Transportation
10:46 am
Thu July 2, 2015

AAA Provides Sober Rides Home During Holiday Weekend

Tow-to-Go is a partnership between AAA and BudLight and provides sober rides home during holiday weekends.
Credit Tow-to-Go

This Fourth of July weekend, intoxicated drivers can get help getting off the road and getting home safely.

Tow-to-Go is a partnership between  AAA and BudLight. Matt Nasworthy, AAA's Traffic Safety Consultant, said impaired drivers can call this Friday through Sunday.

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Transportation
10:41 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Driving This Weekend? Put Cell Phone Down

Using cell phones while driving can have serious consequences.
Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

AAA expects more than 40 million Americans to drive at least 50 miles from home this 4th of July weekend. That's the most to travel since 2007.

With so many people on the highways, AT&T is asking drivers to put down their cell phones.

“Put it in a place where they can’t reach it and keep their eyes on the road. That’s our main message – is that we want people to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phone,” Karen McAllister, media relations manager for AT&T, said.

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Environment
10:09 am
Thu July 2, 2015

FL To Get $3.25 Billion In BP Settlement

Florida will receive at least $3.2 billion  from an $18.7 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP and five Gulf states announced the massive settlement Thursday, resolving years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010.

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Environment
9:29 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Audubon: Protecting Birds on July 4th, Patriotic

Birds roam on the beach at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.
Credit Associated Press

   While many people anticipate lighting fuses on the 4th of July, some people are encouraging the use of caution.

Ann Paul, of the Audubon Society--an organization that aims to conserve ecosystems, said that birds are often unintentional casualties of the bombs bursting in air. 

She said that baby birds can be separated from their family  while trying to flee the sound of fireworks.

Paul also said that protecting American wildlife is one of the most patriotic things a person can do. 

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Health News Florida
6:30 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Loved Ones Remembered With Cremation Jewelry

Nelson Jantzen memorialized his deceased wife, Dianne, by incorporating her ashes into this fused glass pendant. The ashes are sealed inside the cat's face.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 10:31 am

 When someone dies, a lot of people honor the memory of a loved one with a funeral.

Those who chose a traditional casket burial spend about $7,000 or more. A service that includes a cremation costs about a third of that.

But there’s a growing number of people who want to remember their loved ones long after the funeral ends in a different way.

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Education
2:58 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Tampa Bay Counties Partner with Germany for Student Apprentice Program

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is briefed on AMskills.
Credit M.S. Butler

Not every high school student wants to or even needs to go to college, but graduating students without a college degree may have a hard time gaining entry or experience at companies hiring for high paying, high skilled jobs. A local program is trying to bring that experience to graduating students.

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Off The Base
2:40 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

July Opens With Two Veterans Events

Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Vice-Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), is holding a Veterans’ Town Hall today, July 1, 2015 starting at 5:30 p.m.

The event is open to the public and will offer the audience a chance to participate.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

U.S., Cuba Formally Resume Diplomatic Relations

President Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, spoke about U.S. ties with Cuba during remarks Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 2:26 pm

President Obama on Wednesday announced the formal resumption of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century of hostilities. The two countries have agreed to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana.

Standing in the White House Rose Garden, Obama called it "a historic step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with the Cuban government and people."

Obama said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Havana this summer to "proudly raise the flag over our embassy once more."

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Health News Florida
11:16 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Written Consent No Longer Needed For HIV Test

A new law in effect July 1 makes it easier to get an HIV test in health care settings.

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 10:37 am

A new Florida law kicking in today makes getting an HIV test easier. Doctors no longer need written consent to give patients an HIV test in health care settings, like doctor’s offices and hospitals.

The law could have a big impact in Florida, which has more new HIV infections than anywhere else in the country.

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Health News Florida
11:15 am
Wed July 1, 2015

‘Right to Try’ May Be Hard to Implement

The Goldwater Institute has created a website to convince drug companies and the Food and Drug Administration to cooperate with states that have Right to Try laws.
RighttoTry.org

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 9:09 am

While the “Right to Try Act,” which aims to give dying patients the right to try unapproved experimental drugs, is law in Florida as of today, its implementation isn't so clear.

In theory, the Right to Try law allows terminally ill patients access to drugs that have passed first-phase clinical trials and are going through later-stage trials as part of a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration.

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Health News Florida
11:08 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Vaccine Access Expands At Pharmacies

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 8:54 am

Floridians will be able to receive more vaccines at their local pharmacies under a law that takes effect Wednesday.

Pharmacists are already able to administer vaccines that fight some viruses, like influenza and shingles, but the new measure (HB 279) would add several others, including shots targeted at measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (or whooping cough); and human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cancer.

The new law will also allow pharmacy interns to be certified to give vaccines.

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Politics
10:59 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Could Supreme Court Decision Lead To Death Of The Gerrymander?

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld voter-created independent redistricting commissions, preserving such groups in Arizona and California.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 5:17 pm

The Supreme Court's decision on Monday to uphold the constitutionality of Arizona's independent redistricting commission has some hoping their model could now pave the way for other states to adopt a less partisan way of drawing congressional lines.

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Health News Florida
10:59 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Lethal Injection Ruling Draws Out Justices' Passionate Opinions

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that under the majority's reasoning it would not matter if the prisoner was being "drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake," as long as there was no more humane method of execution available. Justice Antonin Scalia orally rebutted Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent, calling it "gobbledygook."
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 7:02 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a major blow to death penalty opponents, upholding the use of a controversial drug as part of a three-drug execution cocktail. The vote was 5-4, with unusually passionate and sometimes bitter opinions from the majority and dissenting justices.

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It's All Politics
10:24 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Jeb Bush's Wealth Skyrocketed After He Left Governor's Office

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waits backstage as he is introduced before speaking at the Road to Majority 2015 convention in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 8:13 am

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush released 33 years of tax returns on Tuesday, showing that his personal wealth has skyrocketed since he left the Florida governor's office in 2007.

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The Two-Way
9:24 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

U.S. And Cuba Will Formally Re-Establish Diplomatic Relations

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 8:40 pm

A White House administration official confirms that the United States and Cuba have come to an agreement to formally re-establish diplomatic relations and open embassies in Havana and Washington.

The Obama administration will announce the agreement on Wednesday.

As NPR's Krishnadev Calamur has explained, the U.S. imposed sanctions and then broke off diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro's communist regime in the early 1960s.

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