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Manatee County School District

Manatee School Board Takes Time To Consider Saunders

Manatee County still doesn't have a permanent school superintendent. Just days before the Manatee County School Board was going to offer the position to the interim superintendent Cynthia Saunders, the state education commissioner filed an administrative complaint against her.

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Pinellas County schools

Bonnie Harvin says her 11-year-old daughter is doing well at Life Force Arts and Technology Academy in Clearwater.

“She’s a straight A student,” says Harvin. “Her FCAT scores are above grade level. So yes, I do think she has improves. A lot”

But Pinellas County school board members say the evidence to close Life Force is “overwhelming.” The charter school is in bankruptcy, it changed its curriculum without permission and it’s failing to serve students with disabilities.

House photo by Mark Foley

The Chairman of the Florida House Justice Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Rich Glorioso, says Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander personally removed funding for the Hillsborough Correctional Institution.

That’s the women’s faith-and-character based prison both the house and senate had previously agreed to fund.

The Plant City Republican who is finishing his final term in the house talked with WUSF’s Bobbie O’Brien about HCI.

Just three weeks ago, the University of South Florida was confronted with a $128 million cut in funding at its Tampa campus. That proposed 60 percent budget reduction is now down to 21 percent for USF/Tampa which President Judy Genshaft said is fair and in line with universities of similar size.

The question for the universities is how to make up for the budget shortfall. One solution lawmakers took off the table - they did not approve tuition increases to make up for the funding reduction.

Today's ruling by Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford throws a huge wrench into the state budget process that was supposed to be decided this week.

If you're a state worker, it could mean a refund of the three percent most of you saw taken from your salary on July 1.

But don't start spending your refund checks yet -- the state is bound to appeal, and this whole thing will end up in the Florida Supreme Court.

Deadly US 27 Crash Caused by Smoke and Fog

Mar 6, 2012
Bay News 9

There's been a deadly vehicle pile up on US Highway 27, in Polk County around the Lake Wales area.

Police say one person is dead, and several are injured in the 9-vehicle crash.

Around 5 this morning, a truck  traveling southbound crossed the median and hit an SUV. Then, motorcyclist Frederick Wood of Frostproof crashed into them and was killed.

Baseball Teams Are Acting Like Airlines

Mar 6, 2012

Baseball teams are finally doing what airlines have been doing for decades: changing ticket prices on the fly, based on demand.

At ballparks around the country this year, ticket prices will fall when rain is in the forecast and rise when a superstar comes to town.

From an economic standpoint, the only question is why they didn't do it sooner. Why not sell seats on the cheap if they'd sit empty otherwise? Why not charge a premium for sellouts?

For a long time, changing prices according to changes in demand just felt wrong; it was what scalpers did.

There's little dispute among educators that kids are not reading as well as they should be, but there's endless debate over what to do about it. Now, a growing number of states are taking a hard-line approach through mandatory retentions — meaning third-graders who can't read at grade level will automatically get held back.

To those pushing the idea, it's equal doses of tough and love: You are not doing kids any favors, they say, by waiving them on to fourth grade if they aren't up to snuff on their reading.

Snow in Florida!

Mar 6, 2012
Florida Memory/Florida Department of State

While Florida is the place where many folks come to escape the winter up north, winter occasionally finds its way to Florida.   

That was the case on March 6th, 1954, when Florida received its greatest modern-day snowfall.  Four inches fell -- and stuck on the ground -- at Milton.  Pensacola received two inches of snow.

Meteorologists say snow in Florida is unusual but it does happen.  The earliest record of snow falling in Florida was during the Great Arctic Outbreak of 1774.  

Photo courtesy of iidigital.usembassy.gov

There’s been a rise of “citizen journalists” whether from the bombed out neighborhoods in Syria to the tornado ravaged mid-west towns in the U.S. And today, March 6, 2012, you have an opportunity to hear from “citizen journalist” Sohaib Athar who tweeted live about the raid on the Pakistani compound of Osama bin Laden.

When USF President Judy Genshaft calls the budget deal "very, very, very good," you know it must be for the university.

Leaders in the Florida House and Senate have agreed on a budget that largely spares the University of South Florida from the disproportionate budget cuts proposed by the state Senate.

The price: agreeing to grant independence to USF Polytechnic, which will become Florida Polytechnic, the state's 12th university.

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