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Tampa Karate Kid Prepares to Take on the World

It’s not every day you meet a 10-year-old who frequents words like “perseverance” and “self-control” in their vocabulary. But if you catch Sammy Gillespie talking about karate, the sport he is currently dominating, you just might find one. He is currently celebrating his new title as a karate national champion, and preparing to take on karate masters from 27 different countries at the World Karate Competition in Orlando this fall. I sat down with Sammy and his family at their New Tampa home,...
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Here's a bit of good news for Medicare, the popular government program that's turning 50 this week. Older Americans on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital; they're living longer; and the cost of a typical hospital stay has actually come down over the past 15 years, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In two words, He's baaaack. But then again, did Charlie Crist ever really leave us?

After all, he's the eternal candidate. Crist has run for everything from education commissioner to to attorney general to governor and Senator.

Beach Blame Bingo

Jul 29, 2015
Marc Haze / WUSF News

The vegetation is growing  on the beaches of Treasure Island. Researchers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium have been told they can no longer use a vehicle to monitor turtle nests.   And the concessionaires that work on the beach, many of whom were previously allowed to use a vehicle, now have to carry their gear and clean their areas on foot.  It's what the Treasure Island City Manager calls "unintended consequences" of a judge's ruling in a lawsuit. Some of the people affected by the new policies say the city is misinterpreting the ruling.

Southern governments at the state and local level have been reassessing the confederate battle flag.  Tuesday Walton County took a middle path, replacing the current flag with an earlier version.

  

Nationally, Florida tops the charts for drowning deaths for children under five.  That's why the Tampa Bay Rays and the YMCA partnered again this summer to teach children in the Tampa Bay area how to swim.

There was no need for water wings at the Northeast High School Pool in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, where 75 kids received medals for learning how to swim this summer. The event was part of an initiative called "Be Water Smart From the Start," a collaboration between the Rays and the YMCA to combat the ever-rising tide of drowning deaths in Florida.  

Legislative leaders announced Tuesday they will hold a special session to redraw the state's 40 Senate districts after the chamber acknowledged it violated the state constitution by creating maps that benefit Republicans and incumbents.

Two teens missing at sea had strayed from the agreed-upon boundaries for their fishing trip, the stepfather of one of the boys said Tuesday, as the Coast Guard continued a massive search off Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Seminole Hard Rock Casino

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is refusing to fold on its push to continue hosting blackjack and baccarat at most of its casinos, but Gov. Rick Scott's administration is trying to shut down the lucrative "banked" card games.

Letters swapped Monday between the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the tribe indicate that the two sides may be heading toward a showdown later this year over the card games, part of a 20-year gambling "compact" inked in 2010.

Florida officials are asking the Seminole Tribe when it plans to end card games at its casinos and the tribe has responded—with a request for mediation.

Auto Insurer Pushes For Hospital Contracts

Jul 28, 2015

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about whether a Jacksonville hospital needs to turn over information about contracts with health insurers.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal last month ruled in favor of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, which now is known as UF Health Jacksonville, in the dispute stemming from personal-injury protection auto-insurance claims.

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