StateImpact Florida
10:53 am
Mon May 11, 2015

As Florida Reduces Testing, Teacher Evaluation Questions Remain

Broward Teachers Union president Sharon Glickman, with Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie, calling for changes to the teacher evaluation system in October.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Several large Florida schools districts say they will use state test scores to evaluate those teachers. That means some art, music or gym teachers will be judged based on their students’ scores on the state reading test.

“In some cases teachers are definitely not happy with it,” said Sharon Glickman, president of Broward Teachers Union. “And to a certain extent we’re not either. But it’s the best of, I hate to say it, two evils.”

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Health News Florida
9:19 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Scott Wants Hospitals To Spread The Wealth

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:29 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, contending that the state will likely lose federal money it is now receiving to help hospitals, is calling on any hospital that receives taxpayer support to share profits to help each other.

Scott, a former health care executive before he sought public office, sent out a letter on Friday to hospital executives across the state asking them to help draw up the plan.

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Health News Florida
9:18 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Scott Orders Prison Changes To Reduce Beatings, Corruption

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:28 am

Gov. Rick Scott ordered changes at the Department of Corrections last Friday to address prison beatings and corruption after the Legislature went home without doing the same.

The Legislature was working on bills to address problems after a series of reports detailed deaths, cover-ups and corruption in the prison system. But the bills died when the Florida House went home three days early over a budget impasse and a dispute with the Senate over health care coverage for the poor.

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StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon May 11, 2015

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Brothers & Buddies

Zachary and Joshua Bloom
StoryCorps

In this installment, brothers Joshua and Zachary who were 12 and 15 years old last year, respectfully, stopped by the Storycorps booth last year to talk about their childhoods and each of their plans for when they grow up.

Music: 

“Jungle Gym" by Jack Johnson from the album, Curious George Soundtrack.

StoryCorps Tampa Bay airs every Monday on WUSF 89.7 at 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and at 5:44 p.m. during All Things Considered.

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Politics
9:19 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

How Healthcare Blew Up the 2015 Session

On Dec. 17, almost three months before the annual legislative session began, new Senate President Andy Gardiner met with reporters in the conference room of his Capitol office. He talked with the press for 30 minutes, touching on a wide variety of issues, including a plan by business groups and others that would use Medicaid expansion dollars to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.

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Law & Order
10:22 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Jameis Winston Files Counterclaim, Denies He Raped Woman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston practices at rookie minicamp in Tampa Friday, the same day his attorneys filed a counter-suit on his behalf against Erica Kinsman.
Credit Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Attorneys for top NFL draft pick Jameis Winston contend a woman seeking civil damages from the quarterback after accusing him of rape is trying to tarnish his reputation and tap into the Heisman Trophy winner's newfound wealth.

The former Florida State star practiced again Saturday, the final day of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie minicamp, and was not made available to comment on a counterclaim filed on his behalf one week after signing a four-year, $23.35 million contract.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Tornadoes Hit Texas As Tropical Storm Ana Makes Landfall In S.C.

A photo from Thursday shows Dillan Taylor salvaging items from her destroyed recreational vehicle in Oklahoma City following a tornado there. More tornadoes hit the Plains states over the weekend.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 2:50 pm

A series of tornadoes in North Texas over the weekend have left at least one person dead and others missing. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a weakening Tropical Storm Ana made landfall early this morning near Myrtle Beach, S.C.

One of the tornadoes that hit Saturday destroyed homes in a rural area south of Cisco, a town about 100 miles west of Fort Worth, Eastland County, Judge Rex Fields was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

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Health News Florida
9:16 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Four New Trauma Centers Open In FL, Ending Years Of Fights

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 8:56 am

For years, hospitals in Florida have been fighting over the right to add new trauma centers. That fight came to an end this week, as four new trauma centers opened in Florida: One in Miami, one in Sarasota, and two in Central Florida.

Health News Florida's Abe Aboraya spoke with WMFE's Morning Edition Host Nicole Creston:

NC: Historically, there’s been one trauma center in Central Florida, and that’s Orlando Regional Medical Center. But that’s not the case anymore.

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StoryCorps
8:43 am
Sun May 10, 2015

'I'm Old Enough To Do What I Like,' 87-Year-Old Tells Family

No more questions!
StoryCorps via YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 1:03 pm

Kay Wang — an admittedly stubborn woman — chatted with her son and granddaughter at StoryCorps a few weeks before she passed away from liver cancer. (This piece initially aired on July 18, 2008, on Morning Edition).

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News
2:19 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Skyway Bridge Memorial Will Be Unveiled Saturday

The Summit Venture collided with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay during a storm, making a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span collapse. Thirty-five people in six cars, a pickup truck and a Greyhound bus fell 150 feet into the water and died. A new bridge was opened in 1987, with the approaches for the original bridge eventually becoming the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, the longest fishing pier in the world.
Credit State Archives of Florida

May 9 marks the 35th anniversary of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge accident that killed 35 people.

A memorial for the victims will be unveiled Saturday at 11 a.m. at Blackthorn Memorial Park in St. Petersburg.

Bill DeYoung of St. Petersburg , who wrote a book about the Skyway disaster, is behind the effort to build a memorial.

"We did a fundraising campaign and raised all the money in about a month, from the community. The state didn't pay for anything, I should say, and the whole cost was about $10,000,” he said.

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Culture
12:48 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Remembering the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Collapse

Credit Bill DeYoung

Bruce Atkins was 32 years old, an experienced mariner, and an apprentice harbor pilot in Tampa Bay. It was his last training mission, and he was shadowing Captain John Lerro, as Lerro steered the 606 foot cargo ship Summit Venture through  the  twists and turns of the shipping channel in the shallow bay.

May 9th, 1980, was a rainy, misty morning -- but not unusual Florida weather. No one predicted the sudden, freak storm with gale force winds, that seemed to come out of nowhere.

"It became a blinding, driving, rain, wind," Atkins recalls.

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Culture
11:36 am
Fri May 8, 2015

LGBT Youth Make up a High Percentage of Homeless Teens

Jeremiah Kerr, outreach and development coordinator for the Ybor Youth Clinic in Tampa
Credit M.S Butler

Florida's Department of Children and Families said in 2014  there were at least 5,700 homeless people under the age of 18 in our state. Some of them teenagers living on their own. But there's one group that makes up a disproportionate amount of homeless teens in Florida and throughout the nation.

They've been called street kids, couch surfers or as St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said back in March: “There is a federal bureaucratic term for the young people who will be served here—unaccompanied youth. But they are in reality homeless.”

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News
10:46 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Pier Park Plan on Tap for St. Petersburg Waterfront

RogersPartners Architects

After years of delays and backflips, St. Petersburg City Council members finally agreed on a new design to replace the 1970's-era inverted pyramid on the city's waterfront.

Council members voted Thursday to authorize contract negotiations with the designers of Pier Park. Only one member, Wengay Newton, voted against the plan, saying the public needed more time to weight in for either Pier Park or the runner-up for the $46 million project, called Destination St. Pete Pier.

If all goes according to plan, the new pier will hold its grand opening in the spring of 2018.

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Politics
9:30 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Jeb, Hillary Take Different Paths to Primaries

In this April 7, 2015, file photo, former Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush applauds a speaker during an energy forum which he hosted, at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. To judge them solely by their travels over the past month, you might think Bush has already plunged into the general election and Hillary Rodham Clinton has a serious fight on her hands for the Democratic nomination.
Credit AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

To judge them solely by their travels over the past month, you might think Jeb Bush has already plunged into the general election and Hillary Rodham Clinton has a serious fight on her hands for the Democratic nomination.

Whereas the conventional thinking, at least, is quite the opposite: He's got a real primary race to settle first and she doesn't.

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News
8:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

A Look At What Bills Passed And Died In FL

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 8:38 am

The Legislature passed 227 bills during the 2015 session that ended early after the House went home three days early. That means more than 1,500 bills died. Here's a look at some that succeeded and some that failed.

___

WINNERS

Bills that passed both chambers would:

— Set the presidential primary date as March 15, 2016. Signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

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