Law & Order
11:12 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Medical Marijuana Supporters Claim Win

Nearly 700,000 signatures from registered voters are required to get the medical marijuana measure on the ballot. So far election supervisors have certified nearly 458,000 signatures.
Credit ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

Backers of a medical marijuana constitutional amendment in Florida announced Wednesday evening that they have collected enough signatures to make the 2014 ballot.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United for Care, sent out an email to supporters that organizers have collected more than 1.1 million signatures.

“This is an enormous achievement,” Pollara wrote.

Organizers have until Feb. 1 to gather 683,189 voter signatures. So far election supervisors have certified nearly 458,000 signatures.

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Environment
10:15 am
Thu January 16, 2014

'Blackfish' Backlash Hits Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens' Facebook post announcing the cancellation of upcoming concerts by the Beach Boys and Pat Benatar, apparently as the result of controversy concerning Busch Gardens' partner theme park, SeaWorld.
Credit WUSF 89.7 News

As controversy continues to swirl over animal treatment at SeaWorld's parks, including its Orlando location, the backlash has spread to its sibling park, Busch Gardens in Tampa.

The Tampa Tribune reports the Beach Boys and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will not be taking part in the park's Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series.

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Culture
9:42 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Watch: Andy Warhol Meets Salvador Dali

For the first time in the history of the Salvador Dalí Museum, there's a new exhibit that doesn't feature the Catalan surrealist master himself. It's an exhibit all about the next prodigy in art history-- Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol takes credit for once saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

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Business
9:13 am
Thu January 16, 2014

J.C. Penney Closures & Layoffs Hit Port Richey Store

Credit J. Pat Carter / Associated Press

The post-holidays hard news continues for employees of some major retailers.

One week after discount retailer Loehmann's started liquidating its inventory and Macy's announced it is eliminating 2,500 jobs, there's word that J.C. Penney is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores.

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Politics
9:13 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Allied Veterans Scam Prompts Charity Reform Proposal

In the wake of an alleged charity scam that helped cost the state's former lieutenant governor her job, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and a pair of lawmakers are pushing legislation that would tighten rules on non-profit organizations.

The measure is aimed at giving the state and consumers more information about what charities, particularly those that raise large amounts of money, are doing with contributions. Putnam unveiled the legislation Wednesday at a meeting of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, where members largely seemed receptive.

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Health News Florida
6:35 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Child Seizures

Marilyn Budzynski takes care of her 20-year-old son, Michael, in Eustis, Fla., in September. Michael suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
Tom Benitez MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 4:57 pm

Florida may soon become the latest state to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. Advocates there are gathering signatures to put a medical marijuana referendum on the fall ballot.

But Florida's Legislature may act sooner to allow residents access to a particular type of marijuana. Advocates say the strain called Charlotte's Web offers hope to children with severe seizure disorders.

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Culture
4:15 am
Thu January 16, 2014

First Non-Dalí Exhibit at Salvador Dalí Museum: Andy Warhol

© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Picture is not to be downloaded.

For the first time in the history of the Salvador Dalí Museum, there's a new exhibit that doesn't feature the Catalan surrealist master himself. It's an exhibit all about the next prodigy in art history-- Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol takes credit for once saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

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Law & Order
9:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Rental Car Surprise: Comes With An AR-15 In The Back

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:43 pm

A Florida vacation got off to an odd start for Judith Fleissig, 58, of Rochester, N.Y., when she and her daughter realized the car they'd rented had an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. More oddness followed: The gun was left there by the wife of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, police say.

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Environment
8:09 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Months After 'Blackfish' Release, Controversy Over SeaWorld Grows

Two killer whales fly out of the water during a show at SeaWorld Orlando's Shamu Stadium in 2010.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:11 pm

The documentary Blackfish made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered last January, and got more attention when it was released in theaters over the summer. But it didn't reach its largest audience until October, when millions watched it on CNN.

It's a powerful documentary that focuses on Tilikum, the male orca who pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. In telling the story, Blackfish relies heavily on interviews with former SeaWorld trainers like Samantha Berg.

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Off The Base
5:17 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Tampa Generals Rugby Team Finishes Fourth

Members of the Tampa Generals Wheelchair Rugby Team (white shirts) congratulate the Lakeshore team on its win.
Jen Lumm FotoJENic Journeys

The fourth-placed Tampa Generals Wheelchair Rugby Team may not have finished in the "top three" during last weekend's international tournament, but the Generals' Leevi Ylönen was named Most Valuable player.

Here are the final results from three days of play during the 22nd annual Tampa International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament held at the All People’s Life Center.

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Culture
12:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Lynne Rossetto Kasper Loves WUSF

Lynne Rossetto Kasper says WUSF knows the recipe for success.
Credit The Splendid Table

Hi, I'm Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table. WUSF brings you the news you need to know -- and the stories you want to hear. Some of this station's most memorable stories are about my favorite subject: food and drink.

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Health News Florida
11:57 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Drug Database Changes on Life Support

A move to make it harder for investigators to get access to a statewide prescription-drug database is in trouble.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean, who's pushing the changes, on Tuesday pulled the measure (SB 7016) from his committee's agenda, citing concerns of Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who also serves on the committee.

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Culture
7:27 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Bartow's L.B. Brown Included in New Smithsonian Museum

Clifton Lewis, right, with Bartow Mayor James Clements
Robin Sussingham

A piece of history from Bartow will be included in the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The museum recently acquired a foundation stone bearing the initials of builder L.B. Brown, a former slave who built scores of homes during Bartow's early years. Museum officials see Brown as an example of the often overlooked contributions to America's growth by pioneering African Americans.

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Politics
12:05 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Jolly Wins GOP Primary for District 13 House Seat

David Jolly speaks to supporters at the Marriott in St. Petersburg after he was declared the winner of the District 13 GOP primary election.
Credit Bay News 9

A longtime aide to Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young clinched the Republican nomination Tuesday for a special election to fill the House seat of the late lawmaker.

Riding a wave of anger over the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law, David Jolly bested State Rep. Kathleen Peters and retired Marine Brig. Gen. Mark Bircher, capturing 44 percent of the vote in a district that encompasses nearly all of Pinellas County on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Jolly will face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election.

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University Beat
11:33 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

USF Opens Incubator to Hatch Students' Businesses

Members of the incubator and other USF-backed companies were on display as part of USF CONNECT's S BEAT (Building Entrepreneurship Around Tampa) event.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

University Beat 1/14/13 report on the USF Student Innovation Incubator

What do a Tampa neighborhood grocery store, a watermelon juice maker and an online marketplace for goods from indigenous tribes around the world have in common?

Two things actually: they're all businesses created by USF students, and they're among the fifteen charter members of the USF Student Innovation Incubator.

The incubator is the brainchild of USF students Keosha Poole and Dez Williams (creator of the watermelon juice maker, AquaMelon Water).

"The purpose (of the incubator) is to spur innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, across the different colleges we have; we want to essentially create jobs out of the student ventures we have on campus," according to Poole, a dual Masters student with the Patel College of Global Sustainablity and the College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship.

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