Health News Florida
9:44 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Child Welfare Bill Draws Calls for ‘Moral Outrage’ --- and More Funding

A Florida Senate panel on Wednesday approved a sweeping child-welfare reform bill amid calls from foster parents to help more children and pleas from providers to fund the changes properly.

The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee voted 12-1 to approve a measure (SB 1666) that collapses three bills (SB 1666, 1668 and 1670) into one. It would make a series of changes to the Florida Department of Children and Families and the community-based care agencies that provide adoption and foster care services to children in the state system.

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9:07 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Fl Legislators to Vote on Rival Spending Plans

Florida legislators are going to vote on rival versions of a new state budget.

Both the House and Senate are expected to debate and vote Thursday on a roughly $75 billion budget.

The votes will trigger a final series of budget negotiations. State legislators have until early May to pass a final budget and send it to Gov. Rick Scott.

The House budget is nearly $75.3 billion while the Senate budget is nearly $75 billion.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Thu April 3, 2014

NASA Suspends Some Ties With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Russian personnel are the first to meet space station crew members when they return to earth.
Bill Ingalls NASA

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 8:46 pm

NASA is suspending "the majority of its ongoing engagements" with its Russian counterpart over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Verge, which first broke the news based on a leaked memo, reports that "the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials."

NASA confirmed the story in a statement late Wednesday.

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University Beat
6:30 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Race, Identity & History Collide in USF Play

USF students Tiffany Schultz (l-r), Faith Jones & Paul Pullen read through a scene with professional actress Perri Gaffney & student asst. dir. Carlos Garcia
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

The story that the road weeps, the well runs dry is based on - the migration of “Black Seminoles” from Florida to Oklahoma in the mid 19th century - isn't exactly well-known.

Even members of the cast and crew of the play opening at USF tonight for a two-week run admit they didn’t have too much of an idea what it was about at first.

"I feel like I didn’t learn this in history class at all," actress Tiffany Schultz says, while student assistant director Carlos Garcia adds, "I think it’s very interesting how it touches upon a part of history that is so seldom spoken about."

And while director/USF Assistant Professor Fanni Green admits she wasn't familiar with the history, "It’s a story that would be great to have in an educational institution."

But the setting of the play – the small city of Wewoka, Oklahoma – inspired playwright Marcus Gardley, whose grandmother was born there.

"This is what was the spark for me to write this play in the beginning and I was really interested in my own history, my own familial history," Gardley says, "and so I feel like in a lot of ways this play is coming full circle."

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8:48 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Bomba Music Transcends Barriers

"Currency & Exchange" is a short film that will premiere Saturday, April 5.
Credit Bomba en Tampa

A Tampa musical group is premiering a short film Saturday about the music they make and the culture it represents. They play bomba, Puerto Rican folk music with more than four centuries worth of history. Bomba may be from a small island but it transcends national barriers.

Goat-skin barrel drums, a large maraca, and sticks called los cuá are the instruments that make up bomba. It's Puerto Rican folk music, born in Spanish colonial times from rhythms of African slaves.

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5:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Accounts For Disabled Students Could Lead To Clash Between House And Senate

Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland)

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:48 pm

School choice opponents are lining up against a proposal giving students with disabilities additional funding. They say while the intent of the bill is noble, they fear it will lead to even greater segregation within Florida’s education system.

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4:45 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Documentary Chronicles Holocaust Survivor's Return to Warsaw

Jerry Rawicki, 86, is a Holocaust survivor whose visit to Warsaw last summer was filmed for the documentary "Behind the Wall".
Credit Jasmine Thomas

Strains of regret mixed with forgiveness are reflected in "Behind the Wall", a documentary by a University of South Florida professor who chronicles the trip of a Holocaust survivor's return to Poland.

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Health News Florida
3:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Lawmakers Poised to Ban E-Cig Sales to Kids

Esmoker Online store manager Dave Allen demonstrates an e-cigarette with a lanyard accessory.
Alicia Mandigo

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 4:48 pm

A bill that would ban sales to minors recently passed the Florida Senate unanimously, and a similar bill is pending in the House. 
What started out as an online, underground fad is now a billion dollar business. Electronic cigarettes,  often called e-cigarettes, really aren't cigarettes at all because there's no tobacco, no flame and no smoke. But there are still a lot of questions about where they can be used and whether they pose a health risk.
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Florida Matters
1:47 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

What Questions Do You Have for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman?

It has been about 100 days since Rick Kriseman was sworn in as mayor of St. Petersburg.  

For an upcoming Florida Matters, we will sit down with the mayor to talk about his first few months in office.  

We want to know what questions you think we should ask. Post a comment, send an email to or call and leave us a voicemail  at 813-974-8652.  

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1:21 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Fact-Checking Rubio and Scott on ACA Claims


Right around the 4th anniversary of its passage, the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- has come and gone.

While the White House has been celebrating the number of sign-ups -- a number that's in dispute -- critics, including many Republicans, claim the law is fatally flawed.

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12:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Report: U.S. Hispanic Entrepreneurial Growth Dramatic

Lead in text: 
The study, “Better Business: How Hispanic Entrepreneurs Are Beating Expectations and Bolstering the U.S. Economy,” released in Miami during a panel discussion and press conference, showed that between 2010-2012 the entrepreneurial rate declined overall in the U.S., but among Hispanics the rate shot up, said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the partnership, an organization of 500 government and business leaders who support immigration reform. “The thing we need more than anything else is young entrepreneurs. This is where the new energy and growth comes from,” he said.
A new report found that between 1990 and 2012, the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs in the U.S. more than tripled. The number of Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States has grown exponentially over the past two decades and Hispanic immigrants in particular have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than the U.S.
Law & Order
11:47 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Emergency Guns Measure Clears Committee on Third Shot

A National Rifle Association-backed measure to allow people without concealed weapons licenses to pocket their guns during emergencies squeaked out of the Senate committee where it has been on hold for two weeks.

The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee spent less than 15 minutes on Tuesday primarily taking public testimony on the emergency-carry measure (SB 296) before approving it with a 5-4 vote and no debate.

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USF Athletics
10:52 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Antigua Ready to Make History with USF Bulls

New USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua is introduced to the public Tuesday at the USF Sun Dome.
Credit Jason Roberts / Envision Sports Media

Saying he's not afraid of the had work that it will take to make the USF men's basketball program successful - and also not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve - new head coach Orlando Antigua was introduced to the Bay Area community Tuesday.

The current University of Kentucky assistant coach told Bulls' fans he knows he comes to USF with one job to do.

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10:33 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Rubio to Decide on 2016 White House Run 'Around This Time Next Year'

Lead in text: 
Looking ahead to 2016, Marco Rubio is not the only Floridian who may consider a presidential run. Jeb Bush - a former Florida governor and the son and brother of former presidents - has been consulting his inner circle about the possibility of running. Strategists say that if Jeb Bush were to enter the 2016 race, it would make it harder for Rubio to raise money since the two have ties to many of the same Republican donors.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016, said on Tuesday he would make a decision about his political future around this time next year.
Health News Florida
9:26 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Senate TeleHealth Bill Extends To Out-Of-State Docs, Nurses And Pharmacists

A doctor in Mexico consults with a client and their doctor in California.

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:39 pm

Florida lawmakers have been weighing how to regulate telemedicine—generating debate between doctors’ groups and other healthcare providers. The House has been moving its telehealth proposal along, but the Senate version of the bill had its first hearing Tuesday.

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