Politics
11:26 am
Thu July 24, 2014

State Judge To Decide Whether to Delay Electoral District Map Fix

A Florida judge is being asked to decide when the state's congressional districts will be redrawn.

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis is holding a hearing Thursday to consider what steps to take since ruling that current districts are illegal because they were drawn to benefit the Republican Party.

Legislative leaders say they will redraw the districts, but they want to wait until after the 2014 elections.

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Health News Florida
7:50 am
Thu July 24, 2014

FDA Rules Could Snuff Out ‘Cigar City’

Tuptim Ploysawon has worked at J.C. Newman Cigar Factory for almost five years.
Lottie Watts WUSF

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:23 am

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to add new regulations to additional tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco and cigars.

The proposed regulations are not going down well in Tampa's Ybor City, which has been rolling out cigars since 1886.

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Health News Florida
7:50 am
Thu July 24, 2014

FL #1 in Rebates; Blue Owes $20M

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 10:39 am

Insurers must pay $41.7 million in rebates to Florida individuals and employers this summer, an amount that far exceeds refunds in any other state, according to a federal report released Thursday. 

Companies affiliated with Florida Blue in Jacksonville -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Health Options Inc. -- owe a total of $20 million, nearly half of the total.

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Health News Florida
7:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Jobs Needing Less Education Growing

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:04 am

Home health aides, medical assistants and other workers with less than a four-year college degree account for nearly half of the health care workforce in Florida and across the country, a new Brookings Institute analysis reports.

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Environment
6:52 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Depression Two dissipates, Remnant Wave Moving West

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:32 pm

The National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory on Tropical Depression Two midday Wednesday, stating that there was no longer a closed circulation and that dry air had caused it to weaken. The remnants of this system, now nothing more than a tropical wave with showers and breezy conditions, will approach the Lesser Antilles tomorrow and could eventually drift toward Florida some time next week. At this time, however, no new tropical storm formation is expected anywhere in the Atlantic Basin over the next five days.

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Environment
6:50 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Why Doesn't The Sunshine State Use More Solar Energy?

A solar panel installation at FPL's Martin County Next Generation hybrid natural gas and solar energy plant.

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:51 am

As far as solar energy goes, the Sunshine State is third in the country for potential -- and 18th in actual installation.

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Culture
6:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Same-Sex Couples Still Will Not Marry In The Keys

Plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 6:17 pm

  Wedding bells are not ringing yet for same-sex couples in Monroe County.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones had hoped to apply for a marriage license on Tuesday after last week Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in their favor seeking the right to marry. But State Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed Garcia’s decision, automatically putting the process on hold.

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Politics
6:16 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Poll: Governor's Race Gets Closer Amid Attacks

Side-by-side in more ways than one

With the campaign dominated by a barrage of back-and-forth attacks, Democrat Charlie Crist's lead over Republican incumbent Rick Scott has narrowed in the race for Florida governor, a new poll shows.

Crist leads Scott by a margin of 45 percent to 40 percent in a head-to-head contest, down from a 10-point advantage in April, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

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Culture
9:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

TB History Center Showcases Florida Highwaymen Art

Artist: Isaac Knight
Tampa Bay History Center

Back in the 1950s and '60s, a group of African-Americans, known as the Highwaymen, sold Florida landscape paintings to locals and tourists on the side of the road. The paintings were sold for only a few bucks at the time but after the '90s, their value soared. The Tampa Bay History Center is showcasing these prized paintings.

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Florida Matters
4:09 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

What Passengers Say About the Future of Cruises at Port Tampa Bay

The Carnival Legend at Cruise Terminal #2
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF

Early Sunday morning, before the 2,000 passengers from cruise ship disembark, a line of taxi cabs forms outside Port of Tampa Bay Terminal #2 just beyond idling tour buses.

That’s where cab driver John Bailey stood waiting for fares.  He’s fully aware of the cruise ship debate and the options explored in a recent study.

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Law & Order
1:51 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

FSU Addresses Campus Safety Amid Federal Probe

Florida State University is hiring a Title IX director and two sexual violence prevention coordinators before the fall term starts in five weeks.

Interim President Garnett Stokes tells the Tallahassee Democrat  that the university is not waiting for a federal investigation to conclude before addressing campus safety and sexual assaults.

Stokes says the university has formed several committees to assess its response to sexual violence complaints and is preparing to make changes.

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12:52 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

After 150 Years of Rolling Them, Tampa Is Close to No Cigars

Lead in text: 
On the northern side of Ybor City sits the J. C. Newman Cigar Company factory, a family-owned business tucked inside a classic brick building nicknamed El Reloj, a nod to its clock tower. Both have defied the maw of modernity to outlive a century. But now J. C. Newman faces its biggest threat: the possibility that the Food and Drug Administration may introduce strict, expensive regulations on cigars that the Newman brothers, who operate the company, say could close the last working cigar factory in town.
TAMPA, Fla. - Some unforgettable places waft into memory on a scent. For Floridians, it may be the sweetness of mangoes in Miami, the salt-sprinkled air of the Keys, the pungency of the Everglades.
Politics
9:18 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Fact-Checking the Battle of Gubernatorial Campaign Ads

Credit politifact.com

It's the battle of the TV ads -- literally -- in the race for Florida governor. 

Former Republican governor and presumed democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has launched his first TV ad, with lots of claims that were immediately countered by a fresh TV commercial from the Republican Party of Florida -- using parts of Crist's own ad.

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Health News Florida
2:35 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Trauma Industry Fight Nears End

Credit Tampa General Hospital

Florida's trauma drama could be almost finished.

With an appeal deadline passing Monday, the Florida Department of Health and hospitals owned by HCA Health Care chain appear to have prevailed after a three-year legal and political battle about approving new trauma centers.

The key point came last month when an administrative law judge upheld a rule that the department proposed for determining where trauma centers could be allowed across the state. Hospitals in the Tampa Bay and Gainesville areas unsuccessfully fought the proposed rule and then had until Monday to appeal.

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Health News Florida
12:39 am
Tue July 22, 2014

FL Nursing Forecast: 50,000 Short

The Florida Board of Governors addressed Florida's need for 50,000 nurses in a workshop with medical-school and nursing-school deans.
Credit workingnurse.com

Based on current trends, Florida will be short by more than 50,000 registered nurses by the year 2025, a nursing expert warned a committee of the State University System's Board of Governors on Monday. 

While the number of nurse training programs in the state has doubled in the past four years, most of the students are emerging as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses with just a two-year or associate's degree from college.

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