Susan Giles Wantuck


Susan Giles Wantuck is our midday news host, and a producer and reporter for WUSF Public Media who focuses her storytelling on arts, culture and history.

She also serves as a music host on Florida's Classical Music Station, WSMR 89.1, 103.9 and at

She is a lifelong resident with deep roots in Florida. She collects recipes and enjoys writing.  

Susan is a graduate of the University of South Florida, where she studied Mass Communication.  The Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have honored her hosting and reporting work.

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graph of civil citations in Florida's Circuit 13
Department of Juvenile Justice

Faith leaders from around the state are asking Florida law enforcement to reduce the number of children they arrest, and instead they're encouraging the use of civil citations.

During a virtual meeting Thursday organized by justice ministry network Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE), speakers talked about how arrests particularly impact children of color.

A picture of desks and walls inside a classroom

On Monday, Florida's Education Commissioner issued an emergency order for brick and mortar schools to reopen for the fall, with the full array of services schools provide.

It said "school openings must be consistent with safety precautions as defined by the Florida Department of Health, local health officials and supportive of Floridians, young and adult, with underlying conditions that make them medically vulnerable."

three boats bearing U.S. and Trump flags
Susan Giles Wantuck/WUSF Public Media

Boaters and fans of President Donald Trump rallied in Tampa Bay and waterfront settings Sunday to celebrate Flag Day and the President’s birthday.

a bishop stands while praying
Diocese of St. Petersburg/Facebook

Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg led a prayer service on Sunday, decrying racism and praying for peace, both in the Tampa Bay region and across the world.

An elderly man in a blue suit with a striped tie and glasses
USF Advance/Facebook

Thomas Terrell Sessums is being remembered for his leadership, love of community, and advocacy on behalf of fair education. 

The former Florida Speaker of the House and longtime partner of Salem Law Group died Saturday at the age of 89.

people on the uphill part of a high rollercoaster
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Facebook

Busch Gardens in Tampa is opening back up on Thursday, June 11.

That’s a full month earlier than Disney World and about a week after Universal Studios plans to reopen.

A bunch of people in an online meeting
Hillsborough Commission on Human Trafficking/youtube

With the Super Bowl coming to Tampa in February, the Hillsborough County Commission on Human Trafficking is bringing together key players at the federal, state and local levels. Among them, people who have survived human trafficking.

summer camp poster
Susan Giles Wantuck/WUSF Public Media

Now that the school year is coming to a close, parents are trying to figure out what their children will do this summer.

Many camps are being canceled, and even if they aren't, some parents don't feel comfortable sending their children out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign for Lake Magadalene Elementary in Hillsborough County
Susan Giles Wantuck/WUSF Public Media

Let's face it, life is hard with the ever-looming specter of coronavirus. School has been online for it seems like forever and now children are having to deal with milestone transitions like moving from elementary school to middle school in a not-so-ordinary way.

A sign that says Carrollwood Village Park
Courtesy Hillsborough County

If the car traffic in the space of 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon was any indication, people are eager to get back to bird watching or just walking in the woods of Lettuce Lake Park, in northern Hillsborough County.

a round building, a ropes course and a sign
Mark Schreiner/WUSF Public Media

Summer camp is coming up after the end of a very unusual school year. For Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry, it will be in person, but different. 

People walking on a beach
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

If you're planning to head to a Pinellas beach and want to check the county's dashboard to see how busy it is, you won't be able to see real-time information on weekdays.

While the dashboard won't be active Monday through Friday, the Sheriff's Department is still monitoring crowds and breaking up groups of more than 10 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. It is also providing updates on its Twitter account.

a tall bridge lit up in green and gold
Michael Kelly/Twitter

This weekend, more than 7,000 University of South Florida students joined the ranks of the school's alumni. But they did it in a way that had not been done before.

The front of a Publix Grocery Store

Brick and mortar stores have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. But as an essential business, Publix Supermarkets has thrived.  

A male and female medical officials take a medical test sample from a person in a car at a drive-thru sitesample
Manatee County Government

Pinellas County is now offering COVID-19 testing without restrictions at three sites. The testing is free and is being offered for walk-ups and drive-through to at Community Health Centers in Pinellas Park, Clearwater and the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Center in St. Petersburg. 

Brightly dressed people on a stage
Asolo Repertory Theatre

Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota is trying to let its audience know what it's doing, both online and through newsletters, while the COVID-19 pandemic prevents the show from going on.

DeSantis announced his three phase plan behind a podium.
Courtesy: Governor's Press Office

After weeks of shutdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus, Governor Ron DeSantis says elective surgeries are ready to begin again on Monday.

Pier 60 closed

Beaches and pools in Pinellas County will soon be reopened.

Pinellas County commissioners on Tuesday voted 6-1 to reopen beaches, parking lots and restrooms starting Monday at 7 a.m. following public comment both for and against the idea.

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

A dark-haired man in a suit sits before a microphone
Florida Channel/Courtesy WFTV via Live U

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hailed the work by medical professionals in Central Florida to fight COVID-19 Sunday.

DeSantis held a press conference with doctors from Orlando Health, as well as David Strong, the president and CEO of the regional network of hospitals.

an illustration of a meteor shower with lines spreading out
Graphic by Howard Hochhalter / Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

Early Wednesday morning will be the peak viewing day for the Lyrid meteor shower.  

Howard Hochhalter is the planetarium director at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton. He said you'll want to wait until after midnight, "typically the show really starts to pick up around 1:30, two o'clock in the morning (in the early hours of Wednesday) and then goes on until just before sunrise." 

An older woman sits in a wheelchair as a younger person holds her hand

More than four dozen long term care facilities in the greater Tampa Bay region have patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Over the weekend, the state of Florida released the names and counties with nursing homes and assisted-living facilities who had patients or employees test positive for Covid-19. The more than 300 locations include 53 facilities in Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Manatee Counties.

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 6 p.m. Sunday, April 19, according to the Florida Department of Health:

25,598 – Florida Residents | 9 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 716 – Non-Florida Residents | 774 – Deaths

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

a mama bird with its speckled baby bird
Mary Lundeberg

Beach closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are devastating Florida’s tourism industry but they could be beneficial for shorebirds that nest on the sand this time of year.  

Typically birds like least terns, American oystercatchers and black skimmers have to share beaches with hordes of beachgoers as they lay their eggs on bare sand or in shelly areas.

A bishop stands at the front of a cathedral, facing the pews
Susan Giles Wantuck / WUSF Public Media

Easter is often called the "Super Bowl of Sundays" for churches. 

It's a time when Christians and those seeking a spiritual connection flock to houses of worship.  It's not happening much these days, even though Florida officials have classified worship as "an essential activity." 

Courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are going back to their past while looking to their new future with Tom Brady at quarterback.

boats on the water
Courtesy James Leckie

Many businesses have been shuttered because of coronavirus, but boat ramps and marinas in Hillsborough and Pinellas County remained open over the weekend.

A man in a blue tie, dark coat and a white shirt speaks before a podium
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott via Facebook

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is wanting clarification about financial support for small business owners in Florida affected by the coronavirus.

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 6 p.m. Sunday, April 5, according to the Florida Department of Health.

11,961 – Florida Residents | 9 – Florida Cases Repatriated | 389 – Non-Florida Residents | 221 – Deaths

A smiling woman in a lab coat, with glasses sits at a desk with a cranium, and models of internal organs.
Courtesy: USF Health

About two weeks ago, Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, came to researcher Summer Decker with a question for her and her colleagues: could 3D printing help alleviate the shortage of nasal swabs used in COVID-19 testing kits?