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State Bills To Ban Red-Light Cameras Advance

Legislation on the move in the Florida Legislature could ban the use of red-light cameras and the millions in revenue they generate for local governments. A bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, would outlaw the ticketing cameras starting in 2019. At a Senate Transportation Committee meeting, Brandes said the program only serves to line the pockets of local governments. He also pointed to a recent study by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that...
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An Alabama family is planning to sue Walt Disney World after they say a snake fell on an 8-year-old boy and bit him, leading to a fatal heart attack in his great-grandmother.

KidCare For Legal Immigrants Keeps Moving In House

Feb 1, 2016

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee late last week unanimously approved a bill (HB 89), filed by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, that would eliminate a five-year waiting period for the children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

'Transparency' Backed in Senate Amid Questions

Feb 1, 2016

A Senate budget panel last week approved a bill that seeks to increase transparency about health-care costs, but the measure drew pointed questions from some lawmakers.

Senate To Take Up High-Profile Health Issues

Feb 1, 2016

With House Republican leaders pushing for a wide range of regulatory changes in the health-care industry, a Senate committee will wade into some of the key issues this week.

Susan MacManus

The Iowa caucuses are the first vote in the long haul to the presidential election in November.

University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus is there, and says she's sensing a lot of voter anxiety about the economy - and their own personal security.

"People just don't feel that they have been a part of the economic recovery that supposedly happened after the great recession, and that's what we're seeing all over the country - a frustration about that," she said.

Florida House, Senate Spending Plans Show Differences

Jan 31, 2016

House and Senate leaders unveiled budget proposals Friday that stand almost $1 billion apart, clarifying differences in overall approaches to the spending plans and in a handful of key areas.

The House proposal would spend just shy of $80 billion during the fiscal year that begins July 1, while the Senate would spend a little less than $81 billion. The difference between the two is roughly $989 million. Either plan would be heftier than Gov. Rick Scott's proposal, which weighed in at $79.3 billion.

House Panel To Take Up Death Penalty Proposal

Jan 31, 2016
Floridamemory.com

A House panel is slated to take up a death-penalty proposal Tuesday, three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Florida's death-penalty system giving judges --- not juries --- the power to impose death sentences is unconstitutional.

The 8-1 ruling in the Hurst v. Florida case was centered on what are known as "aggravating" circumstances that must be found before defendants can be sentenced to death. A 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in a case known as Ring v. Arizona, requires that determination of such aggravating circumstances be made by juries, not judges.

Oysters are the sea's version of fine wine: Their taste varies with the water they grow in. And slow-growing oysters from northern waters — like the briny Wellfleets of Massachusetts and the sweet, mild Kumamotos of the Pacific Northwest — are among the most coveted.

That may be changing now. An oyster renaissance in the Southeastern U.S. is underway — from Virginia all the way down to Florida's Apalachicola Bay. The region is adopting the aquaculture that restored a decimated oyster industry in the north, and it has led to a huge boost in oyster production.

Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan

A University of South Florida St. Petersburg political science class is taking off Saturday for the Granite State, where students will be taking part in presidential campaigns ahead of New Hampshire's first in the nation primary election.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF

The excitement for Saturday's annual Gasparilla Parade is ramping up, but some local businesses along the parade route are closing down.

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