Health News Florida
7:08 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Talks Aimed at Healing Trauma Divisions

With a former Supreme Court justice shepherding the talks, negotiators Thursday tried to break through a long-running disagreement about how Florida should approve new trauma centers across the state.

Trauma surgeons, hospital lawyers and the Florida Department of Health's top attorney held a day-long negotiating session aimed at coming up with a rule that could play a key role in determining where trauma centers will be allowed to open in the future.

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Making Sense of the Media
1:39 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Making Sense of Florida's Reputation for Weird News

Florida was back in the national headlines  when a man in a Tampa-area movie theater was shot and killed  in an argument over texting during the previews.      

The incident put Florida front-and-center nationally as a state where -- well -- strange things seem to happen... a lot.

Where did Florida get the reputation of being the go to state for weird news?  And does Florida deserve that rep?

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Law & Order
1:26 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Angela Corey Focus Of Zimmerman Painting

George Zimmerman's latest painting, depicting Florida State Attorney Angela Corey.

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:40 am

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman is releasing a new piece of artwork, this one portraying the special prosecutor who charged him with second-degree murder.

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Environment
1:18 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Bob Graham Talks Offshore Oil Drilling In Cuba

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:10 pm

 Former Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham returned this week from a trip to Cuba. He met with Cuban officials about the country’s plans for more offshore oil drilling.

Graham said he hopes to keep an open dialogue with Cuban officials.

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Health News Florida
1:16 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Garcia Re-files Medicaid Expansion But House Isn't Budging

Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah
Florida Senate

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:44 pm

Top Republicans in the Florida Legislature have shown little interest in expanding Medicaid in the state. Despite that, Democrats say they’ll keep pushing for the expansion. Now a Senate Republican has re-filed a failed 2013 proposal to expand the program to more low-income Floridians.

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1:13 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Majority of Police Officers, Employees Vote No Confidence in Lakeland Police Chief

Lead in text: 
The votes came on the heels of a year when the department was rocked by a variety of problems. In 2013, Lakeland Police Department faced the most widespread scandal in its history, including a large sexual misconduct investigation, criminal cases fouled by search and reporting procedures, the arrest of an officer on charges he sexually abused and stalked a woman while on duty, and a grand jury investigation into problems with Womack and the department's handling of public records. In all, 27 LPD employees have been disciplined, including about a dozen officers who resigned in lieu of termination and three who were fired.
A majority of the police officers and other employees of the Lakeland Police Department have no confidence in Chief Lisa Womack, according to the results of two votes announced Wednesday night.
Law & Order
11:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Grand Jury To Meet Again in Shooting Death of Former FAMU Player

This combination of undated file photos provided by Florida A&M University and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police shows Jonathan Ferrell, left, and police officer Randall Kerrick.
Credit AP Photo/Florida A&M University, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police

The North Carolina attorney general's office is going back to a grand jury in an attempt to indict a Charlotte police officer accused of shooting an unarmed former Florida A&M University football player last year.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday that prosecutors will resubmit the case against officer Randall Kerrick on Monday.

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Science
7:11 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Ancient And Vulnerable: 25 Percent Of Sharks And Rays Risk Extinction

Each year, 6 to 8 percent of the global population of sharks and rays gets caught, scientists say. The fish can't reproduce fast enough to keep pace
Mike Johnston Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:23 am

There are more than a thousand species of sharks and rays in the world, and nearly a quarter of them are threatened with extinction, according to a new study. That means these ancient types of fish are among the most endangered animals in the world.

This word comes from a Swiss-based group called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains the so-called Red List of species threatened with extinction.

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Law & Order
5:14 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Theater Shooting Victim's Wife: 'Whole World Was Shattered'

Wife of theater shooting victim, Nicole Oulsen, (right) tries to maintain her composure as she talks about the "shocking" death of her husband.
Yoselis Ramos WUSF

Nicole Oulsen, the wife of the theater shooting victim in Wesley Chapel, spoke out for the first time Wednesday.

Her husband, Chad Oulsen, was shot by former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves Jr. after an argument over Oulsen's texting his infant daughter's babysitter.

The couple was on a date night without their 22-month old daughter, Alexis.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Environmental Activists Rally for Clean Water

The Hillsborough River is one of the bodies of water considered contaminated with pollutants.
WUSF

Sixteen rallies took place across the state today to push state legislators to clean up Florida waterways.

One was in Tampa, where environmentalists and elected officials came together to sign a declaration claiming Florida citizens' right to clean water. Activists say phosphorus, nitrogen, and other pollutants are entering bodies of water through farm and urban runoff, making the water unsafe to use. 

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Health News Florida
12:41 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

FL Blue Acts When Story Airs

Merrie Beth Neely

Two Florida Blue customers who had been caught in a major glitch in the company’s enrollment process say they received help immediately after WUSF's Health News Florida reported on their problem.

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Politics
9:33 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Gov. Scott Says He'll Vote Against Medical Marijuana

Gov. Rick Scott says he will vote against a medical marijuana initiative if it's on the upcoming ballot.
Credit (file photo) / Associated Press

Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana if it makes the 2014 ballot.

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University Beat
7:21 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Concert, Art Exhibition: Guns Turned Into Musical Instruments

Artist Pedro Reyes with a guitar made out of guns & gun parts
USF Contemporary Art Museum

In 2008, Mexican artist Pedro Reyes took the concept of turning swords into plowshares literally and created an art campaign called Palas por Pistolas. People voluntarily gave up more than 1500 weapons, which he first melted down to turn into the same number of shovels, then used them to plant a corresponding number of trees.

Shortly after that, government officials pointed out there was a similar gun return policy in the city of Juarez and asked Reyes if he wanted to use those weapons in his art. He said yes, and in return, received more than 6700 firearms.

But instead of shovels, this time Reyes broke them down and turned their components into musical instruments.

“Same as a shovel plants a tree, a musical instrument is also something that is alive," Reyes says. "Every time you use it, you generate a new sound, a new event and people can gather around the music and I believe that just instruments are kind of the diametrically opposite to what a gun is - like, the guns are the rule of fear and music is the rule of trust.”

Some of those musical instruments are currently on display at the USF Contemporary Art Museum as part of the celebration of its 25 anniversary, CAM@25: Social Engagement.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Poll Findings: On Cuban-Americans And The Elusive 'American Dream'

Cuban immigrants are handed forms to fill out by an immigration and naturalization official in Miami on Dec. 3, 1984, so they can become permanent residents of the United States.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:11 am

Among Latinos, no group may have achieved the American dream as fully as Cuban-Americans.

Since arriving here, as a community, they've prospered. Surveys show they graduate from college at greater rates and have higher levels of homeownership than most other Latino groups.

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Environment
5:38 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Gov. Scott Wades Into Springs Protection Efforts

Green footprints at Lithia Springs in 2013

Gov. Rick Scott is floating a $55 million proposal to restore and maintain the state's natural springs, as state lawmakers increasingly focus on issues of water quality and quantity.

The springs proposal, released Tuesday, is the latest issue Scott has highlighted as he continues to roll out different aspects of his proposed re-election year budget.

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