of Anthropology

The Tampa Bay History Center recently hosted a panel discussion on the now-closed Dozier School for Boys. The reform school in the Florida Panhandle has been known for decades for abuse, torture, and even murder.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 a.m.), we are bringing you highlights of the discussion moderated by Tampa attorney and History Center Trustee Bob Bolt.

Florida Matters: 2016 Legislative Debrief

Mar 22, 2016

The Florida legislative session has ended, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 at 7:30 a.m.), we're taking a look at what bills passed, what bills died and what it means to Floridians.  

Courtesy of Catherine Eskin

WUSF’s Robin Sussingham recently hosted “Our Jewish Communion: Religious Identity and Growing Up Jewish in Polk County” at Florida Southern College in Lakeland to discuss what it was like to come of age in a predominantly Christian region. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 a.m.), we bring you highlights of the conversation.

AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Voters in Florida are casting early ballots and candidates are holding campaign events across the state ahead of the primary on Tuesday. 

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 13 at 7:30 a.m.), we're taking a look at what's at stake for Florida's voters -- and the candidates.

Florida Matters: Rhea Chiles Tribute

Mar 1, 2016
USF Health Communications

Rhea Chiles, the widow of former governor Lawton Chiles, died last November in her home on Anna Maria Island,  at the age of 84. She dedicated her life to improving the lives of children in Florida.

The University of South Florida’s College of Public Health recently held a symposium to honor the legacy of Rhea Chiles' work. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 at 7:30 a.m.) we bring you highlights of the discussion.

Weigh In On The Florida Primary

Feb 23, 2016
AP

On an upcoming Florida Matters, we're discussing the Florida primary. 

Who has your vote and why? Share your thoughts with us, and we may use your comments on the air. 

Florida Matters: Gun Debate

Feb 23, 2016
Associated Press

The members of the Manatee Tiger Bay Club recently debated the issues of guns.  This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 a.m.), we feature highlights of the conversation, which was moderated by  Manatee Tiger Bay Club President Ben Bakker.

Judithanne McLauchlan

College students in the Road To The White House course at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg have just returned from working on the New Hampshire primary. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 a.m.), they join us to talk about what it's like to be up close to the candidates and their campaigns.

Florida Matters: Express Toll Lanes Debate

Feb 9, 2016
Lottie Watts / WUSF

What are the pros and cons of the Tampa Bay Express project, which includes adding express toll lanes on interstates around the Tampa Bay area?

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 a.m.), we bring you both sides of the debate with Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Executive Director Ray Chiaramonte, and Linda Saul-Sena with the group Stop TBX

Share Your Thoughts On The Tampa Bay Express Plan

Feb 4, 2016
FDOT

On an upcoming Florida Matters, we're looking at the Tampa Bay Express transportation plan, which includes adding toll lanes to area interstates.

What do you think of the idea? Share your questions and comments with us, and we may use them on the air. 

AP

It has been 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded off the coast of Cape Canaveral. All seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 7:30 a.m.), we'll remember the disaster, and take a look at some of the lessons learned from Challenger.

AP

On an upcoming Florida Matters, we're taking a look back 30 years ago, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded off the coast of Cape Canaveral, killing the seven crew members aboard.

Where were you during that unforgettable moment? Share your memories with us, and we may use your comments on the air. 

Florida Matters: Studying Cuba’s Manatees

Jan 26, 2016
Lottie Watts / WUSF News

Florida's population of the iconic manatee has risen in recent years, so much so that federal  wildlife officials say they're no longer endangered, and could be down-listed to threatened by next year. 

Florida Matters: State Of The Bay

Jan 19, 2016
Suncoast Tiger Bay Club

The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club recently hosted the mayors of St. Petersburg and Tampa for a conversation on the “State Of The Bay.”

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 a.m.), we’re bringing you highlights of the discussion between Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the 2016 Florida legislative session Tuesday morning with his annual State of the State address. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17 7:30 a.m.), we will bring you highlights of Scott’s address, along with part of the Democratic response.

Associated Press

Florida's annual legislative session gets under way today. WUSF News will bring you live coverage of the governor's State of the State address starting today at 11 a.m. This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 17 7:30 a.m.), we will feature highlights of the address, along with the Democratic response.  

Associated Press

The 2016 Florida Legislative session starts Jan. 12, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 a.m.), we are previewing some of the bills lawmakers are proposing.

Florida Matters: 2015 Year-End Highlights

Dec 22, 2015
Robin Sussingham / WUSF News

As 2015 comes to a close, we are taking a look back at some of the discussions we brought you throughout the year.

Florida Matters: Media Trends

Dec 16, 2015
Daylina Miller

How are people consuming news these days -- and how is that changing?

We recently welcomed an audience from Leadership Tampa into our studio for a taping of a Florida Matters discussion on media trends with Tampa Bay Business Journal special projects director Chris Wilkerson and USF Tampa journalism professor Wayne Garcia.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

The U.S. recently reopened its embassy in Havana, but controversy over normalization continues. The Tampa Tiger Bay Club hosted a debate on the issue at the historic Centro Asturiano Club in Ybor City.

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