Education
8:37 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Lee County School Board Reverses Testing Boycott

Testing opponents quietly show support for speakers at Tuesday's Lee County school board meeting. The board voted 3-2 to reverse its state testing boycott.

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 3:50 pm

The Lee County school board has reversed its decision to reject state tests, after board member Mary Fischer changed her mind. Last week the board became the first in Florida to refuse to offer state tests to its students on a 3-2 vote.

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NPR Story
7:03 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Florida Officials Condemn ISIS For Murder Of Journalist Steven Sotloff

An undated photo of journalist Steven Sotloff at the Great Sphinx in Egypt.

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 5:36 pm

Federal officials are working to confirm the authenticity of a video that purportedly shows journalist Steven Sotloff being murdered by an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militant.

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Off The Base
5:34 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Veterans Town Hall for Bay Pines VA

Credit Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Here’s an opportunity for veterans and their family members who want to share ideas, compliments and complaints with the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and St. Petersburg VA Regional Office.

It’s a town hall, scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 as part of the “improved communication” called for by new VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

The goal is to hear directly from veterans.

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Culture
5:08 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Buccaneers Have a New Season Spirit

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to let go of their losing ways with new uniforms, a new general manager and most importantly, a new head coach. Today the team president, Bryan Glazer, talked up Lovie Smith at a Chamber of Commerce event.

Bryan Glazer told fans that when he was looking for a new head coach it was very short list, in fact, it was only one. He said Lovie Smith is a winner, and they're excited for this upcoming season.

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World Affairs
4:21 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Video Purports to Show Beheading of Florida Journalist

In a first video posted on YouTube titled “A Message to America,” a man identified as American journalist Steven Sotloff is held by an Islamic militant who had just executed American James Foley
Credit AP Photo

An Internet video posted online Tuesday purported to show the beheading by the Islamic State group of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, who went missing in Syria last year.

The extremist group, which has claimed wide swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and declared itself a caliphate, said Sotloff’s killing was retribution for continued U.S. airstrikes targeting its fighters in Iraq. It brazenly killed American journalist James Foley last month in the same manner and again threatened to kill another hostage, this one they identified as a British citizen.

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Business
3:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Falcon's Fury Opens - Finally - at Busch Gardens Tampa

Tall, isn't it?
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Busch Gardens' Falcon's Fury is finally open. After testing that took months, the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America is now giving people the chance to fall face-down towards the ground at 60 miles per hour.

Falcon's Fury is the main attraction of Pantopia - the new area of the theme park that opened in April.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Ex-Republican Crist is Florida Democrats' Big Hope

Republicans have had control of the Florida Legislature and governor's office since 1999 and have used their power to restrict abortions, loosen gun laws, strip state workers of benefits, allow private school vouchers and enact a slew of other policy changes that Democrats opposed but could do nothing to stop.

Now Democrats, desperate for relevancy again, are trying to stop the Republican agenda by defeating Gov. Rick Scott while essentially ignoring the rest of the ballot.

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10:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Interest in Medical Marijuana Business High Around Florida

Lead in text: 
If medical marijuana does pass, crafting regulations won't start in earnest until next year. Only then will potential growers and dispensers know how much business opportunity may exist. While a lot remains unsettled, budding entrepreneurs across the state already have incorporated several dozen companies with such names as Cannabiz, Cannabis Hemporium and Marijuana Farmacy in an effort to get in on the ground floor of the industry.
The website features a photo of bright green marijuana buds covered in what looks like white crystals, announcing that Gainesville Green Cross is "Florida's premier marijuana dispensary" and the spot for "Gainesville's best cannabis." The home-page menu links to a page advising "our menus are coming soon ...
Health News Florida
10:25 am
Tue September 2, 2014

States Help Pay ACA Tax On Insurers

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 8:36 am

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it required health insurers, hospitals, device makers and pharmaceutical companies to share in the cost because they would get a windfall of new, paying customers.

But with an $8 billion tax on insurers due Sept. 30 -- the first time the new tax is being collected -- the industry is getting help from an unlikely source: taxpayers.

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Environment
9:24 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Tropical Storm Dolly Forms in Southwest Gulf

Going to Mexico?

Tropical Storm Dolly formed overnight in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman says the storm is no threat to Florida.

Dolly became our season's fourth named storm just hours after the fourth month of the season began. The tropical storm appeared healthy on satellite data, and some strengthening will likely occur today before it moves ashore in northeast Mexico early Wednesday. Tropical Storm Dolly is no threat to the State of Florida.

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Culture
9:10 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Women are more likely to take time off to care for a sick child or elderly adult, making mandatory paid sick leave a hot partisan topic.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

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Florida Matters
12:01 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Ira Glass Declares Craig Kopp 'Normal'

Ira Glass, creator and host of This American Life.

Ira Glass, the host and creator of This American Life, will be in town Sept. 13 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg for “Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass.”

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Politics
9:14 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Florida Drivers To Pay Less In License Plate Fees

Florida drivers will pay less to renew their license plates starting Sept. 1.

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:23 pm

It will hurt your wallet a little bit less the next time you have to renew your license plates.

Starting Sept. 1, tag fees for cars, trucks and motorcycles will drop by about $17 to $25 each, depending on the type of vehicle and its weight.

Legislation passed during the 2014 session slashed the fees, which were increased in 2009, while Florida lawmakers were looking for ways to balance the state budget during tough economic times.

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Business
9:14 am
Mon September 1, 2014

In Florida, Labor Not Doing Well This Labor Day

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 2:28 pm

Labor Day was created to celebrate the country’s labor movement and its social and economic achievements, but a new study from FIU’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) may dampen some of this year’s celebration.

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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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