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How are race, language and identity shaping our politics and our democracy?

AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and nine other telecommunications companies teamed up with attorneys general of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia to announce a new pact to eradicate a common scourge in America: illegal robocalls.

Lost in all the brouhaha about President Trump's scuttled plan to buy Greenland from Denmark has been this: What do the Greenlandic people think about the whole thing?

In the small capital city of Nuuk, "everybody is talking about it," says Alexander Montgomery-Andersen, a 30-year-old Greenlandic dancer and choreographer. "It's a little comical."

Michael Drejka
SCOTT KEELER/TAMPA BAY TIMES POOL PHOTO

The white man who fatally shot an unarmed black man after being shoved to the ground is a "vigilante" who carried a handgun because he liked provoking confrontations with people parked illegally in handicapped-accessible spaces, a prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments Friday at the man's manslaughter trial.

FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

A tropical wave is becoming better organized just east of Miami, and the National Hurricane Center says a tropical depression or storm could form this weekend.

Gary Ray Bowles
Florida Department of Corrections

Gary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on older gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead, was executed by lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison.

Gary Ray Bowles
Florida Department of Corrections

A serial killer who preyed on older, gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead on or near the U.S. East Coast a quarter century ago is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening.

Florida Legislator Seeks To Boost Child Seat Age

Aug 22, 2019

Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry is continuing his crusade to require children to be in a car seat or booster seat until the age of 7, raising the age now required by state law by one year. 

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast fatally struck a pedestrian on U.S. 19 in Hernando County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Florida Sheriff's Association

Citrus County Sheriff Kenneth M. Prendergast fatally struck a pedestrian on U.S. 19 in Hernando County on Wednesday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A private security company that was paid thousands of dollars to train school “guardians” in Palm Beach County signed off on armed school security that did not meet statutory training requirements, according to the chairman of the state’s school safety panel.

Drywall
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A proposed $248 million settlement has been filed in a decade-old federal court case over defective Chinese drywall blamed for damaging home appliances and sickening residents – including in the Tampa Bay area.

Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel
News Service of Florida

In a final pitch to a Senate special master, former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s lawyer is insisting that the suspended law enforcement officer wasn’t to blame for two deadly mass shootings that led to his ouster by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year.

More than 58,000 items will be available on Saturday during Florida’s 2019 unclaimed property auction in Orlando.

Showers and thunderstorms will become more numerous at times across the Florida peninsula by the end of the week thanks to an approaching tropical wave.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

Showers and thunderstorms will become more numerous at times across the Florida peninsula by the end of the week thanks to an approaching tropical wave.

The wave is not expected to become a significant tropical event, but it is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center for potential development into a depression or a tropical storm over the next five days.

Nothing much Wednesday

In a matter of seconds early Tuesday morning, an implosion marked Tampa International Airport’s next step toward executing its master plan and expansion.
TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

In a matter of seconds early Tuesday morning, an implosion marked Tampa International Airport’s next step toward executing its master plan and expansion.

House damaged by Hurricane Irma
PIXABAY

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the White House to increase federal reimbursements from 75 percent to 90 percent for on-going recovery work following Hurricane Irma, which pummeled Florida nearly two years ago.

Floridians could add more sparkle to the Fourth of July and two other holidays, under the latest attempt to water down the state’s prohibition against fireworks.
Wikimedia Commons

Floridians could add more sparkle to the Fourth of July and two other holidays, under the latest attempt to water down the state’s prohibition against fireworks.

Repeating rounds of heavy rain could produce flooding across portions of the Florida Panhandle on Monday.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

While Tampa Bay returns to its regularly scheduled summertime conditions after a week of drenching rains and saturated grounds, repeating rounds of heavy rain could produce flooding across portions of the Florida Panhandle on Monday.

Palm Harbor Slugger Wins Home Run Derby At LLWS

Aug 18, 2019
Players line up for the Little League Home Run Derby at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, PA, Saturday.
MLB.com

A baseball player from the Tampa Bay area and a softball slugger from Iowa won the inaugural Little League Home Run Derby on Saturday at the Little League World Series.

Everest Ouellette of Palm Harbor won the baseball competition after he hit his 15th home run — the one that sealed the victory — in walk-off fashion. He edged Nate Hawton-Henley of Oakton, Virginia, who had a few dozen family and friends from his hometown in attendance.

Small Businesses Still Struggle To Recover From Hurricane Michael

Aug 17, 2019
Hurricane Michael recovery efforts continue to plod along in the Florida Panhandle.
News Service of Florida

Hurricane Michael recovery efforts continue to plod along in the Florida Panhandle, as a high demand for labor is butting up against limited housing for workers in areas ravaged by the storm 10 months ago, according to business owners and officials.

When Elizabeth Coffey-Williams first came out to her family as transgender in the late 1960s, the language of gender identity wasn't what it is today.

"A lot of the words that they have today, like transgender and non-binary, they didn't have them," Elizabeth, who was in her early 20s at the time, told her niece Jennifer Coffey in a recent StoryCorps interview.

Several inches of rain have already fallen in many communities of west-central Florida this week, and with more anticipated over the next two days, the risk of flooding will continue.

A Flood Watch has been issued for parts of Florida’s Big Bend and inland areas of North Florida through Saturday evening. Flood Watches also continue for much of west-central Florida and southeast Florida through Friday evening.

3 to 7 inches of rain has fallen near the Nature Coast and north of Tampa since Monday, according to estimates from doppler radar and several reporting stations.

people at the beach
Lisa Peakes/WUSF Public Media

Bolstered by U.S. and Canadian tourists, Florida’s visitor count continued at a record pace through the second quarter of 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Thursday.

Emerald Oak Drive in Crystal River was closed from U.S. 19 to North Diamond Terrace.
CITRUS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

The Tampa Bay area remains under a flood watch as the rain that has saturated the ground and swelled area rivers remains intact.

A hand holding a cellphone
Flickr

If your child has a cellphone, odds are they spent a good part of their summer making videos on an app called TikTok or messaging their friends on Snapchat.  

But Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight says social media has made it easier than ever for online predators to contact kids.

More than 85 percent of all hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin occurs after the middle of August.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

More than 85 percent of all hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin occurs after the middle of August.

Some consider Aug. 15 as the “real” start to hurricane season. To others, like former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, it’s synonymous with the start of football season.

Heat Index
Union of Concerned Scientists

July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880, the latest in a long line of peaks that scientists say backs up predictions for man-made climate change.

Matt Gaetz
GAETZ.HOUSE.GOV

The Florida Bar has found no probable cause that Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz violated its rules in a tweet he posted about President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Pinellas County Sheriff  Bob Gualtieri
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

A state school-safety commission meeting got heated Wednesday as members tackled a range of issues stemming from a controversial school “guardian” program, while one panelist recommended allowing Florida preschools to have armed security.

Two months after the state reported nearly 200 schools did not have an armed resource officer as required by state law, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission were frustrated to learn that more than two dozen Broward County charter schools lacked a long-term plan for the security guards.

Seminole Hard Rock Casinos
blog.seminolehardrocktampa.com

Heading into a critical election year, Florida legislators may have to tighten spending because of a combination of a slowing economy and reverberations of financial decisions.

State economists on Wednesday drew up new estimates that predict the state will take in about $867 million less in revenue over two years than earlier anticipated. The new forecast was drawn up on the same day that the stock market tanked amid worries that a recession could be looming.

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