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Rick Scott touts Florida tourism record as job booster listen

05/15/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Rick Scott, Bob Buckhorn, Tampa, St. Petersburg, tourism, Visit Florida, Visit Tampa Bay, jobs, economy, sea level rise

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Tourism marketers in Florida are hoping to see at least 100 million trips to the state this year. The latest numbers are out for first quarter and they broke records.

The announcement Thursday at Busch Gardens by Visit Florida was heralded by Governor Rick Scott as a huge win for Floridians.

“Think about it. We want more jobs in our state. Tourism is a big driver. When people come here as tourists they buy homes, they buy cars, they think, ‘man, this is a nice place to live.’”

And a...

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Tampa seeking input on Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park overhaul listen

05/06/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, Bob Buckhorn, parks and recreation, Tampa, North Boulevard Homes

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One of Tampa’s biggest parks may soon get a makeover. Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park has more than 20 acres of recreational space along the Hillsborough River with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be among others at a community meeting Tuesday night where officials hope to get some ideas from those most likely to use the rehabbed space.

“The first step in a process like this is always to start with the community.”

The forum at Blake High School Tuesday ...

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Bar owners convince Tampa City Council to hold off on large nightclub rules listen

04/17/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Tampa, nightclubs, Ybor City, alcohol

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Tampa has been working on an ordinance regulating large Ybor City nightclubs for months, but after hearing from frustrated bar owners Thursday, it’s on hold again.

The city wants to avoid repeating violations and aggression that came to a head in shootings two years ago.

But during public comment several bar owners said irresponsible owners were no longer around. Dave Hundley owns The Orpheum nightclub in Ybor and establishments in St. Petersburg.

Des...

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Tampa extends red-light camera contract with 25% of net revenues earmarked for intersection safety listen

04/03/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: red light cameras, Tampa, City of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Tampa City Council, Bob Buckhorn, Hillsborough County

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The City of Tampa is renewing its contract with the vendor of its red-light cameras. City council voted 6-1 today to extend the contract by two years despite a vote last month against renewing the contract. What changed? Mayor Bob Buckhorn proposed using a quarter of the net revenue from red-light camera citations to improve the safety of intersections with the cameras.

But that didn’t sit well with the only person who spoke on the issue during public comment, St. Petersburg red-light cri...

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Hillsborough NAACP wants to organize to save Tampa's historic Jackson House listen

04/03/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: NAACP, Tampa, Jackson House, African-American history, music

A dilapidated historic house in downtown Tampa may get a second chance at renovations. The Jackson House was built in 1901 and served as a boarding house. During decades of racial segregation it was one of the only places blacks could find accommodation. The Jackson House hosted celebrities such as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

Carolyn Collins, president of Hillsborough Branch NAACP, told Tampa City Council Thursday h...

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Hillsborough commissioners support continuing red-light cameras listen

04/02/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: red-light cameras, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Sheriff, Hillsborough County Commission, Tampa, St. Petersburg

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Red-light cameras are receiving scrutiny in the Florida legislature and cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg could soon wind down their programs. But in unincorporated Hillsborough County commissioners reiterated their support for the cameras today.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Colonel Greg Brown told the county commission the ten cameras installed at six locations in unincorporated Hillsborough County have resulted in fewer crashes.

Brown estimated it would cost “hundreds of t...

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Free dental care fair in Tampa rescues more than 1500 from pain listen

03/28/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: dentist, dental care, healthcare, Tampa, Mission of Mercy

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As many as 2,000 people from across the state are receiving free dental care Friday and Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is the state’s first Mission of Mercy where the goal of hundreds of dentists and dental hygienists is to get people who don’t have access to oral healthcare out of pain.

In a giant expo hall at the fairgrounds, several generators powered more than 100 dental chairs – all of them occupied by patients. The whirring of drills and suction hoses signaled to mor...

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Mayor Buckhorn announces plan to keep police chief one more year during State of the City address listen

03/25/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Bob Buckhorn, Jane Castor, Tampa, North Boulevard Homes, transit, Transportation, economic development, Rays

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during his State of the City address Tuesday that police Chief Jane Castor will stay on for at least one more year after retiring in May. That means she’ll stay in “the drop” which some consider double dipping - collecting a paycheck and pension. Buckhorn said he wants to keep Chief Castor on board because crime has dropped 69% in the city.

“You know what that means? That means there’s over 150,000 less victims. That’s us. The men and women of the Tampa ...

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Tampa City Council votes against renewing red light camera contract listen

03/20/14 Ashley Whitney
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: red light cameras, Tampa, Tampa City Council

Just this week, two high school students were hit by a car while crossing Hillsborough Avenue on their way to school. Other students have died and Hillsborough is considered one of the deadliest places in the country to be a pedestrian.

Tampa City Council chair Frank Reddick says he is disappointed that not even a small portion of revenue from the red light camera program has been invested in making roads safer. He says even though accidents and citations are down, the need to invest in ...

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Workers' rights rally at Tampa Whole Foods store listen

03/11/14 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Whole Foods, minimum wage, worker's rights, Chicago, Tampa, Rhiannon Broschat, union, unionize

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A day long rally was held last Saturday, International Women’s Day, outside a Whole Foods store in Tampa. A smattering of activists, protesters and concerned customers voiced their support for a Chicago woman who was fired from Whole Foods when she took time off to care of her special needs son during the second Polar Vortex snowstorm.

When Rhiannon Broschat was fired...

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