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Kerry Sheridan

Reporter/Host

Kerry Sheridan is a reporter and co-host of All Things Considered at WUSF Public Media.

Prior to joining WUSF, she covered international news, health, science, space and environmental issues for Agence France-Presse from 2005 to 2019, reporting from the Middle East bureau in Cyprus, followed by stints in Washington and Miami.

Kerry earned her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2002, and was a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship for Cultural Reporting.

She got her start in radio news as a freelancer with WFUV in the Bronx in 2002. Since then, her stories have spanned a range of topics, including politics, baseball, rocket launches, art exhibits, coral reef restoration, life-saving medical research, and more.

She is a native of upstate New York, and currently lives with her husband and two children in Sarasota.

You can reach Kerry via email at sheridank@wusf.org, on Twitter @kerrsheridan or by phone at 813-974-8663.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

A graphic showing 3,763 cases of coronavirus
Florida Department of Health

Three more people in Pinellas County have died from coronavirus, bringing the county’s total death toll so far to four, as the state of Florida reported a new record leap in coronavirus cases – 863 more in a day -- officials said Saturday.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

Hospital building at night
Wikimedia Commons

As the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to grow exponentially, some predictive models show things could get bad, fast. Many hospitals are gearing up for a possible surge in sick patients.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

At 6 p.m. Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported a 46-year-old man from Pasco County had died.

But just before 10 p.m., the Department retracted that and released a statement saying, "This was reported in error, there were no new fatalities in Florida associated with COVID-19 as of 6 p.m." 

An aerial picture of Clearwater beach.
Pinellas County Marketing and Communications

The Clearwater City Council voted Wednesday 4-1 to close public beaches for two weeks over fears of coronavirus -- but the order doesn't begin until Monday morning.

picture of the front of a courthouse
Sixth Judicial Circuit

Florida's Chief Justice Charles Canady late Tuesday ordered state circuit court judges to cancel, postpone or reschedule all but "essential" court proceedings. The stricter measures aim to limit the number of people crowding into courtrooms, after lawyers complained of dangerous conditions due to coronavirus. In addition, one courthouse employee in Miami has tested positive for COVID-19.

a stock picture of the coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus has upended daily life, and for those who care for children, it can be hard to know what to say, or how to explain. WUSF’s Kerry Sheridan spoke with Dr. Judith Bryant, a USF professor of psychology who specializes in child development, for advice on answering their toughest questions.

Local public schools are preparing for online learning in case they have to close due to coronavirus.

Congressman Vern Buchanan at podium
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

As the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to rise, Congressman Vern Buchanan on Monday said the pace of testing is still too slow and called for more transparency from health officials.

People sit at a line of computers to learn about property risk
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF Public Media

Coastal flood zones across Florida are changing, and many property owners across Florida are seeing their flood risk go up – or down – for the first time in 40 years.

These Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps recalculate the risk of what’s often called a 100-year flood.

Three doctors stand at a podium during a press conference.
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF Public Media

Fourteen patients have tested negative for coronavirus at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, officials said Thursday.

hospital sign and hospital building
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

A prominent Sarasota infectious disease doctor has placed himself in self-quarantine at home after he treated a Manatee County man with coronavirus last week, officials said Wednesday.

Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

Local hospitals are preparing for the possibility of a surge in coronavirus cases. At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, officials on Tuesday said about a dozen people are awaiting test results for coronavirus, after testing negative for flu and other common viruses that cause similar symptoms including coughing, fever and shortness of breath.

Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

One of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tampa Bay area is a patient who has no recent history of travel. 

The man is in his 60s, and is a resident of Manatee County. His name has not been released.

Addison Davis, 43, was previously superintendent of Clay County Schools.
Hillsborough County Schools

Hillsborough County Schools formally approved a contract for its new superintendent Tuesday.

Addison Davis will be paid $310,000 per year. That's $85,000 more than his predecessor, Jeff Eakins.

NPR has launched the second annual Student Podcast Challenge, which invites students in 5th through 12th grade to submit their own podcast for a chance to have it air on NPR.

CORRECTION: In an interview published today by WUSF, an opponent to proposed changes in Florida education standards incorrectly stated when the changes could be implemented. WUSF did not verify this information with the Florida Department of Education, which is our normal reporting practice.

The Department says there will be no changes to statewide assessments or the school grades calculation in the 2019-2020 school year. The department also provided a link to a website with details of the implementation plan for English-Language arts and math.

pic of school board meeting
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF

The Sarasota County School Board on Tuesday voted to award a $305,000 settlement to an employee who said she was sexually harassed by her boss.

More than a hundred, mostly retired, part-time musicians from around the country gathered last week in Sarasota to revive what some fear is a dying art – live circus music. These elder musicians hope to pass the mantle to a younger generation of performers.

A decades-old sex abuse investigation into a retired Sarasota pastor is raising questions about Florida's statute of limitations law and how it affects a victim's search for justice.

When police arrested Henry Porter earlier this month, they said they knew about his alleged victims for years. But the statute of limitations prevented them from making an arrest.

Poverty has long been an obstacle to reading. A new program called the Big Plan aims to boost reading scores by giving extra, individual attention to a select group of young readers who are close to reading at their grade level, but not quite there.

A total of 14 victims have come forward, alleging that former bishop Henry Lee Porter, Sr. 72, sexually abused them, in a case that detectives began investigating 30 years ago, the Sarasota Police Department said Wednesday. 

Women are making gains in the boardroom. More than 20 percent of boardroom seats across the country are now held by women, up from an average of 17.7 percent in 2018.

Whenever asked about her secret to longevity, the answer is not one that’s generally expected.

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.  

Hundreds of people gathered at a candlelight vigil Monday night, running 800 meters in honor of Mohammed Haitham, a 19-year-old former track star and aspiring pilot from St. Petersburg who was killed in a mass shooting at Pensacola Naval Base earlier this month. 

Members of the Lakewood High cross country team with Mohammed Haitham.
Courtesy of Carrie Pratt

Nineteen-year-old Mohammed Haitham was one of three people killed on Friday at the Pensacola Naval Base. Over the weekend, family and friends remembered the St. Petersburg native as an avid runner who loved to make others laugh, and who had recently decided to follow in his mother's footsteps by joining the military.

  

Fifty years ago, a college football game in Tampa helped change the course of race relations in America. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29, 1969, a predominantly white school played an all black university in the Deep South for the first time.

Assistant professor at USFSP Heather Judkins
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

 Editors Note: This story originally aired on July 31, 2019

Sailing on a research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico last month to study deep sea creatures that make their own light – like jellyfish, anglerfish and shrimp – a team of scientists worked long hours and grabbed naps when they could.

One day, around noon, University of South Florida St. Petersburg marine biologist Heather Judkins was about to doze off for a couple of hours when she heard a knock on the door.

“I love pods of dolphins. But I was like, I hope they are not waking me up for a pod of dolphins,” Judkins recalled.

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