Featured News

Albrina Hendry

Heading Into The Home To Tackle Education Disparities

Research by the Brookings Institution shows that poor children do worse in school partly because their families have fewer financial resources, but also because their own parents tend to have less education and higher rates of single and teen pregnancy. A national home based early learning program with chapters in Florida is aiming to level the playing field.

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Courtesy of The Florida Orchestra

The Florida Orchestra is hosting an extended stay by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.  It's part of the Florida Orchestra's multi-year cultural exchange. 

Late this year, the NSOC will be coming to America for its first U.S. tour.  And while it will perform in many places, the musicians will be in the Tampa Bay area a little longer, for master classes and for a joint Chamber Music Concert at Tampa's Historic Cuban Club.   Read more about it here.

NPR has a great story about politicians getting in trouble with musicians for using their music without permission. Anyone remember President Reagan using Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."?

Turns out, whether politicians can use the music depends on when and where they play it. Big convention center with a blanket policy, you're probably OK. Moose Lodge in Sheboygan, probably not.

And then, there was Gov. Charlie Crist, whose campaign used David Byrne's "Road to Nowhere" on a commercial attacking now-Senator Marco Rubio.

That didn't end well:

In a Weekend Edition segment about Ralph Nader and his search for a reasonably priced airplane ticket, Scott Simon said he was surprised that a screen didn't pop up on the airline's computer saying, "GIVE RALPH NADER WHATEVER HE WANTS AND SAVE US ALL A LOT OF TROUBLE." After all, Nader is known for his persistence and successful consumer advocacy. All cars now have seatbelts thanks to Nader and his 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed.

City of St. Petersburg

John Williams arrived from Detroit in 1875.  Peter Demens arrived from St. Petersburg, Russia, 13 years later.  Williams built a grand hotel.  Demens brought in a railroad. 

Legend has it that the city's name was decided by the flip of a coin:  Williams wanted Detroit and Demens wanted St. Petersburg.  Demens won the toss.

The City of St. Petersburg was incorporated on February 29th, 1892.

- Learn more about the history of St. Petersburg

In the last few weeks, USF President Judy Genshaft found herself in the fight of her career, taking on powerful lawmakers who wanted to slash USF's budget and make USF's branch campus in Lakeland into an independent school.

Florida Matters had a chance to talk with President Genshaft recently while she was in the middle of the budget fight. We've reported on that before.

Soon millions of people will shop for health insurance on their own.

The health care overhaul requires nearly everyone to have health insurance, after all, and employer coverage has been slowly, steadily declining.

P.L. Bartow Steam Power Plant Demolished

Feb 28, 2012
Bay News 9

If you've come across the Gandy Bridge from Tampa to St. Petersburg, you've seen them -- the three smokestacks of the P. L. Bartow Steam Power plant.

Now, they're gone.  At exactly 10 this morning, those smokestacks came tumbling down.

The explosives go off first, followed by the rumbling of a power plant and its three smokestacks falling down like trees being cut down in a forest.

The power plant has not been used since 2009 when Progress Energy replaced it. The new plant makes more electricity and reduced emissions by 80%, according to the company.

Courtesy of South Florida Sun Sentinel

The latest Florida Department of Education ranks  Palm Beach County's Hagen Elementary School a "B" school.

But teachers there want to improve performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or FCAT and they are even willing to resort to a white lie,  says the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Loly Garriga and her husband were forced to separate for five years during Castro's regime in Cuba.

Now, they've found a home in Lakeland, Florida and Garriga has written about her experiences in a new book, "Strides of Destiny."

WUSF's Robin Sussingham profiled Garriga in this video as part of WUSF's "Not in Out Town" series, funded by NIOT.

AP

Scientists breed dangerous animals in a wild, semi-tropical locale. They promise that they'll NEVER get out.

Sounds like the start of "Jurassic Park," right?

Actually, it's a plan by several Florida zoos, including Lowry Park in Tampa, to breed rhinos, elephants, giraffes and other hooved animals on land owned by the state of Florida.

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