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Stephanie Colombini

Reporter

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.

Stephanie was born and raised just outside New York City. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got her start in radio at NPR member station WFUV in 2012. In addition to reporting and anchoring, Stephanie helped launch the news department’s first podcast series, Issues Tank.

Prior to joining the WUSF family, Stephanie spent a year reporting for CBS Radio’s flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880 in Manhattan. Her assignments included breaking news stories such as the 2016 bombings in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and Seaside Park, NJ and political campaigns. As part of her job there, she was forced to – and survived – a night of reporting on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

Her work in feature reporting and podcast production has earned her awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the Alliance for Women in Media.

While off-the-clock, you might catch Stephanie at a rock concert, on a fishing boat or anywhere that serves delicious food.

Contact Stephanie by emailing her at scolombini@wusf.org or follow her on Twitter @steph_colombini.

Tampa is hosting the annual Medal of Honor convention this week, with festivities kicking off Tuesday.

It brings together 46 of the 70 living recipients of the nation’s highest military honor, given to those who risked their lives during service.

all children's hospital
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is bringing back a prominent heart surgeon, calling it the “first step” to restoring its shuttered heart institute.

Michael Drejka was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton over a handicapped parking spot in Clearwater last year - a sentence that McGlockton's family praised.

This week on Florida Matters we talk about how some of our region’s airports are changing to make travel more convenient.

Sixty-five submarines have been lost since the U.S. Navy created an undersea force in 1900.

A new artificial reef recently opened off the coast of Sarasota honoring these boats and the more than 4,000 crew members who never made it home.

Florida is one of the nation's largest producers of honey and is a hub for beekeeping, both commercially and as a hobby.

In a special reporting collaboration, WUSF News and the Zest Podcast are taking a closer look at honey bees over the next few weeks.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is calling the whistleblower at the center of a growing scandal surrounding President Trump, as well as whoever gave them information about Trump's actions, "patriots."

One of the main units that operates at MacDill Air Force Base celebrated its 100th anniversary Monday. It also got a new name.

A growing number of programs try to treat PTSD by getting veterans into nature, even deep under the sea. 

Members of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base will be taking a break from their normal duties Friday in order to focus on mental health and suicide prevention.
Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Airmen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa are taking a break from their normal duties Friday. Instead, they will reflect on mental health.

Paul Mott (l) and Brad Pupello participated in One Small Step, a project WUSF produced in partnership with StoryCorps. It brings two people of differing political backgrounds together for civil conversation.
Andy Lalino / WUSF Public Media

Over the next few weeks, WUSF will be sharing stories produced for One Small Step, the latest project from StoryCorps. Each segment features two strangers, with completely different political beliefs, sitting down together and having a conversation. 

The program offers family-planning services to low-income patients, including birth control, pregnancy counseling and cancer screenings.
Wikimedia Commons

Low-income patients in Hillsborough County are losing an option for receiving free family-planning care at the end of this month.  As of Sept. 30, Tampa Family Health Centers will no longer offer Title X services.

Flying into the eye of Hurricane Dorian.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Most Floridians are breathing easier now that Hurricane Dorian has moved away from the state and up the coast. But the work is not done for NOAA's Hurricane Hunters in Lakeland.

Lt. Kevin Doremus (l) and Lt. Commander Patrick Didier aboard a P-3 Orion, one of NOAA's Hurricane Hunters.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

It’s been an all hands on deck situation for Hurricane Hunter crews since Dorian became a threat in the Caribbean.

These air crews fly into the storm to gather data they can share instantly with the National Hurricane Center and other weather experts.

The Florida Aquarium recently announced they had induced Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory for the first time.
Florida Aquarium

Florida's coral reefs are in trouble. Scientists say they've been declining for decades.

But researchers have very recently come up with some exciting results that they say show promise in restoring these beautiful and important marine communities.

A dedication ceremony was held today in Tampa for a new mental health clinic that treats post-9/11 veterans and military families.
Cohen Veterans Network

A new mental health clinic opened in Tampa that provides free or low-cost care to post-9/11 veterans and military families.

VA doctors and nurses who attend the training at USF Health CAMLS can practice women's health exams on real people trained to act like patients.
Allison Long / USF Health CAMLS

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working with USF Health to train providers to better care for women patients.

Many airmen at Tyndall are living in dorms, some that survived the storm and others built afterwards so that service members no longer had to sleep in tents.
Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal / U.S. Air Force

Tyndall Air Force in the Panhandle is making progress in a massive effort to rebuild after it was devastated by Hurricane Michael last fall. But the need for housing and sufficient funds to complete the repairs are still critical issues.

This week on Florida Matters we talk about what communities are doing to prevent sewage spills.
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we talk about what communities are doing to keep from releasing sewage and other contaminants into our local waterways. Part of the problem comes from aging wastewater and stormwater systems. 


Glassblowing instructor Matthew Piepenbrock helps veterans create a piece in the Morean hot shop.
Beth Reynolds / Morean Arts Center

The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg runs a program that teaches glassblowing to veterans. Researchers at the University of South Florida recently evaluated the program, known as Operation Art of Valor.

MacDill Air Force Base Commander Col. Stephen Snelson addressed teachers who work at Tinker K-8 on base during an orientation program about military culture.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Monday is the first day of school in Hillsborough County and teachers are preparing for the new year. For teachers at Tinker K-8 on MacDill Air Force Base, that includes learning about military culture at an orientation program the base hosted Thursday.

Many people may not realize that wine making in Florida is a billion-dollar industry. There are dozens of wineries across the state employing nearly 100,000 people, and university research departments dedicated to viticulture.

A diver explores one of the 12 statues that currently make up the Circle of Heroes underwater veterans memorial.
Catalyst Communications Group

Scuba divers took the first official plunge to explore the new Circle of Heroes memorial in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. 

Observers watch an explosion during Operation Hardtack in 1958. 35 nuclear tests were conducted in the Pacific, exposing troops to radiation.
NEVADA NATIONAL SECURITY SITE

The new certificate recognizes as many as 550,000 veterans who were exposed to nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1992. But the certificates leave a lot of atomic veterans underwhelmed.

LISTEN:


The Tampa Bay area is becoming a hub for craft beer both statewide and nationally, with the highest density of breweries in Florida.

This week on Florida Matters, we take another listen to our show about beer.

A group of five beached whales appeared on Redington Beach this morning.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Wildlife officials spent Monday rescuing a group of five whales that beached themselves on Redington Beach that morning.

Officials with Clearwater Marine Aquarium used trucks and boats to transport the whales to safe locations.

Skyline in downtown St. Petersburg
City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg city officials have announced a ten-year plan to create more affordable housing as rents rise across the region.

CBD is now legal in Florida, but not all products are created equal.
Courtesy Second and Seed

CBD is showing up more and more in Florida, from gas stations to grocery stories. It was being sold long before it became legal in the state on July 1. But there is a lot of confusion about whether it’s safe and what is legitimate.

Jobs that allow employees to work from home can be a good fit for military spouses, who frequently have to move.
Pixabay

By Stephanie Colombini

Veterans and members of the military seeking jobs as they transition to civilian life can connect with potential employers at a job fair Thursday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Fair organizers are also welcoming military spouses, who often struggle to find steady work.


The loggerhead turtle is the most common sea turtle found in Florida. Females return to their nesting beach every two or more years.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

By Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini, Steve Newborn and Cathy Carter.

They’ve had to battle shark attacks, pollution, massive beach developments and confusing light sources, but sea turtles are bouncing back.

With nesting season well underway, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks with experts about how sea turtles are faring and efforts to protect them in our state.


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