Florida Matters
4:45 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Florida Matters Preview: Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments On Same-Sex Marriage

Left to right: Mike Reedy with Equality Florida; Florida Matters host Carson Cooper; and attorney Alan Gassman in the WUSF studio after taping a Florida Matters panel discussion on same-sex marriage.
Credit Doug Parton / DP Photography

 The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments April 28 on the issue of same-sex marriage.  

Several cases from Cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky have been combined into one case, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.

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3:30 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Special Election Deciding Who Will Represent FL House District 64

A Tampa Bay area house race is finally being decided.

Today is the final day for a special election in House District 64. The candidates are former Representative James Grant and write-in candidate Daniel Matthews.

Grant, a Republican, has represented District 64 since 2010 but couldn’t take office when he won an election in November.

A legal dispute questioned whether one of the candidates had lived in the district, which covers the Carrollwood, Citrus Park areas of Tampa, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Amid Scandal, DEA Chief Michele Leonhart Will Retire

DEA administrator Michele Leonhart is reportedly going to resign.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:51 pm

(This post was last updated at 5:23 p.m. ET.)

With her agency embroiled in scandal, Michele Leonhart, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has decided to retire beginning in mid-May.

In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said he appreciated Leonhart's "leadership" and "35 years of extraordinary service to the DEA, to the Department of Justice and to the American people."

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Blue Bell Widens Recall To All Of Its Products Over Listeria Worries

After initially recalling products made at its Oklahoma facility, Blue Bell is now asking retailers and customers to throw away or return all of its products currently on the market.
Blue Bell

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:04 am

Texas ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has widely expanded a voluntary recall over Listeria concerns, seeking the return of all of its products currently on the market. Blue Bell products are sold in 23 states.

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University Beat
7:00 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Five Years On, USF Researchers Revisit Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon burns after the wellcap blew out April 20, 2010
C-IMAGE Consortium

On April 20, 2010, a wellhead a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

In the subsequent leak, more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled out. On the Gulf’s surface, the oil covered up to 68-thousand square miles – an area roughly equal to the size of Florida.

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6:00 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Florida Agrees to End Lawsuit Over State Worker Drug Tests

Credit Associated Press

Florida Gov. Scott and the union that represents state workers are ending their legal battle over drug tests.

Scott in 2011 ordered random testing of roughly 85,000 state workers. The executive order was challenged by the union, and the testing was placed on hold.

The two sides on Monday asked a federal judge to approve a settlement in the case.

The settlement would exempt most state employees from drug tests. It would also require the state to reimburse $375,000 to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

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11:30 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Florida School Districts Halt Testing Amid New Problems

Credit Extra Ketchup / Flickr

Florida school districts across the state were forced Monday to halt the latest round of state standardized testing amid renewed problems with the online system used to administer the test.

The vendor hired by the state to carry out Florida's new high-stakes test blamed the technical issues on "human error" and apologized. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said that the company, American Institutes for Research, had made unapproved changes to the testing system over the weekend.

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11:12 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Lawmakers Keeping Arcades Open, But Some Worry About Future Of Bingo

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 7:12 pm

Florida Seniors are sending a clear message – hands off my Bingo. Lawmakers working to balance that while trying to fix a bill that created a grey area for arcade games without reopening a loophole that allowed gambling through internet cafes.

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11:12 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Bills Helping Florida's Kids, Elderly Head To Senate Floor

Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) speaking during the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee meeting Monday.

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:35 pm

A couple of measures aimed at helping Florida’s most vulnerable are now heading to the Senate floor, after passing their last committee Monday.

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11:11 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

'Religious Conscience' Riles Senate

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, wanted evidence of a legal threat to private adoption agencies if the state doesn't pass a "religious conscience" bill.

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:43 pm

A highly controversial bill pitting civil right against civil right is on final approach to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. While adoption is one of the most private decisions a family can make, a so-called “religious conscience” bill is stirring a very public debate.

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The Salt
4:37 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Appetite For Gulf Seafood Is Back, But The Crabs And Oysters Aren't

Blue crabs brought back to Tony Goutierrez's dock in Hopedale, La. For the past few years, his traps have been coming up empty. "It's sad to see it go, but it's going — this way of life is going to disappear," he says.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 9:53 pm

In 2010, just after the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, seafood restaurants were bombarded with questions from concerned diners: "How bad is the spill?" "Is this from the Gulf?" "Is it safe?" Demand for Gulf seafood tanked.

"You have to remember, that was literally weeks and months on end when you could turn on the TV at any time of day and see an oil well leaking unabatedly into the Gulf of Mexico," says Brett Anderson, feature food writer for Nola.com.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Tim Tebow Will Reportedly Return To NFL With Philadelphia Eagles

Tim Tebow, seen here at an NCAA football game last season, will reportedly sign with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday.
John Mersits CSM /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 12:58 pm

Continuing a string of surprises in this NFL offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles will reportedly sign quarterback Tim Tebow to a one-year contract to play quarterback. Tebow, 27, hasn't played in the NFL since 2012.

It would be the former Heisman winner's fourth stint with an NFL team. The New York Jets released Tebow in the spring of 2013; later that same year, he was cut by the New England Patriots. Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos back in 2010, after winning two BCS championships at Florida.

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3:17 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

New College Program Wants To Train Young Artists And Designers

A storyboard created by a student in Broward College's Visual Arts and Design Academy.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

A new program at Broward College has just eight students and seeks to train the next generation of South Florida artists and designers.

The school hopes to earn a national certification for the Visual Arts and Design Academy this spring – becoming the first community college in the South to have that.

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StoryCorps: Tampa Bay
2:36 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Lost Son

Michael and Deb Gilbert

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Deb and Michael Gilbert talk about their son Sean. Sean died eight years ago in 2007 from alcohol and drug addiction. Deb and Michael stepped into the storycorps booth last year in St. Petersburg and remembered Sean, starting with the day he was born. 

Music Used:

"Amazing" by Aerosmith from the album, Get a Grip.

This week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay was produced by Yoselis Ramos.

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10:49 am
Mon April 20, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger And Recovery Is Slow

Pelicans are nesting at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay. Five years ago, the nesting season here was marred by the oil gushing out of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 7:04 pm

Five years ago, BP's out-of-control oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig. But it was more than a deadly accident — the blast unleashed the nation's worst offshore environmental catastrophe.

In the spring and summer of 2010, oil gushed from the Macondo well for nearly three months. More than 3 million barrels of Louisiana light crude fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida, affecting wildlife and livelihoods.

Today, the spill's impacts linger.

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