News & Public Affairs

Saturday August 23, 2014


The final space shuttle voyage lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Feb. 2011.

photo by WMNF News file photo.

Kennedy Space Center prepares for sea level rise

NASA is taking steps to protect Florida’s coastal Kennedy Space Center from rising seas.

Climate scientists say that sea levels will continue to rise because of melting polar ice and because warmer oceans will expand as the planet warms.

WMNF spoke with Kim Toufectis, the architect who coordinates master planning for NASA’s 15 locations, including KSC.

“Adapting to climate risks is part of what NASA needs to do in order to make sure our facilities can support our work going forwar...

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Reaction to trademark board calling Washington NFL team name "disparaging"

The nickname of the NFL team in Washington, D.C., is considered by many people to be a racial slur against indigenous Americans.

And today a federal trademark board concurred, calling it "disparaging of Native Americans" and recommending canceling the team's trademark protections. The team has faced pressure for years to change its name from the “R-word,” but it responded today by announcing it will appeal.

For reaction, WMNF spoke with Emelie Jeffries. She is host of Voices of Our Pe...

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Pro-transit activists spoke during public comment at a Hillsborough County Commission meeting because they couldn't speak at a transportation policy meeting.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Transportation talks in Hillsborough not appeasing pro-transit activists

Groups who want more transit options in Hillsborough County like improved bus routes and rail say there’s too much emphasis on roads. They’re pushing back against a plan that will be presented next week.

“We’re concerned that the policy leadership group spent 6 separate meetings talking about road projects, 5 separate occasions about governance, but now plans to talk about transit just one time before approving a plan for review and we’re afraid such a plan will be D.O.A.”

That’s Phil ...

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Michelle Bearden, Bob Ross, and Walt Belcher

Tampa Tribune veterans discuss the future of Newspapers

Today Radioactivity discusses the future of newspapers with several former staff writers at the Tampa Tribune. Rob Lorei speaks with former film critic Bob Ross, the former TV critic Walt Belcher, and the former religion reporter Michelle Bearden who had long careers at the Tampa Tribune but they have since left the paper.

When WMNF started in 1979 there were at least seven daily newspapers serving the Tampa Bay area: The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Times, The Clearwater Sun, The Lakeland L...

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WMNF File Photo 2009

photo by Sean Kinane

Kids in St. Pete can get free breakfast and lunch all summer long

The city of St. Petersburg has rolled out a program to feed kids for free this summer. The Free Summer Food Program provides both breakfast and lunch at city-owned properties across St. Pete. Alexis Shuder is with the Parks and Recreation Department.

"The city of St. Petersburg parks and recreation department is sponsoring summer food service program which is through the state's program through the department of agriculture at our play camp sites for June, July and August this summer. It'...

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Hillsborough County Commissioners Sandra Murman, Mark Sharpe and Les Miller during a meeting in January.

photo by Janelle Irwin, January 2014

$10 million to fund HIV treatment in Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County’s Healthcare services division is getting almost $10 million dollars to spend on HIV treatment. That’s a more than $800,000 increase to the previous HIV Emergency Relief Program budget. Hillsborough County Commissioners approved the federal grant during a meeting Wednesday.

Gene Earley is the director of the department overseeing the program.

“And this is the largest increase in HIV funding in many, many years.”

The Ryan White Part A grant funds emergency HIV re...

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Fast Food workers in Tampa have gone on strike demanding a $15/hr wage. Now city workers in St. Pete want a hike in the minimum wage.

photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News (Apr. 2014)

$15 minimum wage debate hits St. Pete

A union in St. Pete is trying to get the city to pay its workers at least $15 an hour. That would affect more than 300 city employees – some of whom make only about $9. Brian Brehm is a mechanic at one of the city’s sewage treatment plants.

“What about these poor guys who are out working in the sun all day long keeping our city beautiful and they’re living below the poverty level making $9.50 an hour, maybe a little bit more, really isn’t anything to live on.”

Brehm already makes more ...

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Author Edward Haslam's book explores controversy surrounding the unsolved murder of a leading cancer researcher 50 years ago

Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei interviews Edward Haslam, author of the book Dr. Mary’s Monkey. Haslam will be speaking tomorrow at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa.

His book is about the unsolved murder of Dr. Mary Sherman a leading cancer researcher 50 years ago in New Orleans. Edward T. Haslam believes that he knows the truth and in his book he discusses the murder, a secret laboratory in New Orleans and cancer-causing monkey viruses linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination a...

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Charlie Crist in St. Pete

photo by Samuel Johnson

Charlie Crist says if elected he'll reconvene annual climate change summit

If Charlie Crist is re-elected governor this year he says he will reconvene two environmental summits that were held at the beginning of his previous term as governor. One hundred or so Crist supporters were on hand Saturday to help launch a new St. Petersburg campaign office.

During his first two years as governor, Crist convened what were billed as annual summits on global climate change. But then, in his last two years as governor the [summits stopped without notice](https://www.wmnf.or...

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Pinellas County member of Congress David Jolly answers questions during a Suncoast Tiger Bay luncheon.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly worried Baghdad will be the next Benghazi

Congress member David Jolly doesn’t want Baghdad to be the next Benghazi. During a political forum in St. Petersburg Monday the Pinellas County Republican fielded questions about the Sunni insurgency that has taken control of parts of northern Iraq.

“We have thousands of Americans at the Baghdad embassy right now in Iraq that is being marched on and the president should recognize the danger and threat that is posed to them and should afford enough intervention to protect their lives just ...

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