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 Fri July 25, 2014 8:13 am

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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10:11 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A Chat with the Authors of "Home to Havana"

Francisco Serrano, 17, an aspiring ballet dancer from Sarasota, performs at Havana's National Theater during an international ballet competition in Cuba, the land of his parents' birth. Though he has been dancing only four years, Serrano recently won a fu
Elaine Litherland Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A reporter and photographer from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune took their first trip to Cuba recently. Dance critic and arts writer Carrie Seidman and photographer-videographer Elaine Litherland covered a Sarasota ballet troupe taking part in an international dance competition.

They documented the life of Ariel Serrano, who defected to the U.S. in 1993 and found his way to Sarasota. His 17-year-old son, Francisco, the only American ever to dance in the April event, followed in his dad's footsteps, and danced his way to the gold medal.

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10:58 am
Tue July 15, 2014

'Mockingbird Next Door': A Genteel Peek Into Harper Lee's Quiet Life

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:53 pm

It's probably the most oft-cited literary fantasy of all time: I'm talking about that passage in Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield says: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

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7:01 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Florida's Piece of Greece Gets National Traditional Cultural Designation

Nicholas Toth makes rings for a sponge diving helmet at his Tarpon Springs workshop in 2010.

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 4:30 pm

A Florida community with the highest concentration of Greek people in the country has been recognized as a Traditional Cultural Property by the National Park Service. Locals hope the designation for the Tarpon Springs Greektown Historic District brings tourists to the area.

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6:10 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Surplus Medical Supplies to Help Syrian Refugees

The 40-foot container will hold materials such as dialysis machines, ventilator machines, and chest tubes.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A 40-foot container with a $100,000 worth of medical supplies will be leaving Tampa on Friday. It's headed to Turkey, where it will then be distributed to field hospitals inside Syria that treat refugees and others.

USF student Noor Shakfeh, a Syrian-American, is collaborating with the non-profit Advocates for World Health (AWH) to bring a container with medical supplies, like dialysis and ventilator machines, to the Syrian American Medical Society.

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10:09 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Late Starters Orchestra Q&A

Ari Goldman's new book, The Late Starters Orchestra

Ari Goldman reached his goal of becoming a New York Times reporter by the time he hit 25. Mastering the cello has been a longer journey.  

Goldman picked the cello back up decades later, first playing with his son's children's orchestra and ultimately finding a place to play in The Late Starters String Orchestra.  

Unlike other music-making organizations in New York City, which Goldman says are like "auditioning for Broadway," with this orchestra, "if you think you can play, you can play."  

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1:03 am
Wed July 2, 2014

First Adoptive Community of its Kind in Florida

New Life Village is a community for people about to adopt, have adopted, or want to serve as surrogate grandparents to children who have been adopted from foster care.
Yoselis Ramos WUSF

There was a time when community meant more than cookie-cutter houses with manicured lawns. Children not only responded to parents but their neighbors too. A helpful neighbor was always just a phone call or a few yards away. Recreating that sense of community is the goal of one Tampa community for adoptive families.

New Life Village is a community for people - whether it's a single parent or an empty-nest couple - looking to adopt foster care children. Even older adults can be a part of the community as surrogate grandparents.

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10:57 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Here She Comes, Miss Florida - We Think

Elizabeth Fechtel (center) after she originally won Miss Florida pageant last weekend. First runnerup Victoria Cowen (second from the left) was named the winner this week after an apparent voting error came to light.
Credit Miss Florida pageant's Facebook page

The Supreme Court hasn't been asked to rule on this - yet - but an apparent voting mishap has led officials to strip the winner of last weekend's Miss Florida pageant of her crown and award it to the first runnerup.

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3:24 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

St. Pete Pride a Boost to Local Economy

Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images / NPR

St. Petersburg Pride Weekend is here.

In its 12th year, the event celebrating diversity in the LGBT community is expanding from four days this year instead of one. It’s also predicted to bring more money to the city of St. Petersburg and its businesses.

The city estimates that Pride Weekend will provide an $18 million economic boost for the city, up from $10 million in previous years. Organizers say more than 100,000 people have attended past celebrations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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