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Delaney Brown

News Intern

Delaney Brown is the WUSF Stephen Noble news intern for the spring 2020 semester, her second semester with WUSF.

Originally from West Palm Beach, Delaney moved to St. Petersburg to study journalism and history at the USF St. Petersburg campus. During her time at the university, Delaney has worked as a staff reporter and general editor for The Crow’s Nest while competing with the nationally ranked sailing team.

Delaney credits her passion for journalism to all the early mornings spent listening to Morning Edition with her dad, and is now excited to spend the semester learning to find her radio voice at WUSF.

Geoffrey Watters headshot
Courtesy of Geoffrey Watters

While some groups are at a higher risk for COVID-19, no one is immune from the spread of the disease.

University of South Florida senior Geoffrey Watters is recovering from a mild case of COVID-19, just in time to graduate this month. But the 22-year-old still has concerns about others who may not be as lucky.

CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT

Beach goers can return to the sand in Pinellas County this morning, but don't expect it to get too crowded.

A white sign says "business is open"
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

In two unanimous votes, the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners decided Friday to extend the local state of emergency while allowing some businesses to resume in accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis’s plan to reopen the state.

Tampa Bay skyline at sunset
Visit Tampa Bay

State and local officials are optimistic that Florida may be past the peak of coronavirus infection, but a new report from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council shows that the six area counties are going to take longer to financially recover than most parts of the country.

Coral resembling a brain sits at the bottom of the ocean.
The Florida Aquarium / The Florida Aquarium

When it comes to finding a proper mate, Florida’s ridged cactus corals have the odds stacked against them. Between rising water temperatures, coastal pollution, and disease they’re practically doomed from the start.

But marine biologists at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium are trying to turn the tides in the coral’s favor by learning how to breed them in captivity.  

crowd in stands at Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays

The Pinellas County School District and Tampa Bay Rays are working to ensure area high school seniors receive a traditional graduation ceremony at Tropicana Field.

graduates in blue caps and gowns sit in a large cluster, presumably mid ceremony
Creative Commons

Amid uncertainty about the coronavirus and the continuation of social distancing, school officials in Polk County are offering its more than 5,800 seniors the chance to vote on the format for their graduation ceremonies.

Among the options: rescheduling the traditional ceremony, a virtual recognition, or a drive-thru graduation.

animated zombie children
World's Largest Zombie Movie

Grade school children around the world are turning into zombies - and it's not because they're getting too much screen time. 

Kids stuck at home due to the coronavirus are donning their goriest makeup and practicing their best zombie shuffle for the making of the World’s Largest Zombie Movie.

arm holding a bunch of plastic tools.
Courtesy: USF Health

Funding medical research can be difficult in the best of times – let alone during a pandemic.

But donations to the University of South Florida’s Pandemic Research and Response Fund are helping the school’s research teams and front-line workers combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Welcome mat with the text  "Fighting Chance Fund" overlaid
Courtesy of City of St. Petersburg

The City of St. Petersburg announced a $6.8 million grant program for local businesses designed to help small business owners and employees get through the economic impact of stay-at-home orders.

The Fighting Chance Fund will provide $5,000 grants for local businesses, while employees who have been laid-off or furloughed during the pandemic may receive up to $500 in aid.

walker next to nursing home bed.
iStock

Senior citizens in Pinellas and Pasco may soon have low-sodium Chinese food delivered right to their doorstep.

The Area Agency on Aging of Pinellas-Pasco “Dining Out at Home” program plans to connect seniors staying at home because of the coronavirus with freshly cooked meals from local restaurants.

sign on a business door
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Small businesses feeling the impact of coronavirus caused shutdowns and local stay-at-home measures may be eligible for emergency loans through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

At the same time, tens of thousands of Floridians are filing for unemployment benefits.

Edsby error message
COURTESY: DONNA CLARK

If you're having trouble logging into your child's Edsby account, you're not alone.

As Hillsborough County schools make the switch to remote instruction, teachers and parents are having trouble logging into the county's online learning platform.

Bull statues on USF Tampa campus
Carl Lisciandrello/WUSF Public Media

State officials made the decision to cancel all in-person classes for the remainder of the school term.  

Schools and universities across the Tampa Bay area are now having to gear up for the transition to online instruction.

Tourists at Clearwater Beach.
WUSF Public Media

As Democrats across the state head to the polls Tuesday for the Democratic Presidential primary, Clearwater residents will have an additional choice to make: who will serve as the city’s next mayor.

A man walks by an empty patio outside of The Tavern
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

Local businesses are starting to feel the impact of coronavirus.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to continue social distancing, some local businesses are seeing a traffic slow down as a result.

Courtesy: Road to the White House

Over the years, college-age voters have been accused by some of being apathetic when it comes to politics. Two groups of University of South Florida students are trying to flip that narrative.

Carnival cruise ship docked at the Port of Tampa
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

As cases of coronavirus continue to pop-up on cruise ships, the U.S. State Department is urging travelers - especially those with underlying medical conditions - to stay ashore.

But as passengers at the Port of Tampa embarked on their vacations Monday, the only visible sign of concerns about COVID-19 came from a bachelorette party debating the best brand of hand sanitizer.

A woman and child sit
Courtesy of Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services

The Tampa Bay area is becoming a popular location for refugee resettlement - there are more refugees per capita in Clearwater and Tampa than anywhere else in Florida. 

Man and woman speaking on stage
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

When it comes to affordable housing, public transportation and baseball’s future in the region, the mayors of the Tampa Bay Area's two largest cities are in agreement - for the most part.

The Tampa skyline
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

As Tampa's population grows, so does its need for affordable housing.

Mayor Jane Castor describes the lack of affordable housing options as a result of simple supply and demand: as the city's population increases, so does the cost of rent, pricing out some longtime residents.

Public school teachers advocating for increased pay have found an ally in the Florida business community. 

Members of both the Council of 100 and the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council have grown vocal in their support of increasing teacher salaries. 

Addressing community concerns with its initial plan, Sarasota’s Selby Gardens has announced its amended expansion proposal.

The initial plan was rejected in a 3-2 city commission vote Nov. 5 after area residents raised issues with the height of the parking garage, evening noise from the proposed roof-top restaurant, and the potential for increased traffic.

Some have called Gasparilla "Mardi Gras without the Catholicism," and what would either of those celebrations be without an abundance of beads?

But long after the floats are packed and the krewes have gone home - the plastic trinkets are still there.

More than 300,000 people are expected to line Bayshore Boulevard on Saturday for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, the Tampa Bay area’s annual parade.

Tampa Police will be stationed along the parade route to ensure public safety, but Chief Brian Dugan says parade-goers can do their part to make the event safe and enjoyable for all.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to break out the pirate costumes, line Bayshore Boulevard, and beg for beads Saturday for the Children's Gasparilla Parade and Jan. 25 for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. 

State lawmakers are set to consider legislation that would mandate increased safety measures for bus drivers and strengthen criminal penalties for passengers who become violent. 

Suzanne Young

St. Petersburg city council members say it's time for property owners to do their part in fixing the city's sewage woes.

After a public hearing on Thursday, Council members approved a measure by a 7 to 1 vote that encourages homeowners to fix leaky pipes on their property.

Canned foods line the shelves of the food pantry on the USF St. Petersburg campus.
Delaney Brown

When Heather Howard cut ties with her parents last year, the University of South Florida senior suddenly found herself wondering where she would find her next meal.

“I had like a survival mindset. I felt like I had just been abandoned in the woods, and I had to just make do with what I had,” she said. “I was looking up plants I could forage. I was desperate.”

Google Earth

The Florida Department of Education is investigating the Sarasota County School District after a state judge found the district placed a number of children into programs reserved specifically for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

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