9:34 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Rape Kits Often Go Untested

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 12:06 pm

Over the past 15 years in Polk County, more than half of the rape kits collected in criminal cases remain untested in evidence rooms, the

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Health News Florida
7:37 am
Tue June 23, 2015

More HIV Education Could Dispel Myths

Dr, Diane Straub

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 8:20 am

Thirty years ago, a HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence, and gay men and IV-drug users were most likely to get infected.

Today, the demographics of infection have changed a lot, and advancements in drug treatment that make HIV a "chronic disease" have created a new set of problems.

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6:25 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Gov. Scott Leads 'Cut My Taxes' Chant

Gov. Rick Scott
Credit State of Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott rallied sign-waving supporters at a celebration in St. Petersburg Monday for $400 million dollars in tax cuts.  He said Floridians won't have to look beyond their purse or pocket for proof.

"So if you have a cell phone, take it out and hold it up--this is a tax cut," Scott said.  "We have a tax cut of over $200 million. That's right--over 200 million back in your pockets."

Scott said that this tax cut will allow people to use their own discretion when spending.

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NPR Story
4:11 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Gov. Scott Urged To Veto Late Additions To Budget

Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill in 2014. A conservative-advocacy group is telling Gov. Rick Scott it'll have his back if he vetoes projects crammed into the state budget just before the nearly $80 billion package was completed last week.

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 3:48 pm

  A conservative-advocacy group is telling Gov. Rick Scott it'll have his back if he vetoes projects crammed into the state budget just before the nearly $80 billion package was completed last week.

"We are making everyone aware that we are not happy with the $301 million in last minute projects," Americans for Prosperity-Florida spokesman Andres Malave said Sunday. "AFP stands with Floridians who wouldn't be disappointed if the governor vetoed projects not beneficial to all taxpayers."

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3:59 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

USF Students Help Rescue Boater

The U.S. Coast Guard attends to the third boater who was separated from his boat two miles away from the Weatherbird II vessel.
Andrew Warren & Eric Rabinowits

Students aboard the Florida Insitute of Oceanography's Weatherbird II research vessel helped rescue a distressed boater near Egmont Key on Saturday night.

Those on the vessel heard an emergency call at around 9 p.m. from the U.S Coast Guard about three boaters in the water two miles away from where their craft was. The Coast Guard managed to rescue two men but a third was still missing in the water.

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Off The Base
11:29 am
Mon June 22, 2015

Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race

Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945 at Clark Air Base in the Philippines.
Courtesy of Rollins Edwards

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 10:00 am

As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn't complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

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8:48 am
Mon June 22, 2015

FL Health Law Battle Likely Back in 2016

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:03 am

A bruising budget battle that divided Republicans in the Florida Legislature is over for now, but the truce is likely only to last a few months.

Legislators passed a nearly $79 billion budget Friday with just days to spare. Legislators had until July 1 to pass a budget or state government would have been partially shut down. They didn't pass a budget during their regular session because they were divided over health care spending. That sparked a stalemate — and finger-pointing will remain when legislators return for their 2016 session.

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StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon June 22, 2015

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Sacrifices

Amy and Michael Facundo

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Michael and Amy Facundo tell the story of how they met at a high school football game, and how their love grew out of the sacrifices they’ve had to make for each other.

Amy Facundo is a school teacher in Immokalee where a majority of her students come from migrant families.

Music Used:

“Some Kind of Wonderful” by Michael Bublé from the album, Crazy Love (Hollywood Edition)

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8:38 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Taxpayer Tab for Drug Test Lawsuits: $1.5M

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 8:37 pm

Florida taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1.5 million in legal fees -- including nearly $1 million to civil-rights lawyers -- because of Gov. Rick Scott's failed push to force welfare applicants and tens of thousands of state workers to submit to suspicionless drug tests.

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Health News Florida
8:28 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Prom Queen, 18, and HIV Positive

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie says Jacksonville's JASMYN program provided support she needed after being diagnosed as HIV Positive.
Abe Aboraya Health News Florida

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:40 am

Each year in Jacksonville, a nonprofit called JASMYN hosts a prom for LGBT youth.

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie was crowned this year’s prom queen. She’s scared of horses, but loves unicorns. And she sometimes snaps when she talks.

Davinnie holds up a selfie taken in one of her multiple prom dresses.

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8:44 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Lawmakers Pass $78B Budget in Overtime

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 2:43 pm

After a sprawling and messy budget fight that spawned lawsuits and finger-pointing, the fractured Republican-controlled Florida Legislature approved a nearly $79 billion budget and ended its special session Friday.

Legislators were racing against the clock to pass the budget after they failed to pass one during their regular two-month session that ended in late April.

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Off The Base
2:14 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Off the Base: 7 Tips To Easier Military Moves

Credit U.S. Department of Defense

We are smack dab in the middle of the peak moving season for military families. Traditionally, it’s May through August. And it happens every two to three years --- to most all military families.

It’s called “Permanent Change of Station” or PCS.

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1:08 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Lightning Kills Largo Man


Largo Police said an 81-year-old man was out for a walk, got caught in a storm and he was struck by lightning Friday. The man, Jay Freres, did not survive.

Summertime in Florida is typically wet with gully washers virtually every day. Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay said daily storms are why the state is known as the "lightning capital of the world" and not because the lightning here is more intense. 

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Florida Matters
10:50 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Storm Prep: Boil Your Eggs, Fry Your Bacon

Chef Don Pintabona, cookbook author and co-owner with Chef Michael Mina of Locale Market in St. Petersburg.
Credit Jeff Houck / Locale Market

Canned tuna, boxed apple juice, peanut butter crackers. What’s in your hurricane supply of non-perishable food?

Emergency response experts suggest that families have food and water to last from three to seven days.

But who wants to eat seven days of canned chili?

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9:06 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Medicare Fraud Sweep Snags 78 in FL

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 4:48 pm

Health care fraud sweeps across the country have led to charges against 243 people, including doctors, nurses and pharmacy owners accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid, the government announced Thursday.

The dragnet spread from Miami to Los Angeles, Tampa and Dallas to Brooklyn, N.Y. Arrests were made earlier this week. Combining all the cases, allegedly fraudulent billings totaled some $712 million.

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