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Jessica Meszaros

Reporter/Host

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media.

She’s been a voice on public radio stations across Florida since 2012 - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.

Jessica’s writing, reporting, and hosting has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In June 2018, she was named the recipient of RTDNA’s N.S. Bienstock Fellowship for promising minority journalists in radio.

Jessica graduated from Florida International University in Miami, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from FIU's Honors College.

Contact Jessica at 813-974-8635, on Twitter @JMMeszaros or by email at jmmeszaros@wusf.org.

COURTESY: HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

The coronavirus test site at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is no longer taking appointments.

iStock

Homeless centers in Florida are having to turn people away people right now. Some who lost their jobs because of coronavirus are now also losing their chances for shelter.

Drive-thru testing tent
Courtesy: Hillsborough County

Demand is already high as Raymond James Stadium in Tampa opened this morning for drive-thru coronavirus testing.

A coronavirus screening site at the villages
University of Florida Health

The University of Florida Health Shands Hospital and the state are running a new COVID-19 testing site that could determine how prevalent the disease is among asymptomatic people.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has significantly reduced its jail population after detainees were forced to sleep on the floor because the Florida Department of Corrections stopped accepting inmates from county jails.

CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Gas prices are dropping below $2 per gallon in some areas of Florida, including Tampa Bay.

There's two reasons for that, according to AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

iStock

Officials with Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa have been identifying locations to open drive-through testing sites for coronavirus.

Big, colorful parrot fish sculpture just outside of The Floida Aquarium.
Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

A 10-foot tall cheery-looking sculpture named Priscilla the Parrot Fish is the new greeter at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. A closer look shows Priscilla is made of discarded toy rakes and shovels, damaged buoys and woven aluminum cans. They're all pollutants gathered from our oceans.

A right whale emerging from the water.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

North Atlantic right whales – already the most endangered large whale species in the world – are becoming even more at risk as rising sea temperatures make it harder to find food or safe waters.

Two colossal oyster shells on a person's hand. The top shell is two-thirds the size of the bottom shell.
Jessica Meszaros

Colossal oysters, which once thrived in Florida's northern Gulf Coast, are shrinking in size and in numbers. Scientists at the University of South Florida published a study in the journal Biology Letters on Feb. 5 that examines this loss. 

Help For Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET
VA.gov

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, wants to know why thousands of housing vouchers for homeless veterans were not used last year. The congressman sent a letter to two federal agencies Thursday demanding answers.

Florida's red tide task force has finalized its recommendations for solutions to the toxic algae blooms and plans to deliver them to lawmakers later this week. 

A fungus has taken over some strawberry fields in Florida. One grower lost as many as 80 acres in Manatee County.

The red tide blooms, which began to surface off Florida's west coast around October 2019, seem to have cleared out for now. They caused respiratory irritations for people, and fishkills along the Gulf of Mexico. Health News Florida's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Kate Hubbard, a researcher with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Map of current red tide status showing no elevated levels, as of Jan. 14.
FWC website

Florida's task force to combat red tide plans to finalize some ideas for the state legislature soon. 

A 10-day competition to remove invasive Burmese pythons from public lands in South Florida begins Friday, Jan. 10. 

With the Atlantic Hurricane season over, experts are already reminding us to protect our properties for next year. Some of the advice involves landscaping your yard.

Florida's oyster business is making a slow comeback. Apalachicola Bay in the Panhandle used to be known for its oyster fisheries until it all collapsed less than a decade ago. Growers are having some success using a new way to farm.

State health officials are funding a study to explore the relationship between human health and algae bloom toxins. 

Holiday traditions take shape in many forms, and this week on Florida Matters, we take a look at some of our WUSF staff's favorite family holiday traditions.  

“So this is what my childhood tastes like.”

Researchers with the Nature Conservancy, Risk Management Solutions and UC Santa Cruz looked at how mangroves helped protect some Florida counties from damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The recent study found that mangroves reduce flood damages to properties by 25 percent.

The holidays provide extra time for fishing along the Gulf coast, but some popular species are not for keeps due to red tide.

The Burmese python has come a long way from once being a beloved household pet, to now a top predator in Florida's wild.

A study on Florida's east coast shows these invasive snakes have decimated the small mammal population in the Everglades. An expert in python research says warming temperatures could be a factor in their rise. 

Toxic red tide algae is starting to bloom along Florida’s west coast again. State wildlife officials say elevated levels have been detected recently from Pinellas to Collier counties, and people in Sarasota County have also been experiencing respiratory irritations.

Now, new research is looking into longterm health effects of the toxins, including neurological issues.

A toxic red tide bloom persists along Florida's Gulf Coast from low concentrations in Pinellas County to high concentrations in Collier County.

Florida scientists launched an experiment Thursday morning using a small bug they believe will be a game-changer in controlling Brazilian peppertrees across the state.

A recent study by the University of Florida may help prevent the spread of a disease that's damaging tomatoes globally.

Nearly 30 vulnerable bird species that call Florida home could lose more than half of their current range due to climate change and sea level rise, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is receiving nearly $20 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program.

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