LISTEN LIVE

Susan Giles Wantuck

Reporter/Host

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 wsmr.org.

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

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.

Ways to Connect

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?

sign with U.S. Air Force logo and MacDill Air Force Base
Stephanie Colombini/WUSF Public Media

Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base has three positive cases of coronavirus.

MacDill's Commander Colonel Stephen Snelson declared a public health emergency on the base, which is also home to U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

lilacs next to a wooden alarm clock
iStock

Love it or hate it, Daylight Saving Time will be back this weekend.  It's a time when we can all look forward to the bleary-eyed week after we "spring forward" again. 

man holding alarm clock
iStock

Daylight Saving Time may feel like it’s always been a part of our lives, but it really didn’t come into general use in the United States until near the end of World War I.

Some U.S. states, including Florida, are now trying to end the habit of changing the clocks in favor of Daylight Saving Time, all the time.

In 2019, state lawmakers passed the Sunshine Protection Act, to make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round in Florida. But the law requires a federal statute to take effect.

A man in a tuxedo
Courtesy of Sarasota Opera

Executive Director Richard Russell knows the Sarasota Opera from the inside out, having served as an opera apprentice, in the chorus and then as a featured artist, a tenor. 

No matter who does your taxes, once you sign on the dotted line, you are responsible for them. 

Ryan Thompson of the IRS said tax fraud is rampant this time of year. And there are ways to spot would-be crooks. 

It's been more than a decade since Congress passed the REAL ID Act. It is based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, which set standards for issuing sources of identification, such as driver's licenses. 

The Temple Terrace Public Library's Erica Richardi serves as the young adult librarian, but she stresses that the library is a place where everyone is welcome. 

So she started an initiative where the library created posters and placed them inside the doors of the bathroom stalls to tackle difficult subjects that people might not feel they can ask about outright. 


Composer Eric Whitacre said one of his guiding principles is for people to feel a part of something larger than themselves. 

Two Tampa Bay residents have pleaded guilty to paying healthcare kickbacks in a scheme that saw their company help collect over $4 million from one insurance company.

Parking kiosk in Sarasota's downton
Daylina Miller WUSF

By Susan Giles Wantuck

There's a long history of business owners pushing back against efforts by the city of Sarasota to put paid parking downtown.

Sarasota Magazine compiled a dateline showing just how far back it goes. In fact, it predates American entry into World War II by about eight months. 

The Cone of Uncertainty
Screenshot from National Hurricane Center website

For as long as many of us remember, the Atlantic hurricane season has come along with a cone.

And whenever it pops up, we're told not to look at it, not to focus on it. 

Now the National Hurricane Center has put out a video explaining the do’s and don'ts of using the cone.

And what it really signifies.

Power Plant at Dusk
Lakeland Electric

Lakeland Electric is going to need more power later this month, after it brings down its sole coal-powered plant for repairs.

Spokesman Chris Neal said, "We normally don't schedule that kind of maintenance for the summer months, because, as you know, people run their air conditioners and demand is high, but it was a special circumstance where we had to bring that unit down for a few days."

Mark Edward Allen
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran from St. Petersburg is facing up to 10 years in prison for placing an improvised explosive device at the Bay Pines VA in Pinellas County.

A federal criminal complaint said Mark Edward Allen made his first court appearance on June 4 and he's currently being detained.

State Attorney General press conference on new price gouging app
Susan Giles Wantuck, WUSF Public Media

According to State Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida is number one in the nation for fraud. And that includes price gouging.

It can present in a number of different ways, whether it's when you are trying to buy lumber to board up your windows when a hurricane's bearing down, or whether you find you're paying much more at the pump for gasoline than you usually pay. 

Polk County School Bus Attendant Juanita Tippin
Polk County Sheriff's Office

The Polk County Sheriff's office has arrested a school bus attendant for abusing children and adults in her charge. 

Mindy Thomas, co-host of NPR's "Wow in the World" podcast for children and families is bringing her Wow In The World Pop Up Party to the Tampa Theatre on April 6th. It's the show's only performance in Florida.

User DXR via Wikimedia Commons

Florida is known for providing easy access to public records. But Barbara Petersen of the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation says the 2019 legislative session is remarkable for the broad records exemptions bills that are being filed.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

There are more than 4,000 public schools in Florida. Democratic State Sen. Janet Cruz of Tampa is co-sponsoring a bill to filter lead out of the water used for drinking and cooking at all of them.

Cruz thinks there's money in the budget to pay for filters to remove lead from water used for drinking or cooking at public schools.

Courtesy USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael De Nyse

U.S. Coast Guard members are still on the job, rescuing people and guarding national waters.

But with the government shutdown in effect, they're not getting paid. 

Pinellas County Schools

For nearly two decades, Pinellas County schools have operated magnet programs for students from elementary through high school to teach journalism.  The 14th annual installation of some of their work will soon be on display for the public to see. 

Michael Francis

Perhaps you sing in the shower or in your car. This February, the Florida Orchestra is hoping everyone in the Tampa Bay region will be part of singing together in early February.

It's called "Sing Out Tampa Bay." Florida Orchestra Music Director Michael Francis came up with the idea a few years ago. Not really a singer himself, he said there have been studies to show singing together is beneficial.

Susan Giles Wantuck

It's a tradition to try to set goals to start the new year.  But why is the follow-through sometimes a bust?

Dr. Brenton Wiernik is an assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the University of South Florida.

Courtney Strawn/Facebook

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said he is "saddened beyond comprehension" that one of his own deputies killed family members and himself Wednesday. 

Matt Dine

Music Director Michael Francis will remain at the helm of the Florida Orchestra, as he recently signed a contract extension that runs until 2024.   

But he was recently named principal conductor of the German Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, which is based near Frankfurt, Germany. 

Manatee County School District

Manatee County still doesn't have a permanent school superintendent. 

Just days before the Manatee County School Board was going to offer the position to the interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders, the state education commissioner filed an administrative complaint against her.

The design for the now defunct Rays stadium in Tampa's Ybor City
Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays won't be moving the team across the bay, at least for now. Team leaders announced Tuesday that the plan for a new stadium in the Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City has fallen through.

Susan Giles Wantuck

They may not be the issues that are driving voters to the polls this midterm election, but voters have been thinking about the two sales tax referendums on the ballot in Hillsborough County. One will provide a half-penny sales tax for Hillsborough County Schools for a period of 10 years.

Voters have a lot to consider in this midterm election. There are races for governor, U.S. senator, and a dozen amendment proposals to the Florida Constitution. But if these amendment proposals pass, what will they actually do? And how might it affect you?

The non-partisan Florida Taxwatch has put together this voter guide to help Floridians navigate the many amendment proposals.

Hillsborough County Public Schools

At a town hall early this month at Tampa's Pizzo Elementary, Hillsborough School Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the district was out of options and had to go for a sales tax.

Pages