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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 Public Radio Journalist's Association, 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

Sarasota is home to a longtime theater troupe that features African American actors and the work of black playwrights.

On Monday, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe kicks off its 20th anniversary season with a celebration at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. The show will feature songs from WBTT’s most memorable musicals, including original compositions, Broadway tunes and Motown hits. 

A career retrospective from one of the founding cartoonists of MAD magazine has come to Sarasota. The Ringling College of Art & Design exhibition is a showcase of American pop culture told in ink, marker, colored pencils and watercolor.

In military language, a Stand Down is period of time when combat troops can rest.

But for the homeless veterans community, Stand Down events are an opportunity to receive creature comforts and critical social services.

Beekeeper tends to honeybee hives on roof of Museum of Fine Arts in St.Petersburg.
Allison Lynn Photography

Beekeeper Matt Davis has to walk something of a labyrinth to get to the rooftop apiary at The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. First he climbs a set of stairs, passes a gallery of boldly colored canvases, and then walks down a series of hallways.

Port Manatee set a new record for cargo traffic in 2018.

The Palmetto-based seaport topped 10 million tons of cargo for the first time in its 50-year history.

After weeks of public hearings, the Sarasota City Planning Board has voted to recommend approval of a master site plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

On Thursday, a sold-out crowd heard speakers both for and against the organization’s $92 million plan less than 24 hours after it learned it would be able to move forward in the city's approval process.

In the addiction recovery pod at the Sarasota County Jail, large windows flood the detention unit with sunlight. Two stories of jail cells frame an open area where men in orange jumpsuits sit at tables to chat or play a game of chess.

Soon, inmates like John will gather for one of the pod's four daily meetings focused on sober living.

Sarasota's City Planning Board will continue hearings Wednesday on a master site plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Selby Gardens is seeking zoning changes and other approvals from the city which its CEO says is designed to make the layout of the gardens more efficient. Those plans include a welcome center, and a greenhouse but it’s the proposed 5-story parking garage with rooftop restaurant that's drawn the ire of some residents.

In the middle of the lake at Nathan Benderson Park, a 42- foot long pink canoe rocks lightly in the wake of a passing boat.  Inside, 20 women sit two by two on narrow benches. Each holds a single paddle just above the water's surface.

Two members of Homeless Response Team in Sarasota
City of Sarasota

Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota.

Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol.

The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings.

Woman holding kittens
Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, new arrivals like Petey and Joan of Arc wag their tails and enthusiastically greet visitors and potential new family members.

The dogs are among the dozens of animals from a shelter in Martin County that have been transported across the state to one in Manatee County.

Activists hold signs supporting ERA
Cathy Carter

Thirty-seven states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment -- one short of the required three-quarters for passage.   

On Monday, ERA advocates urged state lawmakers to secure Florida as the final state to preserve gender equality in the Constitution.

Three women painting
Margaret McCampbell

A different kind of battle raged in Sarasota recently.

The participants came to the Art Ovation Hotel armed with palette knives, brushes, and tubes of paint.

A man and woman picking up trash
Jason Bartolone

City of Sarasota commissioners have voted in favor of an ordinance to ban Styrofoam and limit single-use plastic straws on city-owned property.

Plastic straws would still be available for people who specifically request them and the policy does not apply to private businesses. 

Manatee Literacy Council Executive Director Lillian Santiago Bauza and adult English language learner, Cecilia Cortez, a native of Colombia.
Cathy Carter

Public schools are known for helping children who don’t speak English as a native language. But there isn't as much focus on "English Language Learner" education for adults with a similar language barrier.

Everyday situations like filling out a job application, reading street signs or going to the doctor can be daunting for someone born in a non-English speaking country.

A hand holding a cellphone
Dorothy Joseph / Dorothyjoseph.com

If your child has a cellphone, odds are they spent a good part of their summer making videos on an app called TikTok or messaging their friends on Snapchat.  

But Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight says social media has made it easier than ever for online predators to contact kids.

Doctor treating a baby
iStock

Health officials have long touted the benefits of breastfeeding.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, human milk protects against a variety of diseases.

The "Big Latch-On" is an annual global effort to promote the benefits of breastfeeding to improve infant health. The goal is to educate mothers on best practices and to offer peer support.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

On a perfectly manicured practice field at the new Atlanta Braves spring training facility in North Port, dozens of girls from across the country are lined up for batting practice.

They are here for a girls baseball camp, and are being coached by members of the gold medal winning U.S Women’s Baseball World Cup team, players from Canada’s national team, and alumni from the World War II era, All American Girl's Professional Baseball League, which inspired the movie, "A League of their Own." 

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.


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. 

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.

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