Culture
10:11 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A Chat with the Authors of "Home to Havana"

Francisco Serrano, 17, an aspiring ballet dancer from Sarasota, performs at Havana's National Theater during an international ballet competition in Cuba, the land of his parents' birth. Though he has been dancing only four years, Serrano recently won a fu
Elaine Litherland Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A reporter and photographer from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune took their first trip to Cuba recently. Dance critic and arts writer Carrie Seidman and photographer-videographer Elaine Litherland covered a Sarasota ballet troupe taking part in an international dance competition.

They documented the life of Ariel Serrano, who defected to the U.S. in 1993 and found his way to Sarasota. His 17-year-old son, Francisco, the only American ever to dance in the April event, followed in his dad's footsteps, and danced his way to the gold medal.

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Health News Florida
7:11 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Hospital ER Legal Fight To Cost State

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The state Agency for Health Care Administration last month dropped an appeal in a long-running legal fight about payments to hospitals that provide emergency services to undocumented immigrants.

But an appeals court Wednesday ordered AHCA to pay the legal fees of a coalition of hospitals that have battled the agency for more than two years about the emergency-services issue.

The state's Medicaid program pays hospitals for emergency care provided to undocumented immigrants, but the case focused on the extent of services that should be covered.

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University Beat
4:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

USF Special Collections Shows Off 'Favorite Things'

1 of only 2 wooden scale models of a sculpture Picasso was going to create for the USF Tampa campus in the 1970s. The model will be on display at a USF Tampa Library Special Collections event Thursday.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

They're not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but the staff of USF Tampa Library's Special Collections is putting a few of their favorite things on display for the public for one day only.

According to Special Collections' librarian Andy Huse, the event, A Few of Our Favorite Things (Thursday, July 17 from 1-3 p.m.), allows he and his colleagues on the library's fourth floor to show off some of the most interesting objects, ranging from centuries-old spiritual texts and rare maps to Babylonian clay tablets and Victorian-era novels.

WUSF's Mark Schreiner talks to Andy Huse about the USF Tampa Library Special Collections' "A Few of Our Favorite Things" event Thursday.

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Education
2:12 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Florida Teachers Challenge Voucher Expansion

A Lee County social studies teacher and the state's main teachers union are filing a lawsuit to block a significant expansion of a private school voucher program.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Leon County circuit court contends that state legislators violated a requirement that bills cover only one subject. The Republican-controlled Legislature attached the voucher expansion to an unrelated bill on the final day of the 2014 session. They took that step because a stand-alone bill failed to get enough votes.

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Politics
12:57 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Hillsborough Commissioners Move to Protect Gay Rights

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner

Hillsborough County Commissioners today voted to legislate protection of gay, bisexual and transgender people. If it is enacted in an upcoming session, the ordinance would be an about-face of a 1995 vote that excluded those civil rights protections.

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Health News Florida
11:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

1,200 with Critical Needs Off Waiting List

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:48 am

About 1,200 Floridians with critical needs will be getting enrollment letters from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities in the next two weeks.

Those with critical needs on the agency’s waiting list as of July 1 will be offered enrollment in the Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver.

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Health News Florida
11:05 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Florida's Pain Killer Crackdown Has Results And Unintended Consequences

Sherry Benjamin of Fort Myers got addicted to pain killers after a slew of surgeries. Her addiction was fueled by the state's unfettered prescription pill crisis. But in 2011, state officials cracked down on medication like oxycodone. Like many other addicts, the crackdown left Benjamin with an addiction and no resources. So, she turned to other drugs. And experts warn there is going to be a surge of addicts finding solace in other more dangerous drugs, which could be Florida's next battle.

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:51 pm

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports prescription pill related deaths in Florida fell sharply in the past few years.

State officials have said it’s a sign laws aimed at cracking down on “pill mills” in the Sunshine State are working. But, addiction specialists say the crackdown has had some unintended consequences. 

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NPR Ed
10:55 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

Everest Institute in Boston.
Mallory Noe-Payne WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:49 am

Listen to this story on Morning Edition.

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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Health News Florida
8:17 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Prescription Drug Database Could Get Tougher Restrictions

 After Florida lawmakers failed to address the issue this spring, health officials are advancing an effort to tighten security on the state's prescription-drug database.

The Department of Health is floating a new rule that would lay out terms and conditions for use by law enforcement and investigative agencies after critics were unable to convince the Legislature to require court orders to access the database.

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Off The Base
6:17 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Job Events for Veterans, Military Families

Veterans and military family members looking for a job or a new career – today is your day. Several Florida state agencies are sponsoring Paychecks for Patriots.

There are 18 hiring events planned throughout Florida Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. organized by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and the Florida National Guard.

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Politics
7:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Gov. Scott, Reporters Duel Over Questions

Governor Rick Scott held a media availability after a hurricane preparedness press conference in which both the governor and the reporters got a bit testy.
Credit Tessa Wiseman / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott dodged questions on Monday at a campaign event in Largo about a recent  campaign stop in Tampa, to which on-duty police officers were invited. Then on Tuesday, when Scott was in Tampa on official business on hurricane preparedness, reporters again asked him questions outside that topic.

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Environment
6:16 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Gov. Scott: Don't Get Caught Without a Hurricane Plan

Governor Rick Scott joined local emergency management officials to encourage Floridians to make hurricane plans.
Credit WUSF News

Florida was spared the wrath of Hurricane Arthur, the storm that swept through the Atlantic last week. But Gov. Rick Scott joined local emergency officials in Tampa today to remind Floridians not to get too comfortable.

During the news conference, Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, warned that this could be the calm before the storm - especially for Tampa residents.

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4:49 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Selig: Rays Can Make Succeed - With New Stadium

Lead in text: 
Speaking shortly before the final All-Star Game he'll oversee as Major League Baseball commissioner, Bud Selig again said Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Rays need a new ballpark. TBO.com reports Selig said he'll leave any decisions on if and where a new stadium would be built up to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg.
Outgoing baseball commissioner Bud Selig said the Tampa Bay area has the demographics to succeed as a major-league market but reiterated the Rays' need for a new ballpark. However, after years of vocal disappointment from his office over low attendance and the need to replace Tropicana Field, Selig remarked Tuesday that he was leaving the stadium situation in the hands of Rays owner Stuart Sternberg.
Read More: http://tbo.com
University Beat
4:25 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

1Apple Grocery an Oasis in a 'Food Desert'

1Apple offers what co-founder Hector Angus calls "fresh fast food" -- organic fruits and vegetables direct from local farmers' markets.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

This week's University Beat radio report on 1Apple Grocery.

You know the saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away. Now two USF students are hoping that “one apple” might help keep an entire neighborhood healthy.

Hector Angus and Andrea Little have opened 1Apple Grocery in Plant City, in part to provide relief in a so-called “food desert.”

"A food desert is an area where the residents don’t have access to fresh fruits, or nutritious foods," said Angus, who's pursuing his bachelor's degree in information technology with a minor in business.

"So that’s one of the problems that we’re trying to tackle with 1Apple is being able to provide the fresh produce for the families," added Little, who just completed her third year of medical school.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

GOP Leaders Want to Redraw Districts After Fall Elections

Map of Congresswoman Corrine Brown's district

Republican legislative leaders said Tuesday they do not plan to appeal a judge's ruling that struck down Florida's congressional map but want lawmakers to be able to redraw the disputed districts after this fall's elections.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, contend it's too late in the current election cycle to redraw the districts, as ballots have already been sent to overseas voters in advance of the Aug. 26 primaries.

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