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Passenger ferry proposal moves forward in Hillsborough listen

02/05/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Ed Turanchik, Ferry, passenger ferry, MacDill Air Force Base, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Commission, transit, Tampa, St. Petersburg

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Hillsborough County moved ahead today with a high-speed passenger ferry partnership. The County commission approved an interim public-private partnership agreement with HMS Ferries and South Swell Development Group to study a ferry linking the south part of the county, perhaps near Apollo Beach, with MacDill Air Force Base. Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik is the public face of the project.

"We've already said this, no other transportation option can do so much for so little so fas...

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Friends mourn longtime St. Pete social activist slain in her home

01/29/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday

Tags: Paula Witthaus, St. Petersburg, activism

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A well-liked social activist in St. Petersburg has been found murdered inside her home on 17th Ave. North.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, 54-year old Paula Whitthaus was found dead along with her 67-year old male roommate after what a department press release described as a brutal attack.

The exact cause of death hasn’t been determined yet, but police say there was upper body trauma. A suspect has not been identified, but investigators say the attack does not appear ...

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Midtown St. Pete sheds its "food desert" label with Wal-Mart grand opening listen

01/29/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Wal-Mart, Midtown St. Pete, St. Petersburg, poverty, food desert

Up until today, Midtown St. Petersburg, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, was what people call a food desert.

But at about 7:30 this morning a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened its doors for shoppers – many of whom lack transportation to travel outside of the area for fresh food and were forced to make many food purchases from over-priced convenience stores.

St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newton whose district covers part of Midtown celebrated the Grand Opening early this ...

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New St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman wants to crack down on illegal guns listen

01/16/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: guns, Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Police

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St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is saying no to illegal guns in his city.

During a press conference Thursday at City Hall, Kriseman signed a pledge to crack down on people who own or sell weapons under the legal radar.

“We need to change the culture that exists in this community. We need to change the culture regarding illegal guns and regarding gun violence. We want people to come to this city. We encourage people to come to this city, but if you’re coming to this city with an ill...

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St. Pete Police change policy to no longer pursue vehicles unless chasing violent felons listen

01/09/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg, St. Pete, St. Petersburg Police, chase policy, police chases, Bill Foster

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St. Petersburg Police will no longer be able to pursue vehicles unless the driver or occupants have been involved in a violent felony.

The new chase policy was announced Thursday by Mayor Rick Kriseman and Interim Chief of Police David Dekay. It replaces the...

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As St. Pete's new Mayor, Rick Kriseman says he will re-open Pier base plus address Rays and Midtown listen

01/02/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg, Bill Foster

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St. Petersburg has a new mayor. During his inauguration at city hall in front of more than 200 residents, new mayor Rick Kriseman focused on high profile issues surrounding the city’s pier and the fate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's been a long and winding road, and it's time to put our destination in view.

The form and fashion of the next pier is unlikely to meet with universal approval. We must recognize this now so that our progress isn't impeded later.

However, what we can agree...

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A look ahead at 2014 Florida elections listen

11/07/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Florida, Adam Smith, St. Petersburg, David Jolly, Alex Sink, Bill Young, Rick Kriseman, Bill Foster

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As the dust settles in St. Petersburg after an election that resulted in progressive sweep, voters are looking ahead to two other important races – the Pinellas County seat in Congress and the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee. During a Suncoast Tiger Bay Club luncheon Thursday, members bounced questions about the elections off two prominent local reporters.

Lobbyist and former Bill Young staffer David Jolly announced Thursday he will run for Young’s old seat in Congress. He could face Dem...

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St. Pete mayoral candidates Foster and Kriseman defend nasty campaign mailers listen

10/25/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Rick Kriseman, Bill Foster, St. Petersburg, The Rays, the pier

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The race between St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman has become heated as the election draws near. The two have debated dozens of times on common issues facing the city, but during a debate Friday taped for WEDU’s Florida This Week, the two answered for some of their mud slinging campaign mailers.

“His own party – the Republican party – has dumped over $100,000 into these committees; money that has been used to buy TV ads, to buy and pay for these direct mail pieces, but I haven’...

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Midtown St. Pete Wal-Mart draws applicants by the hundreds listen

10/07/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: jobs, St. Petersburg, midtown, Bill Foster, Wal-Mart, St. Pete, economic development

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Wal-Mart will open a neighborhood market in midtown St. Petersburg by January, providing 95 jobs and the area’s only grocery store. Monday morning more than 200 people stood in intermittent rain waiting for their chance to apply for one of the spots in the new store. Mary Cummings got there at 6:30 to beat the crowd. The elderly African-American woman said from a lawn chair that she already has a job at a laundry mat, but isn’t making enough money to support herself.

Standing next to her w...

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St. Pete mayoral hopeful Kriseman unveils plan to identify cost savings listen

10/02/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: St. Petersburg, Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman, CitiStat, StPeteStat

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St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman hopes to save the city potentially millions of dollars by replacing the current performance management system with a more innovative model used in cities across the nation. Kriseman unveiled his plan Wednesday morning in the Historic Kenwood neighborhood.

“In its first 7 years, this type of management program saved the City of Baltimore $350 million. The City of Chic...

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