Session 2013
12:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Hager's Bill Could Ban Smoking At The Beach

NOT AT THE BEACH: State. Rep. Bill Hager of Boca Raton wants to let cities and counties ban smoking at beaches and parks.
Credit billhager.com

A determined Palm Beach County teenager is gaining ground on a big goal -- stopping people from smoking at Florida's beaches and public parks.

Caitlyn Johnston's campaign caught the eye of State. Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, who filed a bill (HB 439) giving cities and counties the power to ban smoking on their own public lands.

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The Art Of Politics
11:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Limericks Inspired By Florida's Muddy Politics

Can you explain a state policy in a limerick?
Credit Public Domain Pictures

Politics can be quite the poetic muse - especially statehouse politics, it turns out.

We recently challenged members of the Public Insight Network to write about politics in the Sunshine State - in a limerick.* 

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Teacher Salaries
10:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Democrats Seek $10,000 Raise For Teachers

HOW MUCH OF A RAISE? Gov. Scott wants an immediate $2,500 for every Florida teacher. Democrats want state teacher pay linked to national averages for even bigger raises.
Credit lakelandlocal on flickr

Florida voters may be asked to raise the salary of a rookie teacher by $10,000 starting two years from now. If they approve, the pay increase would be part of a constitutional amendment that ties Florida teacher pay scales at all career levels to national averages.

The average Florida teacher salary now is $46,000, about $10,000 less than the national average.

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Medicaid Policy
9:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Florida Lawmakers Are Now Considering Medicaid Expansion

State Sen. René García is less opposed to Medicaid expansion than he used to be.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

When Florida sued to overturn the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers targeted a piece of the law that would have forced Florida to make Medicaid available to more than a million uninsured Floridians.

The U. S. Supreme Court upheld most of the act but it made Medicaid expansion optional.

Now some Florida lawmakers who originally opposed Medicaid expansion are seriously considering that option.

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Community Contributor
8:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Motorcycles And Miami Don't Always Mix, But Then There's The 360-Degree Views

Andrews says the attention needed on a motorcycle helps him reset after the workday.
Credit Photo provided

Perhaps you’ve seen the phrase “Live to Ride—Ride to Live” on a T-shirt or bumper sticker somewhere. It has been on my belt buckle for about 30 years. Motorcycling has been a passion of mine pretty much from the day I got my driver’s license. The activity of being in the wind, leaning into corners, the sight of a bike, and the very simplistic nature of the machine, all bring joy.

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News
7:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

State Launches Public Awareness Campaign For Child Abuse Reporting Law

Lauren Book was a sex abuse victim who now advocates for child abuse prevention.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The toughest child abuse reporting law in the nation went into effect in Florida last October, and the state has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the legal obligation to report suspected abuse.

The new law was introduced in response to the scandal at Penn State University.  Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of molesting children years after the abuse was discovered by staffers.

If a similar situation happens in Florida, the institution could now be fined a million dollars for each person who failed to report the abuse.

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Baby Quails
6:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

How Baby Quails Are Helping Baby Humans Before Returning To The Wild

Robert Lickliter, is the director of graduate studies in the Psychology Department at FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences. He leads a research team that studies quail embryos for clues about pre-term baby development.
Credit Patricia Sagastume

One day more than seven years ago, Debbie Brunson  woke up to an unfamiliar sound. She and her husband were camping on their land in the Redlands farming area. The sound she heard was that of an adult male Bob White quail.

It shocked her because she hadn't heard that bird call for over a decade.

"In Florida, there use to be quail everywhere.  But because of farming and pesticides and buildings,  they’ve disappeared," Brunson said.

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Performance-enhancing drugs
6:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

South Florida May Be Source Of Banned Drugs In Major League Baseball

A pipeline for banned drugs may start in South Florida.
Credit Sean Winters/Flickr

South Florida may be a source for banned performance-enhancing drugs making their way into major league baseball.

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Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.

Her work has been honored by the Hearst Foundation, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the Associated Press. Several of Brenna’s stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Brenna accepted a position with the Lexington Mayor's Office in May 2013.

Higher Education Costs
3:58 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Eleven More Colleges Sign On To Gov. Scott's $10K Degree Challenge

Governor Rick Scott first challenged Florida colleges to create $10K degree programs in November.
Credit 401(K) 2013/Flickr

Governor Rick Scott was at Miami-Dade College's North campus today to announce that eleven more state colleges have accepted his challenge to create bachelor’s degree programs costing $10,000 or less.

That means all 23 Florida state colleges offering four-year degrees have signed on. 

Broward College is developing a bachelor's degree program in teacher education and business. President David Armstrong told the News Service of Florida that the goal is to open doors for more students.

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