Cathy Carter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspaper,s including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

As a Massachusetts native and a graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy - as are all citizens under state mandate - had no choice but to be born a Boston Red Sox fan.

Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Manatee County has had a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths when compared to the rest of the state.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of Thursday afternoon, 55 people in Manatee County died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That’s the fourth most in the state. Meanwhile, 580 people have tested positive for the virus which represents a 15.4 % presumptive positive test rate, compared to a statewide rate of 8.8%.

Sarasota County Commissioners have voted to reopen beaches.

But there will be restrictions.

Beginning Monday, people will be able to walk, swim and fish at Sarasota County beaches. These are deemed as "essential activities" outlined by Governor Ron DeSantis' stay-at-home order.

Health care professionals and first responders are facing the strain of fighting the coronavirus at work while scrambling to arrange for child care at home. According to a new study, the US health care system appears disproportionately prone to labor shortages from school closures.  

In Sarasota County, a dozen public and nonprofit partners have teamed up to open safe spaces for the children of essential workers.  

Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that supply delays are slowing the state's ability to ramp up testing for COVID-19.

Sarasota and Manatee counties will close all public beaches amid worries about the spread of the coronavirus.

Florida students will not return to classes until after April 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, all remaining testing will be cancelled for the remainder of the school year and there will be no school grades released for the 2019-2020 school year.

A proposed fish farm in federal waters is nearing its next regulatory hurdle. On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public hearing on the proposal at Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium in Sarasota. 


Grammy winner Brandi Carlile is among the artists who will perform at the Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa next March.

Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota.

Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol.

The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings.

Thirty-seven states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment -- one short of the required three-quarters for passage.   

On Monday, ERA advocates urged state lawmakers to secure Florida as the final state to preserve gender equality in the Constitution.

By Robin Sussingham, Stephanie Colombini, Steve Newborn and Cathy Carter.

They’ve had to battle shark attacks, pollution, massive beach developments and confusing light sources, but sea turtles are bouncing back.

With nesting season well underway, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks with experts about how sea turtles are faring and efforts to protect them in our state.


Manatee County Schools will soon offer its first ever dual language program.

This coming school year, Daughtrey Elementary, a Title I school in Bradenton, will teach a group of kindergartners in both English and Spanish. 

Sarasota arts education advocate Nancy Roucher has been honored by the state for her longtime contributions to promoting arts education. On Friday, Roucher will be awarded with the Dr. Mary Palmer Trailblazer Award from the Florida Alliance for Arts Education at the organization’s annual summit in Fort Lauderdale.

Later this month, members of the Flying Wallendas will perform a live high-wire walk on national television.  The event comes two years after several performers were involved in a devastating fall in Sarasota.

This week, siblings Nik and Lijana Wallenda are practicing at the city's Nathan Benderson Park for a high-wire walk above Times Square in New York City.

In a courtyard gazebo at Booker Middle School in Sarasota, dozens of kids with berets on are eating cake. Parents and assorted family members mingle with school staff as creative writing teacher Joanna Fox arrives, brandishing a giant pair of scissors. A ribbon is stretched across her classroom door.

The Sarasota Orchestra will look beyond the city limits for a new home. The announcement comes a week after Sarasota rejected the orchestra's plan to build a new music center at downtown Payne Park.

In a statement, the orchestra said "pressing calendar constraints and acoustic limitations at the six venues used by Sarasota Orchestra currently hinder growth and future achievement of its mission."

Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota has been selected as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic rowing team trials. The event will determine who represents the United States at the Olympics in Tokyo.

The first batch of state test scores are in.

The Florida Department of Education has released test results for the state's third grade reading exam. The Florida Standards Assessment language arts scores are from standardized tests Florida students took starting in February.

It's back to the drawing board for the Sarasota Orchestra.

Monday night, the Sarasota City Commission voted down the art organization's proposal to build a new 2,500 seat concert hall on seven acres of city-owned Payne Park.

The recent college admissions scandal exposed the role of wealth and privilege in gaining entry to America's best schools.

But its also helped bring attention to the issue of access to education for low income students and communities of color.

Loggerhead sea turtles spend most of their lives in the open ocean or shallow coastal waters, but soon thousands of female sea turtles will come ashore to begin their annual rite of spring.

May 1 marks the beginning of sea turtle nesting season on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Another local school board has spoken out about teachers carrying firearms, a decision that comes as Florida lawmakers are close to passing a bill that would expand the state’s school guardian program.

Housing prices and rents continue to rise across Florida. Thursday, a group of community leaders and advocates gathered in Bradenton to discuss Manatee County's ongoing affordable housing crunch at an event sponsored by the Manatee Tiger Bay Club.

Nationwide, an average wage earner would need to spend 32.7 percent of his or her income to buy a median-priced home. But for Manatee residents, that figure is 46.3 percent.

This year marks the 33rd season for La Musica International Chamber Music Festival at the Sarasota Opera House, and for about the same price as a movie ticket, audiences can get admission to a series of open rehearsals on the campus of New College of Florida.

In 1950, a female artist from Sarasota took the top spot at a city art show.

What happened next led to one of the oldest continuously exhibiting group of women artists in the country.

Within weeks of the mass school shooting in Parkland, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The law requires a police officer or sworn school guardian be present on all public school campuses.

Booker High School serves the most diverse and underprivileged student body in the Sarasota County School District. It's also recognized for its rigorous program in arts education, including instruction in music, theatre, dance, digital film and motion design, and visual art.

This week, the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program will host its first ever fundraiser to support initiatives that provide educational enhancements for VPA’s rising stars.

State housing advocates on Tuesday gathered in Tallahassee to call on the Florida Legislature to use all state and local housing trust fund monies for affordable housing. The Sadowski Coalition is made up of 32 statewide organizations, including industry and business groups.

Encouraged by a Library of Congress initiative, volunteers and non-profit groups around the country are recording and preserving veterans' voices.

Pages