News & Public Affairs

Monday July 28, 2014


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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Southwest Florida drilling plan faces new bump in the road

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is requiring a drilling company to answer questions during a series of public meetings in Southwest Florida. The head of South Florida Wildlands Association, Matt Schwartz, weighs in on a drilling proposal near the Everglades in Collier County.

"One question I've asked from the beginning that never got answered is to show us an actual map of the lease area and lay that map over the public lands in the area. What I've seen is just kind of ...

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Florida on the hook for $250,000 for firing whistleblower

Lawyers for a fired state worker say Florida could owe nearly $2 billion to people who were incorrectly reported to credit agencies. Former Department of Economic Opportunity employee Dianne Parcell spoke during a press conference in Tallahassee Monday.

Parcell’s lawyer released video of the woman talking about what happened to her.

A jury is making the state pay $250,000 in attorney’s fees and damages for Parcell’s firing.

To date, the state of Florida has not taken steps to addres...

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