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Review commission issues final report on jails listen

09/10/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The Independent Review Commission on Hillsborough County Jails gave its final report to Sheriff David Gee this morning in Ybor City. The report says the county’s jails “have many more strengths than weaknesses.” But the panel made 40 recommendations for improvement.

Sheriff Gee called for the six-month investigation following several reports of abuse in Hillsborough jails; the most famous incident involved quadriplegic Brian Sterne...

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New face running as a Democrat in Tampa state race listen

09/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Recently, the Hillsborough County Democratic Party was embarrassed after GOP state Representative in District 56 Trey Traviesa dropped out of his race for re-election. In the equivalent of a smoke filled room, Hillsborough Republicans selected little known 26-year-old Rachel Burgin, a former assistant to Traviesa, to run in Traviesa's place.

Hillsborough Democrats were embarrassed because it looked like a ripe opportunity for them to perhaps to snatch a solidly Republican seat. But the De...

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Jim Norman proposes rebate checks for citizens listen

09/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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As the Tampa Bay region continues to be one of the worst in the country in terms of unemployment rates, last night Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman proposed giving relief to county taxpayers in the form of economic stimulus checks.

Norman, who says he has been working on such a proposal for about three weeks, unveiled his idea during a public hearing on the county’s 2009 fiscal year budget last night. WMNF asked him where the money would come from.

County Commissioner Ken H...

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Minnesota Democrat blasts GOP campaign tactics listen

09/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Barack Obama was on the campaign trail this morning in Virginia, but before he got into the body of his remarks, he made reference to the "lipstick controversy." Earlier this week, Obama said the McCain campaign’s transition to being change agents was an example of trying to put "lipstick on a pig."

A McCain surrogate, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, went on a conference call, where she immediately claimed Barack Obama had made a sexist comment.

This morning, Obama responded to...

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Alaskan: Palin 'spinning' on Bridge to Nowhere claims listen

09/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Yesterday the John McCain campaign unveiled what they called a Truth Squad to protect GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Today, the Obama camp responded with what they call their Alaska Mythbusters, featuring former Alaskan Gov. Tony Knowles and Ketchikan, Alaska, Mayor Bob Weinstein.

Knowles, the previous governor in Alaska, says he thinks its bad form to criticize a sitting governor. But he said the stakes were too big now for him to reserve comment. He discussed the Trooperg...

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Spokesperson defends criticism of Palin listen

09/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The McCain campaign reacted intensely to Barack Obama’s comment that "you can’t put lipstick on a pig" by claiming it was a sexist remark, complete with a new television ad that juxtaposed Obama’s comment last night with Sarah Palin saying that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick.

WMNF spoke with Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sarah Palin, this morning. We began our interview by asking her if Palin was truly offended by Obama’s remark, or did s...

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Clinton campaigns in Tampa for Obama listen

09/09/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Yesterday afternoon at the All Peoples Life Center in East Tampa, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton heaped praises upon former rival Barack Obama, their party’s nominee for president.

About a thousand supporters chanted and cheered as Clinton took the stage. The New York senator was hoping to direct their enthusiasm toward the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Clinton emphasized the differences between Obama and his main rival, Republic...

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Pinellas considers countywide recycling program listen

09/09/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In a little over a year, Pinellas County residents will be able to participate in a curbside recycling program. During a work session today, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to move forward with putting curbside recycling in place in the unincorporated county and in cities that choose to opt-in to the program.

Bob Houser, Pinellas County’s director of Solid Waste, said the program would be paid for at least for the next 10 to 15 years by a surplus fund in the solid waste depart...

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International Whaling Conference to be held in St. Pete listen

09/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Next week, the International Whale Commission, a treaty organization charged with overseeing the industry, will hold a four-day meeting in St. Petersburg.

According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, those at the closed door conference at the Trade Winds Resort will consider lifting a 26-year ban on commercial whale hunting.

William T. Hogarth, chair of the International Whale Commission and dean of the USF College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg, will be hosting next wee...

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Gulf drilling expansion vote is next week

09/09/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up first today: there will soon be a vote in the U.S. Senate to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. We’ll speak with two environmentalists about the upcoming vote.

Later, since this program has not been on for several weeks- it’s our first opportunity to talk about the political conventions. And we’ll do that in the second part of the program.

First up, oil drilling in the gulf:

Fr...

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Robert LaSala hired as Pinellas County administrator listen

09/09/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Pinellas County has a new administrator. In a work session today, the Board of County Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the contract for Robert LaSala, who in the 1980s served as chief assistant county administrator for Pinellas.

Until January, LaSala had been city manager of Lancaster, California, north of Los Angeles. Lancaster’s population is 144,000, about one-sixth that of Pinellas County. After County Commissioners had interviewed all of the semifinalists for the Pinellas position...

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Some Tampa Democrat concerned about 'Palin effect' listen

09/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The leaders of a women's political organization launched earlier this year to support Hillary Clinton are speaking out against what they say are examples of media sexism toward Sarah Palin and urging members to tell the press corps "to back off."

WomenCount, a group co-founded by top Hillary fundraiser Susie Tompkins Buell, has posted a lengthy item on its blog objecting to questions over whether Palin can, as a mother of five, juggle her family responsibilities and still be vice president...

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Sustainable Living: Electrothon

09/08/08 Jon Butts
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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The guests today were members of Electrothon of Tampa Bay, a program in the Hillsborough County School system in which the students design, build and compete Electric Vehicles.

The organizer of Electrothon Tampa Bay, Ken Fiallos, an employee of Hillsborough County Schools and an electrical engineer, was joined by Vic Nieves, a teacher at Tampa Bay Tech High school. They were joined by two students each from King High, Brandon High and Tampa Bay Tech High. The students brought with them a ...

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The Big Read hits Tampa listen

09/08/08 Concetta DeLuco
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Whether young, old, black or white, a rainbow of readers gathered to launch the Big Read Tampa at Hillsborough Community College in Ybor on Saturday. This month, members of Hillsborough County are encouraged to participate in the communitywide reading event by reading a single book and attending countywide activities.

Singing and swaying along, the crowd was led in song by Venus Jones, a poet and special guest at the event. Jones treated the audience to an off-the-cuff serenade of *I’m G...

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Same-sex marriage ban needs larger margin to win listen

09/08/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A new poll shows that Amendment 2, which would ban same-sex marriages in Florida, is falling short of the 60 percent approval threshold.

A new survey conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that voters do support the proposal, but only by a 55 to 41 percent margin.

All constitutional amendments that come from citizens initiatives much get 60 percent for approval in Florida. It previously was a simple majority, but state lawmakers changed that law as a means to make it harder to get i...

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