Politics

Rick Scott's Dog
7:48 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Scott's Missing Campaign Dog Is Safe And Living On A Ranch With A New Name

HAPPIER DAYS: Gov. Rick Scott and Reagan during their brief partnership.
Credit Scott campaign

Gov. Rick Scott's 2010 campaign dog, Reagan, has been located -- safe, but probably a little bitter -- on a horse ranch somewhere in southwest Florida. Tampa's WTSP Ch. 10 reports he's now known as Pluto.

This should close out a week of speculation about whatever happened to the rescued Labrador that Scott acquired, named through a Facebook contest and campaigned with...

...before the dog mysteriously disappeared!

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Stand Your Ground
7:30 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Mom Calls For A Repeal Of Stand Your Ground Law

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, is calling for the repeal of Stand Your Ground.
Credit News Service of Florida

With lawmakers taking a new look at Florida's "stand your ground" law, the mother of the young man whose death brought the law back into focus urged lawmakers Wednesday to repeal it.

"How many lives do we have to lose?" Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, asked outside the legislative chambers. "How many children have to be killed? How many times are we going to bury our loved ones and not do anything about it?" 

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Politics
4:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Florida One Step Closer To Providing Seniors With Long-Term Healthcare

After months-long bidding process, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said Tuesday it has chosen five health plans to provide coverage to seniors who need long-term care. AHCA expects to start using the new system in August in the Orlando area.
Credit vitasamb2001 / freedigitalphotos.net

In another step toward transforming Medicaid into a statewide managed-care system, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said Tuesday it has chosen five health plans to provide coverage to seniors who need long-term care.

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Democrats
2:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Rise Of The Cuban-American Democrat

Former Hialeah mayor and Democratic Congressional candidate Raul Martinez
Credit Facebook

    

The Cuban-American Democrat. It is an unusual breed in Florida.

Since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 made the Democratic administration of John F. Kennedy look bad, and caused many Cubans to flee their homeland forever,  El Exilio community in South Florida especially has been strongly Republican.

But that's beginning to change. Some exit polling indicated Cubans nearly split their vote between President Obama and Mitt Romney this past election, something that has never happened.

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Session 2013
1:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Bill May Aid Job Search For Floridians With Rocky Credit History

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said a new measure may ease the job search process for Floridians.
Credit James Barker / freedigitalphotos.net

Rocky credit history? A bill that would prevent potential employers from weighing a job applicant's credit history unanimously passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee Tuesday.

Some say the bill (SB 100), sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is an effort to ease the job search process for Floridians.

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Session 2013
10:01 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott, Black Caucus Find Little Common Ground As 2013 Session Nears

PERRY THURSTON: House minority leader says Gov. Scott 'doesn't relate well to others.'
Credit myfloridahouse.gov

Gov. Rick Scott's hour-long sit-down with the Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday was frostily correct and almost completely nonproductive for the black lawmakers, according to two accounts of Tuesday's session in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times and the Palm Beach Post described the governor as almost completely unyielding on voting rules, ex-felon rights and appointments to the judiciary and other state positions.

As to the 2011 voting law that many say turned the 2012 election into a Florida disaster, the governor said he should not be blamed for that.

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Waterfront Property
9:03 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Supreme Court: Floating Home Still A Man's Castle

Fane Lozman's floating home is docked at a marina in Riviera Beach, Fla., in this undated photo from court documents.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:54 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Florida man's floating home was a house, not a boat, and that therefore, the city marina where he kept it docked could not seize the structure under federal maritime law. The case could affect thousands of houseboat owners nationwide.

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Nursing Home Policy
8:30 am
Wed January 16, 2013

How To Find Out If Your Nursing Home Is On A State Watch List

Some advocates want to make nursing home violations easier to research.
Credit anankkml / freedigitalphotos.net

Deciding to put a loved on in a nursing home is hard enough, but as our partners at WUSF and Health News Florida in Tampa report, researching nursing home quality isn't easy in Florida.

And in a state where a fifth of all nursing homes are on a state watch list, some advocates are asking the Agency for Health Care Administration to take a more active role in distributing lists of facility violations.

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The Art Of Politics
8:00 am
Wed January 16, 2013

How You Can Write A Poem For A President

This could be a long poem.
alextorrenegra flickr

Here at WLRN, we're big fans of interactive storytelling

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Session 2013
7:34 am
Wed January 16, 2013

In Tallahassee, A Dim View Of NRA Gun Bills

Gun policy is back in the Florida Legislature this year.
Naypong freedigitalphotos.net

Indications are growing that the gun lobby might face unusual difficulties in the Florida Legislature this year.  

In Tallahassee on Monday, the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee announced his opposition to arming Florida school teachers as a defense against school shooters and a Democratic senator filed a bill to repeal one of the National Rifle Association's trophy bills from 2011, the law forbidding doctors to ask patients whether they have guns at home.

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Haiti Cholera
2:49 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

After Bringing Cholera To Haiti, U.N. Plans To Get Rid Of It

Haitians protest against the United Nations peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince in November 2010.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:11 pm

Not quite 10 months after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, a more insidious disaster struck: cholera.

Haiti hadn't seen cholera for at least a century. Then suddenly, the first cases appeared in the central highlands near a camp for United Nations peacekeeping forces.

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Session 2013
12:30 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Senate President Don Gaetz Has Ethics, Voting Proposals To Take To Legislature

DON GAETZ: He says ethical behavior is so rare the public is losing respect for elected officials.
Credit Orlando Sentinel

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) is ready to toughen ethics laws, reform campaign finance, streamline the Florida ballot...just about every issue of timely significance, he told the Orlando Sentinel editorial board, except for gun control.

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Haiti Aid
11:38 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Despite Billions In Aid, Many Haitians Still Live In Squalid Camps

Jacqueline Syra has been living in the La Piste camp for three years. She says she has no idea when she will be able to leave.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:06 am

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the powerful earthquake that destroyed much of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The quake killed roughly 200,000 people and left 1.5 million Haitians homeless.

Despite billions of dollars in international aid and pledges to help Haiti rebuild from the disaster, very little new, permanent housing has been built. And about 350,000 Haitians are still living in squalid, makeshift camps — where they face an array of health challenges.

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Miami City Hall
10:30 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Frank Suarez Says He'll Run For Miami Mayor

HE'S RUNNING: A Miami city commissioner since 2009, Frank Suarez grew up during his father, Xavier Suarez's, four terms as mayor.
Credit City of Miami

It's election year in the region's largest city and the race for Miami mayor has just become a little more interesting. City Commissioner Francis "Frank" Suarez, 35,  will officially announce a challenge to incumbent Mayor Tomas Regalado today.

Suarez is the son of former longtime Miami mayor and now county commissioner Xavier Suarez, who was removed from office in 1997 after charges of voter fraud. The younger Suarez, who grew up with his father running the city before being removed after winning a fourth term, says "sins of the father" should having nothing to with him

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Session 2013
8:59 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Uninsureds' Midnight Fears Raise Curtain On Obamacare Legislative Session In Florida

COST ESTIMATES: Senate select committee chairman Joe Negron says lawmakers must plan with better numbers.
Credit Florida House

As lawmakers decide how --- or whether --- to move forward with parts of the federal Affordable Care Act, House and Senate select committees plunged Monday into issues such as a potential expansion of the Medicaid program and the law's effects on Florida businesses.

In back-to-back meetings, lawmakers heard testimony from people with far-different perspectives about the controversial health overhaul, which Florida Republican leaders resisted for more than two years.

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