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Mary Shedden

News Director

Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF Public Media, where she oversees a team of reporters covering 13 counties on Florida’s west coast.

A journalist for more than two decades, Mary arrived at WUSF in 2013, where she worked first as a reporter and then as editor of the Health News Florida journalism collaborative. She became news director in 2015.

Mary’s journalism has been recognized numerous times, including a 2016 national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio and Television Digital News Association for Health News Florida. Her work also has been honored by the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, and state and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Before joining WUSF, Shedden spent nearly 20 years at The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com, Florida Today and the Gainesville Sun, where she covered everything from the investigation of a serial killer to retired pro athletes in chronic pain.

Contact Mary at 813-974-8636, on twitter @MaryShedden or by email at shedden@wusf.org.

 

Ways to Connect

woman wearing mask wiping a table
istock

With more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 in Florida, governments across the state are looking at ways to stem the increase.

screengrab of  Facebook Live video
WUSF Public Media / WMFE / Facebook

Florida’s rapid rise in the number of coronavirus cases is derailing plans for some businesses to reopen.

bar graph of coronavirus cases
Florida Department of Health

Florida health officials reported more than 8,500 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, the fifth straight day the number of new cases surpassed 5,000.

Coronavirus Test Kit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

With more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in Florida now, public health experts are saying a second spike in infections is underway.

Donna Petersen is dean of the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. She says it's impossible to completely eliminate the illness, but wearing face coverings and keeping six feet apart from others really does help slow the spread.

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

Here are the latest figures as of Monday, June 22, according to the Florida Department of Health:

100, 217 — Positive Tests | 3,173 — Deaths

woman at podium next to a sign language interpreter
CITY OF TAMPA/FACEBOOK

Saying all police departments need to evolve to serve their communities better, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Friday announced the creation of a task force to recommend changes in city police policy and practice.

Preschool children at a table.
Kerry Sheridan/WUSF / WUSF Public Media

With the start of school just two months away, Governor Ron DeSantis is suggesting public schools return to campus for the fall semester.

covid-19 map
Florida Department of Health

Another 2,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Florida Sunday, the second-highest number of positive tests reported in a single day statewide since the pandemic began, according to the state Department of Health. 

Host Matthew Peddie (on right half of the screenshot) speaks with Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel (on left half of the screenshot).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Legoland officially reopened Monday and it offered some clues about what theme park fans might expect in the post-pandemic world.

Reporter Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel visited the Winter Haven park and says it's a lot like other businesses that are trying to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Thousands of people in the Tampa Bay region this weekend spoke out about the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

burned out building in a strip plaza with police tape in front of it.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Sunday afternoon issued a citywide curfew after peaceful protests this weekend ended with violence.

The curfew will last from 7:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice, Castor said during a press conference Sunday evening.

A yellow beach sign encourages people to stay six feet apart.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Memorial Day weekend is usually one of the busiest on Florida's beaches.

But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Friday that won't be the case this year. Speaking to reporters at an outdoor beach command center, he said Pinellas leaders want to make sure there's no spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

FPREN meteorologist Ray Hawthorne (on the left half of the screen) speaks with host Bradley George (on the right half of the screen) about the possible shape of this year's hurricane season.
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Changes Floridians have made as a result of coronavirus could turn out helping them during hurricane season.

Ray Hawthorne is a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. Hawthorne was a guest earlier today on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando. 

Chart showing positive cases of COID-19 in Florida
Florida Department of Health

Florida health officials confirmed Saturday that 44,811 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state; an increase of 673 people since Thursday.

Forty-eight new cases are in the Tampa Bay area.

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

bulldozer figthing forest fire
Florida Forest Service

The Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in Pasco County reopened Saturday morning after firefighters spent a day dealing with a 110-acre blaze.

Host Bradley George (on the right hand of the screen) speaks with Bob Devin Jones of Studio@620 (on the left half of the screen).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

In-person art performances have been off-limits for most people since coronavirus changed our daily routines.

But that's not stopping actors and artists from their craft, says Bob Devin Jones, co-founder and artistic director of Studio@620, a small performing arts venue in St. Petersburg.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The journalism at WUSF Public Media has been recognized with three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, one of the most prestigious broadcast awards in the country.

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

Here are the latest figures as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, according to the Florida Department of Health:

40,804 – Florida Residents | 1,119 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,779 – Deaths

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

Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists

WUSF News earned 15 awards from the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists Saturday night in a contest that recognizes the state’s best work from 2019.

WUSF won eight first place awards and seven honorable mentions for stories presented both on WUSF 89.7 and online at WUSFNews.org.

Joe Biden at podium
DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is picking Tampa to kick off what he's calling a virtual campaign trail.

Host Matthew Peddie (on right) talks with Kimberly Renk, a UCF professor who specializes in child psychology (on left).
The State We're In/Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

Children of all ages are having a hard time processing how coronavirus has changed their lives.

Psychologist Kimberly Renk said parents can help kids organize those feelings. But the University of Central Florida professor said parents first need to assess how they're being affected by the pandemic.

Chart showing positive cases of COID-19 in Florida
Florida Department of Health

Florida reported more than 600 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bring the weekend total of new cases to 1,350. 

The Florida Department of Health daily report showed that the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 reached 36,078 on Sunday. It included an increase of 81 cases in the seven-county Tampa Bay region. On Saturday, the region added 146 new cases.

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

Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 11 a.m. Sunday, May 3, according to the Florida Department of Health:

35,158 – Florida Residents | 908 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,379 – Deaths

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium
WFSU

Governor Ron DeSantis says plans to reopen the state of Florida will begin next week.

Sandra and Chris Miller (left half of screenshot) spoke with host Bradley George (right half of screenshot).
The State We're In/ Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

It's been almost a month since Florida's schools went entirely online.

Sandra Miller and her husband Chris teach high school in Pinellas County. She keeps adapting English assignments and grading to reflect online learning.

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

Total positive cases of coronavirus as of 11 a.m. Monday, April 27, according to the Florida Department of Health:

31,290 – Florida Residents | 848 – Non-Florida Residents | 1,088 – Deaths

Matthew Peddie, left, and Gaby Ortigoni
The State We're In / Facebook / WMFE & WUSF Public Media

Coronavirus has had a sudden and painful impact on Florida businesses.

Gaby Ortigoni is president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. She said a lot of small businesses are trying to stay afloat by applying for emergency loans.

high school students sitting in a classroom
Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg

Catholic schools in the Tampa Bay area are following the lead of public health officials and cancelling in-person classes for the rest of the school year.

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