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Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

WWII Vet's Mustard Gas Claim Under Review

More than 70 years after being exposed to mustard gas at boot camp – a World War II veteran’s claim for VA benefits is being reconsidered. It was not until 1991 that the Department of Defense declassified information on its mustard gas experiments using U.S. soldiers and sailors in training. Veteran John Tedesco was exposed to mustard gas in January 1944 at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station along with some of his buddies from his hometown of Erie, PA. So, when the testing became public,...
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Daylina Miller/WUSF

At the First Presbyterian Church of New Port Richey, 5-year-old George Blowers IV snaps together pieces of a toy pirate ship with the help of a Red Cross volunteer.

A Red Cross volunteer plays with George Blowers IV in the toy room at the First Presbyterian Church of Port Richey after his parent's kitchen and his bedroom flooded in their New Port Richey home.Credit Daylina Miller/WUSFEdit | Remove

AP

Just six months ago, Gov. Rick Scott stood onstage outside the state Capitol basking in his hard-fought victory as he began his second term.

Scott boldly proclaimed in his inaugural address that the campaign was over, and while there would be "robust debates on the best direction for Florida" that "we should not let partisan politics, or any politics for that matter, get in our way."

Pasco County

 A weekend of unrelenting rain has left large portions of Tampa Bay flooded. Areas of Pasco County received the brunt of the impact, where an evacuation order still stands in Elfers in Southwest Pasco. Officials at the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) expect flood waters will remain in the Elfers and Trinity Oaks areas for the next few days.

For those seeking refuge from the rising tides, the American Red Cross Shelter at First Presbyterian Church in Port Richey is open; seven people have already made use of this resource in the last 24 hours. 

The Schultz Center

At one point, the Schultz Center had state funding and a big, multi-million dollar contract with Duval County schools to help teachers improve their craft.

The Schultz Center has trained thousands of teachers since it was founded in Jacksonville in 1997. But when state revenues declined, the Schultz Center funding was cut.

“The recession happened,” said Deborah Gianoulis, president of the Schultz Center. “That [state budget] line-item was never restored.”

As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans are relatively easy to register to vote, and they are attracting unprecedented attention because they could change the political calculus in a state that President Obama won by the thinnest of margins in 2012: 50 percent to 49.1 percent. “It’s a potential game changer for the state,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center. “It’s the biggest movement of people out of Puerto Rico since the great migration of the 1950s.”

Flood Watch Continues for Tampa Bay Area

16 hours ago

A Flood Watch is in effect again today for parts of west-central Florida, where flooding is ongoing in some parts of Pasco County. The heavy rain is likely to continue through midweek.

Insurers participating in Florida's new Medicaid managed care program say they've lost $542 million through 2014 and want the state to raise their rates. But after losing major federal funding for hospitals, Gov. Rick Scott doesn't want to use any more state money for the Medicaid program.

Scott and the insurers are locked in intense negotiations that could undermine the fledgling program that gives federal funds to private health insurance companies to oversee medical care for poor and disabled people instead of reimbursing doctors and hospitals for each service.

Challenge Looms Over Medical Pot Applications

18 hours ago

Even before selecting five nurseries to become Florida's first legal pot producers, Department of Health officials will face a challenge from at least one grower whose application was tossed out because it was late.

The department's Office of Compassionate Use staff rejected two of the 30 applications from nurseries hoping to get chosen as one of the five coveted "dispensing organizations." Both were tossed because they were received after a 5 p.m. deadline following a frenzied scene during a torrential downpour July 8 at the agency's headquarters.

StoryCorps

This installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay is the final one of the series that started in May 2014. As we sunset this vast collection of local stories, what more appropriate conversation to have is there than one about aging?

John Hoopes asks his dad, Ray Hoopes, the tough questions on aging starting with, "Is it hard to get old?"

Music Used:

"Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" by Norah Jones and Billie Joe from the album, Foreverly.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

This week women veterans from throughout Florida will meet in Tampa for the 2nd Annual Women Veterans’ Conference. The goal is to sign them up for available benefits and resources.

This is the second year the state is reaching out to women veterans. The conference has expanded to two days, July 30-31, 2015, at the University of South Florida Tampa campus to accommodate demand.

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