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Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State. Join us each week as we journey across the state to explore the issues important to Floridians and cover the challenges facing our community and our state. Listen to the show on WUSF 89.7 Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.  It's also on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 on Mondays at 10 p.m.

In this week's podcast, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham sits down with Lillian Dunlap, the executive director of Your Real Stories and creator of Story Days in Tampa Bay. The annual storytelling festival has just finished up, and Robin asks Lillian what she hopes listeners will come away with.

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Boyzell Hosey / Tampa Bay Times

Story Days in Tampa Bay recently hosted its fifth annual festival in St. Petersburg. This week on Florida Matters we hear excerpts from a performance  that reflects on Hurricanes Irma and Maria a year after the storms.

Florida Matters is hosting a special panel discussion about veteran entrepreneurs in front of a live audience in St. Petersburg and we want you to join us.

WMFE

The Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016 was, at the time, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 49 dead.

What if more victims could have lived? This year a peer-reviewed study concluded 16 victims died with potentially survivable wounds.


Forty-nine people died in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando in 2016, but new information indicates that 16 of those victims may have been able to survive their injuries -- if they'd been treated sooner.

Robin Sussingham talks to John Montes, an Emergency Services Specialist with the National Fire Protection Association about the NFPA's new standards for first responders.


WMFE

49 people were killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. But an investigation from Health News Florida's Abe Aboraya and Pro Publica finds some people may have survived if paramedics had been allowed inside the club sooner.

This week on Florida Matters we hear that story and talk about how response efforts have changed since the massacre.


Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

More and more Floridians every week are signing up for access to medical marijuana, and with over 100,000 patients already on the registry, there is clearly money to be made.

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Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham speaks to Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve; Daniel Elias, president of Pharmacology University, a medical marijuana education program; and Darrin Potter, Chief Horticulture Officer at GrowHealthy in Lake Wales. GrowHealthy and Trulieve are licensed medical marijuana treatment centers and are authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana in Florida. They tell us that you're going to need very deep pockets to get started in the medical cannabis business in Florida.

Mark, flickr

Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly available in Florida despite ongoing court battles over state regulations for the young industry. We're talking with people who work in the business this week on Florida Matters.

Abandoned Animals Strain System In Puerto Rico

Sep 22, 2018
Kaitlin Hall/WUFT

As the sun rises above San Juan’s Peninsula de Cantera neighborhood, stray pigs roam the streets looking for scraps of food.

Gisselle Garcia/WUFT

For nearly seven decades, generation after generation has operated Carlos Bonnet-Vargas’ bookstand on the colorful streets of Old San Juan.

With painted green shelves, messy piles of books and magazines and Puerto Rican flags flying high, the kiosk has attracted enough customers to keep each owner afloat.

But after Hurricane Maria, Bonnet-Vargas is struggling to make ends meet.

Puerto Rico National Guard

It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. Recovery continues on the devastated island, but transitions are also happening here in Florida, where many residents evacuated and some have chosen to stay.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico a year ago this month, and on WUSF's Florida Matters we're hearing the stories of people who fled to the Tampa area when they had to evacuate. On today's podcast, a conversation with WUSF reporter Roberto Roldan, who interviewed some of the hurricane evacuees.

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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:

Robin Sussingham had a chance to speak with Jordan Peterson before his appearance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg this weekend, catching up with him while he was in Miami for a book tour event there. Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist and a professor at the University of Toronto. He's the author of the bestseller 12 rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which carries a message of personal responsibility and the path toward finding a meaningful life.  He's also a YouTube star and has a very popular podcast.  

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Dez Williams, Mark Schreiner, Justified Films, Stuby

WUSF’s University Beat has been doing something new this year – profiling entrepreneurs with ties to the University of South Florida.

That includes faculty, students and alumni who have started their own businesses, ranging from watermelon-flavored water and anti-nausea wristbands to apps and movie production companies.

WUSF's expert on all things relating to the University of South Florida, Mark Schreiner, joins Robin Sussingham to talk about his series on entrepreneurs with ties to USF. Plus, USF President Judy Genshaft has announced her retirement, and Mark discusses her role in lifting the reputation and quality of the university.

USF

From creating a new beverage to an app for finding study partners, entrepreneurs with ties to the University of South Florida are trying hard to turn their ideas into actual products.

This week on Florida Matters, we speak to some of the USF faculty, students and alumni who share some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

It was an exciting state primary election with some unexpected results, and we break it down with Zac Anderson, editor of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, and William March, longtime political analyst and journalist. Progressives got what they've long wished for in Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Governor, and set up what Zac says will be an interesting "political science experiment" going forward.

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Florida's primary election was full of surprises. WUSF reporters Steve Newborn, Mark Schreiner and Roberto Roldan have been following the races and were out covering campaign events on primary night. They sit down with host Robin Sussingham to talk about the evening's upsets and drama.

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Florida’s primary election is Tuesday and you can follow the action here on WUSF.

We’ll bring you election news throughout the day as voters cast their ballots and host live coverage that evening during a special Florida Matters at 8 p.m.

WLRN

The race for governor is not the only statewide political contest during primary season. Republicans and Democrats will also choose their favorite candidate to run for the state's top consumer watchdog: the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Five candidates (three Democrats and two Republicans) for Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services sit down with WLRN Public Media in Miami, and the editorial page editors of the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. They give their views on restoring voting rights to felons, and on how to enforce the "Do Not Call" list. The Ag Commissioner is a cabinet-level post in Florida.

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WLRN

The race for governor isn't the only statewide political contest during primary season. Florida Republicans and Democrats will also choose their favorite candidate to run for the state's top prosecutor, the Attorney General.


FL AP Broadcasters

In recent months, journalism groups have been recognizing news outlets across the country for outstanding work done in 2017, and WUSF has garnered multiple awards.

This week on Florida Matters we highlight some of the award-winning journalism produced by our WUSF news team.


WUSF Public Media

Carson Cooper was a radio guy, through and through.

While most people know him best as the longtime host of WUSF’s Morning Edition and Florida Matters, his sonic roots ran deep. This week on Florida Matters, we’re remembering our friend and colleague who died recently at the age of 58 – and the stories he shared with all of us.


We're only weeks away from the state’s primary election; Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is back in the news; and a new transportation initiative may be on its way to the November ballot. We talk about these issues and more on our monthly news roundtable.

Host Robin Sussingham talks to Steve Contorno, a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times; WUSF reporter Cathy Carter; and Janelle Irwin with the Tampa Bay Business Journal.


We're only weeks away from Florida's primary election, and while the gap between the two Republican candidates for Governor seems to be widening, the five Democratic candidates are in a real horse race for the nomination. Also, host Robin Sussingham talks to reporter Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times and Janelle Irwin of the Tampa Bay Business Journal about why this might be the right moment politically for the Tampa Bay area to acquire money for transit.

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Mastry's Brewing Co.

The Tampa Bay area is becoming a hub for craft beer both statewide and nationally, with the highest density of breweries in Florida. This week on Florida Matters, we talk with people who work in the industry about the craft beer phenomenon.


Besides its beautiful beaches, the Tampa Bay area boasts a rich collection of art museums -- and it's growing. This week on Florida Matters we feature stories about museums and galleries in the region, part of WUSF’s occasional Art Populi series.


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