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For nine consecutive years, Sarasota County has maintained a top spot in a national report that looks at county health outcomes and compares it to the rest of the nation.

Tuesday was Coding Day at the capitol as part of an initiative to promote computer science education.

Students, some in elementary school, are lined up at computers getting ready to show off their work to state leaders.

“We need more computer scientists. We need more data scientists, and in the state of Florida alone there are 8,000 computing jobs open, not necessarily all for computer scientists," says Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President of Philanthropies for Microsoft. "Some of them are for individuals who might have a philosophy degree or a poetry degree and take a one-year certificate class.”

Public commenters gave lawmakers an earful today when the implementing bill for 2018’s Amendment 4 came up in a House committee meeting. The amendment allows certain felons to vote. But that raises the question which felons can’t vote?

State wildlife investigators announced Tuesday that they've wrapped up a two-year investigation targeting what they say is a criminal conspiracy in the spiny lobster fishing industry.

Lobster is Florida's most valuable commercial fishery, with landings usually worth more than $40 million a year.

Investigators went undercover and conducted surveillance in what they called "Operation Thimblerig." Thimblerig is another term for shell game.

Three people face felony charges including racketeering, fraud and identity theft.

Children in Florida public schools would be taught about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking under a bill moving in the state House. 

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the legislature to provide 77 full time employees to help process background checks for gun licensing.

Federal prosecutors say a Florida man helped rich and famous parents get their kids into colleges with bribes and fake test scores. We took a closer look at the college admissions scandal with John Delaney, Former Jacksonville Mayor and President Emeritus of the University of North Florida; and Colleen Wright, Education Reporter for the Miami Herald.

Jonchuck family photo

No one disputes John Jonchuck dropped his 5-year-old daughter from a St. Petersburg bridge to her death four years ago, but whether he is a murderer or insane will soon be up to a jury to decide.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Tampa area Muslims are mourning the deaths of at least 49 people in attacks on a pair of mosques in New Zealand Friday.

Hassan Shibly, attorney and chief executive director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa, took to social media early Friday morning to share his thoughts.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the sheriff who he suspended and accused of failing to prevent the Parkland school shooting. 

A number of bills that would make changes to Florida’s alcohol rules are moving through the legislature. But many of them make exceptions to the state’s three tier system that separates manufactures, distributors and vendors.

Lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to continue carving up millions of dollars voters more than four years ago directed to be spent on land and water protection, despite environmentalists’ concerns about the way the money is being used to help the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay.

A bill that would prohibit local governments from regulating any requirements imposed on employers relating to minimum wage and conditions of employment cleared its first hurdle in the Florida Senate Tuesday in a party line vote.

Test-Taker In College Scheme Suspended From Bradenton’s IMG Academy

Mar 14, 2019
IMG academy
Google Maps

A Bradenton prep school administrator has been suspended from his job after he was accused of taking college admissions tests for students as part of a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed coaches and others to get their children into elite universities.

fmpolice.com

Authorities in Fort Myers say they're trying to find out who knocked down a controversial bust of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

America's big drugmakers and pharmacy chains are scrambling to respond to hundreds of lawsuits tied to the deadly opioid epidemic. Billions of dollars are at stake if the companies are found liable for fueling the crisis.

Even before judgments are rendered, companies like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and CVS are already suffering damage to their reputations as evidence in civil suits reveals more about their internal workings.

House Panel Gives Go-Ahead To Gun Bills

Mar 13, 2019

A House panel Tuesday advanced two gun bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that are reopening a debate about whether people with concealed-weapons licenses should be able to carry guns on school campuses used by churches and store firearms in vehicles on school property. 

People who are homeless and have low incomes receive clothes from volunteers at University Mall in Tampa on March, 12.
Ashley Lisenby / WUSF Public Media

People who are homeless and those who earn lower incomes came to receive food, clothes and other social services at University Mall in Tampa on Tuesday.

The Florida Senate is one step closer to approving a ban on fracking, but the bill looks dramatically different than environmental advocates had hoped.

A lawsuit claims an 11-year-old boy visiting from Brazil had his foot and leg crushed at the end of the E.T. Adventure ride at Universal Studios in Orlando. 

5 Dead, Small Plane Crashes In Lake Okeechobee

Mar 11, 2019
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Authorities say five people are dead after a small plane crashed in Florida's Lake Okeechobee. 

FourteenSixty / Flickr

A Florida state senator wants to know why the state's Department of Transportation paid a company $3.6 million to drop its challenge to the awarding of another company with a lucrative contract to overhaul Florida's toll road system. 

HistoryMiami Museum

When most people think of Sir Winston Churchill, they think of the man who led the United Kingdom in the 1940s and 1950s. They probably don’t know that he also had ties to Cuba and Florida.

A bill that would regulate hemp growing and sales, bringing Florida in line with federal laws, unanimously passed in its first Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

Pfc. Anthony Blankenship points to mold on the grout of his bathroom and a greenish mildew stain around the tiles next to the toilet.

"That's kind of a mold pattern growing underneath," he says. "Workers at times just put new grout over the mold. At times, contractors wouldn't show up at all for problems ranging from clogged plumbing to faulty ventilation ducts."

Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg Facebook page

For the fifteenth year, the Grand Prix is back with its 1.8-mile, 14-turn, waterfront circuit through the streets of St. Petersburg.

According to Kim Green, Chairman and CEO of Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg, the race is the largest spectator event in Pinellas County each year and is expected to rev up the economy.

Marco Verch/Flikr

Florida lawmakers introduced the Sunshine Protection Act to Congress this week. The legislation would make year-round Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country.

The Florida sheriff who was suspended by the governor and accused of failing to prevent the Parkland school shooting has filed a lawsuit alleging Gov. Ron DeSantis improperly ousted him for political reasons. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department

A 116-year-old church bell went missing from a Presbyterian church in Lutz. The relic is of great importance to the church congregation, and members are hoping it will be returned to its rightful place.

The Broward County school board rejected a proposal from its newest member to fire Superintendent Robert Runcie, voting 6-3 against ending his contract after community members spoke for four hours in overwhelming support of his leadership.

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