2:31 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Several Whales Dead, Dozens Stranded Off Florida Everglades

Dozens of pilot whales are stranded in shallow water in a remote area of Florida's Everglades National Park.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 5:22 pm

At least 10 pilot whales are dead and dozens stranded in the shallows off Florida's southwest coast, as wildlife workers struggle to redirect them back out to deep water.

Blair Mase, the marine mammal stranding network coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says four of the whales had to be euthanized on Wednesday, and six others had already died since the stranding was first identified on Tuesday.

Read more
7:03 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Florida Polytechnic University Opens Its First Building

COO Ava Parker holds opening remarks on the opening of the admissions center.
Yoselis Ramos WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University is still a work in progress. Travelers can see the iconic innovation, science and technology (IST) building from Interstate 4, just east of Lakeland. It's not done, but the admissions center building is open to the public.

Prospective students are able to register for tours online. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker says this building brings the brochure to life.

Read more
Health News Florida
4:23 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Governor Continues Medical Resident Program Tour

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:33 pm

Gov. Rick Scott stopped in St. Petersburg Wednesday to promote a new state program for doctors in training. 

Read more
3:04 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Centennial Anniversary of World's First Commercial Flight Celebrated in St. Pete

Benoist Airboat
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

One hundred years ago on January 1st, commercial aviation began in St. Petersburg.

On Thursday night, the St. Petersburg Museum of History will be commemorating Tony Jannus's first commercial flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa.

Read more
1:08 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

PolitiFact's Lie of the Year Nominees

Credit politifact.com

The ten finalists have been announced in a contest that nobody wants to be entered in.

It's PoltiFact's "Lie of the Year."

PolitiFact will announce the winner soon.

In the meantime, it's asking readers to vote on their "Lie of the Year" from a list of ten nominees.

Read more
Health News Florida
12:09 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Medicaid Grows Without 'Expansion' $

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 3:31 pm

Even though Florida’s Legislature turned down federal funds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving billions of federal dollars on the table, the state's health insurance program for the poor continues to grow.

Read more
7:00 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Florida Matters: Adoptions in Florida

Tammy Curtis adopted 16-year-old Ronderik from foster care last year.
Tammy Curtis

When a 15-year-old foster kid in St. Petersburg appeared before a church congregation last month, pleading for someone to adopt him, tens of thousands of folks responded. In spite of that, there are hundreds of kids who are not making headlines and still are waiting for that call.

Read more
3:27 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Age, Ethnicity No Matter in Adoption

Fred and Laura Ley recently adopted Daisy.
Credit Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Fred Ley, 50, and his wife, Laura, 35, just recently adopted an infant.  Ley himself was adopted as an infant by a 50-year-old woman.

Ley is Mexican. His wife is white and their adopted baby girl, Daisy, is half Filipino and half Korean.

We talked with Ley about what it means to bring together a multi-racial family, what it is like to be raised by a 50-year-old single parent, and how his upbringing influences his recent adoption of an infant.

Read more
University Beat
2:38 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Celebrating a Birthday with Random Acts of Kindness

USF student Vaneesha Patel (center) poses with Temple Terrace firefighters after cooking them lunch, one of the 22 random acts of kindness she performed on her 22nd birthday
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

As a journalist, I try to remain detached from the people I interview. But thanks to the example of a USF student I profiled, I found myself recently helping change a flat tire for an elderly woman I had never met before.

The story begins on Nov. 22, when biomedical sciences honors student Vaneesha Patel celebrated her 22nd birthday. Instead of asking for gifts for herself, she decided to give gifts to others through "random acts of kindness" - 22 of them to be precise.

University Beat report profiling USF student Vaneesha Patel and her 22 random acts of kindness.

Read more
Health News Florida
11:04 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Mixed Reports on Healthcare.gov

Jodi Ray is in charge of health insurance counselors known as navigators across Florida. Here, she is explaining how navigators help people enroll in a health plan.
Lottie Watts WUSF

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:42 am

Less than three weeks remain for uninsured Floridians to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if they want coverage as of Jan. 1.  So navigators were relieved to find the federal health website running smoothly on Monday. 

Read more
Law & Order
10:44 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Meggs: Winston Investigation Moving Fast as Possible

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston prior to a college football game against Maryland earlier this year.
Credit Steve Cannon / Associated Press

The prosecutor investigating sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston wants the process to be “thorough” and won’t let football dictate when he will wrap up his inquiry.

State Attorney Willie Meggs on Monday reiterated he won’t let FSU’s football schedule or Winston’s Heisman Trophy possibilities determine when his investigation will be completed.

Read more
9:37 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Hillsbrough County Animal Director Loses Job

Ian Hallett has lost his job as director of Hillsbrough County Animal Services
Credit Tampa Tribune

Ian Hallett served as director of Hillsborough County's Animal Services for only 18 months, but in that short time, he drew enough criticism that he's now lost that position. Hallett has been replaced on a temporary basis by Code Enforcement Director Dexter Barge.

Read more
Health News Florida
9:30 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Plastic Surgeon Makes Video for Kids

YouTube screen shot

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 9:57 am

A plastic surgeon in Miami is trying a quirky marketing hook with a video starring a child “doctor” advising children to take care of their mother after she has a butt lift, the Broward Palm Beach New Times reports. Dr. Constantino Mendieta uploaded the video below to YouTube.
Read more
Fine Art
9:18 am
Tue December 3, 2013

For Miami, A New Art Project, Complete With Drama

The boats of For Those in Peril on the Sea, by artist Hew Locke, hang in the entrance hall of the Perez Art Museum Miami, which opens this week.
Daniel Azoulay Perez Art Museum Miami

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.

Read more
5:17 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Hillsborough County's Public Transportation Commission Stays

A proposed bill to let voters decide whether to get rid of the Public Transportation Commission (PTC) in Hillsborough County failed to go through today as a majority of legislative delegation members voted against it.

The PTC regulates taxi cabs, limousines and ambulance companies. But a proposed bill, filed by Rep. Jamie Grant (R) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R), would have given voters the chance to choose whether the Hillsborough County Commission should oversee those regulations, instead.

PTC Chairman and Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist opposed the bill.

Read more