StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon June 22, 2015

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: Sacrifices

Amy and Michael Facundo

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, Michael and Amy Facundo tell the story of how they met at a high school football game, and how their love grew out of the sacrifices they’ve had to make for each other.

Amy Facundo is a school teacher in Immokalee where a majority of her students come from migrant families.

Music Used:

“Some Kind of Wonderful” by Michael Bublé from the album, Crazy Love (Hollywood Edition)

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8:38 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Taxpayer Tab for Drug Test Lawsuits: $1.5M

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 8:37 pm

Florida taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1.5 million in legal fees -- including nearly $1 million to civil-rights lawyers -- because of Gov. Rick Scott's failed push to force welfare applicants and tens of thousands of state workers to submit to suspicionless drug tests.

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Health News Florida
8:28 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Prom Queen, 18, and HIV Positive

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie says Jacksonville's JASMYN program provided support she needed after being diagnosed as HIV Positive.
Abe Aboraya Health News Florida

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:40 am

Each year in Jacksonville, a nonprofit called JASMYN hosts a prom for LGBT youth.

Kourtnee Armanii Davinnie was crowned this year’s prom queen. She’s scared of horses, but loves unicorns. And she sometimes snaps when she talks.

Davinnie holds up a selfie taken in one of her multiple prom dresses.

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8:44 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Lawmakers Pass $78B Budget in Overtime

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 2:43 pm

After a sprawling and messy budget fight that spawned lawsuits and finger-pointing, the fractured Republican-controlled Florida Legislature approved a nearly $79 billion budget and ended its special session Friday.

Legislators were racing against the clock to pass the budget after they failed to pass one during their regular two-month session that ended in late April.

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Off The Base
2:14 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Off the Base: 7 Tips To Easier Military Moves

Credit U.S. Department of Defense

We are smack dab in the middle of the peak moving season for military families. Traditionally, it’s May through August. And it happens every two to three years --- to most all military families.

It’s called “Permanent Change of Station” or PCS.

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1:08 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Lightning Kills Largo Man


Largo Police said an 81-year-old man was out for a walk, got caught in a storm and he was struck by lightning Friday. The man, Jay Freres, did not survive.

Summertime in Florida is typically wet with gully washers virtually every day. Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay said daily storms are why the state is known as the "lightning capital of the world" and not because the lightning here is more intense. 

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Florida Matters
10:50 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Storm Prep: Boil Your Eggs, Fry Your Bacon

Chef Don Pintabona, cookbook author and co-owner with Chef Michael Mina of Locale Market in St. Petersburg.
Credit Jeff Houck / Locale Market

Canned tuna, boxed apple juice, peanut butter crackers. What’s in your hurricane supply of non-perishable food?

Emergency response experts suggest that families have food and water to last from three to seven days.

But who wants to eat seven days of canned chili?

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9:06 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Medicare Fraud Sweep Snags 78 in FL

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 4:48 pm

Health care fraud sweeps across the country have led to charges against 243 people, including doctors, nurses and pharmacy owners accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid, the government announced Thursday.

The dragnet spread from Miami to Los Angeles, Tampa and Dallas to Brooklyn, N.Y. Arrests were made earlier this week. Combining all the cases, allegedly fraudulent billings totaled some $712 million.

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Law & Order
9:00 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Pasco Man on Death Row to be Set Free

Florida Supreme Court
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A 55-year-old man on death row for the murder of a Pasco County waitress will soon walk free.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Derral Hodgkins for the 2006 murder of 46-year-old Teresa Lodge.

Lodge was found dead in her Land O'Lakes apartment.

She had been beaten, strangled and stabbed multiple times.

Hodgkins' skin was found under her fingernails, but investigators didn't find a weapon or other evidence that placed Hodgkins at the scene.

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8:47 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Nearly $80B State Budget Ready for Vote

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 8:44 am

Following a drawn out, contentious battle that saw the state flirt with a partial government shutdown, the Florida Legislature is poised today to approve a nearly $80 billion budget.

The final budget is full of winners and losers.

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1:11 am
Fri June 19, 2015

In ‘Climate Change’ Controversy, A Tale of Two Agencies

Dr. Thomas Eason speaks during a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission commission meeting in Jacksonville in February
Credit Tim Donovan / Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Two state agencies -- one independent, the other under the governor -- take very different approaches to climate change, demonstrating how politics can trump science in Florida. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting filed this report. 

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8:53 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Tampa Bay Welcomes New Citizens for World Refugee Day

Immigrants in Tampa take the oath of allegiance to become American citizens on World Refugee Day.
Credit M.S. Butler

Refugees flee their homes out of fear, violence or persecution.

Like Manael Ibrahim.  She fled the war in Iraq in 2002 for safety in Jordan. But after being denied permanent asylum in Jordan she and her family came to the United States, and to Tampa.

"I never imagined that it can happen and I'd be a American, you know. It's really great," said Ibrahim.

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Law & Order
5:28 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Tampa Hosting Gun Buyback Program

Credit Alex Borland, Wikipedia Commons

As a part of a summer initiative, the City of Tampa is hosting an anonymous gun buyback event next week aiming to curb gun violence. Any Hillsborough County resident can bring in their handguns, rifles and shotguns in exchange for $50 cash per weapon, no questions asked. 

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University Beat
5:21 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

FL Universities Could Receive $400M in Performance-Based Funds

In a video shown to the FL Board of Governors meeting in Tampa Thursday, USF student Marcos Gonzalez thanks the board and state legislators for performance-based funds.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While University of South Florida officials wait to see if the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott sign off on the state budget and more than $29 million for two important projects, they're also waiting for approval of millions more in performance-based rewards.

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Making Sense of the Media
1:21 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Making Sense of Being Wrong

Bernie Sanders and Diane Rehm

Recently, talk show host Diane Rehm apologized to Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for incorrectly stating he has dual citizenship with Israel. Her misinformation came from a Facebook post. 

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