2:55 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

He Was, And Will Always Be, Our Friend: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

While Leonard Nimoy became famous as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, he was conflicted about the role. He later came to embrace it. He's shown here with actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:13 pm

In 1966, when Leonard Nimoy was offered a minor role on a new space drama, he was thrilled. As he told Archive of American Television: "You have to understand that prior to Star Trek I never had a job that lasted longer than two weeks in any TV show or movie. Never. Two weeks — max. And here I was, looking at a season of work."

The actor beloved for his role as the pointy-eared half-human, half-Vulcan died of lung disease at his home in Los Angeles on Friday. He was 83.

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Off The Base
7:46 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Meet the 53rd Brigade NCO of the Year

SSG Aidana Baez with the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

The top Non-Commissioned Officers from the Florida Army National Guard this weekend are at Camp Blanding vying for the title of “Florida NCO of the year.”

It is two days of physical competitions, weapons and skills contests, a six-mile “ruck” march and tests on Army regulations.

Representing the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Pinellas Park, is Staff Sergeant Aidana Baez. She won NCO competitions at the company level and  battalion level to earn the top brigade honor.

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7:37 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

In Video: The Great Llama Drama Of 2015

A pair of llamas were on the run in Sun City, Ariz., for about an hour.
Fox 46 via YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:28 pm

A pair of llamas on the loose in Sun City, Ariz., riveted the nation this afternoon.

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Law & Order
12:24 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

St. Pete Water Main Break Damages Building, Closes Central Avenue

The large hole at 670 Central Avenue has damaged a business and has closed traffic on Central Avenue.
St. Petersburg Police

A water main break in St. Petersburg caused the partial collapse of a downtown building Thursday morning, Bay News 9 reported.

The break in the 12-inch transmission line was noticed about 10 p.m. Wednesday night when water flooded streets near the building on Central Avenue, said Steve Lawrence, St. Pete Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Marshall.

Crews worked throughout the night worked to excavate soil down to the leak itself, but water wasn’t shut off immediately to prevent contamination to the water supply from dirt and debris, according to Bay News 9.

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NPR Story
8:04 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Billions at Stake as State, Feds Negotiate Medicaid

Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:02 am

When the 2015 legislative session begins next week, many of the state’s decisions on health care for the poor are on hold as state and federal Medicaid officials negotiate over funding, behind closed doors. Billions of dollars are at stake.

When it comes to health-care funding, Florida’s in a funny position. The state has twice turned down billions of dollars from federal Medicaid that would have covered care for about a million poor Floridians.

This year may be no different.

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Health News Florida
8:03 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Rep. Hudson on Medicaid Expansion: No!

Rep. Matt Hudson

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 12:03 am

Florida business groups, insurers, and hospitals are pushing state officials to accept billions of dollars in federal funds to cover the low-income uninsured.

But when the 2015 legislative session opens next Tuesday, this impressive coalition will run into Rep. Matt Hudson, a Naples Republican who chairs the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

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World Affairs
1:59 am
Thu February 26, 2015

St. Pete Conference Takes On World Affairs

2014 St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs panelist Joseph Ofori-Dankwa discusses African issues with Conference committee member Irma Bridgeford.
Credit St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs

Some of the major international issues of the day - Cuba, Russia, Syria, terrorism and immigration - will be among the topics of discussion at a Saint Petersburg conference that's drawing experts from around the world to the Tampa Bay area.

The Saint Petersburg Conference on World Affairs takes place Thursday, February 26, through Saturday, February 28 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg University Student Center.

Almost forty panelists, including 1986 Nobel Prize winner for Literature and expert on Nigerian democracy Wole Soyinka, along with diplomats, academics and military experts will share ideas and information during 16 free panel sessions.

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9:43 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Rubio and an Eckerd Professor

It's looking more and more like Florida's Junior U.S. Senator is planning to run for president next year. Recently he traveled to West Des Moines, Iowa and spoke on radio station WHO.  As part of that discussion, Sen. Marco Rubio said that ISIS is now the "predominant Islamist group in Benghazi." 

The PolitiFact Florida team investigated this statement and determined that what he said was "mostly false" on the Truth-o-Meter.  According to Josh Gillin of Politifact Florida, "no one is in charge of Libya's second-largest city."

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8:16 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Eugenie Clark, Sarasota's 'Shark Lady,' Dies

At, photographer David Doubilet described her as a larger-than-life character. “Her contributions were astounding,” Doubilet said. “She never outgrew this absolute fascination of looking and seeing and observing under water. Even when I was a younger man and she was older, I couldn’t keep up with her. She moved with a kind of liquid speed underwater.” Before Clark began her research on sharks in the 1950s, the animals were considered both dumb and deadly. "After some study," she said, "I began to realize that these 'gangsters of the deep' had gotten a bad rap."
SARASOTA - Mote Marine founder Eugenie Clark, whose research earned her the nicknamee "Shark Lady," died today at her Sarasota home, according to a Facebook posting that her son, Tak Konstantinou, shared with friends. She was 92.
World Affairs
2:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

3 Nabbed in FL, NY in Plot to Join Islamic State Group

ISIS on the march in Syria

Three men accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and wage war against the United States were arrested on terrorism charges Wednesday, federal officials said.

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Law & Order
1:45 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Nelson Asks Feds to Investigate Dozier

USF Asst. Prof. Erin Kimmerle and Sen. Bill Nelson address reporters at the Dozier School for Boys site in Marianna March 2013.
Credit Katy Hennig / USF News

Florida Senator Bill Nelson has asked the Department of Justice - and not Florida law enforcement officials - to open an investigation into the Dozier School for Boys.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing at the now closed Marianna reform school, despite decades of allegations of abuse of students by school officials.

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12:36 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Gov. Scott Issues Order to Shelve Test

Days before testing was scheduled to begin, Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Tuesday suspending the administration of an 11th-grade language arts test that Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has asked the Legislature to eliminate.

The move was expected; Stewart had recommended last week that Scott suspend the exam so that lawmakers can consider legislation to permanently scrap it. Critics of the test say it's redundant because students' graduation requirements in language arts are fulfilled by an assessment given in the 10th grade.

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8:49 am
Wed February 25, 2015

How Do You Market To Millennials?

NPR recently asked Southern California millennials to share their thoughts on branding and advertising. One attendee got the word from his mother.
Courtesy of one participant

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:48 am

For the last few months, NPR has been looking into millennials, as part of our series called New Boom. This group, some 80 million strong, spends over $1 trillion a year by some estimates. So, we wondered: How should brands and advertisers go about reaching millennials if they're so powerful, but also so different, than generations before them?

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8:46 am
Wed February 25, 2015

19 Manatees Rescued From Storm Drain In Florida

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:38 pm

Early this morning, 19 manatees were rescued from a drain pipe in Satellite Beach, Florida, south of Cape Canaveral. Florida has been experiencing colder than average temperatures, and the endangered animals were probably seeking warmer waters in the drainpipe.

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Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition
11:12 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Fl Wildlife Corridor Expedition Braves the Icy Apalachicola

Waiting for a group paddle on Owl Creek, a tributary of the Apalachicola
Steve Newborn WUSF News

WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently kayaked down the Apalachicola River. It's at the heart of a water war pitting three states that has reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We met up with the group and paddled 50 miles downstream, where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico. Their trip started on the coldest day of the year.

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