Florida Matters
9:18 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Seeing Tampa Bay Like A Tourist: Ice Skating Under Palm Trees

Credit Lucielle Salomon / WUSF News

Florida is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about winter sports. Now visitors and locals have a much cooler option in the Sunshine State. It may surprise you that one winter sport slid its way to Tampa with Downtown on Ice, the only outdoor ice skating rink in the Tampa Bay area.

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8:13 am
Tue December 9, 2014

St. Pete Allows Rays to Look Elsewhere (in Bay Area) for New Home

Ball Park Guides.com

By the end of the week, the Tampa Bay Rays may be able to look for a new stadium site in Hillsborough County, thanks to a tentative deal reached with the city of St. Petersburg.

Mayor Rick Kriseman will talk about the agreement (which you can read through the slideshow above) he reached with the team at a 10 a.m. news conference today at Tropicana Field. The issue will likely be taken up by the St. Pete City Council at its meeting Thursday.

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Health News Florida
8:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Taxpayer Tab Mounts In Welfare Drug-Test Legal Fight

Credit AP

Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $307,000 and perhaps much more to cover legal expenses in Gov. Rick Scott's repeated failed efforts to convince courts that a onetime campaign pledge to drug-test welfare recipients is constitutional.

A federal appeals court last week ruled that the state's mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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The Two-Way
9:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

NASA Photos Show New Signs Of A Lake On Mars

NASA says "cross-bedding" in the layers of this Martian rock is proof that water moved on Mars, leaving waves or ripples of loose sediment. The image is from a site at Mount Sharp that NASA calls "Whale Rock."

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:41 pm

Signs of water currents and sediments are seen in the latest photos NASA's Curiosity rover sent home from Mars, the space agency said Monday. The images suggest "ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes," NASA says.

In the huge Gale Crater where Curiosity has been exploring, the water and sediment flow might have been massive enough to build a mountain — the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp — NASA researchers say. But they acknowledge that they're still working to solve the mystery of how the mountain formed in a crater.

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8:55 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Gov. Scott Names 3rd DCF Chief, Makes Interim Head Mike Carroll Permanent

Newly-named permanent Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families Mike Carroll

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:55 pm

Governor Rick Scott has officially named a new leader of Florida’s child welfare agency. It’s the third DCF chief Scott has appointed since taking office.

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7:17 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Faces New Complaint After Release Of Private Emails

Gov. Rick Scott waves to supporters during a campaign stop last month in Lakeland.

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:41 pm

Gov. Rick Scott could face sanctions over his use of a private email account now that a judge in Tallahassee has given the okay for an additional complaint against Scott relating to public records. 

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects BP's Challenge To Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 3:13 pm

Oil giant BP has suffered a legal setback in its effort to limit how much the company will pay under a 2012 settlement with thousands of individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast. Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's request that it review previous lower court decisions that favored plaintiffs.

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StateImpact Florida
11:53 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Why First Generation Students Find It Tougher To Earn A College Degree

Husband and wife filmmakers Adam and Jaye Fenderson are showing their documentary, "First Generation," in Miami this week.
Credit Courtesy Adam and Jaye Fenderson

Students who are the first in their family to attend college often have a more difficult time finishing their degree.

Research shows those students know less about how to get into and pay for college. And first generation college students are less likely to take tough high school courses needed to be prepared for college.

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9:31 am
Mon December 8, 2014

FL Leaders Discuss Big Issues Facing State

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 9:30 am

  Expanding health care coverage, solving water problems, improving education and handling issues like legalizing medical marijuana and gambling were among the topics Florida leaders discussed during a summit Friday.

The idea was to bring together a bipartisan mix of political, business and education leaders to look at the major issues facing Florida in the immediate and distant future and to brainstorm on how the state should tackle them.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Oh, Snap! NASA Promises Best Photo Yet Of Faraway Pluto

NASA/ESA/M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 10:22 am

Humanity has snapped detailed portraits of planets and moons throughout our solar system. But there's one missing from the album: Pluto.

Although Pluto was discovered in 1930, it has remained stubbornly hard to photograph. The Hubble Space Telescope has taken the best pictures, and frankly, they stink.

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9:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Look Up Antipsychotic Drug Usage at Nursing Homes

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. You can check NPR's interactive database to see the history of antipsychotic drug usage at nursing homes in your area and how they compare to national and state averages. In Florida, the average is 21.7 percent.
  • Source: Npr
  • | Via: NPR
It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear's not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
StoryCorps Tampa Bay
8:00 am
Mon December 8, 2014

StoryCorps Tampa Bay: 'Reflecting the Queen She Was'

Shalaby Shaheed (left), Rasheeda Haneef (right) and Haneef's daughter, Kalima Haneef (front)
Credit StoryCorps

In this installment of StoryCorps Tampa Bay, 23-year-old Kalima Haneef remembers her grandmother, Najiyyah Shaheed, with her uncle Shalaby Shaheed. 

Her grandmother went from dropping out of school at a young age to pick cotton in order to survive, to being the business owner of Shaheed’s African and Islamic Wear in St. Petersburg. She passed away in 2005 but she remains alive in her family’s hearts.

Kalima and Shalaby talk about Najiyyah Shaheed’s love for fashion, her African and Muslim culture, and the love she shared with those nearest her.

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University Beat
8:05 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Betty Castor to Lead Fulbright Scholarship Board

Former USF President Betty Castor and Sam Bell
Credit USF

Former University of South Florida President Betty Castor has been elected chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Tampa Tribune reports Castor will supervise the State Department's international exchange program, which gives out around 1,700 Fulbright Scholarships a year.

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Law & Order
2:19 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Police Brutality Protests Spread to Tampa, Miami

Protestors gathered in downtown Tampa Friday night.
Credit Bay News 9

Protests against police brutality that have spread across the country reached Florida Friday night with events taking place in Tampa and Miami.

While demonstrators shut down I-195 in Miami, Tampa's protest disrupted the city's holiday tree lighting ceremony.

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Law & Order
1:27 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Should Fla. Lawmakers Or High Court Have Power To Change Stand Your Ground Law?

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 8:26 am

Should the Florida Supreme Court or the state Legislature have the power to shift the burden of proof to a defendant or the state prosecutor in a Stand Your Ground case? That question was recently before the high court as well as the Legislature earlier this year. So, could that come back into play again next legislative session?

The Case Before The Court

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