Steve Newborn

Assistant News Director

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.

He’s been with WUSF since 2001, and has covered events such as President George W. Bush’s speech in Sarasota as the Sept. 11 attacks unfolded; the ongoing drama over whether the feeding tube should be removed from Terri Schiavo; the arrest and terrorism trial of USF professor Sami Al-Arian; how the BP Deepwater Horizon spill affected Florida; and he followed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition through the state - twice.

Before joining WUSF, he covered environmental and Polk County news for the Tampa Tribune and worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center during the early days of the space shuttle.

Ways to Connect

Speakers at Sierra Club
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Several environmental groups and lawmakers gathered in four cities across the state Friday to ask for full funding from Tallahassee for Florida's main conservation land-purchasing program.

They met in St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, Gainesville and St. Augustine to support restoring money for the Florida Forever land conservation program.  

Jeff Scott welcome to USF
University of South Florida

Jeff Scott has been named as the new head football coach at the University of South Florida.

The selection of the Clemson co-offensive coordinator was announced Monday by Michael Kelly, USF's Vice President of Athletics. Scott will become the fifth football coach in USF's history.

Come Monday, a national consortium of environmental groups will begin a major effort to transplant coral to South Florida's reefs.

The project is helmed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its National Ocean Service. But it wouldn't be possible without Tampa's Florida Aquarium, which earlier this year became the first to successfully induce Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory.

climate change

The United Nations Climate Change Conference just wrapped up in Spain.  Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor was there, and pledged to take action.

Castor chairs the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She joined a delegation that just came back from Madrid. Castor said during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol there is a "leadership vacuum" on the issue from the U.S., since President Trump pledged to withdraw the country from the Paris climate accords.

Reed Bowman holds a scrub jay
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

On a satellite map, the Lake Wales Ridge stands out as a sandy spine running through the middle of Florida. From Clermont in the north, south almost to Lake Okeechobee, rolling hills give the area a very un-Florida-like feel.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz at the podium
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Hillsborough County Republicans held their annual Lincoln Day dinner over the weekend. They plowed past the impeachment hearings and predicted better days are ahead.

Redistricting map for Districts 1-5 in Sarasota County.
Sarasota County

Sarasota County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to move forward with a plan to redistrict local elections on a map that was drawn up by a former head of the local Republican Party.  But a legal response may be  on the horizon.

Water Street Tampa
Water Street Tampa

The CEO of the company building the largest development ever in downtown Tampa spoke Friday morning at Cafe con Tampa.

Toll Roads
WUSF Public Media

Three of the biggest road projects ever proposed in Florida are on a fast track, spurred on by state lawmakers. One of the roads, which would cut through some of the state's most natural areas, is called the Southwest Central Connector.

That much is known.

How much will it cost?

Nobody knows.

TECO's  Big Bend Power Station
Google Maps

Florida's public utilities will still have to set goals to reduce public consumption of energy. That's the result of a move Tuesday by the state's Public Service Commission.

Toll roads
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

A task force that is coming up with recommendations to reduce the impacts of a planned toll road that will run through the middle of the state met Wednesday at Polk State College in Lakeland. 

Officials have not decided exactly where the road will be built.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The three members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition wrapped up their trek through the middle of the state this weekend. They regaled their supporters at a finale at historic Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales.

Their seven-day, 60-mile journey took the conservationists – Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Joe Guthrie and Carlton Ward Jr. – through a natural pathway that's still preserved, connecting Highlands and Polk counties.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition crossed busy U.S. Highway 27 in southern Polk County Tuesday. It's the midpoint in their weeklong journey to keep a natural wildlife corridor connected into the future.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

A trio of conservationists trotted off on horseback into the woods of a state park near Sebring Sunday. It was the first leg of a seven-day journey to travel a natural pathway that connects two major preserved areas of Florida.  

Tropical Storm Nestor made a powerful arrival Friday night and early Saturday, producing tornadoes along with heavy downpours and gusty winds that knocked out power to thousands across the Tampa Bay area.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

They've gone on two 1,000-mile treks across the state, as well as paddling a narrow green thread bisecting Disney World. This weekend, the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition is getting cranked up once again.

honey bees
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

One of the foundations of American agriculture is under attack on several fronts. The victims - bees. WUSF visits one beekeeper in Polk County who has to drive thousands of miles every year to keep his hives humming.

Florida's only Democrat elected to statewide office turned her focus Thursday to energy conservation, as  Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried unveiled a list of conservation measures.

WUSF News is committed to covering the upcoming presidential election with a focus on the issues – and not the political horse race.

We’re spending time in the community listening – and asking what matters to you and your neighbors.

The Capitol Steps have been garnering laughs at the expense of politicians for more than nine presidential election cycles. They'll be at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg on Saturday, October 5, with their new show, The Lyin' Kings. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Mike Thornton, who has played all of the presidents since Ronald Reagan.

Offshore fish cages

What could become the nation's first fish farm in federal offshore waters has been proposed for 45 miles off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico. And it is rousing the ire of some fishermen and environmentalists.

Paul Warren
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The two biggest utilities in Florida - Duke Energy and the parent company of Florida Power and Light - have just announced they plan to cut their emissions by more than half by 2030. And North Carolina-based Duke wants to eliminate their carbon output by mid-century.  

Electoral College

A move is gaining steam around the county that would change the way the president is elected. It would reward whoever wins the popular vote, and disable the Electoral College.

Chris Sprowls
Florida House of Representatives

The Tampa Bay area should get a larger voice in the state legislature next year. Members of the Florida House on Tuesday named Chris Sprowls of Pinellas County as its next speaker.

City of Tampa reservoir
Southwest Florida Water Management District

It looks like "Toilet to Tap" is officially kaput.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Thursday removed a request for $300 million that would have funded the program in her public works budget.

The project -- officially called the Tampa Augmentation Project -- would take treated wastewater that now flows into Tampa Bay and pump it into the underground aquifer. It would then be re-pumped into the city's reservoir before being treated again as drinking water.

Green sea turtle

As Hurricane Dorian's wrath continues to pound the Atlantic coast, concerns have surfaced about what will happen to Florida's sea turtles.

Hurricane Dorian
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

Shelves are emptying of essentials like bottled water as Hurricane Dorian spins closer to Florida.

A power tower

A proposed change to the state Constitution that would alter the way Floridians get their electricity came before the state Supreme Court Wednesday. The amendment needs the justices' blessings before it can get on next year's ballot.

Bill Galvano
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The first meeting of a task force that will look at building three new toll roads through rural areas of Florida met Tuesday in Tampa, in what was described as a defining moment for the future of the state.

The plan would expand the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extend the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and add a new multi-use corridor, including a toll road, from Polk County to Collier County.

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.