Rick Stone

Reporter

Rick Stone has been a journalist in Florida for most of his career. He's worked in newspapers and television but believes that nothing works as well as public radio. He and his wife, Mary Jane Stone, live in Broward County.

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Amendment Two
6:30 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Pollsters Say Medical Marijuana Support Runs High In Most Florida Demographic Groups

GETTING WELL: Dorothy Short keeps symptoms at bay in this shot from the 1938 exploitation film "Reefer Madness." New polls show medical marijuana polling at around 88 percent with smaller majorities in favor of legal recreational pot.
Credit Reefer Madness/public domain

If the latest poll is believable, nearly nine out of 10 Floridians are prepared to vote "yes" on the medical marijuana Amendment 2 in November.

Quinnipiac pollsters in Florida surveyed 1,251 registered voters on the medical marijuana question. The result? Overwhelming support: about 88 percent in favor.

Voters younger than 30 were the most enthusiastic, with 95 percent in favor. Voters older than 65 were the least supportive -- but, even there, the yeses were 83 percent of the total.

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Health Care
9:36 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Dueling Appeals Court Decisions Leave Obamacare Subsidies In Limbo

Credit Amenic181 / freedigitalphotos.net

Some Obamacare insurance subsidies were struck down by one court but upheld by another during a tumultuous day for the Affordable Care Act. One of the rulings is a direct threat to the tax credits that have recently helped thousands of Floridians buy health insurance.

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South Florida Passenger Rail
6:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Sneaking A Peek At All Aboard's Fort Lauderdale Station

ARRIVAL: This is the ground approach to the proposed All Aboard Florida station in Fort Lauderdale. Architectural trusses are a design feature that will be echoed in all four of the railroad's stations.
Credit All Aboard Florida

 

All Aboard Florida -- the fast passenger rail that will connect Miami to Orlando through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach -- unveiled plans for its Fort Lauderdale station on Tuesday.

The $30 million structure will straddle the Florida East Coast Railway tracks on Northwest Second Avenue between Broward Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street, opening an overlooked and unattractive area near important downtown destinations to development and commerce.

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Medical Marijuana
6:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

How A Boca Attorney Expects Charlotte's Web Rules To Affect Amendment Two Businesses

Credit Mohamed Aseel Hassan/Flickr

Florida's new Office of Compassionate Use has issued proposed rules for the regulation of Charlotte's Web, that buzz-free variety of marijuana the Legislature approved for limited medical use this year.

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Politics
9:22 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Florida Gets Lion's Share Of Water Bill For Port Expansion, Everglades Restoration

PANAMAXED: Giant new gantry cranes are deployed for the big ships at PortMiami. Port Everglades is preparing to widen and dredge to handle similar vessels.
Credit Ines Hegedus-Garcia/Wikimedia Commons

Florida is the big winner under the new Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which President Obama signed last week. The bill carries $12.3 billion in infrastructure spending for the entire nation and $3 billion of that is coming to the Sunshine State.

There's $2 billion in the bill to expand Florida ports for the new Panamax vessels and another billion to restart four long-stalled Everglades restoration projects. That's 25 percent of the entire appropriation.

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Transportation
4:40 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

How All Aboard Florida Could Remake Downtown Miami On Its Way To Orlando

MIAMI STATION: "Floating" and "shimmering" are two of the adjectives in All Aboard Florida's description of its Miami station and commercial complex. The tracks and terminal would be 50 feet in the air.
Credit All Aboard Florida/Courtesy

All Aboard Florida will be all about connections, hopeful developers of the high-speed passenger rail system told the city this week, and not just about the link from Miami to Orlando. Its Miami infrastructure, they said, would also become the glue binding downtown Miami to its special-purpose districts across today's barriers of blight and no-man's-land.

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Amendment Two
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Florida's Medical Marijuana Law Would Out-California California, Opponents Charge

One advocacy group in Florida is concerned the new medical marijuana rules are full of loopholes.
Credit Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / lacounty.gov

The group that wants you to vote "no" on legalizing medical marijuana this November has launched a web site and produced a video. Its media warns that Amendment Two is much more permissive and loophole-ridden than most people realize.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Conservatives: Support Immigration Reform, It Will Replenish The Workforce

ACCEPTANCE: Conservatives are sounding the all-clear for immigration reform and telling former opponents it would be good for the economy.
Credit Florida Immigrant Coalition

Citing a more tolerant political atmosphere and a developing need for workers, leading Florida conservatives are calling on Congress to support and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

One good reason:  It would renew the state's dwindling supply of warm bodies.

"Our birthrate is about 1.7 per couple. We're not even replacing ourselves now," warned Ed Moore, president of the Florida Center Right Coalition, one of three noted conservatives who joined former state GOP chairman Al Cárdenas in a conference call with state reporters.

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The Sunshine Edition
11:24 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Charlotte's Web Bill Could Limit The Future Of Medical Marijuana

Credit Dale Calder on Flickr

Somewhere on the quality scale between Internet scuttlebutt and peer-reviewed research, you'll find the case for medical marijuana. It relies mostly on the recent discovery of the endo-cannabinoid system, an elaborate network of brain receptors that are activated by the components of marijuana to send comfort and cure to the human body.

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Medical Marijuana
9:16 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Marijuana Petitioners To Supporters: Thanks For The Signature, Now Give Us Your Vote

CANNABIS CLINIC -- This is one in Colorado, where marijuana was legalized in 2012. Floridians will only decide whether to allow limited medical uses.
Credit O'Dea at WikiCommons

TALLAHASSEE -- The campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida took it up a notch this weekend with coordinated phone banking and outreach in 13 Florida cities. The objective? Make sure everybody who signed the ballot petition follows through with a vote on election day.

At a shady roadside church in Tallahassee, a handful of volunteers gathered with ice tea, a platter of sandwiches and tablet computers full of the phone numbers of everybody whose signatures helped bring Amendment Two to the November ballot. That's somewhere between 800,000 and a million Floridians.

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Politics
1:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Concern For Public-Records Access As Florida Legislative Session Nears End

NOT-SO-PUBLIC RECORDS: Watchdogs say this year's Legislature could raise the total number of public records exemptions to nearly 1,100.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.

The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.

"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.

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Renewable Energy
6:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Who Was That Tea Party Lady At The Solar Energy Rally With Charlie Crist?

RALLY IN (AND FOR) THE SUN: Hundreds of students, activists and solar energy entrepreneurs crowded the capitol grounds for Solar Uprising.
Credit Rick Stone

There was an odd moment at the Solar Uprising rally at the state capitol on Thursday, which Charlie Crist attended to be seen championing solar energy for our state.

It was provided by a woman named Debbie Dooley, who addressed the crowd a few minutes before Crist took the stage. What she said was this: "I know I'm unique in this crowd because I like Gov. Scott. But he's wrong on the issue of solar." 

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Session 2014
12:03 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Miami Legislators Will Eat On A Minimum-Wage Food Budget

A MINIMUM WAGE SHOPPING TRIP: State Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Miami) says a minimum wage budget doesn't buy much healthy food. She'll be living on the state's lowest legal wage for a week.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

In Tallahassee, legislative Democrats are facing a time of store brands and junk food -- or so they say -- as they begin a week of subsisting on the state's $7.93 minimum wage. It's all in support of an effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. But the bill that would do that is stalled in the Legislature and it's very unlikely to pass this year.

Click below to hear the story.

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Business
5:07 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Senate Film Industry Incentives Include Charges To Local Governments

TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: A movie shoot in Miami Beach. A state Senate committee thinks there should be more incentives available to lure movie producers to Florida.
Credit Ray from LA/flickr

Dramatic increases in state incentives to lure film and entertainment production to Florida may be on the way. But this time, local governments would have to pay to play. A bill approved in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee would charge counties where the productions take place 10 percent of the face amount of the producers' tax incentives.

Click below to hear the full story.

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Greyhound Racing
6:03 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Florida Senate Committee Aims To End Greyhound Racing

GREYHOUND HEY-DAY: Visible in this undated photo from Hollywood Kennel Club is something you don't see anymore: crowds coming out to watch dog racing.
Credit Hollywood Kennel Club/Flickr

The Florida Senate's Select Committee on Gaming makes its last stand in Tallahassee this week with a couple of bills that could end greyhound racing in the Sunshine State. It's the only gambling issue that still remains within the committee's grasp.

Click below to hear the radio story:

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