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Chairman Releases Redistricting Plan Amid Numbers Controversy

Oct 22, 2015

The chairman of the state Senate committee charged with redrawing districts for the 40-member chamber released his proposed draft of the map late Wednesday, as Republican discontent with a plan for whether and when members would have to run for re-election continued to brew.
 

Protesters are running out of time to stop Florida’s first legal black bear hunt in more than twenty years. More than 2,500 hunting permits have been sold for the week-long bear season that starts Saturday.

Jacksonville activist Adam Sugalski says teams of people will be going into the woods during the hunt to monitor the hunt. They also want to check the stomach contents of dead bears to see how many were shot in the wild and how many were baited.

Lawmakers Sort Out Details Of Oil Spill Money

Oct 21, 2015

With billions of dollars coming to Florida in reparation for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a Senate panel Tuesday tried to get a better feel for how the money will be spent.

Scott Signs Order For Carroll To Pay Ethics Fine

Oct 21, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott has signed an executive order for former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to pay a $1,000 fine to resolve allegations she did not properly report income from consulting work that led to her resignation more than two years ago.

Officials say the father of a missing baby has been extradited from South Carolina to Florida and charged with child neglect and felony murder.

More data is coming from the annual Sunshine State Survey.

This time, it shows that 85 percent of Floridians want people buying a gun or getting a gun license to get mental health screenings first.

Susan MacManus, the survey director and a political scientist at the University of South Florida, says that almost all Floridians agree on this issue.

"This is probably the most solid and most consensual opinion that we've seen in virtually the entire Sunshine State Survey," she says.

Duke Energy Plans Solar Facility In Perry

Oct 16, 2015

Duke Energy Florida plans to build a 5-megawatt solar facility on 20 acres in Taylor County, the company announced Thursday.

The facility, expected to use about 22,000 solar panels, is to be built adjacent to the Duke Energy Perry substation, which is across the street from Taylor County Elementary School.

The project, in Florida's Big Bend region, still needs state and local permitting and is expected to be operational by May, according to a release from Duke Energy.


Florida was in the spotlight again for its death penalty procedure this week when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the way the Sunshine State hands down death sentences.

In Florida, Alabama and Delaware, juries can recommend the death penalty if more than half the jurors agree; In other states, either the jury decision has to be  unanimous or  a jury isn't used at all in sentencing.

Governor Rick Scott told the state’s media executives Wednesday he wants to continue setting aside hundreds of millions of dollars to lure businesses to Florida.  

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees voted today to put the video spectrum used by WUSF Television up for a public auction. That would mean the station could go off the air - or maybe not.
 

Nelson To Talk Greening With Citrus Growers

Oct 13, 2015

  Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is meeting with citrus growers in Lakeland today and will likely hear how citrus greening and the Oriental fruit fly are taking a big bite out of their crop. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a Florida orange crop of 80 million boxes for the 2015- 16 season. That’s 17 percent lower than last season.

Putnam: Citrus Industry 'In A Fight For Its Life'

Oct 12, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam wants another $8.5 million next year to help fight a deadly citrus disease, as Florida's orange crop was forecast Friday to hit a 52-year low in the upcoming season.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday it will equip its deputies with a drug called naloxone. It stops people from overdosing on opioids like heroin.

It’s a first for Florida law enforcement agencies.

Northeast Florida residents are getting confused by a flier that’s showing up in their mailboxes. 

The mailer from a national, Democratic-leaning group encourages people to register to vote. But county election supervisors say recipients aren’t always eligible voters. 

Florida lawmakers are hoping to continue moving a bill forward aimed at changing Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing rules. It comes on the heels of a recent decision by the state’s Executive Board to reject a request to release a Florida man early from prison, who fired a warning shot and received a 20 year prison sentence.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Tampa's city council voted late Thursday night to move forward with a citizen police review board that will review internal affairs cases and police policies.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Tampa City Council members continue to oppose Mayor Bob Buckhorn over the creation of a Civilian Police Review Board.

Council members said the current proposal gives the mayor too much power.

Buckhorn called for an executive order, establishing a board of citizens that would independently investigate police conduct and give him the ability to appoint nine people to the 11-member board.

City council members asked to appoint seven people to the board, one citizen member for each city council member, while allowing Buckhorn to still appoint four members.

It seems Florida lawmakers aren't the only ones who can't agree. Residents also are divided over key economic and social issues, according to the latest release of the Sunshine State Survey.

On Monday, four days after the ship vanished, the Coast Guard concluded the ship El Faro sank near the Bahamas in about 15,000 feet of water. One unidentified body in a survival suit was spotted, and the search went on for any trace of the other crew members. The search was continuing today.

A new report by federal investigators says Florida has consistently underperformed other states in using federal mortgage assistance money to help desperate homeowners facing foreclosure.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

New Port Richey officials have approved $666,097 to pay for road repairs after heavy rains caused massive flooding in West Pasco County.

Registration begins soon for the Python Challenge, which encourages hunters to kill or capture pythons in the Everglades for cash prizes.

Despite pleas from his family members, Gov. Rick Scott today turned down a request to release from a prison a central Florida man jailed for firing a warning shot.

Guns, Medical Marijuana At Issue In House

Sep 30, 2015

As lawmakers continue preparing for the 2016 legislative session, House panels next week will take up a bill that would allow people to openly carry firearms and will get an update about a medical-marijuana law passed last year.

Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Bill Clinton has announced a partnership to turn part of downtown Tampa into a more walkable, healthy place to live and work.

Get Ready For More Rain

Sep 28, 2015
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Many meteorologists have used the phrase "rain without a name" over the years, to describe heavy rain from a tropical weather system that isn't officially named.

For some Floridians, this has happened twice already this summer. And that's just what may happen with Invest 99, the disturbance the National Hurricane Center is monitoring over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Tampa Bay Rays

News that the Atlanta Braves may want to move its spring training facility to Pinellas County has caught the attention of Major League Baseball.

Pinellas County

The Atlanta Braves are talking about moving their spring training home out of Orlando, and Pinellas County is one of the contenders.

WTSP

The bus driver involved in last week's school bus crash in Hillsborough County was cited for careless driving after it was discovered he was speeding at the time of the incident.

Lenoir Sainfimin, 54, was driving with the county for only a week before the crash occurred last Thursday.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the district will purchase 200 new school buses.

Concerns about the safety of the buses are high because the county is home to one of the oldest fleets in the state.

Robin Sussingham

With a message that neighborhood violence won't be solved by law enforcement or government agencies alone -- a group called "Safe and Sound Hillsborough" today said it wants to galvanize the community to respond.

Speaking at the Grant Park Community Center in East Tampa, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner referenced a 14-year-old boy killed recently, possibly for giving information to police, and said it's urgent that youth violence be addressed.

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