12:27 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

First Black USF Faculty Member's Story in Library of Congress

Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at USF.
The HistoryMakers

Poet Maya Angelou, actress Ruby Dee and even President Barack Obama have something in common. They've all participated in The History Makers project--the country's largest African American collection of video interviews capturing the struggles and achievements of the black experience.Those 2,600 HistoryMakers videos have a new home--the Library of Congress.

It was 1985 when Henrietta Smith was the first African-American faculty member at the University of South Florida at the School of Library Science.  

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12:18 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Robin Williams Remembered At The South Beach Hotel From 'The Birdcage'

A portrait of Robin Williams at The Carlyle hotel in Miami Beach.
Julia Duba WLRN

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died this week.

Williams had many iconic roles, and he filmed one of his great performances right here in South Florida.

"The Birdcage" is set in The Carlyle hotel on South Beach. 

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8:25 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Emergency Director Recalls Hurricane Charley

An ariel photograph from FEMA showing the destruction of homes in Charlotte County.

Many in the Tampa Bay area braced for what they thought would be a direct hit from Hurricane Charley ten years ago. But, the category 4 storm took a right turn and made a direct hit on Punta Gorda, Friday, August 13, 2004 at about 4:45 p.m. at least that’s when the town clock stopped according to Wayne Sallade, director of emergency operations for Charlotte County.

Back then, Sallade had 17 years of experience on the job, but nothing can really prepare one for the kind of destruction that Charley wrought.

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6:24 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Hurricane Charley Forges TEAM Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda Councilwoman Nancy Prafke is the former CEO of TEAM Punta Gorda.
Bobbie O'Brien WUSF Public Media

In a matter of hours August 13th, 2004, Hurricane Charley demolished historic downtown Punta Gorda. Quaint brick shops collapsed. Glass office buildings were blown out. Thousands of mobile homes disintegrated pounded by the 150 mph winds.

The next day, Wally Satar used a tow truck to pull apart twisted steel, engine blocks and welding tanks at his brother’s Mystic Gas Station. He was trying to salvage tools and anything that didn’t blow away.

The only thing left standing  was one wall and a white car perched atop the hydraulic lift.

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9:31 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Arcadia Moves On 10 Years After Hurricane Charley

Arcadia's water tower lays crumbled after the storm alongside State Road 70

Ten years ago Wednesday, (Aug. 13),  Hurricane Charley swirled its way inland through the quaint DeSoto County town of Arcadia. Sustained winds of a hundred miles an hour ripped down walls and roofs from its historic main street - dealing a major blow to its antiques district. WUSF's Steve Newborn was there in the aftermath, and returned a decade later to see how the town has changed.

Ten years ago, the grind of buzz saws was the sound heard most often in Arcadia

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12:37 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Jazz Pianist Kenny Drew Jr. Passes Away

Kenny Drew Jr., a jazz pianist who lived in the Bay Area, died this past Sunday at the age of 56.

Kenny Drew Jr., a Bay Area pianist and composer known to jazz audiences around the world, died this past Sunday. WUSF 89.7 Jazz Director Bob Seymour shares this remembrance:

He was immensely talented and had a piano sound identifiable within just a few notes. Kenny Drew Jr., the son of a major jazz piano player, was taught largely by his aunt, and that early classical training was apparent in the virtuosity that was always a big part of his sound.

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10:19 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Third South Florida Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 1:00 pm

Most of the plaintiffs in this year's same-sex marriage cases have been people who just wanted to get married.

But Heather Brassner was different -- she wanted a same-sex divorce. 

Brassner, a West Palm Beach art dealer, wants to marry her partner, Jennifer Feagins, but she's still in a civil union that she entered in Vermont with her ex 14 years ago.

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7:42 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Rays Trade David Price

The Tampa Bay Rays traded David Price, who won the second most games in team history, to the Detroit Tigers as part of a 3-team deal.
Credit Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder.

The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday. The Rays received left-hander Drew Smyly and minor league infielder Willy Adames from the Tigers. Tampa Bay also got infielder Nick Franklin from Seattle, with Detroit outfielder Austin Jackson going to the Mariners.

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6:28 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Sholom & Mohamed: Brothers In Spite Of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sholom and Moe take a selfie together with their respective flags.

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:13 pm

Mohamed Ghumrawi and Sholom Neistein have been friends for six years.

Sholom is Jewish. Mohamed is Muslim and of Palestinian descent. 

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6:05 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Florida Schools Get Ready for Flood of Border Kids

Lead in text: 
School officials in Hillsborough County, which has a large Hispanic population, did not respond to a request for information. In Pasco County, shelters expect to double their capacity. Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA reported the Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services is asking Pasco County’s Planning Commission to double shelter capacity to 32 beds to accommodate more border children. But neighbors of the center have mixed reactions.
By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog MIAMI - With more than 51,000 unaccompanied Central American children already here, and more expected to come, school officials ask the federal government for a helping hand. Border kids costs more to educate, about $1,900 per head. Teachers must be bilingual.
4:57 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Audi Takes the Driverless Car of the Future To the Selmon Expressway

Audi Automated Car

The car that drives itself. That sci-fi fantasy will be coming to life this weekend, as Audi will be test driving its automated car on the Leroy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.

The Selmon Expressway is one of the few state-approved testing spots in America for driverless cars.
Brad Stertz, Communications Manager for Audi, says Audi is the first to demo to the public the functions of a highly autonomous car.

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6:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Same-Sex Couples Still Will Not Marry In The Keys

Plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 10:43 am

Wedding bells are not ringing yet for same-sex couples in Monroe County.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones had hoped to apply for a marriage license on Tuesday after last week Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in their favor seeking the right to marry. But State Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed Garcia’s decision, automatically putting the process on hold.

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9:19 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

TB History Center Showcases Florida Highwaymen Art

Artist: Isaac Knight
Tampa Bay History Center

Back in the 1950s and '60s, a group of African-Americans, known as the Highwaymen, sold Florida landscape paintings to locals and tourists on the side of the road. The paintings were sold for only a few bucks at the time but after the '90s, their value soared. The Tampa Bay History Center is showcasing these prized paintings.

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5:26 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Attorney General Files Notice Of Appeal In Monroe County Gay Marriage Approval

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones at home with their dogs Riddick and Kira.

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:32 am

Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Thursday afternoon.

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2:30 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Tariq Abu Khdeir Welcomed Home

Tariq Abu Khdeir received a warm welcome home to Tampa at 10:30 p.m. last night. In her statements to the public, Tariq's mother called the past two weeks a "nightmare" for her family.
Credit WUSF News

Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian-American teen who was beaten and detained by Israeli police earlier this month, returned home last night after being released from house arrest in East Jerusalem. Abu Khdeir was met with loud cheers from friends and family as he walked through the terminal at Tampa International Airport around 10:30 p.m. His face no longer bears the marks of his beating by Israeli police, but the fifteen-year-old said that he remains burdened by the stories of those unable to escape the violence, and hopes that Americans will too.

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