News & Public Affairs

Wednesday August 27, 2014


Tariq Khdeir reads a statement to media at Tampa International Airport.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Tariq Khdeir enthusiastically welcomed home to Tampa; he says remember Palestinians who died

Tariq Khdeir has returned home to Tampa; the teenager who was beaten unconscious by Israeli police was welcomed by dozens of exuberant friends, family and supporters late Wednesday night at Tampa International Airport. photos here

In videos and photos taken shortly after his beating two weeks ago, Khdeir’s face appeared bruised and swollen. But as he and his immediate family walked off the airport tram into the welcoming arms o...

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Special Operations Forces demonstrated tactical training while industries showcased the tools they use inside the Tampa Convention Center

photo by Janelle Irwin

The secret world of drones: how pilots learn to fly them

Whether they’re used for dropping bombs, spying on suspected criminals or deliver packages, drones are a controversial topic. So, who flies them? Mike Sobkowski is the director of training and simulation for Corsair engineering. He says just about anyone can learn and a growing number of universities are offering classes. Sobkowski gave WMNF a behind-the-scenes look at the secret world of flying drones.

“What’s lift? What’s drag? What’s weight? What’s thrust? And then from there, to tea...

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Medical Marijuana in the Work Place

Today on the Last Call, host Warren Elly discusses Medical Marijuana in Florida. The decision is up to the voters come November and if approved by the required 60 percent, some predict there will be near a half million patients.

So-called “ganjapreneurs” are flocking to the state dreaming of millions in profits. “It looks like a bunch of cockroaches that just got sprayed by raid; they’re spinning around going nowhere fast. ” says Medical Marijuana backer John Morgan. Morgan told the Ta...

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Some amphibians can acquire resistance to deadly fungus: U Tampa biologist

Populations of amphibians, like frogs and toads, are on the decline worldwide. But a new study could lead to certain amphibian species recovering.

This study focuses on 2 amphibian species that can acquire resistance to a deadly fungus. Taegan McMahon, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Tampa is one of the lead researchers in the study.

“Within this paper we looked at two species ourselves, Oak Toad and Cuban tree frog, then we also looked at another paper that ...

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Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner (r) with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News (Dec. 2013).

Hillsborough will add LGBT protections to human rights ordinance

Hillsborough County is now on track to add protections for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

In a 7-0 vote Wednesday morning, commissioners asked county legal staff to update Hillsborough’s human rights ordinance with legal protections to prevent LGBT discrimination for things like employment and housing.

It was introduced by the county’s first openly gay commissioner, Kevin Beckner.

Fewer than ten members of the public spoke out against the additional protectio...

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Julie Patel

Center for Public Integrity's investigative reporter discusses how the IRS turns a blind eye towards political non-profits

Today Radioactivity discusses the controversy surrounding the IRS and non-profits. IRS critics say that conservative groups are being unfairly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service. Rob Lorei speaks with Julie Patel a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity. After a six month investigation she’s written a new article entitled HOBBLED IRS CAN’T STEM DARK MONEY FLOW. Patel writes that the Tea Part...

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Sarasota journalist uncovers hospital privatization plot

There’s a push to privatize Sarasota’s only public hospital. A political action committee tied to hospital giant Healthcare Corporation of America, or HCA, is reportedly trying to buy support for privatization from candidates running for the hospital’s board. If the efforts are successful, it could mean a reduction in care for expensive services like maternity, prisoner and indigent care.

HCA came under fire this spring after the Tampa Bay Times reported bills for some accident victims ...

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Activists with Raices en Tampa distribute information and collect petition signatures in front of a Spanish market on Fletcher Ave.

photo by Janelle Irwin

Immigration group calls on Hillsborough Sheriff to join others in ditching unnecessary detentions

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office keeps undocumented immigrants in jail for a federal immigration enforcement agency instead of letting them bail out. An immigration’s rights group is asking them to join other local agencies who have stopped that practice.

According to an analysis by the group Raices en Tampa, more than 80% of undocumented immigrants held in the Hillsborough County jail aren’t charged with a crime. Marisol Marquez is the founder of that group.

“We found out th...

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Port Tampa Bay discusses dispute over purchase of Channelside

Controversy over who will purchase the Channelside shopping center could be resolved during a hearing in Delaware Tuesday.

The Tampa outdoor mall is being sold by the Tampa Port Authority, which got a $7.1 million bid by a company controlled by the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

During a board meeting Tuesday in Tampa, Port Tampa Bay’s director Paul Anderson laid out the disagreement erupting because of a more recent offer by a challenger.

"CBP LLC was declared the highest and ...

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Max Blumenthal.

photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News (January 2014).

Max Blumenthal criticizes U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) for inaction on Tampa teenager beat up by Israeli police

The Tampa teenager who was allegedly beat up by Israeli Police could be on his way home as early as this week; Tariq Khdeir was beaten and jailed and remains on house arrest in East Jerusalem.

But a well-known author is questioning how much help the Khdeir family is getting from their federal representatives from Florida. Max Blumenthal’s latest article in AlterNet is called “[Fl...

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