7:21 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Coalition Of Researchers Conclude Five-Year Red Tide Study

FWC and others collect water samples.
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Creative Commons

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 10:09 am

Researchers may have a better understanding of red tide blooms. These harmful algal blooms are becoming more persistent. That’s why the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission—along with a group of research partners—recently published a five year red tide study.

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5:11 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Florida Gets $34 Million Oil Spill Grant for Conservation

Florida has received $34.3 million in conservation grants from a settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The National Fish and Wildlife Federation on Monday said the money will fund nine projects that were decided upon in consultation with state and federal environmental agencies.

Gov. Rick Scott applauded the funding, many of which will benefit the Panhandle, and said the work will protect natural resources for future generations.

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4:47 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Tampa's Arthenia Joyner Elected Head of Senate Democrats

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner

Sen. Arthenia Joyner will now lead the Democratic Party on the floor of the state Senate, a little more than a half century after spending a couple of weeks in the Leon County Jail as part of local civil-rights struggles.

Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, was unanimously elected Monday by the Senate Democratic Caucus to be the minority party's leader the next two sessions.

The selection was first announced in May as the 2014 session came to a close.

Sen. Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens was elected the party's leader pro tempore, making him second in line.

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Health News Florida
4:05 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

HHS Secretary Visits FL, Defends ACA

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks with a woman enrolling for health insurance Monday at the University of South Florida enrollment event in Tampa.

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:26 am

The nation's top health official says the ongoing legal dispute over the Affordable Care Act won't stop people who want insurance from signing up.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it will consider a challenge to the law, which could eliminate subsidies for individuals who purchased plans in Florida and dozens of other states via the online marketplace known as HealthCare.gov.

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Health News Florida
1:29 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

ACA Health Premiums Up 10-15% in FL

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:12 pm

The average monthly premiums for Affordable Care Act "silver plans" increased by double digits in most Florida counties for 2015, according to an Associated Press analysis.

In their analysis, AP reporters Mike Schneider in Orlando and Kelli Kennedy in Miami  compared premiums after averaging them for all silver plans, without taking subsidies into account. 

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12:44 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Possible Tornado Hits Florida Panhandle Prison

Several cars were damaged when a tornado touched down near the Calhoun Correctional Institute in Florida's Panhandle Monday morning.
Credit Florida Dept. of Corrections

An apparent tornado touched down early Monday at a state prison near Blountstown in Florida's Panhandle, slightly injuring two people and damaging a number of vehicles.

Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel says the workers were just arriving for their shifts early Monday at the Calhoun Correctional Institution and hadn't even gotten out of their vehicles when the storm struck around 4 a.m. CST.

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Law & Order
12:03 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

USF Conference Marks 100th Anniversary of Dozier School Fire

13-year-old Joseph Wetherbee, who died in a dormitory fire at the Florida Industrial School for Boys (later Dozier School for Boys) on November 18, 1914. Wetherbee's family members are expected to attend a conference marking the 100th anniversary of the fire Tuesday at USF.
Credit Wetherbee family, courtesy USF Dept. of Anthropology

On November 18, 1914, a fire in a dormitory at what was then the Florida Industrial School for Boys is believed to have killed eight students and two staff members.

It turns out that those were among the first of an untold number of deaths at what became the Dozier School for Boys.

The reform school in the Panhandle town of Marianna was finally closed in 2011 after decades of alleged abuse and violence perpetrated against students.

University of South Florida researchers have been trying to identify a number of students buried in unmarked graves on the site.

And now, USF will host a conference Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the fire, which was one of the earliest signs of trouble at Dozier.

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StateImpact Florida
10:55 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Florida Teachers Consider 'Civil Disobedience' To Say No To Testing

Miramar High School teacher David Ross says testing has taken more and more time away from teaching. He refused to administer an FCAT make-up exam in protest.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

In September, Alachua County kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles refused to give a state reading test.

She told the parents of her students it was an act of civil disobedience. The Florida Department of Education later suspended the exam for this year.

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9:36 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Less Computer Ownership in Lakeland, Sebring

Residents in Sebring and Lakeland are less likely to own a computer or have high-speed Internet compared to other parts of Florida.

A report released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week shows that those interior parts of the state lag behind coastal parts of the state when it comes to computer ownership and fast Internet service.

Only about three-quarters of Sebring households have a computer, and only about two-thirds of Lakeland households have high-speed Internet.

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9:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

22-Year Public Career Ending for Pinellas Commissioner Latvala

Lead in text: 
Susan Latvala, 65, served on the school board for eight years before winning election to the Board of County Commissioners in 2000. She served three terms there before deciding earlier this year to retire. The curtain will come down on her 22-year public career on Tuesday with the swearing in of new District 4 Commissioner Dave Eggers. Her time in office put her in the midst of controversies, including the removal of fluoride from the county water supply, which she opposed, a summer ban on selling fertilizer, which she supported, and the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum, which she backed but voters rejected.
CLEARWATER - There was no Latvala political dynasty when County Commissioner Susan Latvala first ran for public office in 1992. Then-husband Jack Latvala, who at the time ran a political direct mail company, was still two years way from becoming a state senator.
Read More: http://tbo.com
Health News Florida
9:12 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Federal Health Secretary in FL Today

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 9:37 am

From a tailgating party with Gator fans in Gainesville to a beer festival in Pensacola, Floridians had plenty of opportunities Saturday to get in-person help signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as the second year of enrollment kicks off, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is making a swing through Florida today to help get the word out.  

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StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Life, Love and Lipstick

Ruth Parrish (front) and her daugther Paula (courtesy StoryCorps)
Credit StoryCorps

Ruth Parrish has lived to be 94 years old. In her nine decades alive, she’s learned a few things.

In this edition of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Ruth talks with her daughter Paula Parrish about life, lipstick, and how to be happy.

“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban, from the album Closer

This week's StoryCorps Tampa Bay was produced by Yoselis Ramos.

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Law & Order
1:22 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Bucs Among NFL Teams Targeted by DEA

Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (right) catches a touchdown pass over Redskins safety Ryan Clark Sunday in Landover, MD. The Bucs, who won 27-7, had their medical staff visited by Drug Enforcement Agency representatives following the game.
Credit Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

Federal drug enforcement agents showed up unannounced Sunday to check at least two visiting NFL teams’ medical staffs, including that of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as part of an investigation into former players’ claims that teams mishandled prescription drugs.

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University Beat
9:54 am
Sun November 16, 2014

FSU President Thrasher Starts Mending Fences During First Week

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 5:14 pm

Former State Senator John Thrasher assumed his new role as President of Florida State University this week.  Thrasher says running a university is far different from running the legislature, and all of his actions are being scrutinized.

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Health News Florida
6:11 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Judge Strikes Down Medical Marijuana Rule

An administrative law judge Friday struck down a rule proposed by health regulators as a framework for Florida's new medical-marijuana industry, finding multiple flaws in the controversial rule challenged by the state's largest nursery and other growers.

Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins sided with Miami-based Costa Farms and others that objected to the Department of Health's use of a lottery to pick five licensees that will grow, process and distribute strains of non-euphoric marijuana authorized by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year.

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