News & Public Affairs

Wednesday April 23, 2014


Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer says voting should be made as easy as possible for registered voters.

photo by Janelle Irwin

No on-campus early voting site could be a problem for some UF students

Early voting may not be an option for some University of Florida students who don’t have cars. That’s because the Florida Division of Elections won’t let the school’s student union serve as an early voting location. Rachel McGovern, with the UF College Democrats said even though there is an early voting location off campus less than two miles away, it’s still a challenge for some students to get there.

“For some students who live on the opposite side of campus and have to then travel all ...

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Tampa City Council member Yolie Capin (left) asked for a workshop on the CRA funds because of talk they would be used for a baseball stadium.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Tampa City Council to consider spending TIF money on something other than baseball stadium

By the end of 2015, a downtown Tampa development group run by the city will have more than $13 million in annual expenses freed up for something else. Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said that money could be used to raise $100 million to, hypothetically, entice the Tampa Bay Rays to build a downtown stadium. But during a workshop Thursday on what to do with the money, several cultural facilities owned at least in part by the city lined up to ask for a cut.

“It is a city-owned asset with a private,...

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Devil Spring in north Florida's Ginnie Springs.

photo by Seán Kinane (Nov 2012).

Are tough regulations needed to save Florida's springs?

Florida’s springs are in trouble. Whether it’s pollution causing algae outbreaks, or reduced flow threatening to dry up springs that have flown for decades or centuries, nearly everyone agrees something needs to be done. But there’s disagreement over what that would be.

Recently a coalition of powerful state business groups wrote a letter criticizing efforts by some Florida legislators to help reduce pollution near springs. And that has environmentalists, like David Guest, head of the Flo...

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Republican David Jolly faces Libertarian Lucas Overby and Democrat Alex Sink for the Pinellas County Congressional seat.

photo by Janelle Irwin, WMNF file photo 2014

Libertarian and Republican debate while contending for Pinellas congressional seat

Congressional candidates David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby agree on a lot of issues, but not on whether or not to normalize relations with Cuba. Jolly, a Republican, has said he supports the current restrictions on trade and travel with the island country. During a debate I moderated Tuesday night for the Disston Heights Neighborhood Civic Association in St. Petersburg, Jolly said there are some circumstances in which he’d support lifting the longstanding trade embargo.

Alex Sink, t...

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Fifty years after Gideon and the right to counsel, public defenders are overworked

In the U.S. every person accused of crime has the right to legal representation. That’s thanks to a landmark 1963 Supreme Court decision in a case called Gideon versus Wainwright. The rights solidified in Gideon were celebrated last night at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport.

Stetson Law professor and Dean Emeritus Bruce Jacob was working for the Attorney General of Florida in 1963. Jacob was assigned the task of writing the legal brief and arguing this [landmark case](http:...

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Ronnie Duncan at a TBARTA meeting in 2010

photo by Kate Bradshaw, WMNF News

Conservative transportation group calls for resignation of TBARTA chair

A conservative transportation group is calling for the resignation of the chair of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. Ronnie Duncan has assumed a leadership roll in the political action group Yes for Greenlight behind a campaign pushing a one penny sales tax transit referendum in Pinellas County. Sharon Calvert with Citizens Organized for Sound Transportation wrote a letter to Duncan yesterday and copied all other members of the board as well as Governor Rick Scott who re-a...

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Holocaust survivor and childhood friend of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss tells her story of loss and survival during World War I.

photo by Janelle Irwin

An inside look at the story of a Holocaust survivor and friend to Anne Frank

Moist eyes filled the Palladium Theater in downtown St. Pete Monday night as Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss spent more than an hour telling her story. Schloss, the childhood friend and step-sister of Anne Frank, retold her experience from her pre-occupation days in Holland through the liberation of Auschwitz where she and her mother survived several close calls.

“And people waited there – there were low barracks with pipes going and they looked up, but nothing happened, no water came. Th...

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Matt Schwartz

Big oil makes a move into Florida panther habitat

Today on Last Call Rob Lorei interviews Executive Director of South Florida Wildlands Association Matt Schwartz. An oil boom is rapidly taking shape in the southwest corner of Florida. The source for that gas would be a proposed oil well located approximately 3/4 of a mile west of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. South Florida Wildlands Association (SFWA) joined local residents unhappy at the prospect of an oil well so close to rural homes and ir...

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Lucas Overby, Libertarian

photo by Seán Kinane / WMNF News

Meet Florida's 13th Congressional District candidates: Libertarian Lucas Overby

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the Pinellas County special Congressional election to fill the seat vacated by the death of U.S. Representative Bill Young.

Between now and the March 11 election we’re playing interviews of all the candidates, Also running are Republican David Jolly, Democrat Alex Sink and write-in candidate Michael Levinson.

We interviewed Lucas Overby...

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The Urban Cafe will take a look at issues surrounding Divorce

The Urban Cafe will take a look at issues surrounding Divorce.

In the U.S., divorce rates have been rising since the beginning of the 20th century, and especially since the 1970s, when no-fault divorce was instituted. Some experts contend that the easing of divorce laws have helped make marriage stronger by rooting it more deeply in personal choice, although it does little to give people the skills needed to work out the inevitable difficulties that arise in marriage.

We will explore a...

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