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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

A statue of a sailor in uniform kissing a nurse in uniform
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

An iconic statue in Sarasota must be moved to make way for construction and there are strong opinions on whether it should return to its prominent location once the project is finished.

The 25-foot "Unconditional Surrender" statue stands near Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota.

Young African America woman smiles for the camera.
Giancarlo Osaben

Theaters across the region remain closed because of COVID-19. But some organizations have found ways to keep artists employed.

In Sarasota, Florida Studio Theatre used some of their federal coronavirus economic recovery money to launch the Playwrights Project. Local and national artists were tasked with creating an original play, sketch comedy show, or a cabaret.  The material generated will be considered for future productions at FST.

Manatee County administration bulding with an American Flag
Cathy Carter

Manatee County Commissioners in June approved a plan to provide millions of dollars in federal money for businesses and organizations hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

The first phase of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act --  is arriving through the State of Florida.

Downtown high rise with view of street and bay.
Sarasota City Government

Citing concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the city of Sarasota is joining a growing list of Florida cities that require the wearing of face masks in public spaces.

The Sarasota City Commission approved the measure at a special meeting on Monday.

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
iStock

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Two yellow school buses
Manatee County School District

For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manatee County's school board room has been closed to the public. Meetings have been broadcast online and on TV but public comments were only accepted by email.

people posing for a photo on a couch in a business
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters, we hear why Black Americans get arrested at a rate higher than other groups.

It's a very complex issue, and there there are many reasons - some believe they're overpoliced or targeted by police for no reason. One professor says it's the result of centuries of discrimination that are built into our culture.

Statue of woman raising hands to sun man stands next to her
Jennifer Rangubphai

This Friday is Juneteenth - a celebration to commemorate the end of slavery in America and groups across the Tampa Bay area will be recognizing the day.

African American mother and three daughters smile at camera.
Cathy Carter

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change.

Lorielle Hollaway is the owner of Cultured Books in St. Petersburg, a children's bookstore that focuses on sharing positive stories of diversity. Today we hear a conversation Hollaway recently had about race and social unrest with her older daughters--Nadia, 10 and Ava, who's 8.

Woman in white tank top smiling at camera with oak trees in background
Cathy Carter

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change.

Today, we meet Colleen Reed of St. Petersburg.

Reed is not participating in protests but her son and his family are in St. Paul Minnesota, the area where George Floyd died in police custody. She says she worries about them, but says her biggest fears are for her grandson who lives in Gulfport. Her daughter's son is 9 years old and biracial.

A county government building with American flag.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County residents who have lost their jobs or significant income because of the coronavirus can apply for help to pay rent, mortgage and utilities bills.

A college campus with main college welcome center
Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is closing its satellite location in Lakeland.  

The private Catholic university is based in Pasco County and operates remote locations in seven states.  Lakeland is one of 17  facilities slated to close over the next few months.

Trees and a plain of grass
SRQ360 Photography

The largest undeveloped property in Sarasota County will remain untouched as conservationists have sealed the deal on a decades-long quest to preserve the nearly 6,000 acres of land.

In February, the Florida State Cabinet voted to purchase Orange Hammock Ranch in North Port for $21 million. As part of the deal, the state agreed to spend $19.5 million in Florida Forever conservation money. For its part, The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast pledged to raise the remaining $1.5 million by June 1st.

Mother posing with toddler daughter who is looking through a camera lens
Sylwia Ok

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sylwia Ok from Sarasota.

The professional photographer opened a new studio just four months before the pandemic temporarily closed her business.  In her own words, Sylwia shares her story of navigating a business during the stay-at-home order and the joy of being able to spend more time with her young daughter.

Girl in costume on stage singing
Chuck Manahan

In early February, students in the Visual and Performing Arts program at Sarasota’s Booker High School had just begun rehearsals for their annual spring musical.

Launching the show “Seussical” was an especially exciting time for the seniors.

Beachgoers at the ocean
Visit Sarasota

By a 4-1 vote, Sarasota City Commissioners have decided to reopen Lido Beach.  

Waiter wearing mask waits on man and woman at restaurant patio.
City of Sarasota

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced expanded capacity for restaurants starting Monday, local communities are figuring out how to enact those orders. 

Under the governor's directive, restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. They can also expand outdoor service as long as there is a six foot distance between tables.

A field vista from Orange Hammock Ranch in Sarasota County
Everett Dennison

A deadline is fast approaching to preserve nearly 6,000 acres of land in Sarasota County. 

A smiling man holding a bike aloft
Rob of Sarasota

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Rob from Sarasota County. He's asked that we not use his last name. Rob was furloughed from his job last month. Before the pandemic, he had an active schedule filled with community events and volunteering.

In his own words, Rob shares some thoughts on the mundane "new normal" routines of staying at home, and his hopes for how his community responds to the country's re-opening.

A man and woman in blue scrubs and face shields near a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County commissioners have voted to purchase additional COVID-19 testing kits.  The move comes as the county continues to ramp up its testing capacity.

Woman playing a guitar and singing
SRQLive

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Sarasota based singer-songwriter Sara Nelms. Before the pandemic, Nelms had an active schedule with gigs at bars, restaurants and clubs.

In her own words, Nelms shares what it means to be a performer at this time of social distancing.

Health Care worker's hands holding COVID-19 testing kit.
Manatee County Government

Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sarasota Tuesday to discuss the state’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a new COVID-19 testing site at the University Town Center Mall, the governor said Florida is ramping up testing and loosening restrictions on who can get screened for the virus.

A beach with people sunbathing
Visit Sarasota

Sarasota's Lido Beach will remain closed for now but city owned boat ramps at Centennial Park and Ken Thompson Park have been reopened to the public.

Downtown high rise with view of street and bay.
Sarasota City Government

The City of Sarasota has approved a grant program aimed at helping small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative would help stabilize struggling small businesses with grants up to $5,000. Money would come from $2.2 million in economic development funds.

The grant program is still being finalized-- but will be eligible to businesses with 25 employees or fewer. Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis.

A woman wearing a purple sun visor sitting on a beach chair.
Jenifer Davis

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Debi Butler of Pinellas County.

Butler works part-time as a brand ambassador, helping promote products in Tampa Bay. Like many in the gig economy, her work has stopped for now.  But losing income wasn’t her biggest worry.

In her own words, Butler shares how Covid 19's demand on a drug is hurting her ability to treat her own illness.

2 people in medical scrubs and personal protective gear collect specimens from a car at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site.
Manatee County Government

Manatee County has had a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths when compared to the rest of the state.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of Thursday afternoon, 55 people in Manatee County died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That’s the fourth most in the state. Meanwhile, 580 people have tested positive for the virus which represents a 15.4 % presumptive positive test rate, compared to a statewide rate of 8.8%.

A green lifeguard stand on Siesta Beach, with a few people milling about.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Sarasota County Commissioners have voted to reopen beaches.

But there will be restrictions.

Beginning Monday, people will be able to walk, swim and fish at Sarasota County beaches. These are deemed as "essential activities" outlined by Governor Ron DeSantis' stay-at-home order.

Manatee County administration bulding with an American Flag
Cathy Carter

After almost two-and-a-half weeks, Manatee County Commisioners have lifted a temporary local curfew.

The board first voted to enact the measure on April 3. It was in effect every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

woman who was an elected official in Manatee County, Florida
Manatee County Government

Former Manatee County Commissioner Gwendolyn Brown has died from complications related to the coronavirus.

Brown, 68, was the county's first African-American commissioner.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 6 p.m. Sunday, April 19, according to the Florida Department of Health:

25,598 – Florida Residents | 9 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 716 – Non-Florida Residents | 774 – Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

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