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Hafsa Quraishi

News Intern

Hafsa Quraishi is a WUSF Public Media Stephen Noble radio news intern for spring 2018, after serving as a digital news intern in the fall of 2017.

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Hafsa moved to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida. She is now in her junior year, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, with a concentration in news-editorial reporting, and a minor in Psychology.

Ultimately, she would like to be a reporter at a major media network covering Muslim-American issues.

Malak Silmi was taking her first real journalism class last January when her professor said something that changed her life: Watch what you post on social media because it might just come back to bite you.

Silmi's Twitter account at the time was one she'd had since she was 14. It was a public profile with her content ranging from memes and status updates to opinions on foreign policy. But she decided something had to change if she wanted to be taken seriously as a journalist. So, she deactivated it.

As federal workers miss their first paychecks since the partial government shutdown began three weeks ago, frustration, anxiety and anger are rising.

Across the country this week, federal workers and industry leaders are starting to organize and rally to demand an end to the partial government shutdown.

"Trump, open the government — today," chanted the hundreds of federal employees and aviation industry executives gathered on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Counties across the Tampa Bay area are racing to meet the required Thursday 3 p.m. deadline to recount votes in three statewide elections.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

For most college students, Friday nights are a time to wind down and enjoy their youth. But for one group at the University of South Florida, it’s a time to give back to their community.

Project Downtown Tampa is a student organization that prepares and distributes food to the homeless once a week.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Madison Vogel had never organized a protest before.

But following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, the Osceola High School senior got together with 35 other Pinellas County students and created a companion event to a national march against gun violence.

People board a HART bus.
HART

Jeffrey Seward, interim CEO of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), is in Washington D.C. to speak with congressional leaders about the importance of public transit.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Many school boards across Tampa Bay are voicing their opposition to a bill in the Florida legislature that would arm school personnel.

Crystal River Middle School

Dayanna Volitich is a Citrus County teacher who has been removed from the classroom in response to the discovery that she hosts a white nationalist podcast.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott outlined his recently unveiled safety plan at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Wednesday. The proposed $500 million plan calls for new laws that keep guns from mentally ill people and improve school safety, among other measures.

The move comes in response to the school shooting in Parkland two weeks ago that killed 17 people. 

Wikimedia Commons

Residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties will vote on whether or not to support their respective school through property taxes in a special election on March 20.

Port Tampa Bay

A shipment of Chiquita bananas arrived at Port Tampa Bay last week, making it the first perishable product received by the port in over two decades.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

If you love maps, there's a new display at the Tampa Bay History Center that you're going to want to check out.

The museum is working with the University of South Florida to showcase more than 6,000 historic maps and charts of Florida leading back to the 1400's.

Sarasota County Schools

Officials with Sarasota County Schools are reaching out to the community for their thoughts and suggestions on how to improve the school's security in preparation for a meeting with Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday.

Barely 24 hours into the campaign, the district had already received nearly 400 responses.

A bill that would have allowed the city of Tampa to increase its water supply has dried up in the state legislature. Some feared it would have reignited the area's water wars.

Office of Rep. Kathy Castor

A Tampa woman who sprang into action to help Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria will attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Gasparilla, Tampa's annual celebration of pirates, will be taking place Saturday, and Mayor Bob Buckhorn sees it as a signature event for his city.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It's that time of year again, matey. Gasparilla, Tampa's annual pirate festival and parade, will be taking place this Saturday for swashbucklers and buccaneers alike.

Go easy on the bottle of rum, however, because law enforcement will be cracking down on drinking, whether you're on land or sea.

Charleston Gazette-Mail

University of South Florida St. Petersburg alum, journalist Eric Eyre, will be returning to St. Pete later this week to give a lecture.

During the free public event, titled “Sustained Outrage,” Eyre will be discussing his Pulitzer Prize-winning reports on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.

David Hinkle / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The year that just ended was a deadly one for manatees in Florida.

Preliminary data shows that 538 manatees were found dead in Florida waterways last year, according to state officials.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Tampa Police have arrested a fast-food worker they believe is connected to the shooting deaths of four people in the city.

Tampa Police Department

The Seminole Heights killer claimed a fourth victim Tuesday morning. Ronald Felton was waiting for the food pantry where he volunteers to open when he was shot. The shooter is still unknown, but police are working to identify him – and a motivation - although that may prove difficult.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Police are scouring Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood, one day after a man was gunned down on Nebraska Avenue. It was the fourth murder in a month in the area north of downtown Tampa.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

Students at the University of South Florida held a moment of silence and were asked to sign a pledge to take measures to prevent hazing, just days after another state university temporarily banned Greek life due to the death of a fraternity pledge.

Kyanna Riggins / WUSF Public Media

Volunteers from the Suncoast Animal League returned from their rescue trip in Puerto Rico Tuesday  night.

Along with them came more than 100 dogs and cats who were unable to be properly cared for due to the limited resources available following Hurricane Maria.

FEMA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are partnering together to offer disaster assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor held a different kind of coffee shop talk in Tampa on Wednesday, discussing the student debt crisis with the people it directly affects - a group of college students and graduates.

Caribbean American Civic Movement

Groups in the Tampa Bay area are mounting humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico and holding fundraisers for victims following Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

The Florida Department of Education is being sued over allegations it shortchanged teachers when it paid bonuses awarded by the Legislature, costing the state's best educators hundreds of dollars each.
Wikimedia Commons

In the past decade, Puerto Rico has seen over 10 percent of their population leave for Florida and other parts of the U.S. mainland due to a deep economic crisis. This number is expected to spike as Tampa Bay area schools prepare for an influx of displaced students from Puerto Rico in the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Amazon.com

Amazon, the nation’s most valuable retailer, recently announced its search for a location to set up their second national headquarters, or HQ2. Dozens of major metropolitan areas are competing to score this Holy Grail of deals, including Tampa Bay.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Hurricane Irma has passed, and some Floridians impacted by the storm have to rebuild – not only their homes, but their lives.

When a natural disaster as unpredictable as Irma hits, the main concern is getting people to a safe place and making sure they have enough resources to manage through the storm. However, once the immediate danger has passed, the next step is to recover and move forward.

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