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.

During this Thanksgiving week, we're taking a second listen to our show on  food, family and traditions. From passing on the recipe for French Canadian meat pie, to making the perfect rice and meeting the bakers who make award-winning pies in Lakeland, our reporters are taking you into the kitchen. 

healthcare.gov

Enrollment is under way for plans on HealthCare.gov for the third year, and consumers are seeing many changes in the plans companies are offering. It’s not unlike what’s happening to employer-based insurance, which is how about half of all Americans get health care coverage.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

"Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History" airs this month on PBS stations across the country, and on WUSF-TV on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.

Department of Children and Families

Florida is on pace to have nearly as many child deaths this year as it did before the overhaul of its child welfare system last year. In about a quarter of those deaths, the Florida Department of Children and Families had prior contact with the family. 

A Palm Beach County philanthropist is making good on her promise to herself to share the story of the nation's disabled veterans with as many people possible.

You can be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall featuring a panel discussion and preview of the new Ric Burns film “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History.”

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 a.m.), we’re exploring some of the many beaches around Tampa Bay, with a look at parking, water quality and recollections of beach days gone by.

Florida's new Poet Laureate, Peter Meinke, will be reading at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading October 24th. WUSF's Lisa Peakes visited Peter at his home in St Petersburg. He talked about moving to Florida, the subversive power of literature and why poetry is not "good for you; like broccoli."

WEB EXTRA: Peter Meinke reads his poem "100 Robins" and explains how it mirrors a legislative session:

Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading

The 23rd Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at USF St. Petersburg.

Tim Redman

The Florida Orchestra has begun its 48th season, and the orchestra has a new music director. 

Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly was elected to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional district in a special election in 2014, and was re-elected in November 2014. 

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 a.m.), we feature a newsmaker special with Jolly, who is now campaigning for the Senate seat being vacated by  U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.  

Florida Matters: Changing Gears Mid-Career

Sep 22, 2015

Many baby boomers are looking for work to do after they stopped working full-time.

Florida Matters: Heroin In Manatee County

Sep 15, 2015
WMFE

Heroin overdoses are rising most everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in Manatee County.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

In 2013, Florida had more new cases of HIV than anywhere else in the nation. When it comes to the presence of HIV in Florida, the state’s six largest metropolitan areas could be states unto themselves.

You can join us and be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall on the rising tide of HIV infection in Florida. 

Preparing For Tropical Storms & Hurricanes

Aug 28, 2015
NOAA.gov

We take a look at how you can prepare if any storms do come our way.

William Garamella

Of the 1,100 acres that make up Fort De Soto County Park, the beaches probably get the most traffic. Both are close to grassy picnic areas under shade trees.  

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Big changes are coming to Tampa International Airport, and this week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7:30 a.m.), we’re bringing you a special newsmaker edition of the show with airport CEO Joe Lopano.

One of our burning questions: Is it TPA – or TIA? According to Lopano, it’s both.

Florida Matters: Arts In Manatee County

Aug 11, 2015
Village of the Arts

Sarasota is known around the world for its arts scene. Can Bradenton and Manatee County become a destination for the arts? 

AP

Florida's citrus industry is hurting in a big way.  The final report of the growing season by the U.S. Department of Agriculture put Florida orange production for the 2014-15 season at 96.7 million boxes, a drop of 4 percent from last year.

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