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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.

Gene Popiolek (l) and his father Bernie sit in an assisted living facility bedroom.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

The VA Aid and Attendance benefit can help some vets and spouses pay for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health care. But the application process is often long and complicated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office

Retired and active duty members of the military have a new incentive to put down roots in Florida.


Woman with search dog stands, speaking into microphones.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Cadaver dogs and archaeologists began searching Tuesday for a lost cemetery that may be located in an area of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

It's the latest effort to find an unmarked, mainly African American burial ground, a number of which have been discovered recently throughout Florida. 

Clinical Contact Center employee Ruth Banilbo stands at her work station with a headset on for answering calls
VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8)

Thousands of veterans are getting VA health care from the comfort of their homes.


Researchers at the Tampa veterans’ hospital are training computers how to diagnose cancer. It’s one example of how the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding artificial intelligence development.

  

Though hepatitis A cases are continuing to pop up throughout Florida, numbers in most counties are lower than they were at the peak of the outbreak last year.

The reduction has led Pinellas County, once a hotbed for the disease, to stop offering the vaccine to all residents for free.   

A new study from the University of South Florida shows federal data on fatal overdose rates underestimates which drugs caused the deaths.

Florida lawmakers are considering companion bills in the House and Senate that would establish a "Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights."

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that would give survivors of childhood sexual assault a "look back window" to address previously unreported claims. It would allow them one year to open cases with an expired statute of limitations.


MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa was placed on lockdown early Friday morning amid concerns of an armed suspect on or near the base. Authorities eventually learned there was no threat, but the incident had some residents fearing the worst.

The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater talked about how to grow as a region during a "State of the Bay" conversation hosted by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Thursday.

Climate change and transportation received a lot of attention while the future of the Tampa Bay Rays remains a mystery.


Patrick Carter spent most of his childhood in Newtown, one of the first African American communities in Sarasota. He left to play college football at Florida State University before moving on to the NFL. While he still remains involved in the Newtown community, particularly through sports mentorship, he chose to live in Bradenton instead.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Carter shares some of his fond memories growing up in the community and explains why he decided not to return.

The VA has eliminated the designated smoking areas at its hospitals, clinics, and other buildings. Many are celebrating the ban for creating a healthier environment at the VA, but the transition has been difficult for some patients and workers.

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This week on Florida Matters, we share some of our favorite discussions about plants, animals and environmental challenges facing our state.

Newtown resident Johnny Hunter grew up in the Sarasota community and plans to spend the rest of his life there. He left the area for a while, but returned as an adult and went on to co-publish Tempo News, a weekly African American newspaper that has been in the Sarasota-Manatee region since 1987.

Harriet Moore is principal of McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota and grew up in the Newtown neighborhood during the 1960’s and ‘70’s. She spent much of her childhood hanging around her parent’s grocery store.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Moore paints a picture of what the business community was like back then.

Fredd Atkins grew up in Sarasota’s Newtown neighborhood during segregation. He went on to become the city’s first African American mayor in the 1980’s, while serving on the city commission in the Newtown district seat, which was created several years prior following a federal lawsuit by the NAACP.

As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, Atkins talks about some of the ways African Americans struggled in the community and the progress they have made since.

It was a year full of politics, historic anniversaries and ever changing industries here in Florida. This week on Florida Matters, we take a look back at a few stories that helped shape our area in 2019.

Newtown is one of the first African American neighborhoods in Sarasota, and the people who live there want to make sure its importance isn’t lost to time. They’re getting some assistance from students at the University of South Florida.

Some Florida veterans are putting on a holiday performance at their local VA, but not just to spread cheer. It’s part of a program that uses harmonicas to help treat COPD.

The holidays bring back fond memories of childhood for many people. As part of our Telling Tampa Bay Stories series on Newtown, one of the first African American communities in Sarasota, one resident shared some of the traditions her family and neighbors shared in the community.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about how the environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico shaped human life over the years with Jack E. Davis, whose book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History.


Some VA hospitals in Florida are teaching veterans how to play the harmonica to improve their breathing. It’s part of a national program that takes an unconventional approach to treating lung disease.

travelerfolio.com

From roller coasters to virtual rides, Florida's theme parks have helped redefine family entertainment. With Disney experiencing its own struggles with long lines and rising ticket prices, we wanted to learn what is being done to deliver this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Veterans will no longer have to pay for medical marijuana cards if bills filed by Sen. Janet Cruz and Rep. Adam Hattersley pass during the upcoming Florida legislative session.

This program originally aired August 6, 2019

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 new study calculates how many dangerously hot days the nation's military bases could experience over the next few decades if no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions – and Florida’s bases top the list.

Our solar system's smallest planet will pass between the Earth and the Sun on Monday in a rare astronomical event known as a "transit" of Mercury.

It's possible to view the event, but people need to be careful.

Military health officials say troops are engaging in more high-risk sexual behavior, and part of the reason might be the popularity of smartphone dating apps.

Military health officials say troops are engaging in more high-risk sexual behavior, and part of the reason might be the popularity of smartphone dating apps.

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