Steve Newborn

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues, politics and transportation 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.

A new national study concludes that rising sea levels could cost U.S. states more than $400 billion over the next 20 years. And Florida has the highest price tag.

The report is by the environmental advocacy group Center for Climate Integrity. It says Florida would have to pay around $75 billion to build new seawalls to defend against a two-foot sea level rise by 2040.

The Hillsborough County state attorney announced Wednesday that the convictions of 17 people will be overturned because their cases hinged on three arresting police officers.

State Attorney Andrew Warren said the convictions will be vacated because his office cannot verify the testimony of the officers who were later fired. His move comes after an investigation by the new Conviction Review Unit, which was formed last year to give people a voice when they believe they have been unfairly convicted.

Republicans increased their lead in the Florida House of Representatives Tuesday night, as Randy Maggard defeated Democrat Kelly Smith in a special election in Pasco County.

Maggard, of Dade City, works as a vice president for a discount appliance chain. House District 38 includes most of eastern Pasco, including Wesley Chapel, Dade City and Zephyrhills.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill that would mandate construction of a new toll road and extend two others through relatively untouched parts of the state. So WUSF took a drive to the end of the Suncoast Parkway  - at least for now - to see what we would find.

It was a mixed bag for environmentalists in the wake of this year's legislative session in Tallahassee. Lawmakers allocated more money than Governor Ron DeSantis asked for on Everglades restoration and fighting red tide and blue-green algae.

But there were some drawbacks, including a bill to build three new toll roads and getting a fraction of the money the governor proposed to buy environmentally sensitive lands.

WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Jennifer Rubiello, state director for Environment Florida - starting with the good that happened.

State lawmakers passed several bills in the wake of last year's scourge of red tide attacking the coastlines and blue-green algae coming out of Lake Okeechobee. But some environmentalists say they didn't address the source of the problem - nutrients flowing into waterways.

Several members of Hillsborough County's legislative delegation gave their take on the just-ended Tallahassee session Friday at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning he will sign a bill instructing the state to build two new toll roads and extend a third through rural parts of the state.

Florida Democrats kicked off a plan Thursday to register 200,000 voters before the 2020 elections. Former candidate for governor Andrew Gillum gave it a kick start, presenting a check for $100,000 from his Forward Florida Action group to Terrie Rizzo, head of the Florida Democratic Party.

Establishing a commuter ferry service linking Tampa, St. Petersburg, MacDill Air Force Base and southern Hillsborough County may take a bit longer to become reality. The first-of-its-kind commuter service on Tampa Bay is running into money and parking woes.

Jane Castor is in her first weeks as the new mayor of Tampa. Her position as the first gay mayor in the Southeastern U.S. didn't come up much during the campaign, but she made national news the day after her victory. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a controversial bill Friday that would have restricted the right of local governments - including St. Petersburg - to regulate single-use plastic straws.

Lawmakers in Tallahassee are returning home after two months of hashing out bills - some of which could soon become law. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks with Janelle Irwin, a reporter with Florida Politics, and Steve Bousquet, a columnist with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel.

State lawmakers over the weekend passed a bill that would restrict local governments from requiring new developments to have units set aside for affordable housing. It would also mean anyone challenging a development being approved that's inconsistent with the existing growth plan would have to pay the other side's attorney's fees if they lose.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate agreement. But the bill, which was sponsored by a Tampa representative, may not go much further than the House.

Pages