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Florida

Susan Giles Wantuck

It may feel like prices at the gas pump are higher than they've been in a while. Well, AAA on Monday reported gas prices hit a four-year high for the month of September. 

Roberto Roldan

Many Puerto Rican’s lost everything when Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, 2017. Tens of thousands of people made the decision to take what belongings they had left and travel to the mainland. Many have started new lives in Central and South Florida. These new Floridians already have had significant influence on political races, the public school system and affordable housing.

This week on Florida Matters, we'll hear the stories of two people who chose to make the Tampa Bay area their new home:

Jessica Meszaros / WUSF Public Media

State officials are providing more money to Southwest Florida counties affected by the red tide outbreak that is sending waves of dead fish onshore and into neighborhood canals.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local elections supervisors in Florida have finally received the federal money for cyber security allocated to them back in March.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

In their bid to be Florida’s next attorney general, former Hillsborough County judge Ashley Moody and state representative Frank White both accepted campaign donations from a private prison corporation that manages an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) family detention center.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Democratic candidates for governor sparred over the big issues in Florida politics at the second televised debate Saturday night at Pinellas Park High School.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made his pitch for governor before a group of civic leaders in Tampa Friday morning.

Putnam laid out his vision for education reform before taking questions from the audience at Cafe Con Tampa. He called for increased funding for technical colleges and vocational training in Florida's middle and high schools.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

As gubernatorial candidates start ramping up their primary campaigns, Democrat Philip Levine made a stop in St. Petersburg to gauge students' priorities.

Levine sat in a circle with about a dozen students at St. Petersburg College on Thursday, fielding questions about gun control, environmental protection and student debt.  He calls these intimate events "campus conversations."

Levine touted his record as the former mayor of Miami Beach, telling students he has acted on the issues that matter most to young people.

The death toll from Hurricane Irma's catastrophic rampage across the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. has risen to 44 fatalities directly caused by its strong winds and heavy rains, plus 85 fatalities indirectly linked to the storm, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Cell phones and social media went nuts early Monday after a routine monthly test message for tsunami warnings from the National Weather Service for Florida, the U.S. east coast and parts of the Caribbean got recirculated as an official alert.

The state is disputing a report that found funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program in Florida will run out in February if Congress doesn't act.

Floridians have until December 31st to sign up for a health insurance plan through Obamacare, thanks to Hurricane Irma.

At least 56 cases of mumps have been reported in Florida in 2017, a significant rise over prior years but well below outbreaks in other states, which have reported hundreds of infections this year.

In Florida, mumps cases have occurred across all ages, with the most infections reported in Broward, Collier, Duval, Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties, according to a Florida Department of Health advisory to physicians dated Dec. 11.

Florida voters could be asked to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts. The proposal got the green-light Thursday before a Constitution Revision Commission Panel and there was little opposition.

Less than halfway through Florida’s lucrative stone crab season, traps are drying up, dealing another blow to a fishing industry still recovering from a beating delivered by a brutal Hurricane Irma.

“Everybody’s feeling it,” said Walter Flores, owner of the Golden Rule Seafood in Palmetto Bay, which has been selling and serving stone crabs since 1943. Normally Flores starts taking orders for holiday crabs about now. But this year, he said, it’s first come, first serve.

“We have them,” he said, “but you have to offer more money to get them. It’s almost a bidding war.”

Steven Shepard / FEMA

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll discuss how the Puerto Rican migration to Florida after Hurricane Maria could impact our state.

MLB.com

Authorities have confirmed that former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a small plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pasco County.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend more on the state's beaches, springs and state parks.

House Panel Backs Red-Light Camera Repeal In Florida

Oct 12, 2017

The House is on a fast track to try to repeal Florida's red-light camera law, with the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voting to back elimination of the devices by July 1, 2021.

Tropical Depression Forms, Path Takes It Towards Florida

Oct 4, 2017
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A new Tropical Depression has formed in the western Caribbean and is likely to strengthen while moving into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

Anxiety is high among leaders at community health centers after Congress failed to meet a deadline to reauthorize their funding over the weekend.


Puerto Ricans in Southwest Florida are having difficulty getting in contact with loved ones on the island since Hurricane Maria damaged power grids. 


State Moves Toward More Medical Marijuana Licenses

Sep 21, 2017

Seemingly learning from past mistakes, state health officials have issued an emergency rule outlining the application process for new medical-marijuana vendors seeking to receive licenses in two weeks.

President Trump is expected to make a visit to Florida this week due to Irma. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made that announcement Tuesday.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many Floridians are turning to Waffle House, as one of the few places to get a cup of coffee or a cell phone charge. But as the state begins rebuilding, the restaurant is taking on an even greater significance.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it roared toward the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the U.S.

The numbers of employed Floridians barely able to afford basic living expenses has seen some improvements in Florida, according new data from the United Way. Economic recovery has helped some households struggling to make ends meet, but new data for Florida finds wages still lag behind major increases in housing, childcare, healthcare, and more. And the United Way says the disparity between take-home pay and household costs is increasingly affecting households in minority communities.

Michael Lambrix is set to be executed on Oct. 5.

He was next in line to be executed when a U.S. Supreme Court decision threw Florida's death penalty into limbo. He was one of two Death Row inmates who had active death warrants for a year and a half. Mark Asay, the other inmate, was executed on Aug. 24, breaking the hiatus.

Mexican officials are hoping to strengthen trade ties with Florida. During a recent visit to Orlando, Mexico’s foreign affairs undersecretary Carlos Sada said he wants to see import and export revenue between his country and Florida rival that of border states like Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

Undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children face an uncertain future in Florida and across the country as the the federal program that's given them paperwork for school and jobs and shielded them from deportation faces a pivotal moment under the Trump Administration. Trump is expected to decide by Sept. 5 whether to end or renew the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

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