Transportation
3:51 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Passenger Rail Foes Meet with DOT, Gov. Scott's Office

I hear that train a-comin?
Credit oregonlive.com

The next stop for a group of wealthy opponents of a proposed Miami-to-Orlando passenger rail service is a meeting with officials behind the private venture.

The Coral Gables-based All Aboard Florida announced Thursday it would meet in a few weeks with the relatively new residential group from Jupiter and Martin County.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Voting-Rights Groups Want Fl. Supreme Court to Hear Redistricting Case

A coalition of voting-rights organizations and individual voters wants the Florida Supreme Court take up the legal battle over the state's congressional districts.

In a notice of appeal filed Friday with the 1st District Court of Appeal, the groups --- which include the League of Women Voters of Florida --- also said they were giving up on having the lines changed in time for this year's congressional elections.

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Health News Florida
11:01 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Polk Sheriff Judd, John Morgan Square Off Over Medical Marijuana

Credit Robin Sussingham

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 700 people packed into a high school auditorium in Lakeland Thursday night. They came to see Florida heavyweights John Morgan and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd square off over legalizing medical marijuana.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri August 29, 2014

FIU Study Finds Link Between Good Handwriting And Good Grades

Art may be another way parents can help their children practice their fine-motor skills, says FIU professor Laura Dinehart.

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:03 am

Do you have sloppy penmanship? A Florida International University professor's research finds that kids whose writing is easy to read tend to do better in school.

 

After examining the handwriting of 3,000 preschool students in Miami-Dade County, an FIU study found good handwriting and good grades are related.

FIU early childhood education professor Laura Dinehart focused her study on students from low-income households.

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Business
10:20 am
Fri August 29, 2014

As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren't Seeing The Cash

Patrick Roy's company, Coastal Rental Equipment, used to rent these large pumps to offshore divers who work for oil and natural gas drillers. After the BP oil spill, when the government introduced a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Patterson, La., business suffered losses and eventually shut down.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am

BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years.

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Education
9:50 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida's Teacher Union Says Scholarship Program Is Unconstitutional

The Florida Education Association is challenging the state's private school tax credit scholarship program in court.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:14 pm

When Florida first approved its private school tax credit scholarship program in 2001, Florida Education Association attorney Ron Meyer said education groups questioned the legality, but no one really objected to helping low-income students get out of low-performing schools.

But then the scholarship program started to grow. Lawmakers approved a law that automatically expanded the program each year. Then earlier this year lawmakers raised the income cap. Now, a family of four earning $62,000 can receive a partial scholarship.

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Off The Base
9:18 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A 'Golden Age' and New Leader for SOCOM

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, passes the U.S. Special Operations Command flag to incoming commander Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel III during a change-of-command ceremony in Tampa on Aug. 28.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt Department of Defense

The significance of the U.S. Special Operations Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, can be measured by the fact that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel came to Tampa for the change of command ceremony.

“As a testament to the growing demand for special operators, SOCOM has grown by almost 8,000 people over the last three years,” Hagel told an invited audience of hundreds, most in military uniform. “And its growth will continue even as other parts of our military drawdown.”

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NPR Story
5:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Report: Florida's Minimum Wage Less Than Half What It Should Be

A new report says Florida's minimum wage is significantly less than what it takes to live in the Sunshine State.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:30 pm

Just in time for Labor Day, a new report finds that Florida’s minimum wage is less than half what workers need to cover basic expenses.

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Politics
4:19 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson: We Need to Attack ISIS Now; Help Ukraine

ISIS in Iraq

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is in Tampa today for the U.S. Special Operation’s change of command ceremony.

(Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel assumed command of U.S. Special Operations Command from Navy Adm. William H. McRaven at a ceremony officiated by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in the Tampa Convention Center.  Votel is the tenth commander of SOCOM and is now responsible for ensuring the readiness of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations Forces. )

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Education
9:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Florida Ready To Challenge Federal Testing Rules For Students Learning English

Gov. Rick Scott says he's giving the U.S. Department of Education 30 days to change their mind about testing requirements for students learning English or the state could head to court.
Credit John O'Connor / Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott is ready to take the federal government to court over testing rules for students learning English.

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida must count those students’ results after one year in school. Scott and Florida educators want to give students two years to learn English.

Scott said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will send a letter asking the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider testing rules for students learning English. If they don’t change their mind in 30 days, Scott said the state could go to court.

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Health News Florida
9:12 am
Thu August 28, 2014

WellCare, Amerigroup Name New FL COOs

Judi Peterson

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Two major health care groups have named new Chief Operating Officers for their Florida operations.

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Health News Florida
8:08 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Gualtieri: Medical Pot Vote Pushes Recreational Use

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
Credit Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is helping lead an effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana. Both a lawman and an attorney, Gualtieri was appointed sheriff by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. He was elected in his own right the following year.

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University Beat
7:45 am
Thu August 28, 2014

USF Unveils Dr. of Business Administration Degree

USF College of Business
Credit University of South Florida

The University of South Florida College of Business is adding to its Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Executive MBA programs with a degree that focuses on a combination of  researching business practices and putting them into use - the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

While DBA degrees are popular in Europe, they are gaining traction in the United States. Speaking to WUSF's University Beat, program director Grandon Gill said it's actually a return to the way things once were.

"It (the DBA) was the original degree for business professors - before (they) started getting PhDs, they got DBAs. But it's a multi-disciplinary degree that tends to span across all the functions instead of being highly specialized," Gill said.

Extended University Beat report on the new USF Doctor of Business Administration program

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Politics
8:49 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Florida Supreme Court Asked to Rule on Gay Marriage

Florida Supreme Court building
Credit Associated Press

Florida's highest court is being asked to rule on whether the state's ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

A majority of judges with the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to settle the question due to "great public importance."

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NPR Story
8:03 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

ISIS Captive Steven Sotloff's Mother Makes Video Plea To Terrorists

Shirley Sotloff pleas for the life of her son Steven Sotloff.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:55 am

It’s been a year since American journalist Steven Sotloff was kidnapped by terrorists in Syria. In that time, Sotloff’s family here in Pinecrest has not spoken publicly. But that changed Wednesday with a plea from Sotloff’s mother.

The short but moving video message from Shirley Sotloff is addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He’s the leader of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – or ISIS – which has threatened to kill her son if the United States continues bombing ISIS targets.

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