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Gov. Rick Scott's Office, Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida Senate Race Goes To Hand Recount; Governor’s Race Appears Over

Florida's acrimonious battle for the U.S. Senate is headed to a legally required hand recount after an initial review showed Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson separated by just a few thousand votes.

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Legislative Session 2012: A Tale of Two Chambers

Mar 9, 2012

This legislative session, the House has been quiet, disciplined and relatively civil. The Senate has had more of a civil war, with moderate Republicans and Democrats joining forces to oppose the conservative leadership.

So, you could call the regular session of the Florida Legislature, "A Tale of Two Chambers. "

Even the Florida Supreme Court sided with the House, unanimously approving the House redistricting plan while rejecting the Senate's plan.

A bill that would have allowed parents to replace the leadership at failing schools has failed on a 20-20 vote in the Florida Senate.

It's the latest in a string of failures for Senate President Mike Haridopolos and his conservative allies, including:

Steve Newborn

KISSIMMEE - The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition neared civilization today. The group stopped at a wilderness preserve on the edge of Orlando’s sprawl, where they received an unexpected gift - from President Obama.

The gift was a copy of both the expedition’s route map through Florida and a photograph by group member Carlton Ward Jr. – both signed by the president. The items were brought to the White House by members of the Northern Everglades Alliance, which is trying to protect the headwaters of the Kissimmee River.

Imagine you’re driving home from work, and you’re hit by a reckless driver. You’d want to sue, right?

But if the person that injured you is a government employee in Florida, forget going to court. You’ll have to petition the Florida Legislature for help.

That’s what William Dillon did.  Dillon spent 27 years in prison for a murder in Brevard County. He was set free in 2008 after DNA testing showed he wasn’t the killer.

It took more than three and a half years for the Legislature to pass a bill compensating Dillon.

Reading teacher Audra Cervi says kids pay attention to their reading lesson when the letter ‘J’ turns into a jumping, blue 3-D jaguar.

Cervi places a flash card with the letter J under a special camera. Across the room a jaguar springs to life on an electronic screen.

A small group of kindergartners at Audubon Park Elementary School near Orlando squeal at the sight. Some reach out to grab the critter.

You may have been received a call lately asking you to "tell your state Senator" to oppose the parent trigger bill.

If you have, you probably live in the district of a handful of mostly moderate Republicans who are still undecided about the bill.

It's a top priority of former Governor Jeb Bush and conservative leaders in the Legislature. It's become enemy number one to unions.

The bill would allow parents in failing schools to be able to vote for change - such as turning the facility into a charter school.

U. S. Department of Defense

The United States Air Force is considering budget cuts that could mean moving a squadron of National Guard C-130s from Texas to Montana.

Why does Florida Governor Rick Scott care?  He and other Gulf Coast governors say the plan would hinder rescue and recovery efforts following hurricanes.

Governor Scott -- along with Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Robert Bentley of Alabama -- sent a letter this week to President Obama asking that he intervene.

Cruise Critic (www.cruisecritic.com)

A pair of cruise ship crime incidents involving ships based out of Tampa made headlines this week: one involving a ship employee facing child pornography charges, and the other involving a passenger who managed to access a restricted area and drop the ship's anchor.

It has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in one spot anywhere. Now, Florida Southern College has finally been named a National Historic Landmark.

The Lakeland campus has long been famed for its iconic structures like the soaring Annie Pfeiffer Chapel and the only planetarium Frank Lloyd Wright designed that got built. Wright called the campus his "Child of the Sun," and it has been a tourist attraction for decades. But it wasn't until this week that it was named a National Historic Landmark.

Last week, WUSF quizzed former Senator George LeMieux about his "Two-and-a-Half Macks" ad.

It went after rival Rep. Connie Mack IV for several run-ins with the law and financial difficulties.

Now, PolitiFact Florida is weighing in on one specific claim: that Connie Mack IV's "only real job in the world" was "events coordinator at Hooters."

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