StateImpact Florida
10:34 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The Education Year In Review -- And What To Expect In 2015

Barry University's Sean Foreman thinks Gov. Rick Scott will deliver on a promise for record per-student education funding.
Credit Photo courtesy of FLGOVSCOTT

2014 was a big year for education in Florida.

Activists in Lee County convinced the school board to ditch state testing -- before the board reversed the decision a couple of days later.

Florida schools pushed ahead with new Common Core-based math and language arts standards in every grade, despite rising opposition to Common Core across the country.

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World Affairs
10:34 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Cuban Emigré Helps U.S. Companies Prepare For An Embargo-less Future

Emilio Morales doing Cuba market research.

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:46 am

Now that President Obama wants to normalize U.S. relations with communist Cuba, the big question is: Can the U.S. trade embargo last much longer? WLRN Americas editor Tim Padgett spoke to a Cuban émigré here in South Florida who doesn’t think so – and who’s helping U.S. companies prepare for an embargo-less future:

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World Affairs
10:33 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Older Cuban-Americans Protest Obama, But Poll Suggests Younger Generation Approves

Cuban exile protesters at a rally in Little Havana hold up a sign that says in Spanish: "We are all part of the resistance."

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:18 am

President Obama's decision last week to normalize relations with Cuba was bad news for Cuban exiles who oppose

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NPR Story
9:22 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Attorney: FSU's Winston Cleared In Code-Of-Conduct Probe

Jameis Winston's attorney tweets out the decision by Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding.

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 7:27 pm

A Florida State University probe cleared Jameis Winston of code-of-conduct violations stemming from a 2012 sexual assault allegation. But the most recent development does not mean the quarterback’s legal troubles are over.

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NPR Story
9:21 am
Mon December 22, 2014

SCOTUS Won't Stop Gay Marriage In Florida

A celebration at Florida's Capitol in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court Struck down DOMA and California's Proposition 8.

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:44 pm

MIAMI (AP) - Same-sex weddings may soon begin in Florida after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block them.


The court said Friday it wouldn't block the marriages. A federal judge previously declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened.


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8:30 am
Mon December 22, 2014

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: An Escape from Nazi Invasion

Marietta Drucker (right) talks with her daughter Debbie Drucker (left) about her escape from the Nazi invasion in Austria.
Credit StoryCorps

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Marietta Drucker tells her daughter, Debbie, of her escape from the Nazis when they invaded her native Austria. Drucker was just eight years old. Her parents were not able to get out in time but she was, traveling alone on the Kindertransport-- a train carrying children to England.

She came to the StoryCorps booth with her daughter to share the story of her escape and her journey to America. She begins with the day that changed her life.


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Making Sense of the Media
9:34 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Making Sense of Sony Pulling "The Interview"


"The Interview" is a comedy from stoner bros Seth Rogen and James Franco about a TV entertainment reporter and his producer who get an interview with the leader of North Korea -- and then try to assassinate him at the request of the CIA.

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Law & Order
7:30 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Suspect in Murder of Tarpon Springs Officer 'Felt Like a Caged Rat'

Tarpon Springs police officer 45-year-old Charles Kondek was shot & killed Sunday morning.
Tarpon Springs Police Dept.

UPDATE 12/21, 7:30 p.m. with details from press conference:

"We lost one of our finest today."

With those words, Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert Kochen began a press conference Sunday evening announcing the details of the shooting death of Officer Charles Kondek.

Kondek was allegedly shot and killed early Sunday morning by Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr., 23, a felon with multiple convictions who was wanted for violating his probation at the time of the killing.

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2:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 2:47 pm

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

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12:00 am
Sun December 21, 2014

FL Hosting 7 College Football Bowl Games

Credit BitCoin Bowl St. Petersburg

There are seven college football bowl games across Florida, including the BitCoin St. Petersbug Bowl on Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. between North Carolina State and the University of Central Florida.

It used to be called the Beef O'Brady's Bowl, sponsored by a familiar sports bar and restaurant that got its start in Brandon, Fla. Now, the college football bowl game played at Tropicana Field is called the BitCoin Bowl.

Beef O’Brady’s – most of us know that. But BitCoin?

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3:26 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Gov. Scott: Florida Has Reached His 2010 Jobs Goal

Gov. Scott
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott declared Friday that Florida has reached his 2010 campaign goal of creating 700,000 jobs within seven years, as the state's unemployment rate was posted at its lowest rate since May 2008.

Four years ago, Scott's jobs pledge was accompanied by the line "on top of what normal growth would be," a phrase abandoned by the governor shortly after he took office but not forgotten by Democrats.

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1:12 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

U.S. Companies Clamor to Do Business in New Cuban Market

Despite Cuba’s long stagnation and isolation from the global economy, the potential trade opportunities go both ways. While some Americans will be itching at the opportunity to obtain the famed Cuban cigars more easily, the country also has a surprisingly robust biotechnology industry that makes a number of vaccines not now available in the United States. Another hot spot for the economy could be mining, as Cuba has one of the largest deposits of nickel in the world. While United States companies are eager to establish a toehold in the country, many expect former Cuban businessmen and leaders in the rum or sugar industries to lead the charge.
PepsiCo wants in. So do Caterpillar and Marriott International. Within hours of President Obama's historic move to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, companies in the United States were weighing how to introduce their products and services to a market they haven't been in for the better part of 50 years - if ever.
World Affairs
11:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

What's Next For Cuba? The Headlines That Tell The Story

A tourist takes a cab ride in a classic American car as the driver takes him past the Capitolio in Havana, Cuba on Thursday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:10 am

Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes. It doesn't require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement," Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for the western hemisphere, said during a briefing on Thursday.

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Off The Base
8:52 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When Fishing Is About More than the Fish

One of the free outings offered by the Central Florida Chapter of Heroes on the Water.
Credit Heroes on the Water Central Florida Chapter / Facebook

The number of Gulf War era veterans is growing as is the list of non-profit organizations formed to help returning service members.

Heroes on the Water is a top-rated, all-volunteer non-profit organization formed specifically to provide free therapeutic recreation to veterans of all eras, active-duty military and their families.

Florida has seven chapters many of which offer events year round.

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10:30 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

St. Pete Council KO's Rays Move

On Thursday, the St. Petersburg City Council rejected by a 5-3 vote Mayor Rick Kriseman's  proposed agreement with the Tampa Bay Rays that would have allowed the team to explore new stadium options in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

Mayor Kriseman said the agreement was designed to keep the Rays in the bay area but several city council members were skeptical of the terms of the plan. Some would prefer to redevelop the team's current stadium.

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