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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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study finds four counties in Florida are some of the most vulnerable areas for a measles outbreak in the nation.


Neonatal Intensive Care Units help keep premature babies alive, but they can also be very stressful environments. Music therapy can help buffer the jarring lights and sounds to help a baby's brain develop in peace.
Dave Barfield / Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it's expanding.

Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about zoning and how it affects the way our state manages growth.

It may sound mundane, but zoning and building regulations affect us intimately because they hit us where we live.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials in Pinellas County are investigating a measles case in a 72-year-old man. This comes amid a national uptick in measles outbreaks.


Florida Matters hosted a taping in front of a live audience during the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs. The topic: Tampa Bay as an international dining destination.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.

  

Long-time transit advocate Ed Turanchik outlined the plan to expand ferry service. Click through the slideshow to view graphics that show how service will run.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Ferry service in Tampa Bay could include a new stop as well as commuter service to MacDill Air Force Base if a new plan moves forward.

The invasive tegu lizards are known to eat the eggs of some of Florida's native wildlife. Recently scientists discovered gopher tortoises, a Threatened species, in some tegu stomachs.
Mike Avery / USDA Wildlife Services

Florida is home to more than 500 invasive species. Not all of these plants and animals are big and scary like pythons, but they can still harm the state’s native wildlife, and a lot of time and money is spent fighting them.

This week Florida Matters speaks with scientists on the front lines of this battle about how we’re doing.


Tampa mayoral candidates Jane Castor (l) and David Straz.
Daylina Miller and Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor leads her opponent David Straz by 36 points in a new poll from the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Lab.


Debbie Kemp is a member of the unofficial Lightning fan group Sticks of Fire. Members pack section 307 of Amalie Arena to lead chants every game.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay Lightning began the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a loss Wednesday night. They were defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 despite a strong first period.  

Therapist Keith Smith demonstrates virtual reality equipment at the University of Central Florida. Smith uses virtual reality to help treat veterans' post traumatic stress disorder.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The University of Central Florida is using virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It's worked well enough that the Pentagon will fund similar programs elsewhere.


Aerial view of University Mall in Tampa.
Google Maps

The University of South Florida's planned Institute of Applied Engineering will build its headquarters at the re-developed University Mall in Tampa.


Robert Wilkie
Department of Veterans Affairs

The James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa is undergoing a $148 million dollar expansion to meet the growing demand for health care in Florida. 

WUSF's Stephanie Colombini recently spoke with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie about the expansion and other ways the VA is trying to increase access to care.


Ocala-based artist Robert Mickelsen used a torch to transform thin glass tubes into a human hand. Scroll through this slideshow to see how it came together, and see some other pieces on display at free exhibits for the public.
Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hundreds of glass artists and enthusiasts from around the world are in St. Petersburg this weekend for the 2019 Glass Art Society conference.


Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Tampa mayoral candidate and millionaire David Straz said he wouldn't accept a salary if elected. And he said his opponent Jane Castor shouldn't either.

Marijuana plants
Mark, flickr

Smokable marijuana is already available for patients at some dispensaries just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis legalized its use.

But the new law still requires the state to craft rules about how to obtain it.

Nurse takes a patient's blood pressure.
Pixabay

State lawmakers are hoping to increase access to health care by allowing nurse practitioners to treat patients without a doctor's supervision.

Pixabay

Historians and local old-timers say that once, Tampa Bay was overflowing with delicious oysters.

And that some rivers, like the Manatee River, were once so full of mullet that they roiled the water and their noise would keep nearby residents awake at night.

Wildlife biologist Kory McLellan shoots off pyrotechnics to scare birds away from the airfield at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Mariette Adams / U.S. Air Force

Fireworks, drones, and habitat relocation projects are among the ways that Air Force biologists are fighting the expensive and potentially deadly problem of bird strikes.


Signs posted to let cyclists and pedestrians know how to access the nearest community garden.
Courtesy the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization

A Hillsborough County public health initiative received a $50,000 grant this week as part of the national "Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge."


Tourists at Clearwater Beach.
WUSF Public Media

Tourism is a vital industry for our state, and Florida Matters is taking a look at how businesses fared in the wake of red tide, what's new with our theme parks, and where tourism is heading after another record-breaking year.


Did you know Tampa Bay was once filled with oysters you could actually eat? Or that people used to turn their noses up at grouper?

DeSantis To Lawmakers: Be Bold On Big Issues

Mar 5, 2019
The Florida Channel

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave an anti-tax, pro-environment State of the State address Tuesday, asking lawmakers to be bold as they tackle issues like education, school safety and health care.

Gov. Ron DeSantis kicks off the 2019 legislative session Tuesday and will deliver his first State of the State address.

Florida Matters will bring you live coverage of his speech, the Democratic response and analysis.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough lawmakers and developers broke ground on a new workforce housing community in Mango Thursday morning.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of calls placed to the national human trafficking hotline.

The charges filed against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft last week for soliciting prostitution in Jupiter have again put a spotlight on sex trafficking in our state.

Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Army and Air Force leaders have ordered inspections of housing on their bases amid reports about unsafe conditions. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Local law enforcement is beginning to make security plans for when Tampa hosts the Super Bowl in 2021, and human trafficking is one issue they're focusing on.


Courtesy of Roy Peter Clark

The City of St. Petersburg will declare Feb. 15 "Ray Charles Day" during a special event at the Studio @ 620 Friday evening.

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