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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.

A Burmese python was captured in this photo beneath the nest of white ibis in Everglades National Park near Tamiami Trail.
Sophie Orzechowski / UF/IFAS

Researchers say invasive Burmese pythons are threatening wading bird nests in the Florida Everglades. 

The Gulf of Mexico Bryde's whales are genetically distinct. They're a unique subspecies compared to other Bryde's whales worldwide. They have low genetic diversity. It's critical for populations and species to have genetic diversity for survival.
NOAA Fisheries

Members of Congress want the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale to be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Pixabay/heronworks

State wildlife officials are drafting a rule to protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal trapping. Officers are seeing an increase in bird trafficking for the pet industry.

Southwest Florida Water Management District- Facebook

After 31 years with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brandt Henningsen has retired as Chief Advisory Environmental Scientist.  

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Patchy toxic blooms have been hanging around the Gulf of Mexico for more than a year now, killing fish and other marine life.

State wildlife officials said this has been the busiest red tide event in recent memory.

FWC website

The latest red tide report shows high concentrations of the toxic algae blooms in Sarasota and Collier counties. This nearly 16-month red tide event has killed more sea turtles than ever recorded.

Respiratory irritation related to red tide was also reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

Seabird specialists say that toxic red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico affect every species differently. Some shore birds are affected later than others.

Kristen Hare

The holidays are coming up, and a new book shows that Tampa Bay area residents don't have to go too far to get a vacation experience.  

beachesupdate.com

Pinellas County is publishing regular respiratory forecasts for its beaches online, as toxic red tide blooms still linger.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The state's latest report released Wednesday shows red tide blooms are persisting in three regions of Florida. 

Citrus County Sheriff's Office / Twitter

Hurricane Michael's effects are being felt in the Tampa Bay region. WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Spectrum Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay about areas of concern.

Pixabay Creative Commons

A Florida group is planning to use settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill toward projects along the state's gulf coast. It was a collaboration among 23 counties from the panhandle to the Keys.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

State wildlife officials reported this past Friday that elevated levels of the organism Karenia brevis are persisting along Florida's gulf coast, which is creating toxic red tide algae blooms from Pinellas County down to Collier County.

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF

There’s a village in rural Guatemala where women are selling hand-sewn reusable menstrual pads. It’s a product medical experts say is necessary in some impoverished areas because women and girls cannot afford disposable pads. 

Pixino.com

A new report shows that the rate of suicide is increasing in Florida, and across the country. It comes as the nation mourns the suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion icon Kate Spade. WUSF's Jessica Meszaros spoke with the director of organzational development for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Mordecai Dixon, about what the rise means.

Federal agriculture officials are now making a couple billion dollars available to growers, including those in Florida who were affected by Hurricane Irma... seven months after the storm. 

High school students in Immokalee, who are on the college track, are earning scholarship dollars by tutoring elementary school kids in their community. As part of the program, the teenagers also have adult mentors who advise them throughout their adolescence. 

A Lee County Circuit court judge will decide in about a week if Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam can continue denying reimbursement to residents for their healthy citrus trees his department removed. 

Researchers say invasive Burmese pythons are depleting so many animals in the Everglades, mosquitoes there are mainly biting a species of rat that carries a virus dangerous to humans. 

Hurricane Irma destroyed farms and groves all around Hendry County. An agriculture expert says 78 percent of the adult population in Hendry works in the ag industry.  Irma damages will affect everyone from growers to grocery stores.

Florida health officials say after major storms and natural disasters, there’s an increase of carbon monoxide poisoning cases, and they're informing people why and how to prevent it aheadof Hurricane Irma. 

As major Hurricane Irma makes its way to Florida, farmers across the state have to prepare their lands.

UPDATE: Manatee County removed the Confederate monument in front of the county courthouse at 3:30 AM Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. A county press release says the statue was broken during removal, and is now in an undisclosed place. 

After a few hundred protesters marched through downtown Bradenton Monday evening, Manatee County commissioners voted Tuesday to remove a Confederate statue from the front of the Manatee County courthouse. Although there were multiple heated interactions and three arrests, the protest ended peacefully.

Activists plan to peacefully protest a Confederate monument in the city of Bradenton on Monday evening. But after a white supremacist rally in Virginia over a similar issue turned deadly, Manatee County law enforcement officials said they want to make sure the public is safe. 

At Lee County’s regular commission meeting Tuesday morning, locals used the public comment period to voice their opinions about removing Confederate memorials in public spaces. People spoke for and against the move.

The Florida Supreme Court will not overturn the governor’s vetoes of money the state owes some residents for destroying their citrus trees. However, justices did appear to agree the homeowners are due their compensation.

It’s rare to see an unfiltered night sky in many parts of Florida. Artificial lights in highly populated areas, like Fort Myers or Miami, cover up views of constellations and the Milky Way. But, Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is now an “International Dark Sky Park.” That means the preserve removed unnecessary lights. And the ones they kept were changed to be “night sky friendly” by using different bulbs or making the lights point down to the ground, rather than up to the sky.

Residents in Lee and Broward Counties took Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida Supreme Court this week. They’re trying to overturn Scott’s vetoes of state money owed to them after agriculture officials destroyed their healthy citrus trees. The homeowners also took the state’s agriculture commissioner to lower courts.

Children in rural Hendry County are training wild horses, making them suitable for adoption. They’re challenged to discipline 12 mustangs from Nevada in 100 days. But since Gov. Rick Scott just vetoed state funding for their club, the group predicts a future financial struggle. Let's go to the ranch in LaBelle where the kids are taming these wild animals. 

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