LISTEN LIVE

News

News

The Tampa company that runs the Ironman World Championship triathlon has agreed to forfeit to federal authorities more than $2.7 million obtained in lotteries since 2013.

According to a sworn complaint by World Triathlon Corp. filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the company illegally charged triathletes for a chance to win the opportunity to compete in the Ironman World Championship, held each October in Hawaii.

Skyway Bridge Memorial Will Be Unveiled Saturday

May 8, 2015
State Archives of Florida

May 9 marks the 35th anniversary of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge accident that killed 35 people.

A memorial for the victims will be unveiled Saturday at 11 a.m. at Blackthorn Memorial Park in St. Petersburg.

Bill DeYoung of St. Petersburg , who wrote a book about the Skyway disaster, is behind the effort to build a memorial.

"We did a fundraising campaign and raised all the money in about a month, from the community. The state didn't pay for anything, I should say, and the whole cost was about $10,000,” he said.

Pier Park Plan on Tap for St. Petersburg Waterfront

May 8, 2015
RogersPartners Architects

After years of delays and backflips, St. Petersburg City Council members finally agreed on a new design to replace the 1970's-era inverted pyramid on the city's waterfront.

Council members voted Thursday to authorize contract negotiations with the designers of Pier Park. Only one member, Wengay Newton, voted against the plan, saying the public needed more time to weight in for either Pier Park or the runner-up for the $46 million project, called Destination St. Pete Pier.

If all goes according to plan, the new pier will hold its grand opening in the spring of 2018.

Florida is asking a judge to order the Obama administration to keep giving the state millions for its hospitals.

The state on Thursday asked a judge to impose an injunction on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, alleging the state is illegally being forced to expand Medicaid in order to get low-income pool hospital funds. Governors in Texas and Kansas are also supporting Florida's litigation.

Gov. Rick Scott is heading to Washington to try to convince the Obama administration to release federal funds for hospitals that treat low-income and Medicaid patients.

The Republican governor wants an extension on the more than $1 billion funds that expire next month. But the federal government wants states to expand Medicaid, arguing it's more efficient to give people money to help buy health insurance than to pay hospitals for caring for the uninsured retroactively.

AP

  The Florida Highway Patrol says a man is recovering from minor injuries after he got out of a vehicle following a crash, stumbled backward and fell some 30 feet off an approach to the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

Troopers say 43-year-old Reginald D. White of Bradenton stopped on Interstate 275 after a tire blew out on his SUV on Sunday night. As he changed the tire, White lost his balance and fell backward, over a barrier wall and into the water below.

Retired surgeon West Palm Beach resident Ben Carson declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, resting his longshot bid on his vision of the nation as "a place of dreams" where people can thrive when freed from an overbearing government.

Carson, the only African-American in the race, spoke in front of hundreds of people at Detroit Music Hall, a few miles from a high school that bears his name. A choir singing the chorus from Eminem's "Lose Yourself" set the stage.

During the recently-concluded legislative session, Senate President Andy Gardiner constantly warned about the threat to the state's hospitals if they were to lose more than $1 billion that now comes from the federal government.

There's a good reason Gardiner understands hospitals: he works for one.

Kansas, Texas To Back Scott In 'LIP' Lawsuit

May 4, 2015

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Gov. Rick Scott in a lawsuit against the Obama administration stemming from negotiations about extending the Low Income Pool program, Scott's office announced Monday.

The annual session of the Florida Legislature limped to a premature end Wednesday amid finger-pointing and threats of possible lawsuits.

The House abruptly adjourned a day earlier, with leaders contending there was no reason to remain at the Capitol as long as they continue to have a stalemate with Senate leaders over a new state budget and health care.

A ban on Florida judicial candidates personally raising campaign funds, which supporters said was a key element in reforming the state's court system after a series of scandals in the 1970s, was upheld Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

Before speaking at a town hall Wednesday night on race relations, Andrew Joseph quietly placed airbrushed signs around the room.

The signs read "Black Lives Matter" and "We need Change." Some had pictures of his son, Andrew Joseph III.

The teenager died crossing Interstate 4 last year after being ejected from the Florida State Fair.

Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind will have an open house from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 1, at their location at 1106 W. Platt Street in Tampa. See the map below for directions.

I'm walking in the halls of the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind with Louise Peyton, a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

"To your right. I don't ever walk in a straight line. I would never pass a sobriety test even when sober. The reason being I have a terrible ear," she says.

History was made in Baltimore today: The Orioles played in what the league says is the first Major League Baseball game to be closed to the public.

That meant that players came on the field to no cheers and a home run was marked by the crack of a bat and only a few isolated claps.

Here's video of the first pitch:

And video of a three-run home run by Orioles first-baseman Chris Davis:

NPR's Don Gonyea is at Camden Yards this afternoon and he reports that he saw just a small amount of police presence outside the stadium.

Orioles-Rays Tickets On Sale

Apr 29, 2015
AP

 Tickets are on sale to the public for the Tampa Bay Rays three-game series this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.

The series was originally scheduled for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but has been relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg due to protests and violence in Baltimore. 

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday about whether states have the power to ban same-sex marriage. A dozen couples are challenging the bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

AP

Amid violence in Baltimore, the Orioles weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays -- originally scheduled for May 1 -3  in Baltimore -- will now be played in at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, with the Orioles serving as the home team.

The Orioles have also postponed a second straight game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday after a night of rioting near Camden Yards.

The team announced later Tuesday that the Orioles-White Sox series would resume on Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. but that the game would be closed to the public.

The Florida Legislature will end its annual session Friday, but legislators still have not reached a deal on a new budget. That's because the Republican-controlled House and Senate are at odds about health care, including whether to accept federal money linked to President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

Here's a look at what's going on and what may happen next:

  What caused the stalemate?

The Florida House passed a bill Monday to study and regulate fracking, as well as prevent local governments from banning the oil and gas drilling practice.

Democrats strongly opposed the bill, saying hydraulic fracturing would put the water supply at risk and the practice should instead be banned. But Republicans said fracking isn't regulated right now and the bill would ensure that it's done safely.

'Growlers' Going to the Governor

Apr 26, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Half-gallon "growlers" are closer to going under brewery taps across Florida.

The House on Friday joined the Senate in supporting the end of the state's prohibition on brewers being able to fill 64-ounce containers known as "growlers" for off-site consumption. Currently, brewers can only fill containers of other sizes.

"Let's all just push the button and free the growler here in the state of Florida," Majority Leader Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, said before the House voted unanimously to approve the bill.

Pages