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.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Thursday she'll enact an ordinance requring people working with the public to wear masks to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. It would also require anyone walking into a business in the city to wear masks.

A new survey shows one out of four people in the state have had their work hours cut because of the pandemic - and nearly 18 percent have been laid off from work.

The Sunshine State Survey of 600 people was done by Nielsen and the University of South Florida. According to USF assistant professor Joshua Scacco, six out of 10 respondents said they are concerned about the effect the economic shutdown is having on their finances.

A new survey shows a majority of respondents favor requiring people to wear face masks in public. But a large portion says the responses to the pandemic could be worse than the disease.

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden took to the internet with his first "virtual" rally late Thursday, billed as being from Tampa. But this new way of campaigning in the age of coronavirus could use a bit of tweaking.

April 20 marks 10 years since the BP oil spill began off the Louisiana coast when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. Over the next six months, more than 200 million gallons of crude spilled into the Gulf.

It's considered to be the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

The Florida Democratic Party is putting a major effort into getting potential voters to register by mail. That comes in part because of the coronavirus and despite glitches reported in the state registration system.

Concerns about the coronavirus are expected to have an effect at the ballot box during Tuesday's presidential primary.

While much of the nation's attention has focused on the Democratic candidates for president, there is also a Republican primary in Florida next week. During a recent luncheon hosted by Women For Trump Florida in Manatee County, even though some expressed concern about the president's past dealings with women, they say their focus is strictly on the future.

Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld made his case for splitting the team's home season with Montreal during an appearance Thursday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg.

Auld said despite the obvious challenges of building two stadiums in two countries, it's a fight worth fighting.

While Iowa and New Hampshire have captured most of the attention of the Democratic nominees for president, Florida is lurking in the background as one of the biggest prizes of all.

Elizabeth Warren's campaign started canvassing two weeks ago, and volunteers with Michael Bloomberg opened an Orlando field office in early February and another one in Tampa this past Saturday.

The threats to sea turtles are as big as the ocean they inhabit: red tide, overfishing, rising seas swamping their nesting grounds and being stunned by the winter cold. But a rehabilitation facility in Apollo Beach that opened last year is giving a new lease on life to many endangered turtles.

Vice President Mike Pence made his first campaign trip of the year to Florida Thursday, targeting voters inside the highly competitive I-4 corridor. His stops in Tampa and Kissimmee are a sign of who President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is targeting: older voters and Hispanic residents.

People on the front lines of climate change gathered Tuesday in St. Petersburg.  The meeting was hosted by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, which was the driving force in organizing and forming the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Council to address the problems posted by climate change.

A series of polls from the St. Leo University Polling Institute shows Floridians deeply divided on some of the major issues that the state will face in the upcoming year. A slight majority of those polled favor giving felons who can't pay their fees the right to vote.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

Scientists at the Florida Aquarium on Wednesday announced they have for the first time induced Atlantic coral to spawn in a laboratory. This gives hope for the beleaguered Florida reef.

Sea levels locally may be rising more quickly than had been anticipated. The estimates for Tampa Bay have just gone up.

Scientists monitoring Tampa Bay have updated the most conservative estimate for the expected rise in the bay during this century. That means they're no longer considering the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's prediction of a 2-foot rise. The conservative estimate now is from three to 3 1/2 feet above current sea levels.

A bayside laboratory in Apollo Beach is ground zero for an attempt to preserve Florida's coral reefs, which are dying at an alarming rate.

Tampa Electric got the go-ahead from the governor and cabinet Thursday to switch part of the Big Bend power plant from coal to natural gas.

An experiment to increase the genetic diversity of the Florida panther has apparently worked. That's the conclusion of a 10-year study released this week.

Tampa Electric recently announced plans to convert one of its coal-fired units at the Big Bend power plant to natural gas. But Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor wants the state to block that plan this week.

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