StoryCorps: Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon March 30, 2015

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: A Sisters Bond

Sisters Alina Lezcano (right) and Elaine Lezcano-Perez (left)

There is no bond like a bond between sisters. In this installment of Storycorps Tampa Bay, Alina Lezcano tells her younger sister, Elaine Lezcano-Perez, about her own unusual entry into this world and what it meant to her 14 years later when her baby sister came along. 


“Lost Star” by Jelsonic from the album, Various Moods, from

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

1:32 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Alternative Spring Break - On the Mexico Border

The U.S./Mexico border fence.
Credit Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Spring break for college students is often a time to head to the beach, or relax. However, I decided to spend my vacation differently. 

Each year, USF's Bulls Service Breaks sends students on various trips with the intent of raising social awareness--public health, gang prevention and immigration to name a few. 

I went on the immigration trip. 

Our group (11 of us) went to McAllen, Texas--a border town.  

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World Affairs
12:41 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Pilot Who Downed Airliner Vowed 'To Do Something' To Be Remembered

A German police investigator carries a box after searching an apartment believed to belong to the crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Duesseldorf, on Thursday.
Wolfgang Rattay Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 2:53 pm

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

The co-pilot who deliberately downed an airliner over the French Alps this week, killing all 150 aboard, had told a girlfriend sometime last year that he would "do something" that would make people remember his name, a German newspaper reports.

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12:40 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

House Passes Bill To Reduce Class Size Penalties

Voters approved the class size amendment in 2002. Florida lawmakers are charged with implementing - and funding - the amendment. It limits the number of students per class to 18 through 3rd grade, 22 in 4th - 8th grade, and 25 in high school.

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:17 am

School districts are likely to face fewer penalties for violating class-size requirements under a bill that passed the Florida House Friday on a vote of 107 - 3.

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12:38 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

An Unconventional Path To A Balanced Budget

Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola Beach, wants to call a constitutional convention for a balanced budget amendment

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:54 pm

It’s the gold standard for every conservative – a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Jeffrey Utsch, executive vice president of the ultra-conservative Compact for America, preaches it in a video on his group’s website:

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5:08 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Public Education Changes Approved by Fl House

Charter schools would get more construction funding, class-size penalties would be relaxed and school districts would be encouraged to enact dress codes under a series of education bills approved Friday by the Florida House.

Most of the school-related bills were passed in lopsided votes, though Democrats united to oppose a measure that could funnel local tax dollars to charter-school construction (HB 7037).

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Law & Order
12:10 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

New DJJ Secretary Christy Daly Breezes Through Senate Confirmation Hearing

DJJ Secretary Christy Daly being sworn in during her Senate confirmation hearing Monday.

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 11:30 am

The newly appointed head of Florida’s juvenile justice system breezed through her recent initial confirmation hearing in the Senate.

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11:37 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Push for Resort Casinos Stalls in Fl Legislature

Bill is still a roll of the dice

The push to bring Las Vegas-resort-style casinos to South Florida is stalling again this year as the Florida Legislature remains divided over what type of gambling to allow in the state.

A major gambling bill sponsored by a top House Republican that includes the casino proposal has yet to be voted on — and it may not get its first vote until sometime in April. The 60-day session ends May 1.

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10:35 am
Fri March 27, 2015

UCF Proposes New Medical Residencies

The University of Central Florida is proposing adding up to 700 medical residency slots.

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:40 am

A decade from now, Florida is expected to be short 7,000 doctors.

The University of Central Florida is looking to tackle some of that.

Deborah German, dean of the UCF medical school, said Thursday the school wants to expand the training doctors get after getting a medical degree. The specialty residencies would focus on psychiatry, surgery and emergency medicine.

And it would offer the opportunity to get new federal money, German said.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Fri March 27, 2015

German Prosecutor: Germanwings Co-Pilot Concealed Medical Condition

Police officers carry boxes outside a house in Montabaur, Germany, on Thursday in connection with the investigation into the Germanwings A320 crash.
Fredrik von Erichsen EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:14 pm

Updated at 8:53 a.m. ET

Prosecutors in Duesseldorf, Germany, say Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight FU 9525, who appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps, concealed a medical condition from his employers.

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9:32 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Lawmakers Weigh Gambling Reform

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa

Gambling in Florida appears to be on something of a precipice. Most lawmakers say they’d like to see an overall reduction, but as lawmakers look at pushing gaming legislation first one way and then the other, activists say each move could lead to a massive expansion.

Florida is one of the largest gaming states in the country – depending on who you ask. John Sowinski is president of the group No Casinos.

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Health News Florida
8:53 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Measles Patient Visited Kissimmee, Sarasota, South FL

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:16 am

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a measles case in Central Florida.

The measles was diagnosed in an international traveler who stayed at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee March 16 and March 17.

The unidentified traveler spent most of the time in Osceola County, but also visited Miami-Dade, Orange and Sarasota Counties while contagious.

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Fri March 27, 2015

NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is seen inside a Soyuz simulator at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on March 4 in Star City, Russia. Kelly, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, are scheduled for launch Friday aboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:58 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A Russian rocket has carried a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to the International Space Station, where they will live for a full year, twice as long as people usually stay.

No American has remained in space longer than 215 days. Only a few people have ever gone on space trips lasting a year or more — the longest was 437 days — and they're all Russian cosmonauts. The last year-plus stay in space occurred nearly two decades ago.

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11:00 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Church Of Scientology Calls New HBO Documentary 'Bigoted'

The HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief airs Sunday — over the vigorous objection of Scientology officials.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:01 pm

The Church of Scientology is famous for its efforts to silence its critics, but it has not blocked an upcoming HBO film that turns a harsh light on the powerful organization and its leadership.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, will debut Sunday over the vigorous objection of Scientology officials.

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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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