Health News Florida
11:39 am
Tue September 16, 2014

35K in FL Risk Losing Health Law Tax Credits

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:38 am

Thousands of consumers risk losing financial aid for health care premiums under President Barack Obama's law unless they clear up lingering questions about their incomes, administration officials said Monday.

The Health and Human Services Department said some people who got coverage have reported incomes that don't square with what the government has on record. At least 279,000 households with income discrepancies face a Sept. 30 deadline to submit documentation. If not, their premiums will be adjusted up or down in November.

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Florida Matters
9:15 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Florida Matters Preview: A Look at Aging in Place

Mildred Barnett remodeled her home to accommodate her 81-year-old mother (seated). Barnett lives with her husband and two children.
Yoselis Ramos

Mildred Barnett of Tampa says she once saw a picture with three faces: one of a baby, one of a woman and one of an older lady.

"And it says, ‘the sunrise is as beautiful as the sunset,’ and with proper planning, it most certainly can be," she said.

Barnett is a VA geriatric psychiatrist who recently remodeled her home to accommodate her 81-year-old mother. 

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Health News Florida
9:06 am
Tue September 16, 2014

FL ‘Gray Belt’ a Glimpse at Nation’s Future

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:39 am

A billboard at the county line advertises home health care services. Local churches try to create a feeling of belonging for elderly members who may be disconnected from family up north. Lawyers and accountants make house calls like doctors. Elderly residents get ferried to stores by a fleet of county minivans.

Welcome to Citrus County, Florida, where more than a third of residents are senior citizens, one of the highest rates in the nation.

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University Beat
8:05 am
Tue September 16, 2014

John Thrasher First Up In Final Round Of FSU Presidential Interviews

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:22 pm

State Senator John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) fielded questions Monday from students and staff during an on campus interview for  Florida State University’s  top job.  Thrasher  is one of four finalists vying to be FSU's next president.

During Monday’s forum questions centered around how Thrasher would push FSU into the nation’s top 25 public universities. The senator's answer? Fundraising.

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Health News Florida
7:55 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Damages Reduced in Kickbacks Case

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:07 am

A federal judge has reduced the punitive damages that a Tampa jury imposed in June on national drug-testing firm Millennium Laboratories after finding that it engaged in unfair competition by breaking anti-kickback laws in Florida and two other states.

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6:07 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Lawmaker Says Financial Aid Could Depend On Classes, Not Just Test Scores

Senate Education Chairman John Legg said lawmakers may discuss ways to make state financial aid depend more on classes and less on test scores.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:39 am

A key Senate lawmaker may put less emphasis on test scores to determine which students qualify for state financial aid for college -- possibly including Bright Futures.

Instead, scholarships  and grants would depend more on taking tougher classes in high school.

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4:36 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Can Genetic Engineering Save the Florida Orange?

Lead in text: 
By one estimate, 80 percent of Florida's citrus trees are infected and declining. The disease has spread beyond Florida to nearly every orange-growing region in the United States. Despite many generations of breeding by humanity, no citrus plant resists greening; it afflicts lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus species as well. Once a tree is infected, it will die. Yet in a few select Floridian orchards, there are now trees that, thanks to innovative technology, can fight the greening tide. These trees have the potential to keep Florida orange juice on your breakfast table—provided you are willing to drink the juice of oranges that have been genetically modified to contain genes from spinach.
Citrus greening, the plague that could wipe out Florida's $9 billion orange industry, begins with the touch of a jumpy brown bug on a sun-kissed leaf. From there, the bacterial disease incubates in the tree's roots, then moves back up the trunk in full force, causing nutrient flows to seize up.
2:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

New Bright Futures Rules Changing College Plans For Florida Students

Jake Seiler had to put his plans to attend the University of South Florida on hold for a year to earn an associate's degree at Palm Beach State College because he didn't qualify for Bright Futures. His dad, Paul, calls changes to Bright Futures an "injustice."
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Most new Palm Beach College Students were going through orientation earlier this month, but Jake Seiler was wrapping up his first three courses.

Despite earning the highest SAT scores of his two siblings — 1100, on six attempts — Seiler didn’t score high enough this year to earn the Bright Futures Florida Medallion scholarship his older sister got last year.

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Law & Order
12:15 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Small Plane Crashes in Vinoy Park

A small plane made a crash landing in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park Monday morning.
Credit Nathanael Paul / Bay News 9

UPDATE 12:15 P.M.: St. Petersburg Police identify the victims in this morning's plane crash in Vinoy Park as Grant Jordon, 67, the plane's pilot; Aloysious Ryan, 52; Eamonn Harnell, 48; and a 17 year-old female.

Jordon and Ryan are both listed in serious, but stable condition at Bayfront Hospital. Harnell and the female passenger had minor injuries. All four are believed to be from Ireland.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators are already on scene.

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Health News Florida
9:59 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Suspicious Moves by Scott, HCA Resurface

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:03 am

Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain is well known, as is the company’s record $1.7 billion fine for filing false claims for Medicare and other federal health programs.

But as he faces re-election, stories about a simultaneous investigation in the 1990s are emerging involving Scott and attempts to buy the then-publicly owned Tampa General Hospital, The Tampa Tribune reports.

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Health News Florida
9:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

FL Fires 13 Prison Employees in Crackdown

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:55 am

 State prison officials did some major house cleaning this week, firing 13 people in the wake of widespread abuse allegations.

The Florida Department of Corrections on Friday announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution.

Another officer was fired for a DUI arrest and another for driving with a suspended license.

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Health News Florida
8:58 am
Mon September 15, 2014

FL Health Centers Get $13.4M

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 10:00 am

Four dozen health centers around the state that provide a medical home for uninsured low-income Floridians and for those who are newly insured through the Affordable Care Act will get a share of $13.4 million in federal funds, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday afternoon.

Most of the grants fell into the range of $150,000 to $400,000, but a few of them were for more:

·         Community Health of South Florida in Miami, about $507,000.

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StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:01 am
Mon September 15, 2014

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: 'This Little Light of Mine'

Sharon Scott and Bob Devin Jones
Credit StoryCorps

Performers are often tasked with walking a thin line: how does someone express oneself while also embodying another character?

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, playwright, director, and co-founder of St. Petersburg’s Studio@620, Bob Devin Jones, talks with one of his many mentees, Sharon Scott, about how they, as artists, can recognize each other at a deeper level, beyond the performance.

“This Little Light of Mine (live)” by Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke at the Copa

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University Beat
7:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Iran's Nuclear Program, ISIS Focus of USF Event

Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, will speak at USF Monday night.
Credit NPR / Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The dangers of Iran's nuclear program, as well as the possibility the militant the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, could get their hands on a nuclear device will be the focus of a University of South Florida conference Monday night.

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9:07 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

'Alt For Norge' (Norway) Reality Star Retraces His Roots

Norris Comer on his sailboat in St. Petersburg
Credit Facebook

The largely American phenomenon of “Reality TV," where people undergo outrageous challenges and tests of endurance has now taken hold... in Norway:

“When Henrietta came into the room, it was like, eewwww, because we were in this gross, smelly room, and I was half naked and there was stuff written all over me," says St. Petersburg resident Norris Comer, in part of his appearance as a contestant on Season 5 of a competition called "Alt For Norge" (All For Norway.)

Henrietta's reply? "It smells bad in here.”

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