LISTEN LIVE

News

News

Weather map showing potential track of Tropical Depression Nine
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A tropical depression has formed near the Bahamas and is likely to bring heavy winds and rain to islands already hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Nine formed Friday afternoon and could become a tropical storm by Saturday. The storm is expected to have some impact on portions of Florida.

A portion of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapsed into Tampa Bay in May 1980 after it was struck by a cargo ship.
"The Skyway Bridge Disaster" / YouTube

A new documentary, “The Skyway Bridge Disaster,” is premiering this weekend at the Tampa Theatre. The film reveals details about the tragedy and the events that followed nearly 40 years ago. 

Portions of Florida’s east coast are under a tropical storm watch as the likelihood has increased that Tropical Storm Humberto will form off the Atlantic Coast this weekend.

UPDATE THURSDAY 5 PM: The National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on what they call Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine (or “PTC Nine”). This nomenclature is used when a system is likely to produce tropical storm conditions near land - in this case, the Bahamas - but has yet to be officially classified as a tropical storm.

 

Rep. Jackie Toldeo, R-Tampa
Alysia Cruz / WUSF Public Media

A local legislator is taking steps to combat what she calls "an alarming and urgent healthcare crisis” – especially among young people.

Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said she is introducing legislation to raise the legal age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21.

The National Hurricane Center has increased the possibility that a tropical wave over the southeastern Bahamas will pass through Florida – and the Tampa Bay area – as the next named tropical system.

Tropical System May Bring Wet Weekend to Florida

Sep 11, 2019

A tropical wave moving through the southeastern Bahamas is likely to bring rain to parts of Florida this weekend, but there is an increasing chance it will become a tropical depression or tropical storm as it does so.

The tropical wave is expected to move toward the west-northwest along the periphery of a strong high pressure ridge that has been responsible for a stretch of dry, hot weather over the Southern United States in recent days. Strong westerly wind shear and dry air are the primary reasons why the tropical wave is unlikely to develop over the next 2 days.

2019 Florida Child Well-Being Index
Florida Kids Count

Community coalitions and government programs that help parents improve their well-being are seeing those improvements passed on to children.

That’s according to the 2019 Florida Child Well-Being Index, which was released Wednesday by Florida Kids Count.

Two members of Homeless Response Team in Sarasota
City of Sarasota

Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota.

Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol.

The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister spoke about first responders' mental health in Tampa on Tuesday
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is teaming with the advertising agency ChappellRoberts on a new initiative called “First to Respond, Last to Ask for Help.” The program, which promotes suicide awareness for Tampa Bay’s first responders, was announced during a Tuesday conference.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET

President Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton, the lifelong proponent of American hard power, after months of division between the men over the direction of foreign and national security policy.

Trump announced the news Tuesday on Twitter.

Thousands of college-age students come to Florida every year as part of a federal cultural exchange program that has been accused of fostering abuse and exploitation, including cases of human trafficking, according to a national report released this summer.

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA | Claudina Swann is searching for an object in the storm debris scattered around her backyard in the Bahamas.

“Something was here, and I was trying to, well, I don’t know,” she says in a perplexed voice. Maybe it’s part of a light pole. A wooden chest. A truck tire. Swann doesn’t really know what the object is. But she’s obsessed with finding it.

She says it saved her life and the lives of her two youngest children as they were being swept away last Monday during Hurricane Dorian.

Aerial view of construction of the St. Pete Pier.
City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg officials have an update on the construction of the new Pier. The work is expected to be done by this December, with the grand opening hopefully scheduled for spring-2020.

Saratoga Apartments in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg Housing Authority

As more and more Floridians turn away from homeownership in favor of renting, the state is facing a serious shortage of apartments.

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA - After days of living on a devastated island with no electricity or running water, thousands gathered at Freeport Harbour in Grand Bahama this weekend trying to get tickets to the first passenger boat leaving from Freeport to the Port of Palm Beach since Hurricane Dorian struck.

More than a thousand Bahamians emerged from the arrival doors at the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday morning, many looking for family members and friends who were taking them in.

Conditions are growing increasingly dire in the Bahamas almost a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Caribbean nation.

Food, water and other supplies are rapidly running out, and residents are waiting desperately to evacuate the devastated Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. Officials announced late Friday that the death toll had risen to 43, with 35 dead in Abaco and eight in Grand Bahama.

The parent agency of the National Weather Service said late Friday that President Trump was correct when he claimed earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian had threatened the state of Alabama.

The surprise announcement in an unsigned statement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration essentially endorsed Trump's Sunday tweet saying that Alabama will "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

Nikki Fried speaks about gas skimmers.
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspectors found "skimmers," used to steal credit-card or debit-card information at gas pumps, while checking gas stations for Hurricane Dorian damage.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is part of a coalition of attorneys general from across the country who are investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations.

All of the Florida Keys reef is under thermal stress — meaning the water is warm enough that corals may start bleaching.

Hurricane Dorian delivered a minor blow to much of Florida this week after spending a deadly day and a half over the northern Bahamas. Dorian is the fifth Category Five storm in the Atlantic in four years—after Matthew, Irma, Maria, and Michael. Climate researchers now see a trend of hurricanes stalling in coastal areas like Dorian.

Other recent examples of hurricanes stalling and dumping large amounts of rain over a small area include Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. The longer a hurricane stalls, the more rain it pours on that area.

For people who don't have consistent access to food, the effects of Hurricane Dorian could linger for weeks.

Floridians who were scheduled to receive federal SNAP benefits, or food stamps, between Sept. 1 and 14 were allowed to get that help early, on Aug. 31, so they could prepare for the storm. But advocates worry they could run out of food by mid-September.

A controversial institute focusing on Chinese language and culture at Miami Dade College is shutting down after it became an issue in the institution's tumultuous presidential search.

Like other similar programs around the country, Miami Dade College's Confucius Institute has been criticized as a tool for spreading communist propaganda for the Chinese government. Although the institute opened in 2010, it has been thrust into the spotlight recently as the college's presidential search started, stopped and then started again.

A house in Pinellas County during a flooding event, with piles of sandbags trying to protect it
Photography provided courtesy of Pinellas County Marketing and Communications Department

For everyone who filled up sandbags in advance of Hurricane Dorian and is now wondering how to get rid of them, county officials throughout Tampa Bay say: hang on.

A rusted out wastewater pipe
City of Tampa

Tampa City Council members voted Thursday night in favor of the city’s largest infrastructure project yet: a $2.9 billion overhaul of the city’s aging water and sewer systems.

Yellow ribbon before a blue background. The words "Suicide Prevention Awareness" read along the bottom of the image.
Senior Airman Aubrey White / Air Combat Command

National Suicide Prevention Week begins Sunday, and first responders and veterans are the focus of two local summits.

To state leaders who support charter schools, rural Jefferson County was a poster child for public school failure.

By the summer of 2016, the small Panhandle school district had racked up a decade of Ds and Fs under Florida’s high-stakes system for rating school performance. More than half of its middle/high school students had been held back at least twice. At the hands of a dysfunctional local government, the district had devolved into one of the worst in Florida.

Dorian has made landfall over the North Carolina's Outer Banks on Friday, lashing the low-lying barrier islands as a weakened Category 1 hurricane.

Pages