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Photo courtesy Tampa Bay 2-1-1

Florida Schools Strive To Identify And Help Homeless Students

Students who are considered homeless by Florida schools can be living in hotels, trailer parks, in campgrounds or doubled up with friends or relatives. And with as many as 71,000 or more homeless students in the state the challenges can extend beyond the kids and families to include the schools.For most kids school is a place of achievement and learning, or just a place to socialize with friends. But for kids without stable living arrangements it can mean much more than that. School...
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Salvation Army On Standby For Flood Victims

5 hours ago
Daylina Miller/WUSF

In the wake of heavy rains in the Tampa Bay area, the Salvation Army has called in reinforcements to assist in providing aid to first responders and victims.

The Salvation Army has stationed volunteers throughout Pinellas and Pasco counties with canteens, or moving kitchens, to supply those in flooded areas with a hot meal.

In addition to the canteens, they have also deployed their eight-unit shower truck and about two dozen volunteers to the Red Cross, which previously set up an evacuation shelter at the First Presbyterian Church in Port Richey. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

While two residents in the flooded Port Richey neighborhood of Gulf Highlands chose to evacuate their homes, others, like Craig Caley, stayed behind.

Caley's house is one of several on Ashwood Drive boxed in by water that is waist deep at its worst. Caley said residents could slowly drive to work or for groceries through the flooding last week, but by Sunday night, they were stuck. 

AP

Florida's citrus industry is hurting in a big way.  The final report of the growing season by the U.S. Department of Agriculture put Florida orange production for the 2014-15 season at 96.7 million boxes, a drop of 4 percent from last year.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Tampa Electric announced Tuesday the utility will build the largest solar project in the Tampa Bay area.

It is planned to be 25 megawatts, with the capacity to power more than 3,500 homes. It would include more than 70,000 solar panels on 125 acres of company-owned land at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.

Company officials say it should be completed in 2016.

The Legislature will begin its special session next week, but drafting of the base map—the session’s starting point—has already begun.  Voting rights groups are upset it isn’t happening in public.

More than 600 Florida guardsmen are on their way to the horn of Africa.  They’ll participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Nearly every plant that we now depend on for food — from wheat to beans to tomatoes — comes from ancestors that once grew wild on hills and in forests.

In most cases, we don't know who, exactly, tamed those plants. We don't know which inventive farmer, thousands of years ago, first selected seeds and planted them for food.

The blueberry, though, is different. We know exactly who brought it in from the wild, and where.

It happened in the pine barrens of New Jersey.

Scott Seeks Hospital, Insurer Audits

12 hours ago

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday directed the state Agency for Health Care Administration to audit at least some contracts between hospitals and health insurers to determine if they comply with a state Medicaid law.

Scott contends that contracts could exceed a legal limit on Medicaid payment rates.

AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek on July 17 requested that hospitals and insurers certify that they did not exceed the limit, which is 120 percent of a Medicaid fee schedule. The letter listed an Aug. 1 deadline to respond.

Rubio: Planned Parenthood Should Not Get Taxpayer Money

12 hours ago

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said Planned Parenthood should have its federal funding cut.

In an op-ed published Monday, the Republican Senator and presidential candidate says, “Planned Parenthood should never receive another dime from American taxpayers.”

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (d-Florida) voted Monday evenbing to not to take federal money away from Planned Parenthood.

MGN Online

Two Republican lawmakers Monday filed proposals that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses, setting the stage for a renewed debate about the controversial issue.

Senate Criminal Justice Chairman Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed the bills (SB 68 and HB 4001) for lawmakers to consider during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

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