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Gelber: Lawmakers didn't have to reject stimulus money listen

05/08/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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As the Florida legislative session concludes today, one thing that the Republican-led Legislature did that has outraged some Democrats and bothered Gov. Charlie Crist, is the rejection of $444 million in federal stimulus money for the unemployment trust fund.

When it was rejected, GOP lawmakers suggested it would be fraudulent to change the eligibility rules in a few years when the economy improves; they said the money would only cover two months of unemployment and sap the state’s unemp...

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Tampa doctor discusses Hepatitis C listen

05/08/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Researchers at Duke University report that a new drug appears to cure far more people of Hepatitis C and does it in half the time of current therapies. They say the drug is in the final testing stages. If all goes well, it could be on the market in 2011.

The disease, spread by a virus in blood, is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.

Many people who have Hepatitis C have no symptoms for years or even decades. They are diagnosed only when they begin suffering li...

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A tale of two cities: Tampa and St. Petersburg listen

05/07/09 Andrea Lypka
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker debated the history, culture, and characters of the two cities on April 22 at the historic Centro Asturiano Theatre in Tampa.

The Florida Humanities Council sponsored the Tale of Two Cities event. The moderators were historians and directors of the Florida Studies Program at University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Gary Mormino and Ray Arsenault.

The event was a rematch of a 2003 mayoral meeting when the leaders first cam...

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Attorney General Bill McCollum at Tiger Bay listen

05/07/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum spoke this afternoon at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club at the Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater.

The Attorney General is one of four members of the Florida Cabinet, along with the governor, chief financial officer, and the commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. McCollum oversees 12 offices with 1,300 employees, including 428 lawyers. They investigate both ...

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Tampa officials discuss stimulus funds listen

05/07/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today at the Tampa City Council, Mayor Pam Iorio’s chief of staff, Darrell Smith, gave a power point presentation on the federal stimulus money opportunities for the city to possibly receive.

City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena said she hoped that members of the Council, and the public, would have an opportunity to suggest other ideas for the stimulus funds.

Smith said he was open to soliciting such ideas.

Councilwoman Mary Mulhern said she was disappointed after hearing Smith’s pr...

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Hillsborough River ripe with speeders? listen

05/07/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder called for city staff to work on creating a possible No Wake Zone in the Hillsborough River between Ricks on the River’s restaurant and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

He called for such a motion after hearing public testimony from Captain Cliff Canaster, who runs a taxi and tour boat in the River. Canaster said the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission says they can’t do anything until they get reports of accidents and or sp...

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The case for drug legalization

05/07/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up, the argument for legalizing drugs. But first, some listener comments about yesterday’s discussion of the health care reform debate in Washington and and the fact that single payer advocates- or Medicare for All supporters - are being left out of the debate.

In the early 1980s, Brian O’Dea was operating a $100 million a year, 120-man drug smuggling business, and had developed a cocaine addiction. Under increasing thre...

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Tampa City Council almost overturns lawn sprinkling ban listen

05/07/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Despite a lack of rain and continuing drought-like conditions in Tampa, the City Council today nearly overturned its prohibition on lawn irrigation. That bid failed, but the Council did vote to have the city’s Water Department study the issue and come back in two weeks, where they will vote again on possibly changing the ban.

New rules implemented a month ago ban lawn sprinkling in the city, the toughest restrictions in the bay area, if not the entire state.

But today, City Counci...

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Journalist blasts Obama's policy on Darfur situation listen

05/07/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Eric Reeves has spent the past nine years working as a Sudan researcher and analyst, publishing extensively both in the United States and internationally. He is one of several contributors to a new book called, The World and Darfur : International Response to Crimes Against Humanity in Western Sudan.

WMNF spoke with him on Monday, asked about his contribution to the book, about how many lives have been lost or displaced because of the situation in Darfur.

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Methylmercury found in seafood listen

05/06/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Ocean fish, like tuna, and other seafood are a major contributor to exposure of the toxin methylmercury in humans. A study published last week in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles demonstrates how methylmercury originates in the ocean.

This afternoon, WMNF spoke with David Krabbenhoft, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a co-author of the research paper.

“Methylmercury is a specific...

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Libertarians unhappy with new state law on seatbelts listen

05/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Gov. Charlie Crist today signed into law today a bill that will allow police in Florida to pull over and charge motorists who do not wear a seatbelt.

Current law says police can ticket drivers who are not wearing seat belts when they’re stopped for other violations.

The bill is named the Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law in memory of two young Florida women killed in separate accidents while not wearing safety belts. Slosberg's father, former state Rep. Irv Slosber...

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Crist urged to veto new growth management law listen

05/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Today Hillsborough County Commissioners voted to send a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist, asking that he veto a new Growth Management Bill that critics say would no longer require developers to add road capacity in nearly half the state’s municipalities, as well as several entire counties. They will instead pay a fee, which the state has yet to decide how to calculate.

Current law requires developers to add roads to accommodate the extra traffic that their developments will generate.

Comm...

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Should single payer advocates join health care debate?

05/06/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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The Institute For Public Accuracy reported yesterday that: "Doctors and other advocates of a national single-payer health system -- also known as improved Medicare for All -- directly confronted senators at a Senate Finance Committee "roundtable" on health reform today.

Videos are available here and C-SPAN coverage.

One by one, single-payer advocates in the audience stood up and asked why single-pa...

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Hillsborough moves to sell land to developers listen

05/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County Commissioners today heard about a bold proposal by private developers to purchase much of county-owned Cone Ranch, north of Plant City.

The county purchased the 12,000 acres two decades ago and has transferred control of it to its water department.

County Chairman Ken Hagen brought the issue to the Board. He emphasized that he wants to make sure the area is not used for commercial development, and said after researching the proposal that he thinks it could work.

...

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Clean energy advocate says new legislation falls short listen

05/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The Florida Legislature returns to Tallahassee tomorrow; the budget is expected to be approved on Friday.

With the regular session now over, one of Gov. Charlie Crist’s top priorities has died with it. The governor wanted a law that would require power companies to generate 20 percent of their electricity through clean sources by 2020.

The Senate was able to pass a measure (SB 1154) led by the efforts of Jacksonville Republican Jim King, but the House refused to consider it, to the d...

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