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Advocates want to clean up Florida's dirty water now and in the future listen

05/18/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
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Tags: beaches, Florida, environment, Hands Across The Sand, water, pollution, garbage

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Environmentalists are focused on keeping Florida beaches clean and pristine; on Saturday more than a hundred people came together on Gandy Beach in St Petersburg for Hands Across the Sand. Residents, advocates and grassroots organizations were trying to raise awareness for a greener Florida environment.

Many of the participants came early to the beach on the south side of the Gandy Bridge to help pick up trash. Most beach-goers and onlookers didn’t see...

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In Florida Secretary of Labor pushes paid family leave and increased minimum wage listen

05/14/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Thursday
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Tags: minimum wage, Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, unions, labor, wages, paid family leave, miami, St. Petersburg, Florida

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The U.S. Secretary of Labor is in Florida this week pushing for an increased minimum wage and for paid leave for employees; Wednesday in St. Petersburg Tom Perez rallied for paid family leave and Thursday in Miami Secretary Perez is pushing for a higher federal minimum wage.

WMNF News spoke with him Wednesday night and he said the Obama administration wants a $12/hour minimum wage by 2020.

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Florida House mandates 24-hour waiting period before abortion listen

04/22/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Wednesday
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Tags: abortion, Florida, Florida Legislature, Women's rights

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Wednesday the Florida House passed a bill that would mandate a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion; Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley spoke in support of the bill.

But Tallahassee Democra...

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Full transcript of presidents remarks in Everglades on climate change

04/22/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Wednesday
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Tags: Barack Obama, Everglades, Florida, climate change, global warming, environment, Earth Day, sea level rise

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Here is the transcript of the remarks on climate change by President Barack Obama in the Everglades Wednesday, as provided by the White House.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 22, 2015

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

The Everglades, Florida

3:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Please have a seat. It’s good to be back in Florida. So I can’t think of a better ...

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More problems with standardized tests; discussion of education issues in Florida listen

04/20/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
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Tags: education, Florida, Florida Legislature, Susan Smith, schools, charter schools, standardized tests, vouchers, Alan Grayson

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There was a new round of problems around the state Monday with Florida's standardized tests; we spoke about this and several other state education issues with Susan Smith, the president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

We also spoke about the state's class size amendment, education funding, charter schools and private school vouchers.

Here's The Associated Press story on Monday's testing problems:

Florida school districts are suspending testing amid a new round of ...

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Should law enforcement departments keep the spoils from seized money and property? listen

04/16/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Thursday
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Tags: police, Florida, Florida Legislature, Jeff Brandes, Arthenia Joyner, Joe Negron

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A Florida Senate committee is considering a bill by St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes to direct money and property seized by police to charities instead of to the law enforcement agency itself.

Thursday morning in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Republican Senator Joe Negron supported Brandes’ bill.

An amendment by Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner attempted to keep seized assets in the hands of law enforcement.

Br...

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Florida House advances bill allowing groups to refuse adoptions to same-sex couples listen

04/02/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Thursday
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Tags: Florida, Florida Legislature, Dwight Dudley, Jason Brodeur, adoptions, same-sex adoptions

Thursday the Florida House Judiciary Committee approved a bill (HB 7111) that would allow private agencies to cite religious or moral grounds and refuse to facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples.

Republican Representative Jason Brodeur said same-sex couples can seek adoptions through the Department of Children and Families or a private agency that doesn't have a problem with it.

But in one exchange, Brodeur was challenged by St. Petersburg’s Dwight Dudley, who like other Democrats su...

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Columnist Paula Dockery and State Senator Greg Evers address issues facing the State Prison System

03/31/15 Rob Lorei
MidPoint with WMNF News Tuesday
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Tags: Florida, prison, Department of Corrections, privatization, Paula Dockery, Greg Evers, wmnf

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Hosting today's talk portion of Midpoint is Paula Dockery, a former state senator from Lakeland and syndicated columnist whose work appears in 22 Florida papers each week. Today she takes on the state prison system. Joining the discussion is State Senator and Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Greg Evers. Together they discuss prison privatization,high leadership turnover, reports of corruption and a string of brutal inmate deaths that have plagued the system.

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Florida farmers paid by state to store water: conversation with Craig Pittman

03/30/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
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Tags: water, Florida, Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, pollution, Rick Scott, Adam Putnam, Lobbyists, sugar, corporate welfare

On WMNF News' MidPoint we spoke about the crucial issue of water in Florida with Craig Pittman, staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times. His latest article is “Florida taxpayers pay ranchers millions to hold water back from Lake Okeechobee.”

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Center for Biological Diversity warns of climate crisis effects on Florida wildlife listen

03/23/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
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Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, CBD, Jaclyn Lopez, climate change, global warming, corals, Sea Turtles, endangered species, Florida, Rick Scott

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Jaclyn Lopez a lawyer and Florida Director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s office in St. Petersburg. She was interviewed by WMNF News' Seán Kinane on MidPoint about a range of environmental topics. That includes a possible downlisting of green sea turtles in Florida from endangered to threatened, Florida's endangered corals need a reduction in carbon pollution for recovery and two Florida plants threatened by sea-level rise could be helped through habitat protection. Callers asked ab...

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