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Tampanians, Tampans or Tampeños? What Do You Call The Residents of Tampa?

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with TV host Mario R. Núñez, who sparked a debate over the proper moniker for people who live in the city of Tampa.

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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.

For a brief time last week, it appeared Hillsborough Correctional Institution (HCI), the women’s faith-and-character based prison set for closure, would receive a reprieve. But reports surfaced over the weekend, HCI is back on the chopping block.

Inmates, staff and volunteers at HCI successfully kept the Department of Corrections from closing down the 35-year-old facility last year. And, it appeared they would do it again this budget year when both the House and Senate set aside $2 million for needed repairs.

It may have been a slow session at the Florida Legislature this year, but that hasn’t stopped drama from breaking out in the state Senate.

An attempted coup over who would be the future state Senate president. The failure of prison privatization. And a continuing fight over the parent trigger bill.

It reveals the split between moderates and conservatives in the state Senate, according to Peter Schorsch. He’s a political consultant and the man behind award-winning SaintPetersBlog.com.

Courtesy of Quantum Leap Farm

I've seen first hand the horse power of animal healing.  Years ago, I had to opportunity to volunteer at Quantum Leap Farm, in Odessa, Florida.  I only spent a couple of days working there, but even a few hours showed me that this was no fluke.

Volunteering there was a family affair that started with my sister, then me, and eventually my husband, Frank Wantuck.  He forged friendships with the people who worked there and those who were served there and of course, the animals, like Sonic the horse. 

Some time ago, I produced this Florida Story featuring Frank and the founder of Quantum Leap, Edie Dopking.  I knew it was a good one, because even while recording it, I was overwhelmed with the beauty and power of the story.

All of this came to mind when I heard Julie Rovner's feature on NPR about animal therapy.

A federal judge's decision to deport a high school valedictorian who has lived in the United States since she was 4 has sparked her Miami community to rally around her. And now student Daniela Pelaez, 18, also seems to have won a hint of support from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

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