News & Public Affairs

Tuesday September 2, 2014


Freedom Summer – 50 Years After and Nikki Giovanni Reflects on Civil Rights History

Freedom Summer – 50 Years After… Activists Head to Mississippi

It might have taken months for the message to spread through the land, but it has taken years – and it will continue to take years for that truth in our heart to be lived in our daily deeds. History does not give meaning to those truths, people do. People lived and died to give meaning to that dream – and [Mississippi in the summer of 1964](

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US Dept of Education investigates whether black students are discriminated by Hillsborough Schools

The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether the Hillsborough County School District discriminates against black students when it comes to effective teaching and discipline.

In a letter dated 4 June, the Office of Civil Rights asked Hillsborough Schools to turn over dozens of documents about things like disciplinary policies, the role of law enforcement officers in schools and teacher experience.

The investigation stems from a letter by Tamp...

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WMNF file photo, 2009

photo by Sean Kinane

Pinellas Beaches among cleanest in the nation

Pinellas County beaches are among the cleanest in the nation. A report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that most Tampa Bay region beaches are consistently safe for swimming. Steve Fleischli is the water program director for the group. He says the water quality tests look for harmful bacteria.

“…that can cause a grim inventory of illnesses like dysentery, hepatitis, stomach flu, infections and rashes.”

Ten beaches in Pinellas County were tested. Most of...

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St. Pete residents filled out surveys ranking their priorities in a new pier.

photo by Janelle Irwin

St. Pete ramping up public input for pier

The St. Petersburg Pier has been shuttered for more than a year now. The city is hoping to come up with a solid plan to replace the iconic inverted pyramid. During the second of five public meetings Tuesday night, an advisory group convened by Mayor Rick Kriseman took notes on what citizens are looking for in a new design. Tracy Weber came prepared with a ten-page packet.

“…that incorporates a Spanish colonial village, an ambiance to mimic St. Petersburg historical landmarks like the Vin...

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Anonymous guest discusses Florida's growing unemployment scandal

Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei's guest was wrongly asked to repay $10,000 in unemployment benefits by the state. "Barry" who asked us not to use his real name, says he was terminated by his employer, applied for and received unemployment benefits, exhausted the benefits and (five months later) was asked by the state to repay all the money. The state claimed that he had wrongly been granted unemployment benefits. Barry says he was legally entitled to the benefits and hired a lawyer to fight...

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Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, produced a video encouraging pastors to lobby for political issues in church.

photo by Liberty Counsel

Right-wing group advocates political lobbying in church

A conservative Christian group is asking church leaders to ramp up political advocacy. During one of several statewide “rallies” on Tuesday in Tampa, leaders with the Who Will Stand campaign showed a video telling pastors it’s OK to talk politics.

“Not one single church has ever in the history of America lost its tax exempt status for either endorsing or opposing a particular candidate or endorsing or opposing legislation or lobbying. Not one in America.”

That’s Matthew Staver, founder...

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Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida

The champions of Florida’s middle class in this year’s legislative session

Who were the champions of the middle class in this year’s legislative session? Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei speaks with Mark Ferrulo of Progress Florida a statewide progressive activist group which has for the past several years named an annual list of Champions of Florida’s Middle Class.

Whether it’s handing out tax breaks for their campaign donors, funneling public school funding to unaccountable for-profit schools, blocking access to health care ...

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Sign at Iraq forum hosted by St. Pete for Peace.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Peace activists to demonstrate against action in Iraq Friday at MacDill

Local peace groups will protest possible U.S. military actions in Iraq this week near the Tampa command center for southwest Asia.

United States Central Command is housed at South Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base and for years, anti-war demonstrations have used the location to oppose military strikes.

During a forum on Iraq in St. Petersburg Monday night hosted by St. Pete for Peace, participants decided to [protest outside MacDill this Friday at 4 p.m.](htt...

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photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News (April 2012).

Tampa rolls out new wildflower project in parks

The City of Tampa is trying out a new project to plant wildflowers at three parks in hopes to save money while also beautifying the parks.

The wildflowers have been planted at Gadsden Park, Rowlett Park, and the New Tampa Overpass. Brad Suder is a superintendent in the city’s parks and recreation department.

“When we started looking at this we also realized, well is that aesthetic to the roadways we can actually reduce cost of our maintenance operations in terms of our mowing contrac...

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