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Zika Emergency Declaration Expands, Scott Requests CDC's Help

Gov. Rick Scott added a fifth Florida county to a public health emergency declaration over the Zikavirus on Thursday, and asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for training and other assistance.Broward joins Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties as where cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been found. All of the cases are travel related.
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There appears to be early backing by lawmakers to let voters - and not the governor - decide who should run Florida’s Department of Education.

On Tuesday, a Senate committee unanimously approved the bill (SJR942) that returns the Florida Commissioner of Education to an elected, cabinet level position – if approved by 60 percent of voters.

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What's Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's stance on cap and trade - and has it changed over the years? Rubio says no, but some of his opponents aren't so sure. To do some fact-checking on that claim - and whether a lack of dentistry can prove fatal - WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

Feb 3, 2016
Naomi Prioleau/WUSF

  When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind.

Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson.

Cary Michael Lambrix, convicted of the 1983 killings of two people, was scheduled to die by lethal injection in Florida on Feb. 11.

But on Jan. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's process for imposing the death penalty, and now the state Supreme Court has delayed Lambrix's execution until the courts can determine how to apply the high court's ruling.

Three Florida nurseries filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for an injunction to delay the state's medical marijuana process in three of five state regions.

McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, San Felasco Nurseries and Tornello Landscape's 3 Boys Farm filed the suit in Leon County Circuit Court against Florida's Department of Health and the nurseries approved to cultivate medical marijuana.

The push to bring back recess to the state's public schools got another boost Tuesday. A bill that would require 20 minutes of recess every day for elementary school students passed its second House committee.

Several mothers -- who called themselves "recess moms" --  grew clearly emotional when speaking in favor of the bill. Amy Narvaez, a parent of students in Orange County, told the committee that she became a "recess mom" in October of 2014, when her youngest daughter  started kindergarten.

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It has been 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded off the coast of Cape Canaveral. All seven crew members, including teacher Christa McAuliffe, were killed.

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 a.m.), we'll remember the disaster, and take a look at some of the lessons learned from Challenger.

Ride-Sharing Bill Backed For Hillsborough County

Feb 2, 2016
Screenshot from Apple App Store

Less than a week after the Florida House passed a bill dealing with the statewide regulation of app-based ride sharing services, a subcommittee Monday approved a proposal that would set up a regulatory framework in Hillsborough County.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida sought Monday to increase pressure on state lawmakers to approve a gambling deal with a proposed $1.8 billion expansion they said would create thousands of jobs at casinos in Tampa and in South Florida.

Lawmakers are pushing a measure encouraging the use of abuse-resistant opioids. 

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