3:34 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Tampa Council Backs Neighborhood Opposing I-275 Toll Lanes

After hearing from dozens of people from the neighborhood Thursday, council members unanimously agreed to try putting the brakes on the project, pledging to lobby state lawmakers, members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and state transportation officials. They also directed city attorneys to explore filing a Title VI complaint with the Federal Highway Administration, arguing that the project would harm a mainly minority population living in the area. Title VI prohibits discrimination in programs that receive federal funding.
TAMPA - State road planners want to accelerate a long-planned $2.5 billion project to add express toll lanes to Interstates 275 and 4 and bring an end to decades of gridlock through downtown Tampa. But people living in Tampa Heights say the Tampa Bay Express project will destroy homes and businesses and reverse years of gains in revitalizing the historic neighborhood just north of Tampa's downtown.
Read More: http://tbo.com
Health News Florida
2:23 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

House Backs Changes For State Workers, Hospitals

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 2:20 pm

Pitching more competition and choices in the health-care system, the House on Friday passed six bills that include proposals to revamp health coverage for state employees and eliminate key regulations in the hospital industry.

But as lawmakers head into the final week of a special legislative session, it remains unclear whether the Senate will pass any of the bills. Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, remained non-committal Friday, though he suggested the House's proposed changes to employee health insurance likely will not pass.

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Florida Matters
12:56 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Florida Matters: Cuba's Manatees

A group hosted by Sea to Shore Alliance gathers on the front of the diving boat
Steve Newborn WUSF News

To most Floridians, manatees are cute, docile creatures that hang out in crowded springs, and often get too close to boats -- or rather, boats get too close to them. But down on the other side of the Florida Straits, they sometimes end up on someone's dinner table.

WUSF's Steve Newborn recently tagged along with Dr. James “Buddy” Powell of Sea to Shore Alliance -- a Sarasota-based conservation group -- on an expedition to Cuba to find out how manatees are doing in the waters off the island.

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Off The Base
10:19 am
Fri June 12, 2015

A Tale of Two Guide Dogs

An unidentified admirer pets Brittani who is retiring after 8 years of serving as a guide dog for wounded Marine Michael Jernigan.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

This is a story of two dogs serving their country’s veterans through the Southeastern Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots program.

There’s the “old girl” Brittani who has eased into retirement and the youngster Zak just graduated from “boot camp” still filled with puppy exuberance.

Brittani is a Goldador, a mix of Labrador and Golden Retriever, and was the longtime companion of Michael Jernigan of St. Petersburg, a Marine wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004.

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Health News Florida
9:44 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Gay Adoption Ban Stricken from Florida Laws After 4 Decades

Credit wikipedia.com

A nearly four-decade-old law banning gays from adopting children, which hasn't been enforced in five years, will come off Florida's books July 1, but Gov. Rick Scott still wants private, religious-based adoption agencies to be able to turn gay couples away.

Scott signed a bill Thursday that removes the adoption ban enacted in the days when entertainer Anita Bryant crusaded against gays. It is part of a larger bill that promotes adoption, and striking the language simply reflects reality after a judge found the ban unconstitutional five years ago.

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9:35 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Jeb Can Beat Hillary — But He Might Not Make it Past Primary

Iowa, with its socially conservative GOP base, has never been considered a natural fit for Bush and his brand of establishment conservatism. His travel schedule to the state reflects that: Bush has visited just twice in 2015, though he plans to return next week. Some Hawkeye State Republicans doubt it will make a difference. “Not a chance,” said one Iowa Republican aligned with another candidate, when asked whether Bush could win the caucuses today. “He has shown little regard for Iowa or for what Iowans are looking for. Just not going to do well here unless he changes his game.”
Despite a spell of rough headlines and a recent campaign shake-up, 70 percent of early-state Republicans think Jeb Bush could win their state in a general election contest against Hillary Clinton. But they’re not confident he‘ll make it out of the primary. That’s the assessment of this week’s POLITICO Caucus, our bipartisan...
9:32 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Echoing Obama Playbook, Clinton Musters Volunteer Army in Florida

The grass-roots organizing activity in Florida underscores lessons learned from Barack Obama's successful 2008 campaign, when early mobilizing helped produce legions of loyal activists who proved critical to his defeating Clinton for the Democratic nomination and winning the presidency. The Clinton campaign "really did get out-organized by Obama," said Kevin Hill, a political scientist at Florida International University.
As Hillary Clinton prepares to launch the second phase of her presidential candidacy Saturday, her campaign has been pursuing a less-noticed, but intense effort aimed at recruiting the army of grass-roots volunteers that could secure a victory in the 2016 election.
Health News Florida
4:28 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Groups Sue Over Florida’s 24-Hour Wait Period for Abortions

Credit www.capitolhillblue.com

Two groups sued the state of Florida today seeking to stop a 24-hour waiting period for abortions from taking effect, arguing that it imposes an unnecessary burden on women seeking to end their pregnancies.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed the suit one day after Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law. They argue that the law, which is to take effect July 1, violates the right to privacy guaranteed in the state constitution by interfering with their right to undergo the procedure.

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3:12 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes Dies

Fans of the old "Championship Wrestling from Florida" promotion most likely remember two people: announcer Gordon Solie and legendary pro wrestler "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., died Thursday at the age of 69. He made his name, first as a 'bad guy,' wrestling for promoter Eddier Graham at the Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa before becoming known as a 'good guy,' appearing for various promotions around the country and world.
  • Source: ESPN
  • | Via: ESPN
Professional wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes, known as "The American Dream," died Thursday, the WWE announced. He was 69. Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., made his professional wrestling debut in 1968 as a tag-team partner on the Texas Outlaws with Dick Murdoch. The charismatic, bleach-blond Texan was known for his on-camera self-promotion.
1:37 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Hillsborough Public Safety Complex Breaks Ground

Kids from the Brandon Head Start Center participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Public Safety Operations Complex in Brandon.
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Across from the Central Hillsborough Water Treatment Facility in Brandon is a few acres of upturned dirt littered with the beginnings of a construction project that county officials hope will help them better handle natural disasters.

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Making Sense of the Media
1:26 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Making Sense of the FIFA Scandal

Investigative Journalist Andrew Jennings

The past several weeks we’ve seen revelations of deep corruption inside FIFA,  the worldwide governing body for professional soccer. There’ve been allegations of extortion, racketeering and fraud that have been likened to the operations of organized crime. A story this big and complicated didn’t just happen overnight. We talk with The Pynter Institute's Kelly McBride about reporter Andrew Jennings’ book “Omertà: Sepp Blatter's FIFA Organised Crime Family” and how a dogged journalistic approach resulted in legal action.

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11:22 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Jeb Bush Maintains Florida Lead, Marco Rubio Surges

Bush was at 30 percent in the Saint Leo University survey, virtually unchanged from March. But Rubio had support of 24 percent of Florida Republicans — up from 16 percent in March. Rubio has received a burst of mostly favorable media attention since the previous poll, starting with his April 13 announcement that he would seek the 2016 Republican nomination.
As former Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to formally announce next week what everyone already knows - that he's running for president - a poll out Thursday shows he's maintaining his front-runner status among Florida Republicans. But U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is catching up.
11:20 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Solar Ballot Measure Faces Powerful Opposition

The future is not shining brightly in Florida?

The state's largest electric utilities, Attorney General Pam Bondi and a number of influential business groups want the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed solar-energy ballot initiative.

Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power filed a joint brief Wednesday arguing the proposed ballot language by a coalition known as Floridians for Solar Choice would be "misleading" to voters.

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10:30 am
Thu June 11, 2015

USF Projects Hit Funding Roadblock

The University of South Florida's plans to build a new medical school in downtown Tampa and a new College of Business building in St. Petersburg have run into a bonding snag in the Florida Legislature. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the House of Representatives is in favor of raising the $45 million for the two projects by borrowing money on the bond market. However, the Senate and Governor Rick Scott are opposed to that proposal.
TALLAHASSEE - There's another money dispute brewing in the Legislature, one that threatens funding for the University of South Florida's planned medical school building in downtown Tampa and new College of Business building in St. Petersburg. The USF projects have broad bipartisan support in Tallahassee but must compete with scores of other projects all over the state.
Health News Florida
10:30 am
Thu June 11, 2015

Entrepreneurs Pitch Mobile Apps Geared To Seniors

AARP members watch as Lisa Suennen moderates this year's 50 Live Pitch Event at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 7:25 am

Mary Theresa Anderson is sitting in the back of a Miami Beach Convention Center ballroom, listening as entrepreneurs pitch health apps geared toward her and other retirees.

The former trauma nurse from Maryland follows along as venture capitalists drill aspiring businessmen and women about products offering brain exercises, real-time health monitoring, even online vitamin delivery.

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