Cathy Carter


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

Ways to Connect

Young children with face masks standing in front of the Boys & Girls Club in Sarasota.
Cliff Roles

Health care professionals and first responders are facing the strain of fighting the coronavirus at work while scrambling to arrange for child care at home. According to a new study, the US health care system appears disproportionately prone to labor shortages from school closures.  

In Sarasota County, a dozen public and nonprofit partners have teamed up to open safe spaces for the children of essential workers.  

Woman in deep sea diving gear floating beneath ocean surface
Mission Blue

Sylvia Earle has lived underwater as an aquanaut, walked the sea floor at a depth of over 1,200 feet and has led more than 100 ocean expeditions. The first female chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grew up in Dunedin and says her decades of diving have offered her an up-close view of the degradation of the world’s oceans.

Following a 3 hour-long emergency meeting, Manatee County Commissioners have approved a resolution to create a temporary curfew.

A man speaks to a crowd sitting at tables in an elegant ballroom
Cliff Roles

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, non-profits have taken a financial hit in the heart of fundraising season.

Over the past three weeks, dozens of non-profits have had to cancel or postpone annual charity events, possibly missing out on millions of dollars.


St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has reiterated his call for Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide stay at home order.

A bag of Covid-19 testing supplies
Manatee County Department of Health

Sarasota County has opened a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site but like others locations across the region, resources are very limited.

A male and female medical officials take a medical test sample from a person in a car at a drive-thru sitesample
Manatee County Government

The Florida Department of Health announced the first positive case of COVID-19 in Manatee County on March 1.

Twenty-five days later, the county is opening its first drive-thru testing site. The four-day event starts Thursday and is limited to 200 people with an appointment and a doctor's prescription.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Fresh Take Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said that Florida's Surgeon General Scott Rivkees will be issuing a new health advisory in response to the coronavirus.

People 65 and older, and anyone with underlying medical conditions, will be asked to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

A woman and two men stand in front of a restaurant kitchen.
Cathy Carter

The restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many other states, Governor Ron DeSantis recently issued an executive order that blocks Florida restaurants from serving food in their dining rooms.

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The coronavirus death toll in Florida now stands at nine.

According to information released at 6 p.m. Thursday by the Florida Department of Health, the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state jumped by over 100 in one day.

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

Sarasota and Manatee counties will close all public beaches amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus.

Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor's Office

Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that supply delays are slowing the state's ability to ramp up testing for COVID-19.

Woman and man stand next to Vote sign
Cathy Carter

As Floridians continue social distancing, many others headed out to the polls on Primary Day.

Before heading into Lakewood Ranch Town Hall to vote, Karen Toney of Bradenton took a minute to snap a selfie. The 27-year old said, yes, she was a bit concerned about venturing out -- but not enough to stop her from casting her ballot. 

Gov Ron Desantis at podium during a press conference
Facebook Live

Florida students will not return to classes until after April 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, all remaining testing will be cancelled for the remainder of the school year and there will be no school grades released for the 2019-2020 school year.


Manatee County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes as the total cases in Manatee County climbed to five over the weekend.

Priest pours wine into a chalice

As the spread of coronavirus worsens, faith leaders across Florida are taking steps to keep followers safe and that includes making changes to worship services.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg – which has 74 parishes in the region — has issued new directives in response to the virus.

Boxes of donations in the airport hangar of Agape flights in Venice.
Agape Flights

Inside a Venice airport hangar, about a dozen volunteers for Agape Flights have run into a problem. They need to load a generator on to a cargo plane but it’s on a forklift and the driver can't quite maneuver around several large pallets of bottled water.

Photo of Wendy Sherman and Yamiche Alcindor on stage.
Robert Pope

Ambassador Wendy Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs during the Obama administration.

She was also an advisor to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

On Monday, the former diplomat was in Sarasota to speak on foreign policy issues as part of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.

Photo of Charles & Margery Barancik
Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

Sarasota Police have completed the fatal crash investigation which killed well-known philanthropists Charles and Margery Barancik.

The couple died in December after a Longboat Key Police SUV collided with the Barancik's Tesla. Charles Barancik, 91, died the night of the crash. His wife Margery, 83, suffered serious injuries and was transported from the scene to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she died the next day.

Bob Woodward at lectern.
Clifford Roles

Investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward of the Washington Post spoke in Sarasota Monday.

Perhaps best known for teaming up with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein in uncovering the Watergate scandal, Woodward has also written books about the last nine U.S Presidents.

The movie industry’s marquee celebration happens on Sunday and there’s a good chance former students from Sarasota’s Ringling College of Art & Design will be a part of the team behind some of the award-winning films.

Wiki Commons


On the final day of public comment Tuesday, Sarasota City officials spoke out against a proposed fish farm off the coast of Sarasota.

Last summer, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft permit for a pilot aquaculture project in the Gulf of Mexico.

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

State leaders have agreed to acquire more than 5,000 acres of land in Sarasota County for conservation.

Environmentalists have long had their eyes on Orange Hammock Ranch in North Port because of its proximity to other preserved lands in the Myakka River watershed.

A female and male volunteer with clipboards of surveys for the Point-In-Time Count.
Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

People are lined up at 'Our Daily Bread' food pantry in Bradenton, and Maureen Mack of Turning Points, a local non-profit that helps the homeless, is giving directions to a group of volunteers for the annual Point-in-Time Count.

Close-up photo of man wearing hat, speaking.
Robert Pope

The first thing former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly addressed in Sarasota was the hat. It's unusual to see the retired Marine general wearing a baseball cap as he did on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, but as he told the audience, he recently had a run-in involving a chainsaw and a tree in his backyard.

Photo of Hedda Sharapan
Desiree Deli

Hedda Sharapan worked with Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, but one thing in particular stands out. It was a typical day on the set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and the cameras were rolling when the beloved host started buttoning one his signature sweaters.  

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Todd Rosenberg

The Sarasota Concert Association was launched in 1938 with a mission to bring affordable world-class musicians to Sarasota. 

This year, the long-running cultural group is celebrating its 75th anniversary.


A proposed fish farm in federal waters is nearing its next regulatory hurdle. On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public hearing on the proposal at Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium in Sarasota. 

Westcoast Center for Human Development Church with Henry Porter mugshot inset

A man who led a Sarasota church for more than 40 years has been charged with an additional count of sexual battery of a child under 12. Police say the second charge stems from abuse a victim says took place between April and November 1990.