News & Public Affairs

Tuesday September 2, 2014


Vintage machines mimic hand-rolled cigars at the J.C. Newman Cigar Co.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Fate of Tampa's last cigar factory hinges on FDA proposal

The cigar industry in Tampa could be facing extinction. If a proposed federal Food and Drug Administration regulation is approved, Tampa’s last remaining cigar factory could wind up shutting down after 119 years of business. During a tour of the historic factory in V.M. Ybor Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera said he’s backing the J.C. Newman Company’s efforts to squash the regulation before it squashes them.

“This is a classic example of too much government and governmen...

Read More

Fewer skin lesions on fish is evidence BP oil is to blame for the ailment: USF scientist

Scientists have found a link between skin lesions and oil in some marine life. It’s another piece of evidence in a long line showing the 2010 BP oil disaster had a lasting impact on the health of the Gulf of Mexico. That study was published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. WMNF interviewed Steven Murawski, a professor of biological oceanography at the University of South Florida.

Read More


PSTA CEO Brad Miller unveils a campaign in February to sway voters into approving a penny sales tax to fund transit improvements.

photo by Janelle Irwin, February 2014

Public transit not working for some blind people in Pinellas

When the world around you is nothing but a veil of blackness, getting around becomes pretty hard. That’s the life of a blind person. But some members of a group for sight impaired Pinellas County residents say they don’t have access to reliable transportation. Kathy Millican is the president of the Pinellas Council of the Blind.

“They’ve had really substantial delays. People are not being picked up on time. Sometimes they’re not being picked up at all. Calls are being dropped. There’s not...

Read More


Former Governor Charlie Crist announced he'd run for his old job.

photo by Janelle Irwn, November 2013

Progressive Dems back Nan Rich over Charlie Crist because of education priorities

Some Democrats in Florida are lashing out at former Governor Charlie Crist for his record on education. The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida is getting behind Nan Rich in the primary race for governor because she opposes things like school vouchers and charter school expansion. Susan Smith is president of that group.

On the other hand, former state house democratic leader Dan Gelber is siding with Crist. He also said Florida Democrats need to work together to win Tallahassee in N...

Read More


Florida Farm Conference, Trees and Hurricanes

We started the Sustainable Living Show with a little piece on ‘Landscaping for Hurricanes’ with the Florida Friendly Landscaping Coordinator at Pasco County Extension Service, Jim Moll. Jon Butts' dear friend Pat, a FEMA Certified Storm Insurance Adjustor, talked about trees; what’s covered by insurance policies and what’s not. The Florida Small Farms & Alterative Enterprises Conference is August 1 & 2 in Kissimmee Florida and M...

Read More


CAIR holds press conference to discuss local Arab-American teen beaten and detained by Israeli Forces

Today on the Last Call Rob Lorei airs CAIR's press conference about a local Arab-American teen, Tariq Khdeir who was beaten and detained by Israeli Forces.

Video of Israeli police beating US-Palestinian teen

<param name='flashvars...

Read More


Hassan Shibly, an attorney and executive director of CAIR Florida.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Sept 2013).

CAIR Florida reacts to release of injured Tampa teenager from Israeli jail

A teenager from Tampa was released yesterday from a prison in Israel. He’s now on house arrest. Tariq Khdeir told reporters he was beaten up by two Israeli police on Friday in an attack captured on video.

The Associated Press reports that today Israeli police said a border policeman had been temporarily suspended from special operations and transferred to a different position until the completion of an investigation into the apparent police beating of Tariq Khdeir. The AP says Khdeir trave...

Read More


Mayor Bob Buckhorn and director of Coast Bike Share Eric Trull

photo by Lisa Kauffman

Tampa's new bike share program now selling premium memberships

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Monday morning that Tampa’s new bike share program is now selling founding memberships. Eric Trull is the program director of the company that’s running Tampa’s bike rental program, Coast Bike Share.

“What a founding membership is, first off, it’s a great way to support the city in making the city more pedestrian friendly. But to the user, it enables someone to ride around, up to 90 minutes per day, throughout the city, and you can break that time up however ...

Read More

Revisiting the Sami Al-Arian case

On Friday, June 27, the Department of Justice dropped a long-stalled second criminal prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, the former USF professor who pleaded guilty to one count of aiding a terrorist group in 2006, following a high-profile federal trial in Tampa in 2005 where a jury of his members acquitted him on eight charges and deadlocked on the other nine.

But after Al-Arian ultimately pleaded guilty of count of aiding terrorists, he was scheduled to be deported. That has never happened, a...

Read More


Supporters of clean energy take the stage to send a message to the Florida Public Service Commission.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Environmentalists plan message to PSC with mock hearing

A coalition of environmental and civic groups thinks the state isn’t taking enough public input on clean energy. The Florida Public Service Commission won’t take public comment during a meeting about mandatory changes to some standards. So to get its point across, The Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition hosted more than 100 Tampa Bay area residents at the Free Fall Theater in St. Pete for a mock hearing Wednesday night.

“This year, the Florida Public Service Commission will set new stan...

Read More

Tampa Bay Weather


Currently: 82&deg; Partly Cloudy More Details