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The latest data available showed nearly 20.8 million wireless subscriptions in Florida -- roughly a cell phone for every resident
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Floridians continue hanging up on traditional phone service.

With cell phones in hand --- or in their back pockets --- and access to broadband technology, hundreds of thousands of Florida residents and businesses stopped using landline phones in 2018, a new state report on the telecommunications industry shows.

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

Florida established its risk protection law last year, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where 17 people were killed and another 17 wounded.
WLRN

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

Former City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter-Smith  plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges related to a corruption investigation into the the City of Tallahassee.

Three days after a man opened fire at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, and left at least 22 dead, Walmart is faced with how to make its workers and customers feel safe.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Like most retailers, Walmart is accustomed to the everyday dealings of shoplifters. Now, it's confronting a bigger threat: active shooters.

Three days after a man opened fire at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, and left at least 22 dead , the nation's largest retailer is faced with how to make its workers and customers feel safe.

In his response Monday to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump called for an expansion of state laws that temporarily prevent someone in crisis from buying or possessing a gun.

"Our focus should be on steps the Senate can take to review and better understand the various factors involved in mass shootings, in addition to, and also including, school shootings,” Galvano wrote in a memo to senators.
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

In the run-up to the 2020 legislative session, the Florida Senate will review acts of mass violence such as the deadly shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, along with factors such as white nationalism.

Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, on Monday directed Senate Infrastructure and Security Chairman Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, to lead efforts to determine if any further action is needed after laws were enacted in the wake of the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“This president is a disaster for American farmers," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in response to President Donald Trump's trade policies.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday renewed attacks on President Donald Trump’s trade policies, citing new reports that China has halted imports of U.S. agricultural goods.

Craig Pitt, 35, had not been seen since around noon last Wednesday.
MAUI POLICE DEPARTMENT

A St. Petersburg man who had been reported missing while hiking in Hawaii has been found dead.

Craig Pitt, 35, had not been seen since around noon last Wednesday, The Maui News reported.

Pitt's vehicle was found parked on the shoulder of Maui's Hana Highway Friday, authorities said. Maui police and fire personnel began searching the bamboo forest area Saturday.

Computer Keyboard
Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 million Capital One customers recently had some of their information compromised by a hacker.

Now, an assistant professor at the University of South Florida Muma College of Business is giving some advice on how to avoid falling victim to future data breaches.

A diver explores one of the 12 statues that currently make up the Circle of Heroes underwater veterans memorial.
Catalyst Communications Group

Scuba divers took the first official plunge to explore the new Circle of Heroes memorial in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. 

Rendering of SpaceX's Starship separating from the Super Heavy booster.
SPACEX

SpaceX will launch and land its newest space vehicle Starship at Kennedy Space Center, according to a new environmental assessment filed by the private company.

The launch system is made up of two parts: the 31-engine booster called Super Heavy and Starship — a cylindrical, futuristic looking vehicle that can carry payloads and possibly humans to places like the moon or Mars.

All together, the system will stand about 387 feet tall. SpaceX said it will modify Launch Complex 39-A to support both the launch and landing of the new system.

Christopher D’Arcy, owner of D’Arcy Kennel LLC in St. Petersburg, wants a judge to order the state to pay damages for the loss of value of his property, including racing dogs that the lawsuit said could previously be sold for up to $50,000.
Rainer Hungershausen

Alleging an unconstitutional “taking” of property, a Pinellas County greyhound-kennel owner has filed a lawsuit against the state because of a dog racing ban approved by voters in November.

President Donald Trump has postponed his scheduled appearance Tuesday at The Villages in Sumter County following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Donald Trump has postponed his scheduled appearance Tuesday at The Villages in Sumter County following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

“In light of this weekend’s tragedies, the president has postponed (Tuesday’s) visit to The Villages, Florida,” a White House official said.

According to reports, the president was expected to speak on Medicare. The appearance would have come a month following his 2020 campaign rally in Orlando.

The official said it is not yet known whether he will reschedule.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

President Trump, responding Monday to the deadly weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people, condemned white supremacy and called for the death penalty for mass murderers and domestic terrorists.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the nation is "overcome with shock, horror and sorrow."

This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major facilities” across the state. Only 18 of them have air conditioning in “most of their housing,” according to the department.

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The Florida American Civil Liberties Union is starting a new campaign to focus on three main areas where it believes civil liberties are at stake. The group is vowing to do whatever it takes until they succeed.

The ACLU is pivoting to concentrate its efforts in three areas: voting rights, immigrant rights and criminal justice reform. New state president Micah Kubic says this is in response to what he calls the "poisoned fruit" of the recent legislative session.

Universal Orlando announced they’re building a new Epic Universe-made up of themed lands and a resort-to the south of its current properties.
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

Universal Orlando announced they’re building a new Epic Universe-made up of themed lands and a resort-to the south of its current properties.

CEO Tom Williams wouldn’t say much about what visitors can expect from Epic Universe - or even when it will open when asked at the Orange County Convention Center on Thursday.

Another round of potentially powerful round of rain and thunderstorms is expected to usher out the work week.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

After a round of powerful storms produced widespread heavy rain and localized street flooding across portions of the Tampa Bay area on Thursday, another round of rain is expected to usher out the work week.

The most active part of the hurricane season are the months of August, September, and October. In this “State of the Season” report, we will assess trends in atmospheric and oceanic conditions around the globe that may lend clues on how the waters could behave over the next few weeks.

The Season So Far

Rain
Wikimedia Commons

If you felt like you’ve pulled out your umbrella more than usual in July, it’s not just your imagination.

The Tampa Bay area was drenched by more rain than usual last month.

dead zone
NOAA / NOAA

Every summer, fish and other marine life are forced out of their habitats in the Gulf of Mexico due to an insidious “dead zone.”

The area, also known as a hypoxic zone, is a section of water that lacks enough oxygen for marine life to survive.

Atlantic Comes Alive: Wave To Drench Florida As Next Tropical System Looms

Aug 1, 2019
A tropical wave off the Florida coast will elevate our rain chances, while a system in the Atlantic is likely to develop into a tropical system.
FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

The most active part of the hurricane season often begins in August. Right on-cue, at least one tropical system is likely to form in the Atlantic by the upcoming weekend.

A gun with bullets on the side.
Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to Florida’s gun laws, there is a struggle happening between state and local governments.

The "preemption statute" that was originally passed in 1987 forbid local governments from passing gun control legislation. However, there were not harsh penalties for breaking the law.

But in 2011, the statute was changed to include punishments for local leaders who introduce gun legislation in their communities.

Those leaders face a $5,000 fine and potential removal from office.

Hillsborough County School Superintendent Jeff Eakins stands at a podium.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Last month, during football conditioning at Middleton High School, an incoming freshman football player died. An investigation found that school staff did not follow correct procedures or have the proper paperwork filed.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates for the first time in over a decade — a preemptive move aimed at extending the already record-long economic expansion.

The Fed on Wednesday lowered its target for the key federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point. The move should decrease the cost of borrowing, including for credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.

While Chef Edna Lewis may have passed in 2006, her legendary recipes and love affair with all things Southern led us to explore her cookbook.
AMAZON

While Chef Edna Lewis may have passed in 2006, her legendary recipes and love affair with all things Southern led us to explore her cookbook.   She was farm-to-table fresh before that was even a thing. 

One system is forecast to skirt the East  Coast while another, in the Atlantic, could become the next named storm.
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

A tropical wave in the Caribbean is forecast to produce increased rain chances for Florida – and the Tampa Bay area – this weekend as it moves north and skirts the East Coast.

But another system, though far out in the Atlantic, appears poised to potentially become the next named storm sometime next week.

Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

On a perfectly manicured practice field at the new Atlanta Braves spring training facility in North Port, dozens of girls from across the country are lined up for batting practice.

They are here for a girls baseball camp, and are being coached by members of the gold medal winning U.S Women’s Baseball World Cup team, players from Canada’s national team, and alumni from the World War II era, All American Girl's Professional Baseball League, which inspired the movie, "A League of their Own." 

Ybor Cigar Building is one of the locations that has been funded by the grant.
Hillsborough County

Next week, Hillsborough County Commissioners will decide which historical buildings will be given money to be restored. 

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