Making Sense of the Media
7:38 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Making Sense of Ice Bucket Challenge and Ferguson on Social Media

Credit npr.org

It is a tale of two social media sites.                                                       

Facebook has been inundated with videos of people taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- donate $100 to ALS research or take a bucket of ice water over your head.

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Politics
6:18 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Fact-Checking Scott and Crist on Duke Energy

Credit politifact.com

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has pledged to target candidates who he deems bad for the environment and as deniers of climate change.

And Florida Governor Rick Scott is one of the candidates in Steyer's sights.

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Environment
8:56 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Tropical Storm Cristobal Forms Near Bahamas

Water rushes through an open bay at the Carraizo Dam to release water left by a passing storm in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, Saturday. A tropical depression formed over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday and strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobol as it headed toward the Bahamas and dumped heavy rains on parts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Credit Ricardo Arduengo / AP Photo

A strengthening tropical depression that dumped heavy rains on parts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic was upgraded early Sunday to Tropical Storm Cristobal as it passed closer to the Bahamas, the U.S. Hurricane Center said.

Cristobal originally formed as depression over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday. It was the fourth depression of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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Law & Order
8:39 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

What Might Future Florida Human Trafficking Legislation Look Like For 2015?

The logo for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:26 am

Florida is ranked number three in the U.S. for the number of calls received at the nation’s human trafficking hotline. To curb that trend, state and local officials have worked with lawmakers over the years to put new laws in place. And, a newly-formed council is hatching plans to build on the state’s past progress and propose new legislation for next year.

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Politics
8:37 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Judge Approves New Redistricting Map, Allows Elections to Go Forward

Good, for now

A Leon County judge upheld a second draft of the state's congressional districts in a decision issued Friday, but shelved the new map until after the November elections.

The decision marked a major victory for legislative Republicans, who approved the new plan this month after Lewis ruled that their first draft violated the Florida Constitution's ban on political gerrymandering. The GOP had also pushed for the earlier version of the districts, approved in 2012, to remain in place through this year's elections.

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Health News Florida
5:25 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

CannaDay Comes To Ybor

Credit Nathan Powell

CannaDay Tampa Bay was in Ybor on Friday. Activists, entrepreneurs and patients gathered to discuss medical cannabis and its future in Florida.

Some industry projections show that if legalized, medical marijuana will help 420,000 patients in Florida, which would be the third most in the United States. Peter Sessa, Chief Operating Officer of the Florida Cannabis Coalition.

He says the Cannabis industry has a bright future in the state of Florida.

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Politics
9:44 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Gov. Scott Promises $700 Mil. For Schools in 2015 Budget

Gov. Rick Scott at a campaign visit to a Miami business Thursday. While there, Scott announced plans to increase public school funding for 2015 by roughly $700 million if he is re-elected.
Credit Alan Diaz / Associated Press

Hammered by his chief rival over cuts to school budgets, Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday made an election-year promise to boost money for public schools if he's re-elected.

Scott vowed to recommend a roughly $700 million increase to public schools for 2015 — which would push the amount of money for each student to record levels and bring total state and local funding to just under $20 billion.

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Health News Florida
9:06 am
Fri August 22, 2014

FDA Panel Says No; Docs Say Yes

Dr. Ronald Wheeler
YouTube.com

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:06 am

Sarasota urologist  Ronald Wheeler says he's going to continue doing a controversial prostate-cancer treatment, even though an FDA panel recently voted against it and even though the state could punish him for it.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the French device that Wheeler uses for high-intensity focused ultrasound, called HIFU, he has been treating his patients in Mexico.

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Off The Base
7:22 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Bay Pines VA Summit on Mental Health

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Credit Bay Pines VA

Veterans mental health experts at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System admit the VA "can't do everything alone."

So, the Bay Pines VA is holding a mental health summit today, looking to community partners to help provide veteran services both inside and outside the VA System. Local mental health agencies, private health care organizations and some hospitals are expected to attend the invitation-only event.

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Politics
6:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Rich Hopes Voters Will Choose The 'Real Democrat'

Former Sen. Nan Rich, right, smiles as she speaks with Maxine Adler during a Palm Beach Civic Association "Meet your Candidate" event at Nick & Johnnie's Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Palm Beach, Fla. Rich is hoping a solid lifetime record as a Democrat is enough to overcome the name recognition and millions of dollars raised by Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat, former Gov. Charlie Crist in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary.
Credit AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Former Sen. Nan Rich is hoping a solid lifetime record as a Democrat, 28 months of campaigning and outreach to the hardcore grassroots of her party are enough to overcome the name recognition and millions of dollars raised by Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist in Tuesday's primary for governor.

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The Two-Way
10:39 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

One Woman's 'Pay It Forward' Moment Inspires 11 Hours Of Kindness

Vu Nguyen tells Amanda Gedeon and Beth Brehmer that the previous drive-through customer paid for their drinks at the Starbucks on Tyrone Boulevard in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. 
Credit Weston Phippen / Tampa Bay Times

At a drive-through Starbucks in St. Petersburg, Fla., a chain of generosity included hundreds of customers. Each customer in the chain chose to "pay it forward," paying for the drink of the customer behind her.

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Health News Florida
9:04 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Moms Rally to Legalize Medical Marijuana - For Their Kids

In June, the state legislature legalized an oil form marijuana called Charlotte’s Web for medicinal use.

It doesn’t have a lot of THC - the substance that gets a user “high,” but it is supposed to have certain medicinal benefits.

A new organization of moms, though, say that’s not enough. They are rallying to get Amendment 2 passed in November. It would legalize a broader spectrum of medicinal marijuana.

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Environment
6:05 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Florida Should Get Rid Of Coal-Fired Power Plants Now, Climate Scientists Say

Florida scientists were given 30 minutes with Gov. Rick Scott to explain climate change.

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:28 pm

Gov. Rick Scott sat down for half an hour this week with climate scientists who want him to take immediate action to deal with climate change.

A few of those same scientists took their message to the Internet Thursday.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida Gay Marriage Ban

Like a number of similar rulings around the country, gay marriage has been put on hold in Florida while appeals are pursued.
Credit Associated Press

A federal judge has declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining state judges in four counties who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

When Democratic political operative Christian Ulvert started his career nearly a decade ago, he was in the closet.

Since then, Ulvert --- now the Florida Democratic Party's political director --- has come out in the open about his homosexuality, married his partner Carlos Andrade and seen his career skyrocket.

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NPR Story
1:12 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Third With Medicaid Chose Own Plan

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:10 pm

Only about one-third of Florida’s Medicaid recipients transitioning into managed care statewide chose their own health insurance plans.

Enrollment for the general population started in May and ended in August. Consumers received a letter in the mail two months before enrollment and were given at least 30 days to choose an insurance plan. Those who did not choose a plan were automatically enrolled into a plan by state health officials.

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