Environment
7:32 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Amendment 1 Backers Rally for Land Buying

Environmentalists plan to hold rallies across Florida this weekend, again calling on lawmakers to boost the amount of money for land acquisition, Everglades restoration and natural-springs protection.

Supporters of the 2014 ballot initiative known as "Amendment 1" have announced 10 locations --- Bradenton, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Sarasota County, Stuart and Tampa --- where they intend to hold rallies Saturday. That is two days before lawmakers start a special legislative session to negotiate a budget.

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News
1:24 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

U.S. Drops Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terrorism

President Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro during their historic meeting in April at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:29 pm

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

The U.S. State Department announced Friday that Cuba has been dropped from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"The rescission of Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission," the department said in a statement. "While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation."

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Making Sense of the Media
12:20 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Making Sense of This American Life's Retraction

Ira Glass - with papers in hand.

Last month, This American Life did a story about canvassers who identified a way to go door to door and change people’s minds on issues such as same sex marriage and abortion rights. The story cited data that had been published in the journal Science. It proved that the canvassers could influence peoples’ views. In a big way. An author of the study asked Science to retract it because he believed some of the data gathered by his co-author was faked, so TAL had to issue a retraction.

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Off The Base
11:54 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Airman's Suicide Spurs 405-Mile Run

At a ceremony kicking off his run from Tampa to Key West, Gulf War veteran Alex Estrella holds onto the photo of Afghanistan War veteran Jamie Brunette who commited suicide in February.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

Air Force Reserve Captain Jamie Brunette is described by friends as a vivacious athlete with a huge smile who loved people and loved to run. 

Malia Spranger, an Air Force Reserve colonel, served with Brunette, was her friend and business partner. They were going to open a fitness center together in March.

But Brunette, an Afghanistan War veteran, took her own life February 9, 2015.

“She was (like) a daughter to my husband and I,” Spranger said. “She is obviously terribly missed by so many people out there.”

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News
11:49 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Polk County Man, 82, Arrested For Slashing Tires Over Bingo

Fred Smith
Credit Polk County Sheriff's Offic

Police have arrested an 82-year-old Lake Wales man for slashing a woman’s tires because he claimed she was sitting in his favorite bingo seat.

Fred Smith faces a charge of criminal mischief after police say he took an ice pick to 88-year-old Ethel Britt’s van during a weekly bingo game at the Lake Ashton Retirement Community Club House.

Police say Smith stormed out of the bingo hall and punctured two of Britt’s tires because she was sitting in a chair he usually sits in. Smith was caught on surveillance video in the act.

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Health News Florida
11:03 am
Fri May 29, 2015

In Sunlit Paradise, Seniors Go Hungry

Angelo and Mina Maffucci pose for a portrait in the kitchen of their son’s apartment, where they’ve been living for about five years — since they lost their house.
Credit Ariel Min / PBS NewsHour

It wasn’t until the Maffuccis found themselves living on cups of coffee, and coffee alone, that they finally called a food pantry for help.

The couple had sold their suburban New Jersey home where they had raised three children and set out to pursue the glossy dream of an easy-going retirement in sunny southwest Florida.

But Mina and Angelo Maffucci quickly ran out of money—overtaken by illness, bad luck and an economic crisis that claimed their dream home in Naples to foreclosure. They soon found themselves staring at an empty cupboard.

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Health News Florida
10:31 am
Fri May 29, 2015

'Transparency Tour' Takes Aim at Hospitals

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:32 pm

Continuing to target the hospital industry, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced what he dubbed the "Spotlight Transparency Tour" to discuss issues such as hospital profits and patient outcomes.

 The Scott-appointed Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding will meet next Thursday at the Capitol and then visit three other cities in June and July as part of the tour. The tour stops are June 17 in Tampa, June 29 in Jacksonville and July 13 in Miami.

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Health News Florida
10:29 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Loses Billions To Treat The Poor By Not Expanding Medicaid, Advocates Say

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Environment
5:10 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Environmentalists Continue Push for Everglades Reservoir

Environmentalists are optimistic they can get money from Florida lawmakers for a reservoir in the Everglades during the upcoming special legislative session, something they couldn't do during the 60-day regular session.

But so far, only a handful of legislative leaders have proposed such funding as they prepare to return to Tallahassee on Monday to work on the state budget.

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Health News Florida
10:21 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Shriners Hospitals and Mayo Clinic Team Up

Statue of a Shriner holding a young child outside of the Shriners International Headquarters in Tampa.
Credit Courtesy waymarking.com

This story has been revised to update the way Shriners Hospitals cover the cost of treatment for its patients.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has joined one of the nation's best known hospital groups.

The group announced it will be teaming up with the Mayo Clinic during a press conference Tuesday at Shriners International Headquarters in Tampa.

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Health News Florida
9:30 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Medical Pot Likely Available This Year

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 8:39 am

Florida officials are predicting that a strain of low-potency marijuana should finally be available for medical purposes later this year.

Legislators in 2014 voted to legalize a strain of marijuana known as Charlotte's Web to treat epilepsy and cancer patients.

But there have been disputes over rules drawn up by the Department of Health to implement the law.

An administrative law judge on Wednesday threw out the latest challenge to those rules.

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News
9:29 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Hot-Button Health Issues Added To Session

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 8:22 am

The House and Senate have long been divided about a proposal to expand health coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Floridians.

 

But when lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for a special session, they also will wade into a series of other controversial health care issues, including a proposal to revamp insurance coverage for state workers and a push to overhaul some longstanding health-industry regulations.

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Health News Florida
9:29 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Special Session Sticking Points Nothing New

Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:44 am

Health care spending was the defining issue of the 2015 Florida legislative session. 

The Florida House and Senate were miles apart on the issue, and the disagreement sent the regular session to a screeching halt earlier this month.

On Monday, lawmakers will return to Tallahassee for a special session to try to pass a budget, but lawmakers appear no closer to an agreement on health spending, especially when it comes to an alternative to Medicaid expansion.

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News
9:29 am
Thu May 28, 2015

FHA President: FHIX Not a 'Handout'

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and other members of "A Health Florida Works" coalition met at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Wednesday to talk about the Florida Senate's alternative to Medicaid expansion proposal.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:39 am

Hospital administrators and Democratic lawmakers are still trying to persuade Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House on an alternative to Medicaid expansion.

A coalition called "A Healthy Florida Works" is urging the lawmakers to accept a revamped proposal from the Florida Senate. They met today at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.

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Health News Florida
9:28 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Florida Getting First Breast Milk Bank

Sander van der Wel Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:48 am

Baby Serenity lay on her tummy in a tiny white crib at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies’ neonatal intensive care unit in Orlando. A nurse rubs her back as her chest heaves up and down with her little breaths.

When Serenity was born three months early, in February, she weighed just one pound.

“She’s a fighter, she’s a feisty little thing. She’s just a doll, she’s our little princess,” Serenity’s mom, Tiffanie Jenkins, said recently of her little girl wearing a bright yellow shirt and pink pants.

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