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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

Marion County Schools

Elementary school students in Marion County won't have any homework to do this school year.

Instead, the newly elected superintendent of the central Florida school district is asking families to read with their kids for at least 20 minutes a night.

Pixabay.com

The School Boards in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties have voted to authorize legal action to challenge a controversial new education bill.

Tampa Bay area school districts are still deciding whether to join them.

Cathy Carter

During a span of just two months in 2015, seven young black men were shot to death in St. Petersburg.

The murders were not connected.

But the random violence did serve as a clarion call for African-Americans and the community at large.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

At the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a dozen or so kindergartners gather for a pop quiz, next to a coop holding an injured bird.

Pixabay.com

The Florida Department of Education has released school grades for the 2016-17 school year.

Cathy Carter

Best known as a pioneer of modernist painting, Marc Chagall also worked with stained glass, tapestries and ceramics.

The world's most important museums display the artist's work, but it’s never been shown quite like the way it is right now at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Cathy Carter

There's little doubt that America is becoming more diverse.

Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the nation's public schools. But differences can extend beyond race and ethnicity, as students in Sarasota County are learning.

Courtesy Nathan Sawaya

Last year, visitors to Tampa’s Amalie Arena could "swim" in a million white plastic balls at an interactive exhibit called "The Beach.” 

Now, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is bringing another large-scale public art project to the city.

A towering oak tree draped with Spanish moss offers little relief from the Florida sun as Andrew Lumish scrubs grime from the headstone of a World War I veteran.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he says. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here."

Lumish, who has so far cleaned about 600 veterans' headstones, says he restores them out of respect for those who died and to learn about how they lived.

Pixabay.com

Recess has returned, but not for charter schools, and state testing will be limited to two weeks. Those are just two of the proposals lawmakers crammed into an education bill that capped off the end of the legislative session.

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According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

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Clearwater City Council voted unanimously Thursday to buy a prime piece of downtown real estate.

The 1.4-acre vacant lot next to City Hall was once intended to be the new home of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. But that plan was scrapped when the aquarium failed to raise enough money to build a new facility.

Wikimedia Commons

More than 4,000 people have weighed in on a plan that would change school schedules in Hillsborough County.

The average age when people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is falling. 

But a climate of growing acceptance doesn't necessarily translate to the current generation of teens wanting to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at school. To some, it's a place that still feels unsafe.

Courtesy Carlos Childs

The first thing you notice at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg are all the signs. An oversized poster reads "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses" in big block letters. A wooden plaque is inscribed in flowering cursive with the phrase, "Always Be Kind." The affirmations are just a part of an effort to transform the school's culture in the wake of a newspaper investigation on failing majority black schools in Pinellas County.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

Courtesy Melinda Hohman

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling concerning school testing in Florida.

The judgment is a major setback for the “Opt-Out” movement.

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Beginning this fall, Florida students can go to any public school in the state. Seen as a victory for proponents of school choice, the new law was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. It allows students to cross county borders as long as a school has room, and parents provide their own transportation. 

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


Lee Demorris

It’s family game night at Davis Elementary School in Clearwater, but there's not a Monopoly board or a Jenga block in sight. Instead, kids and parents are playing math games.

Kara Goldberg

After 10 years and 10 plays, an epic production in St. Petersburg will soon take its final bow.  

With its current production of “Joe Turner's Come and Gone" by August Wilson, American Stage is now one of just 12 theaters in the world to complete the late playwright's "American Century Cycle."

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Waving signs reading “Nasty Women Unite,” and “Choose Love,” thousands of marchers poured into downtown St. Petersburg Saturday to support women’s issues and civil rights. It was one of hundreds of “sister marches” happening the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as a protest to his agenda. 

Amy Weintraub

Organizers say an estimated 17,000 people plan to demonstrate in St. Petersburg Saturday.

The event is one of hundreds across the country that will coincide with the National Women's March on Washington.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

A St. Petersburg teacher was surprised with an award and a $25,000 prize during an all-school assembly Thursday.

Lukas Hefty, a science and math coordinator at Douglas Jamerson Jr. Elementary School, is Florida's only recipient of the national Milken Educator Awards. Its aim is to encourage early to mid-career education professionals.

Wiki Commons

Gender identity and bathroom use was a hot button issue in 2016. Last May, the Obama administration sent guidelines to the nation's public schools about restroom use for transgender students.

School districts - including several in Florida - have grappled with the issue. And the U.S. Supreme Court has now entered the debate agreeing to hear a case where a Virginia school district fought the directive.

Harrison McNeill/Flickr

The Pinellas County School District is investigating a trio of school bus accidents that occurred Tuesday.

On the first day back to school following winter break, one school bus driver was charged with a DUI after her bus was rear-ended.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic artists have long been part of the visual landscape in Florida and in other parts of the country. But often, Latino art is overlooked. That's why the Smithsonian American Art Museum is growing its collection of Latino art and created an exhibit to reflect America's evolving culture. That show is now on the road and currently in St. Petersburg. 

As 2016 winds down, we’re taking another listen to some of the best news stories we discussed on Florida Matters throughout the year.

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