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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is a reporter and host for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy has covered everything from the affordable housing crisis to the ever growing cultural landscape of Tampa Bay and Sarasota.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Florida Associated Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

Ways to Connect

The Title I school serves an economically disadvantaged student population and was in its first year of a turnaround process, the state's system of school improvement.
Cathy Carter WUSF

When the state released school grades recently, 20 in Manatee County received an A, and for one school in Palmetto, that score signified a jump of three full grades.

The loggerhead turtle is the most common sea turtle found in Florida. Females return to their nesting beach every two or more years.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

By Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini, Steve Newborn and Cathy Carter.

They’ve had to battle shark attacks, pollution, massive beach developments and confusing light sources, but sea turtles are bouncing back.

With nesting season well underway, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks with experts about how sea turtles are faring and efforts to protect them in our state.


Straws
Flickr

By Cathy Carter

A proposal to ban polystyrene products, commonly known as Styrofoam, and to limit the use of plastic straws is moving forward in the city of Sarasota with a public hearing scheduled for Monday night. 

The loggerhead turtle is the most common sea turtle found in Florida. Females return to their nesting beach every two or more years.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

By Cathy Carter

It's just after sunrise on Sarasota's Lido Beach and the start of sea turtle patrol for Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Senior Biologist Melissa Bernhard.

“We have a report of a possible nest a couple hundred feet down,” she said on a recent morning. ”We're just going to walk down to it and see if it is a nest and take some data on it, regardless."

Sign for Daughtrey Elementary School in Bradenton
Cathy Carter

Manatee County Schools will soon offer its first ever dual language program.

This coming school year, Daughtrey Elementary, a Title I school in Bradenton, will teach a group of kindergartners in both English and Spanish. 

dead fish on beach
JESSICA MESZAROS / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill aimed at fighting red tide.

Speaking at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Thursday, DeSantis said the state will commit $18 million over the next six years to research and mitigate the effects of another potentially devastating toxic algal bloom.

Nancy Roucher holding Dr. Mary Palmer Trailblazer Award  presented by Leiland Theriot
Cathy Carter

Sarasota arts education advocate Nancy Roucher has been honored by the state for her longtime contributions to promoting arts education. On Friday, Roucher will be awarded with the Dr. Mary Palmer Trailblazer Award from the Florida Alliance for Arts Education at the organization’s annual summit in Fort Lauderdale.

The Wallenda family has been a star tightrope-walking troupe for generations, tracing their roots to 1780 in Austria-Hungary, when their ancestors traveled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers, and trapeze artists.
Courtesy of Nik Wallenda

Later this month, members of the Flying Wallendas will perform a live high-wire walk on national television.  The event comes two years after several performers were involved in a devastating fall in Sarasota.

This week, siblings Nik and Lijana Wallenda are practicing at the city's Nathan Benderson Park for a high-wire walk above Times Square in New York City.

Booker Middle School students and creative writing teacher Joanna Fox, at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the school's updated Dragonfly Cafe.
Cathy Carter

In a courtyard gazebo at Booker Middle School in Sarasota, dozens of kids with berets on are eating cake. Parents and assorted family members mingle with school staff as creative writing teacher Joanna Fox arrives, brandishing a giant pair of scissors. A ribbon is stretched across her classroom door.

The Sarasota Orchestra wants to build a performance space specifically designed for its acoustics and to expand programming.
Sarasota Orchestra

The Sarasota Orchestra will look beyond the city limits for a new home. The announcement comes a week after Sarasota rejected the orchestra's plan to build a new music center at downtown Payne Park.

In a statement, the orchestra said "pressing calendar constraints and acoustic limitations at the six venues used by Sarasota Orchestra currently hinder growth and future achievement of its mission."

people rowings in a lake at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota
NBP

Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota has been selected as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic rowing team trials. The event will determine who represents the United States at the Olympics in Tokyo.

children entering school building
School District of Manatee County

The first batch of state test scores are in.

The Florida Department of Education has released test results for the state's third grade reading exam. The Florida Standards Assessment language arts scores are from standardized tests Florida students took starting in February.

a marker at Payne Park in Sarasota
Sarasota City Government

It's back to the drawing board for the Sarasota Orchestra.

Monday night, the Sarasota City Commission voted down the art organization's proposal to build a new 2,500 seat concert hall on seven acres of city-owned Payne Park.

The Bruzon family celebrate Jonathan's acceptance to Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio.
Cathy Carter

The recent college admissions scandal exposed the role of wealth and privilege in gaining entry to America's best schools.

But its also helped bring attention to the issue of access to education for low income students and communities of color.

greyhounds racing on a track
Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

On a recent afternoon at the Sarasota Kennel Club, the track’s grandstand is mostly empty, but for a handful of spectators leaning against a wire fence and sipping beer from plastic cups as a mechanical rabbit buzzes by.  

Hatching loggerhead sea turtle
Longboat Key Turtle Watch

Loggerhead sea turtles spend most of their lives in the open ocean or shallow coastal waters, but soon thousands of female sea turtles will come ashore to begin their annual rite of spring.

May 1 marks the beginning of sea turtle nesting season on Florida's Gulf Coast.

children entering school building
School District of Manatee County

Another local school board has spoken out about teachers carrying firearms, a decision that comes as Florida lawmakers are close to passing a bill that would expand the state’s school guardian program.

Downtown Bradenton in Manatee County.
Manatee County Government

Housing prices and rents continue to rise across Florida. Thursday, a group of community leaders and advocates gathered in Bradenton to discuss Manatee County's ongoing affordable housing crunch at an event sponsored by the Manatee Tiger Bay Club.

Nationwide, an average wage earner would need to spend 32.7 percent of his or her income to buy a median-priced home. But for Manatee residents, that figure is 46.3 percent.

The La Musica International Chamber Music Festival is now in its 33rd season.
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

This year marks the 33rd season for La Musica International Chamber Music Festival at the Sarasota Opera House, and for about the same price as a movie ticket, audiences can get admission to a series of open rehearsals on the campus of New College of Florida.

Petticoat Painters

In 1950, a female artist from Sarasota took the top spot at a city art show.

What happened next led to one of the oldest continuously exhibiting group of women artists in the country.

Sergeant Steve Kim of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department with students at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.
Sarasota County Schools

Within weeks of the mass school shooting in Parkland, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The law requires a police officer or sworn school guardian be present on all public school campuses.

The issue is set to be discussed at the City Commission’s March 18 meeting.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

People caught with small amounts of marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Sarasota could soon avoid arrest.

On Monday night, the city commission will discuss the possibility of allowing law enforcement to issue civil citations instead.

Visitation and annual revenue are up since Selby Gardens was repositioned as a "living museum." The newest exhibit pairs botany with artist, Paul Gauguin.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has big ideas for the renovation of its 15-acre site on Sarasota's Bayfront.

Their 10-year master site plan includes a vertical "sky" garden, a cutting edge plant research center, parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. The plan, which is estimated to cost $67 million, will include infrastructure improvements aimed at keeping Selby's living collections out of flood zones into secure structures using green technology.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

The first day of the Gasparilla Music Festival drew a sold-out crowd to Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday. 

Headliners included the Avett Brothers and 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners, Tank and the Bangas.  But the nonprofit organization that plans and runs the festival also committed 50 percent of the spotlight to local acts. 

Chuck Manahan

Booker High School serves the most diverse and underprivileged student body in the Sarasota County School District. It's also recognized for its rigorous program in arts education, including instruction in music, theatre, dance, digital film and motion design, and visual art.

This week, the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program will host its first ever fundraiser to support initiatives that provide educational enhancements for VPA’s rising stars.

Courtesy of Kelsey Swithers

State housing advocates on Tuesday gathered in Tallahassee to call on the Florida Legislature to use all state and local housing trust fund monies for affordable housing. The Sadowski Coalition is made up of 32 statewide organizations, including industry and business groups.

Encouraged by a Library of Congress initiative, volunteers and non-profit groups around the country are recording and preserving veterans' voices.

The interim school superintendent in Manatee County has been offered a long-term contract.

The deal follows two months of postponement after the Florida Department of Education issued a report accusing Cynthia Saunders of manipulating data to improve graduation rates.

The  Manatee County School Board is scheduled on Tuesday to consider a long term contract for the district’s embattled interim school superintendent.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

There are all kinds of methods for creating art. Jean Schlumberger's medium was gemstones. From useable objects like cigarette cases and candlesticks to extravagant fine jewelry, the designer's work sparkles.

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