6:59 am
Fri December 21, 2012

NEWSCAST: More On Race-Based School Goals; Puerto Rican Architects Rebuild Port-au-Prince Cathedral

Poll says Floridians are against many school initiatives Gov. Scott is pushing.
Credit Schplook / Flickr/Creative Commons

A survey by Quinnipiac University finds voters are "dead-set" against a series of proposed school reforms by Gov. Rick Scott.

The worst offender is a plan to set different achievement goals for students based on their race. 71 percent of those surveyed think it's a bad idea, with just 7 percent saying they like it.

Most respondents don't like a proposal to charge lower tuition for freshmen and sophomores than for upperclassmen. And they also don't think liberal arts majors should have to pay higher tuition than students who major in fields like math and engineering.

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Coccothrinax barbadensis
6:58 am
Fri December 21, 2012

The Not-So-Little Palm Tree That Couldn't

The not-so-little Barbados silver palm that can't.
Photo by Patrick Griffith
  • Hear the radio story here.

This is the sad story of a very tall tree.

"This one right here," says Patrick Griffith, slapping his hand on a rough, grayish trunk, "coccothrinax barbadensis."

Griffith is executive director at the Montgomery Botanical Center, a 120-acre horticultural haven less than two miles from the more famous – yet 50 percent smaller – Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

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Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve was honored in 2007 with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for his reporting on VPR.

13th Grade
10:22 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Talk To Us: What We Should Know About Remedial Education At Florida's Colleges

Wendy Pedroso did well in math classes -- until her first algebra course. Twice as many students at Florida colleges took a remedial math course than took a remedial writing or reading course.

The series on remedial education at Florida’s colleges by NPR’s StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting has prompted lots of conversations: Why are so many high school graduates needing remediation in college?  Should a high school diploma be a certificate of college readiness -- perhaps only for some students.

We chatted online with StateImpact’s Sarah Gonzalez and FCIR’s Mc Nelly Torres along with a social media audience of students, educators and people interested in education policy.

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6:50 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

NEWSCAST: South Florida School Districts Report Disturbing Number of Phony Threats Against Schools

Credit FlickR/Clover Autry

Both Broward and Palm Beach County school chiefs say the deadly shootings last week in Connecticut have sparked a number of phony threats against district schools.

The  Sun-Sentinel reports that hoaxes have surfaced in Davie, Pompano Beach and Coral Springs.  Palm Beach County school officials say they've been dealing with similar threats circulating on social media websites.

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Voting Law
2:31 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Miami-Dade Grand Jury Cites 'Gaping Holes' In Florida's Absentee Voting System

VOTING ABSENTEE: On Election Day, voters found it easier to vote absentee in person at the Supervisor of Elections office in Doral.
Credit Rick Stone

"Gaping holes" in Florida's absentee voting process have undermined public faith in election outcomes, according to the Miami-Dade County grand jury in its concluding report. The grand jury also concluded those holes need to be plugged immediately.

At the top of the list of the grand jury's 23 urgent recommendations:

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Florida Wildlife
1:30 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Rare Uncollared Florida Panther Caught On Hidden Camera

MOVING DAY: A hidden camera caught this extremely rare view of a momma Florida panther moving kittens to a new location in Florida's Big Cypress Basin.
Credit U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's probably the first time you've seen a photo like this one. It’s an uncollared Florida panther -- one of fewer than 170 remaining on the planet -- carrying a kitten as she strolls by a hidden camera in the Big Cypress Basin.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service published the photo Wednesday on its Facebook page.

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer with Chef Angelo Elia

Chef Angelo Elia
Alissa Dragun

12/20/12 - 1:30 -Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Chef Angelo Elia, the owner of Fort Lauderdale’s Casa d’Angelo.  

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Body Language Expert Patti Wood

Patti Wood

12/20/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with first impressions.  Just a fraction of a second can influence a relationship . . . and those first takes tend to be remarkably accurate.  We’ll speak with expert Patti Wood, author of SNAP:  Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma.   And more.  Linda Gassenheimer with Chef Angelo Elia, the owner of Fort Lauderdale’s Casa d’Angelo.  Also, wine columnist Fred Tasker.

Video clip of Patti Wood:

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Public Insight Network
12:18 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Over 1 Million Concealed Weapons Permits in Florida: Do You Feel Safer?

Florida recently issued its millionth active concealed weapon permit, the most of any state.
Credit ksbuehler

The coincidence of two recent events has brought the issue of gun ownership to the forefront in Florida: the state has issued its 1 millionth active concealed weapon permit, the highest of any state, and the shooting of 20 first graders in Newtown, Conn. 

With 1 million active concealed weapons permits,that means about one in 14 eligible Floridians hold a permit, according to the Palm Beach Post.  We asked members of the Public Insight Network whether that news made them feel safer.  Osmany from Hialeah said

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