Capital Punishment
7:40 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Florida's Surging Death Penalties Buck Trend

NEW MISSION: Exonerated after 12 years on Florida's death row, Freddie Lee Pitts became an activist.
Credit deathpenaltyphotos.org

Texas executed 15 convicts in 2012, the most of any state, according to an end-of-year report from the Death Penalty Information Center.

But Florida led the nation with new death sentences for the year: 21, more than twice as many as Texas. California, with 14 death sentences, was the only other state to achieve a double-digit performance.

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Unemployment
6:55 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Judging Rick Scott's Job Creation Record

HARD TIMES: The Florida unemployment rate has been reduced mostly by discouraged workers abandoning the job search.
Credit Sweets and Flowers/Flickr

His big campaign pledge was 700-thousand jobs in seven years.

So, halfway through his term, how is Gov. Rick Scott doing with that?

The answer...it's complicated.

Unemployment has dropped from 11.4 percent in January, 2011, to 8.1 percent in November of this year. But almost half of the improvement is attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce.

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Arts
6:30 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Young Musicians Band Together Against Anti-Gay Bullying

Flickr/Eddie~S

The stands in front of the teenagers’ chairs hold the same sheet music – the theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  But each of the young musicians has a different story to tell about anti-gay bullying.

Like the bi-sexual flutist, who says she’s pretty much been bullied all her life.

And the gay saxophonist, who describes how it “really gets to you inside and sometimes you start believing what people are saying.”

Even the heterosexual clarinetist is not immune.  She feels too many of her classmates use the word “gay” to describe something bad.

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Election 2012
6:20 am
Wed December 26, 2012

How S. Floridians Canceled Their Own Votes

UNRECOVERABLE ERROR: A lot of South Floridians canceled their own votes with time, place and signature mistakes.

Floridians will remember how hard it was to vote on election day in November of 2012.

But many will forget what was easy: Losing their vote because of simple mistakes.

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As Senior Editor at NPR, Uri Berliner oversees coverage of business and the economy. He has supervised and edited much of NPR's work on the financial crisis, the auto industry, energy and the workplace. Berliner has helped to build Planet Money, a prize-winnng multimedia team that covers the global economy.

Until recently, Berliner also edited NPR's sports coverage and was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Glen Weldon is a contributor to NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, where he posts weekly about comics and comics culture. He also reviews books and movies for NPR.org and is a regular panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.

Over the course of his career, he has spent time as a theater critic, a science writer, an oral historian, a writing teacher, a bookstore clerk, a PR flack, a seriously terrible marine biologist and a slightly better-than-average competitive swimmer.

Florida Holidays
4:30 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Florida Holidays: The Tale Of The Flying Pie

Credit Liz_Davis217

 

Our friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." The following was originally posted by WUSF reporter Dalia Colón. It came to her as an email with subject line "That's so Florida." Here's a strange tale from Anna Maria Island  resident Peggy Bode:

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Florida Holidays
3:30 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Florida Holidays: Snow in Orlando

Our friends at WUSF in Tampa have been collecting holiday stories and traditions from around the state for a series they call "Florida Holidays." Becky Wanamaker shared this story on WUSF's Facebook page and Scott Finn, WUSF's news director, originally posted this story.

Every December, our family drives to Orlando for a little winter wonderland fun at the Gaylord Palm's ICE! show. We bundle up in those big, heavy blue coats and marvel at the beautiful sculptures that created wonderful Christmas vignettes.

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Holiday Music
2:36 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Jingle Jams: Curated Holiday Playlist

Someone took Santa's violin.
Credit Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

LISTEN TO THE STREAMING JINGLE JAMS MIX HERE

For the last 14 years, WXPN host and producer Robert Drake has programmed and hosted a 24-hour holiday-music marathon called The Night Before, aired from midnight to midnight on Dec. 24. We decided this year to put more jingle in the jangle and create Jingle Jams on XPN2, a 24/7 stream of holiday music.

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Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.

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