Politics
4:49 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Lawmakers Back New Specialty Tags, Higher Requirements

Endless no more?

Lawmakers took steps Thursday that could cancel a fifth of the specialty license plates available in Florida but also advanced 26 more designs for motorists to pre-order.

House and Senate committees backed higher thresholds for plates to qualify to be produced and for the current 122 tags to remain on the road.

At the same time, the Senate Transportation and House Economic Affairs committees moved a wide range of tags toward pre-sale for Panhellenic organizations, non-profits, environmental endeavors and professional sports teams.

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Culture
1:19 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Tampa's Arts Scene Goes Gasp! Again

Ward Hall, legendary showman who appeared at last year's festival, poses for a picture.
Credit Lori Ballard / Creative Loafing

In the atrium of the Tampa Museum of Art, a dancer moved gracefully to pensive piano music. That was just one of the many acts at last year's GASP!--a one night festival for theater, dance, poetry, music and more.

This year, GASP! is back.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the Tampa Museum of Art and Creative Loafing

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Politics
11:22 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Limos, Taxis Support Proposed Uber Regulations

Lou Minardi and Rick Versace speak to reporters during Ground Transportation Day at the Capitol.

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:52 pm

Florida’s transit system is a major topic of discussion this session with public safety being the primary concern. Affiliates with the state’s Taxi and Limousine companies joined lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday to back a plan regarding ride share services, like Uber.

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Politics
11:06 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Senate Alimony Reform Getting Bipartisan Support

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:56 pm

Deciding who is owed what after a divorce can be chaotic. But lawmakers want to bring order to the process through math. The Senate’s alimony reform bill uses a formula to decide how much a person should pay in alimony and for how long.

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Law & Order
10:52 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Bills Reforming Way Juveniles Can Be Charged As Adults Moving In Fla. Legislature

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:07 am

A bill reforming the way state prosecutors can charge juveniles as adults is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

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NPR Story
10:36 am
Thu March 26, 2015

The Nurse Will See You Now: Expanded Authority Proposal Gets Moving In Legislature

FMA President Dr. Allen Pillersdorf argues against expanded nurse powers in the House Health Innovation Committee on 3/25/15.

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:31 pm

A plan to expand the powers of nurses hasn’t yet caught on in the legislature, but eased out of a House Health panel Wednesday. The fate of bill remains cloudy, but its sponsor says even if it fails this year—the issue isn’t going away.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Co-Pilot Showed 'Willingness To Destroy Aircraft,' Prosecutor Says

An image from AFP TV video taken Tuesday shows smoke billowing from scattered debris of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the crash site in the French Alps above the town of Seyne-les-Alpes, France.
Denis Bois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:44 pm

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps after the pilot had left the cockpit, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said at a news conference Thursday.

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Health News Florida
7:10 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Fewer Dying Before 75 in Florida

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:50 pm

Three Tampa Bay counties improved their health score in this year’s annual County Health Rankings, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

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Health News Florida
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Florida Deadliest State for Cyclists

Smart Growth America's map tracks more than a decade's worth of bicycle fatalities in Florida and the rest of the country
Smart Growth America.org

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:19 pm

Frank Gilbert has been nudged a few times while riding a bike to work. Nudged is his term for cars bumping into him.

If you close your eyes and think of someone riding a bike to work, you might picture spandex and neon helmets. Maybe jean shorts and a handlebar mustache.

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News
6:35 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Tampa, Orlando Growth Behind State Population Boon

People moving to the Interstate 4 corridor and South Florida propelled the state's population to almost 20 million residents last year, allowing it to surpass New York as the nation's third-largest state, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday.

More than half of Florida's growth last year came from three metropolitan areas: South Florida, Orlando and Tampa. With Florida adding another 292,000 residents last year, the state now has 19.9 million residents, trailing only California and Texas.

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Education
5:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Program to Help Homeless Teens Expands to Pinellas

Mayor Rick Kriseman speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Starting Right, Now a program to help homeless teens in Pinellas County
Credit M.S Butler

A Hillsborough County project to help teens is expanding across the bay with the help of some well known local dignitaries.
 

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman and others broke ground Tuesday on what will soon will be a residential facility for homeless teens in Pinellas County.

The project, funded through private donations, comes from the efforts of Start Right Now a program working to end homelessness for area teens.

 Vicki Sokolik  is the founder and executive director.

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Politics
11:22 am
Wed March 25, 2015

What ‘Attack’ Is More Likely: Alligator or Gun?

AP

Florida is one of 20 states that specifically bans firearms on college campuses, but the Florida Legislature is moving toward allowing guns on campuses.

A group that advocates for concealed carry of firearms on campuses recently told lawmakers that alligator attacks are more common than "attacks" by those with a gun permit.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
1:39 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Ends 1,000-Mile Journey

From left, Carlton Ward Jr., Mallory Lykes Dimmitt and Joe Guthrie after they finished their 1,000-mile trip
Steve Newborn WUSF News

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.

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Health News Florida
10:10 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hemp Farming Gets Thumbs Up From Florida Senate Committee

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill to let farmers grow hemp crops like these.

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 2:45 pm

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

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World Affairs
10:08 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Senators Decry Normalizing Cuban Relations

The Florida Senate easily passed a non-binding resolution Tuesday against normalizing Cuban relations.

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 6:18 pm

Florida lawmakers of Cuban descent spoke out Tuesday on the Senate floor against normalizing relations with the island nation. 

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