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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.

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