Health News Florida
2:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rays Player Visits Pediatric Patients at Tampa General

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier signs an autograph for Janice Clauvil, 6.
Daniel Wallace Tampa General Hospital

 Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier spent Thursday morning visiting pediatric patients at Tampa General Hospital.

According to Karen Van Cleaf, the pediatric nurse manager, visits like this help with one of the biggest issues for hospital patients: boredom.

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10:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Adam Putnam Set for Leadership Role in Conservation Debate

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, declared last year the Legislature would act this spring on water policy. Gov. Rick Scott has touted his recommendations for conservation land buying after years of zeroing it out of the budget. But the politician who will have the some outsized say-so is Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. The Bartow Republican was proselytizing on Florida's worsening water woes when Scott was campaigning to dismantle Florida's growth and environmental rules. While environmentalists have long viewed Florida's agriculture commissioner position as a mouthpiece for Big Sugar and agriculture interests, the current occupant is well-respected and an all-but-declared serious gubernatorial contender.
TALLAHASSEE - There are lots of cooks in the kitchen as Florida faces the related tasks of drafting conservation plans along with seemingly incongruous rules for cleaning and preserving water supplies. Ranchers and developers want to shape any new regulations. Environmentalists want reforms in practice and not just on paper.
Health News Florida
10:17 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Deadline for Jan. 1 Coverage Nears

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:52 am

Monday’s an important deadline for Floridians shopping for insurance on HealthCare.gov.

Nearly a million residents signed up on this federally run marketplace last year. Now those wanting to re-enroll -- or sign up for the first time for coverage -- must select a plan by Monday if they want to be covered starting at the beginning of the New Year.

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Culture
9:31 am
Fri December 12, 2014

World War II Off the Florida Coast

The 30 foot, full-size replica of the German mini-sub, a "Seehund."
Credit Lucielle Salomon

It's hard for us to imagine having a hostile military presence sitting off the coast of Florida. While it may sound like something out of a spy novel, within the lifetimes of many Floridians this scenario was very real.

This is one the lessons contained in an exhibit called"Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf" now on display at the Tampa Bay History Center.

"It focuses on the part of World War II that people don't really think about and that was the war on this side of the Atlantic."

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Politics
5:47 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

New Leaders Named for Environmental Protection, Elder Affairs

Jonathan Steverson at a Northwest Florida Water Management District function
Credit Northwest Florida Water Management District

Jonathan Steverson, who for the past two years has overseen one of the state's five water-management districts, will head the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as Gov. Rick Scott begins a second term.

Scott also has shaken up things at the Department of Elder Affairs.

Scott appointed Sam Verghese to take over for Charles Corley, who, after running the agency for three years, stepped down as secretary Wednesday.

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Law & Order
3:45 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Study: Just 20 Percent Of Female Campus Sexual Assault Victims Go To Police

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 5:52 pm

Young women who are sexually assaulted are vastly unlikely to report those crimes to police, according to a newly released Justice Department report.

Even more striking, women ages 18 to 24 who are in college or trade school are less likely to report such incidents than those who aren't in school, despite the increasing number of sexual assault advocates and counselors on campus in recent years.

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10:25 am
Thu December 11, 2014

2015 Spending Bill Includes $18 Billion for NASA

That's $364 million more than the space agency got for the current fiscal year -- which ends on Sept. 30 -- and some $500 million more than it requested. Most of that increase is due to lawmakers increasing funding for the Space Launch System and Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle designed to eventually take astronauts to Mars, a key congressional priority. The spending bill includes $3.25 billion for human exploration, up from the $2.78 billion the Obama administration had sought.
WASHINGTON -- NASA would get $18 billion in fiscal 2015 as part of a $1.01 trillion government-wide spending bill Congress is expected to pass as early as Thursday. That's $364 million more than the space agency got for the current fiscal year -- which ends on Sept.
Book News & Features
10:22 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Join The Morning Edition Book Club: We're Reading 'Deep Down Dark'

Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:21 am

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

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Health News Florida
9:25 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Young Adults Remain Enrollment Challenge

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:37 am

Christian Ward lounges on a couch in the University of South Florida student center in Tampa. He props crutches against the armrest and stretches out his leg, which is covered in a cast up to his thigh.

Like a lot of college students, Ward’s parents handle his health insurance. He'll tell you that having it definitely came in handy during his moment of need.

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

State Takes Over Medicare HMO

Circuit Court Judge George S. Reynolds III

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:33 am

Florida Healthcare Plus, a Medicare HMO with 10,000 members, was declared insolvent Wednesday and turned over to state authorities.

In such cases, state and federal officials help patients move into other health plans or to traditional Medicare. More information is expected on that today or Friday.

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Business
8:23 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Citizens Insurance Introduces Plans To Clarify Depopulation

Citizens Insurance VP of Consumer and Agent Services speaking December 9 at the insurance company's quarterly meeting.

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:20 pm

Citizens insurance is touting its efforts to move policies into the private market—a process known as depopulation.  Florida’s insurer of last resort is introducing new plans to make the move more transparent.

The state-backed insurer concluded its final meeting of the year Wednesday, highlighting its ability to shift 300,000 policies to the private sector since January.  Citizens official Steve Bitar says the company is making changes to improve the depopulation process for consumers.

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Law & Order
7:23 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Thrasher On Revived Bill Allowing Guns On Campus: 'My Position Hasn't Changed'

Dr. Robert Cowie, Feb. 22, 2011, speaking to lawmakers against SB 234. His daughter, an FSU student, was killed at a frat house just weeks before. Cowie's testimony along with then-Sen. Thrasher helped defeat the bill.

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:26 pm

Florida State University President John Thrasher says his position has not changed since the recent filing of a bill allowing people to open carry on public college and university campuses. It’s the same bill Thrasher helped defeat in 2011 when he was a state senator.

In 2011, the testimony of Dr. Robert Cowie, a friend of Thrasher, also helped derail the bill. Just weeks before, Cowie’s daughter, FSU Student Ashley, had been accidentally shot by a rifle and killed at a frat house.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jobs, Education, Tax Cuts Top Priorities In Gov. Rick Scott's Second Term

Gov. Rick Scott greets supporters at a campaign event at Orlando Harley-Davidson in November.

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:34 am

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

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Law & Order
3:25 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Some 'Very Pleased' By Gov. Scott's 4th Permanent Prison Chief Pick, Julie Jones

Former Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie Jones speaking about a proposed license plate redesign, Oct. 9, 2012.

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 2:41 pm

Governor Rick Scott has chosen a new permanent leader for the Florida Department of Corrections. And, some are calling Scott’s fourth pick for prison chief “a good fit.”

On Wednesday, Scott announced Julie Jones, the former head of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will lead the state’s troubled prison system.

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Law & Order
12:33 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Report: State Juvenile Detention Exceeds $55,000 Per Youth Annually

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:21 am

The long-term cost of incarcerating the nation's youth is $8 to $21 billion, according to a report out Tuesday. The Justice Policy Institute’s “Sticker Shock” report says Florida’s base cost is $55,000 dollars per juvenile per year.

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