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Mother Fighting To Change Wrongful Death Rules

When Linda Porter listens to Foreigner or Styx, she thinks of her own long-haired guitarist, Pete Thomas.Pete, her son, died 12 years ago in a New Port Richey hospital. When Porter attends rock concerts now, she imagines Pete's right there with her in the crowd.
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The race for president is starting to heat up in the Tampa Bay area.  Donald Trump is coming to the University of South Florida Sun Dome tonight.

Several thousand people are expected to be at the 10,000-seat USF Sun Dome to see Donald Trump, who is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m.  A group of student protesters say they're planning to make their voices heard, as well, outside the event. It's his only scheduled Florida appearance, since Trump will be off to South Carolina to stump before next week's primary there.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Stories about veterans waiting years - decades even - to resolve a disability claim are not uncommon.

“I have a claim from 2003 that’s still not found yet. Nobody knows where it’s at,” said Gustavo Nunez, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq. “I actually gave up on it a long time ago. I was so frustrated with the system.”

Just 48 hours after his landslide win in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was in Milwaukee, Wis., reminding everyone how far he had come in his quest for the presidency — and perhaps realizing how far he still has to go.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is calling on the US Army Corps of Engineers to push more excess water south toward the Everglades.  The action is aimed at alleviating pressure on coastal estuaries and the Everglades' wildlife after the winter's record rainfall.

It’s been a rainy winter and excess water at Lake Okeechobee had been pushed east and west into delicate estuaries. When that was done back in 2013, it caused toxic algae blooms. But if the Corp of Engineers follow the governor’s request for Lake Okeechobee and other places, the water will flow south toward the Everglades.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

A relative of one of the boys buried at a shuttered reform school and a representative of Jackson County would be part of a task force that establishes a memorial and determines where unclaimed remains should be re-interned, under a proposal backed Thursday by a Senate panel.

Florida Senate

The Florida Senate approved a nearly $81 billion budget this afternoon, and now, the Florida Legislature has less than a month left in its regular session to reach a deal over a new state budget.

AP

The Florida House has passed a nearly $80 billion budget after a lengthy partisan debate.

The House on Thursday voted 85-29 for the spending bill that includes money for schools, health care and environmental programs. The Senate is expected to pass a rival budget later in the day. 

State lawmakers want to put Florida back on the silver screen by rebooting the state’s film incentives program. Some lawmakers are tired of watching films about Florida being shot in other states.

A proposed gaming agreement between Florida and the Seminole Indiana tribe is moving forward, but legislative leaders don’t expect discussions surrounding the bill to end soon.

When Linda Porter listens to Foreigner or Styx, she thinks of her own long-haired guitarist, Pete Thomas.

Pete, her son, died 12 years ago in a New Port Richey hospital. When Porter attends rock concerts now, she imagines Pete's right there with her in the crowd.

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