Steve Newborn

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

Getting the state to come to the rescue of sports teams trying to build or refurbish stadiums could soon become a thing of the past.

The seven candidates vying to become the next mayor of Tampa squared off Tuesday morning, discussing the lack of mass transit, tapping into the "innovation economy," and spreading development wealth from downtown Tampa to nearby neighborhoods. But the city's growing unaffordability was discussed as well.

Growth is no stranger to Florida. The state is a magnet for snowbirds, immigrants and sun-seekers. But will too much growth crowd out what people come here for to begin with?


Former FBI Director James Comey spoke on everything from Hillary Clinton's emails to getting fired by President Trump during a speech Monday in Sarasota.

The name of one of the five victims of the Sebring bank shootings was being withheld by police. This may be an unintended side effect of Marsy's Law - Amendment 6 - which was passed by voters in November.

Authorities say they’ve arrested a man they say opened fire in Highlands County, killing five people.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said officers responded to a SunTrust Bank branch about 90 miles southeast of Tampa Wednesday afternoon. They found five people dead after a SWAT team managed to get inside.

The Florida Aquarium cut the ribbon Wednesday on a sea turtle rehabilitation center in Apollo Beach. It will  expand efforts to save endangered turtles - and increase public awareness of them.

No one has been arrested yet in a triple shooting after St. Petersburg's Martin Luther King Day parade Monday night. Police Chief Anthony Holloway said Tuesday that tips are coming in.

There's going to be a crowded ballot to become the next mayor of Tampa. Eight people qualified to run by the Friday afternoon deadline.

The candidates will on March 5 to replace Bob Buckhorn, who's term-limited from running again.

The tensions that have been seen in the past between Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater seem to have largely dissipated.

New State Senate President Bill Galvano says he has high hopes for new era of cooperation in Tallahassee this year.

"It's time to return respect and honor to government," he said during a meeting of the Argus Foundation Tuesday in Sarasota.

Sara Roberts McCarley easily defeated two other candidates in Tuesday's special election for the Lakeland City Commission.

Voters in Lakeland will go to the polls Tuesday. They'll elect a city commissioner to fill the remainder of the term left when Michael Dunn resigned after killing a suspected shoplifter at his Army and Navy surplus store.

The candidates are Patrick Shawn Jones, Sara Roberts McCarley and Bill Watts.

Jones, 53, is a surgical technician at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. He's also a heavy metal DJ for WMNF Radio in Tampa.

The idea of civility in politics has become almost a quaint idea in some circles. A nonpartisan group called Better Angels is advancing the notion that we can talk about our differences - respectfully. They'll be getting an equal number of Republicans and Democrats together tonight.

Several people voiced concern Tuesday about 30,000 tons of toxic sludge from Fort Myers that will be dumped in a Polk County landfill. But there's nothing county officials can do about it.

Before leaving the governor's mansion for the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott filled more than 70 positions. It includes a Bradenton man facing an environmental ethics complaint.

Plant City's Ashley Moody is starting her first day on the job Tuesday as Florida's newest Attorney General. Moody has made it clear she plans to build on the record of her predecessor, Tampa's Pam Bondi.

Former Tampa state Rep. Dana Young was unanimously voted in Monday as the newest head of the state's tourism marketing department.

The year that was, 2018, was an action-packed - and error-filled - year of news, according to the people working over at PolitiFact.

There was a lot of competition for their annual Lie of the Year honon. President Trump was at the top of many reader's lists: Comments about the migrant caravan from Central America. Claims and counterclaims about Russian interference in American elections.

But there was a bigger story that particularly affected Floridians.

The year 2018 is almost over, and Florida Matters is looking back at the stories that made headlines in our region this year.


The storm that rumbled through Florida Thursday caused a rupture at a sewage treatment plant in Sarasota that released nearly one million gallons of wastewater.

Sarasota utilities officials say while most of the estimated 900,000 gallons of wastewater was contained at the site of the spill, an undetermined amount of wastewater flowed into Sarasota Bay.

Touching a cell phone while driving could soon be against Florida law. That's if a bill a Tampa lawmaker plans to introduce passes muster in the legislature.

The bill by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo would mean law enforcement could pull you over just for being on your phone. Now, you have to have to be pulled over for another infraction first in order to be charged with texting while driving.

Toledo says accident death rates in Georgia have gone down by 25 percent after that state banned hands-on cellphone use in July.

Many cities and counties are stepping into the void because of a lack of action on climate change by the state and federal government.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced he'll nominate outgoing Florida House speaker Richard Corcoran as the state's next education commissioner.

The nomination of the Land O'Lakes Republican is no surprise - the possibility has been talked about for weeks, and his fervent backing of expanding charter schools in the state has already drawn the ire of the state’s teachers union and some Democrats.

The Florida Cabinet voted Tuesday to transfer much of the former Dozier School for Boys near the Panhandle town of Marianna to Jackson County.

The reform school became infamous for decades of allegations of abuse, torture, and even murder.

The new Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name:  CoolToday Park.

Red tide seems to be retreating in the Tampa Bay area with the onset of a cold front. But further south, dolphins continue to die at an alarming pace.

There have been 39 dolphin strandings since November 21st. Two were reported this week. Most have happened in Lee and Collier counties in southwest Florida.

A high-speed rail line could soon connect Orlando and Tampa.

Brightline got approval this week to negotiate for the right to use the median of Interstate 4. The grassy strip had been targeted for high-speed rail during the Obama administration, but federal stimulus money was rejected by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011, who said it was too risky and predicted the state would wind up subsidizing the project. Now, the private firm wants to connect Tampa with South Florida via Orlando.

The latest in a series of scientific reports on climate change was recently submitted to Congress. A group of Florida scientists delved into the report, and things aren't looking too good if you've got beachfront property.

In April, a trio of conservationists trekked through a narrow corridor of wild land in the shadow of Walt Disney World. Their mission: to bring attention to the need to preserve these corridors for wildlife. 

On Thursday, they'll preview a documentary of their travels.

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