Politics
4:04 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

Disability Advocates Weigh In On Disability Bills Post-Session

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:49 pm

The legislature’s unscheduled Sine Die killed plenty of bills, but some say the loss of many anticipated disability bills hit the hardest.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

The Session May Be Dead But A Few Last Minute Bills Survived

The Florida Senate chambers Tuesday.

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 5:01 pm

When the House called an end to the 2015 session, a lot of major legislation died—but not everything.  The Senate was able to pass along a final few bills to the Governor in the waning hours.

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Movie Interviews
11:14 am
Sat May 2, 2015

At 81, The Man Behind Big Bird Sees 'No Reason To Quit'

The documentary I Am Big Bird tells the story of Caroll Spinney (left), who has been the man inside the yellow suit for more than 40 years.
Tribeca Film

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

Big Bird, the towering yellow bird with confetti feathers from Sesame Street, will eternally be 6 years old, but his character is nearly 50. The man behind Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, is 81 — and has no plans to step out of the suit any time soon.

"I see no reason to quit," Spinney tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I can't imagine walking away from being Big Bird. I mean, that's an awfully good job, and there's not too many of them. So, I just want to keep doing it until I can't do it anymore."

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Politics
6:06 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Justices Say House Adjournment Violated Fl Constitution

Florida Supreme Court building

The decision by House leaders to end their legislative session more than three days early violated the state Constitution, a majority of the Florida Supreme Court said Friday, while ruling that it was too late to order lawmakers to return to Tallahassee.

The ruling effectively ended the 2015 regular session, which was notable for an unresolved budget controversy that caused widespread dysfunction and sharp exchanges between Republican leaders.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Senate Dems Ask Supreme Court If House Departure is Constitutional

The Senate Democratic Caucus files lawsuit asking Florida Supreme Court to decide whether House departure is unconstitutional.

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:02 pm

UPDATE 05:01 12:02 p.m.: Democratic Senator Darren Soto of Kissimmee said he will file a reply in the Supreme Court in an hour to Republican House Speaker Steve Crisafulli's argument that the House used a legal parliamentary procedure when it ended the session Tuesday, three days before its scheduled end.

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Politics
11:46 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Matt Gaetz Comment About Black Senators Criticized

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach)
The Florida Channel

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:49 am

In-fighting in the Florida legislature is getting increasingly personal. But some observers are saying Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, may have crossed a line.
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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Charges Against 6 Officers In Freddie Gray's Death Range From Murder To Assault

Marilyn Mosby, state's attorney for Baltimore City, announced criminal charges against all six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a fatal injury while in police custody.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 9:35 am

The death of Freddie Gray was a homicide, and six Baltimore police officers now face criminal charges that include second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby says.

Mosby announced the charges Friday morning, citing her office's "thorough and independent" investigation and the medical examiner's report on Gray's death. She said warrants were issued Friday for the officers' arrest.

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University Beat
11:30 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Number of Firsts at USF Spring Commencement

Commencement ceremony at the USF Sun Dome in December 2014
Credit GradImage

While University of South Florida students taking part in spring commencement ceremonies wear caps and gowns made out of recycled materials for the first time, graduation history will be made in other ways as well.

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Culture
6:11 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Dry Creek: Field of Cowboy Dreams

Welcome to Dry Creek.
Credit Alison Miller / WUSF News

In the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," Kevin Costner built a ballpark in his Iowa cornfield, not knowing why.  It turned out it was to re-connect him with his father.

That movie strikes a chord with former Tampa Bay traffic reporter and radio personality Les McDowell.

McDowell is the creator, producer and one of the stars of the cable TV Western series "Dry Creek". The show is shot on his ranch in Manatee County on a set he built himself out of scrap materials.

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Politics
11:47 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

'43 Days Initiative,' Revenge Porn Ban Among Measures Headed To Gov. Scott

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 6:55 pm

Two bills aimed at protecting victims of sex-related crimes are now headed to Governor Rick Scott.

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The Two-Way
11:15 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston Picked First In NFL Draft

Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles attempts a pass during the game against the Florida Gators on Nov. 30.
Sam Greenwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:38 pm

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston as their first-round pick in the NFL draft on Thursday.

Winston was awarded the Heisman trophy in 2013 just nine days after a prosecutor declined charge him over allegations that he raped a female student at Florida State.

Here's a bit of Winston's bio from NFL.com:

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Health News Florida
3:32 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

House Packet on Medicaid Called Misleading

House Appropriations Chairman Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:08 pm

Florida House leaders, who for three years have rejected federal funds to expand health coverage to the poor, brought the legislative session to an early halt Tuesday because of their rock-solid belief that “Medicaid is broken.”

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Health News Florida
3:32 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Citizens Weigh In On Low Income Pool

Justin Senior, deputy secretary for Medicaid for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, spoke in Orlando today.

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:51 am

Florida officials have a new proposal to try and keep $2.2 billion federal health fund for the uninsured.

The Low Income Pool, or LIP, reimburses hospitals for the care of uninsured patients. The new plan would reimburse based on the quality of care.

The Agency for Health Care Administration took public comment for the first time Wednesday. Poinciana retiree Jim Guth said he supports the program, but doesn’t like the strings attached to federal dollars.

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Health News Florida
3:29 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

'Huge' Revamp Of Mental-Health Services Scrapped

Sen. Rene Garcia

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:29 pm

  An ambitious proposal to revamp the state's system for delivering mental-health services became a casualty of the House's early exit from the Capitol, as the plan's Senate sponsor Wednesday refused to along with changes made by House members.

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News
2:31 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Legislature Ending Amid Acrimony, Standoff

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 8:58 am

The annual session of the Florida Legislature limped to a premature end Wednesday amid finger-pointing and threats of possible lawsuits.

The House abruptly adjourned a day earlier, with leaders contending there was no reason to remain at the Capitol as long as they continue to have a stalemate with Senate leaders over a new state budget and health care.

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