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.

Democrat Patrick Murphy must have seemed like the perfect candidate when he announced he was running for U.S. Senate. The 33-year-old Palm Beach Congressman is young, telegenic and politically moderate.  But recently, a spate of controversies, along with GOP incumbent Marco Rubio’s surprise entry into the race, have called Murphy’s front-runner status into question.

Does the fact that people getting married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator mean that states have the power to regulate marriage? And did Sen. Marco Rubio really compare Muslims to Nazis (not really...) To get the answers to those questions, we ask Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has always opposed same-sex marriage, and when he was asked if he'd work to overturn the recent Supreme Court ruling, he said he doesn't think the Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage.

That fish gracing your dinner table now is either caught in the wild - or raised in offshore cages. But with demand growing, researchers are looking for new alternatives to raise food. We take a tour of an experimental farm run by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. There, fish - and vegetables grown using fish waste - are being raised far inland from the Gulf of Mexico. 

We in the media can't seem to get enough of Donald Trump, but there was one recent exchange at a bipartisan convention in New Hampshire, that, well, raised a few eyebrows.

One of the most memorable questions that Donald Trump took during the No Labels Problem Solver convention on Monday came from a college student.

"So, maybe I'm wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong," said Lauren Batchelder, a student at St. Anselm College in Manchester. "But I don't think you're a friend to women."

To carry or not to carry? When it comes to guns, State Representative Matt Gaetz is all for it. He's pushing a bill that would let people wear their holsters openly. WUSF's Steve Newborn checks in with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillin about his claim that open carry makes people safer.

Much of the buzz around Donald Trump has circulated around his outspoken views on immigration, particularly of the illegal sort from Mexico. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has had a much softer tone on the issue. But has he swung to the right in the face of Trump's surprisingly strong campaign?

"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. You woudn't even be talking about it."

That was Donald Trump talking to Chris Wallace at the first of what will likely be many Republican debates:

The politics of abortion and use of fetal tissue for research has come front and center with the showing of clandestine videos taken during meetings with Planned Parenthood. But just where do the candidates for president stand? WUSF talks with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida about the history of two of the candidates from Florida.

The political fallout from the videos showing officials from Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue has landed on the presidential aspirants from Florida.

Tampa Electric announced Tuesday the utility will build the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area.

It is planned to be 25 megawatts, with the capacity to power more than 3,500 homes. It would include more than 70,000 solar panels on 125 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.

Company officials say it should be completed in 2016.

In two words, He's baaaack. But then again, did Charlie Crist ever really leave us?

After all, he's the eternal candidate. Crist has run for everything from education commissioner to to attorney general to governor and Senator.

Their trip took them nearly a thousand miles, from the headwaters of the Everglades through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition has finally come to an end, on an sandy barrier island near Pensacola Beach. WUSF traveled with the trio, and we report on their thoughts on the end of the expedition - and what the future might hold.

If their journey of a thousand miles began with one step, it ended with a couple of dozen hugs.

SOUND: Hugs on the beach after landing.

Both Charlie Crist and Rick Scott are hauling out the biggest names in each party as election day draws near. Today, Crist campaigned with Bill Clinton, and Scott toured the state with governors Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry. And perhaps the biggest name in Republican politics stumped for Scott in Sarasota.

 

Both of Florida's U.S. Senators - Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio - are filing legislation in the Senate to rename the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines after the late U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young. 

Their legislation will be a companion to a House bill introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller that may be voted on as early as Wednesday. Young, who died Friday, is credited with bringing an expansion of  the VA center in his home district in Pinellas County. 

Here's a statement from Rubio:

UPDATED AT 4:50 P.M.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee says Charlie Christopher Bates, a suspect in a series of sexual assaults, died at Tampa General Hospital from wounds he received in a gunfight with law enforcement attempting to capture him this afternoon.

At a news conference, Gee said that Bates died at 1:21 p.m. after being shot multiple times by sheriff's deputies and Tampa Police officers. He added that they will have to wait for an autopsy by the medical examiner to determine exactly how many times Bates was hit.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today declared a commercial fishery failure for the oyster fishery along the west coast of Florida.

Here's the statement from the secretary:

"The fishery resource disaster resulted from excessive drought conditions in Apalachicola Bay and elsewhere in the Florida panhandle during the 2012 - 2013 winter fishing season.

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