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News & Politics Podcasts

Best selling author, award winning reporter and Florida native Craig Pittman is joined by radio personality and Florida transplant Chadd Scott to discuss the state's history, people, politics, environment, animals, current events and weirdness. You'll hear great storytelling and have great fun in each weekly episode.


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Best selling author, award winning reporter and Florida native Craig Pittman is joined by radio personality and Florida transplant Chadd Scott to discuss the state's history, people, politics, environment, animals, current events and weirdness. You'll hear great storytelling and have great fun in each weekly episode.








Episode 144: The Daytona Beach Mastodon

A state legislator wants to take away the ability to manage water quality from local governments and give it to the state because the current law disadvantaged his nephew. Seriously. Our guest this episode is Zach Zacharias, history curator at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. He recalls for us the story of the discovery of The Daytona Beach Mastodon. Journey with us to Ice Age Florida. This episode of "Welcome to Florida" is brought to you by Windstorm Products. Visit...


Episode 143: Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine

Martin Luther King Jr.'s time in St. Augustine, and St. Augustine's central place in the Civil Rights Movement, are among the most important and least discussed aspects of Florida history and civil rights history. There are obvious and surprising reasons for that. Flagler College history professor and civil rights author Michael Butler helps us understand what happened in St. Augustine during 1963 and 1964 and its critical role in the Civil Rights Movement. Follow Michael on Twitter...


Episode 142: The Beatles in Florida (1964)

Advocates for Florida Springs had to take the state Department of Environmental Protection to court for the terrible job its been doing protecting the state's drinking water from polluters. This week's guest Bob Kealing has joined us before to talk about Tupperware and Elvis. His latest book, "Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida" takes us back to 1964 and the group's monumental visit to Florida and its various intersections with history. Chadd Scott's latest "My...


Episode 141: Nikki Fried

Florida's State Attorney General is a villainous political hatchet queen. As Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried was the last Democrat elected to a statewide office in Florida. We discuss the role of the state Agriculture Department from concealed carry firearm permits to state forests, invasive species, gasoline and Big Sugar. Fried was elected on February 25, 2023, as chair of the state Democratic Party. Thanks to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota for hosting Chadd Scott to...


Episode 140: Pensacola

This episode begins in Eatonville, home of Zora Neale Hurston, where, not surprisingly, developers are up to no good. Our guest is lifelong Pensacola resident and longtime Pensacola newspaper reporter and editor Carl Wernicke. We discuss Pensacola's past, present and future, Matt Gaetz, what he loves about Pensacola, and how the city is, and isn't, changing. Craig's from Pensacola as well! This week's episode is sponsored by WindstormProducts.com, the world's largest online retailer of...


Episode 139: The Seminole Wars

This episode tackles one of the most confusing eras in Florida history, a critically important series of events, but one little acknowledged or studied: the Seminole Wars. There were three Seminole Wars, the first in the 18-teens and the final in the 1850s. Our guest is Joe Knetsch, historian and author of numerous Florida history books with an emphasis on the Seminole Wars.


Episode 138: Documentary filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman

A treat today as Miami born, bred and based documentary filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman join the show. Corben is the director and Spellman the producer for Rakontur, their company which has produced such favorites as "Cocaine Cowboys" and "The U." Their latest project, "God Forbid" begins with a pool boy at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach and ends with the election of Donald Trump and the collapse of the evangelical Falwell family. Watch it on Hulu.


Episode 137: Harriet Beecher Stowe and early Florida tourism

This episode begins with a rare conservation win in Florida against development. Savor the flavor. Our guest is author, historian and professor emeritus in anthropology at Florida A&M University John Foster. Foster has written numerous books on early Florida tourism and Harriet Beecher Stowe's role in it. We discussed Harriet Beecher Stowe at the Mandarin Museum.


Episode 136: Florida from 2000-2010

This episode of "Welcome to Florida" begins in Stuart. Our guest this week is author and historian Gary Mormino. Gary's most recent book, published in 2022, is titled "Dreams in the New Century: Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes and Florida's Turning Point." The book covers Florida in the first decade of the new millennium where an extraordinary sequence of stories from Elian Gonzalez to the contested Bush v. Gore election, 9/11, hurricanes, the housing bubble and global economic collapse,...


Episode 135: '72 Miami Dolphins (NFL's only unbeaten team)

The governor is touting his environmental record again, to which Craig Pittman cries foul. Follow Chadd Scott's travel writing at "My Favorite Florida." Our guest this week is Marshall Jon Fisher, author of "Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972 and the NFL's Only Perfect Season." Fisher was a 9-year-old living in Miami in 1972 following the Dolphins success week-by-week with his father and brother. He recalls the games, and looks at the societal backdrop of Miami and America at this time which...


Episode 134: Claude Pepper

Craig's dad died recently and he shares a story about his father's work which would eventually dovetail into his own. Our guest this week is author and historian Jim Clark whose book "Red Pepper and Gorgeous George: Claude Pepper's Epic Defeat in the 1950 Democratic Primary" introduces us to a giant of 20th century Florida history. State rep, U.S. Senator and House member, Medal of Freedom winner, namesake of the FSU Library... how come Pepper is so little known today? "Welcome to Florida"...


Episode 133: Kayaking around Florida

"Welcome to Florida" Season 4 begins with an extraordinary Florida adventure! Warren Richey paddled a sea kayak around Florida.


Episode 132: 100th anniversary of Rosewood Massacre

On January 1, 1923, dubious claims of a sexual assault from a white woman against an unidentified Black man in the small community of Rosewood between Gainesville and Cedar Key set off a sequence of events that would leave untold numbers of people killed and Rosewood burned to the ground. The event was completely forgotten and erased, except by those who experienced it and lingering myths and rumors in the area. Then Gary Moore visited in 1982, completely unaware of what had happened...


Episode 131: Villainous Ed Ball & the St. Joe Company

Our episode begins with a trip to Warm Mineral Springs. Our guest is Kathryn Ziewitz, co-author of "Green Empire: The St. Joe Company and the Remaking of Florida's Panhandle." The St. Joe Company, a legacy of the Dupont empire, at one point possessed 5% of all the land in Florida along with banks and railroads. It was run from Jacksonville with an iron fist by a true Florida villain: Ed Ball.


Episode 130: Jacksonville history and today

Craig Pittman is ON YOUR SIDE! Our guest is Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods. Find Mark's book, "Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America's National Parks." In the episode we discuss: Jacksonville consolidation Axe Handle Saturday Norman Studios Mandarin Museum


Episode 129: Surfing

One of America's worst polluters resides in Escambia County in the Panhandle. Florida has a rich tradition of surfing which we're focusing on in this episode with Tom Warnke, a longtime Florida surfer and founding member of the Surfing Florida Museum. "Welcome to Florida" is presented by WindstormProducts.com the world's leading online retailer of hurricane hardware. Now is the time to prepare your home or business for next year's hurricane season. WindstormProducts.com has the hardware...


Episode 128: Croquetas

Looking for (more) undeniable proof of climate change and how Florida's current approach to "resiliency" is inadequate? Look to sea turtles. Our guest this week is the former longtime food critic at the Miami Herald, 1st generation Cuban and now host at WLRN radio in South Florida, Carlos Frias. Our subject: croquetas.


Episode 127: Trapper Nelson, the Wildman of the Loxahatchee

This episode's subject is Trapper Nelson, the Wildman of the Loxahatchee, the Tarzan of Florida. Our guest is historian and author James Snyder who lives on the Loxahatchee River not far from where Trapper Nelson did. Snyder wrote a book about Nelson, "Life and Death on the Loxahatchee," which he describes as "part biography, part murder mystery." "Welcome to Florida" is presented by Windstorm Products and no matter where you live in Florida, you are susceptible to damage caused by...


Episode 126: Florida Land Preservation

What environmental problems would Craig Pittman like to see Ron DeSantis address in his second term as governor? These ones. Craig's not holding his breath. Our guest this week is Clay Henderson. His new book, "Forces of Nature: A History of Florida Land Conservation" details the century-plus effort to conserve land in Florida for nature, recreation and human health. Another hurricane just hit Florida and if you managed to elude damage from both Ian and Nicole, chances are, you're next....


Episode 125: Everglades National Park at 75

This week's episode publishes on election day so if it takes you a while to get around to listening, we understand. Founded in 1947, Everglades National Park celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Our guest this episode, James Kushlan, is a former Everglades researcher and author of the book, "Everglades National Park." He's also written books about birdwatching in South Florida, Key Biscayne, the Dry Tortugas and other titles of interest to anyone who loves Florida. "Welcome to...