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Tempers flare as Hillsborough Commission discusses executive pay raises listen

06/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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A week after it was reported that some of Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean’s top assistants received raises, the issue was revisited again today by County Commissioner Kevin Beckner.

Saying he wanted to control his anger, the freshman lawmaker said he needed more understanding about why such an issue happened at a time when Commissioners are dealing with a deficit of more than $100 million that could lead to more than 500 employees being laid off.

Beckner called for an in...

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Cindy Sheehan speaks in St. Petersburg listen

06/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan appeared in St. Petersburg last night.

Speaking at Nova 535, Sheehan spoke for approximately an hour, where she touched on a variety of subjects, including many in her new book, Myth America.

Sheehan moved to San Francisco a couple of years ago, specifically to challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her bid for re-election last year, a topic she discussed last night.

Sheehan’s home state of California is in serious financial difficulties. The state...

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Ken Welch on Pinellas economy, listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Pinellas County Commissioners are conducting their public hearing portion of their meeting this afternoon.

Over the weekend, WMNF spoke with Commissioner Ken Welch about the economic woes Pinellas is undergoing. He says the county is staring at a deficit of at least $110 million.

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Report: Florida will be among the last states to escape recession listen

06/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A new report says that Florida’s economic recovery will be longer and more difficult than the rest of the country.

Forecasters with the Wachovia Economics Group say the state went into recession a full nine months ahead of the rest of the nation. Plus, it says the state’s surplus of housing and commercial real estate is "considerably worse" than the rest of the U.S.

Read the economic forecast for Florida at Wachovia.org.

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Congresswoman Castor on Pew study on green jobs listen

06/15/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Last week, WMNF reported on a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts on the clean energy economy over the past decade. It said that Florida green job economy grew nearly 8 percent over the past decade.

Today Hillsborough area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor said the release of the report comes at a critical time.

During a recent debate about the Clean Energy Bill, Castor says she added an amendment to promote renewable power in the Energy and Commerce Committee. She says she wa...

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Hillsborough honcho gets backlash over raises for staffers listen

06/11/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Hillsborough County Adminstrator Pat Bean got a smackdown today at a county budget hearing today regarding recent pay raises for some of her top assistants.

It came as the Commission met to try to find a way to cut $144 million from next year’s budget. It also came a day and a half after hundreds of citizens packed the County’s chambers begging that certain services not be cut next year.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner brought the issue up, which was first reported in today’s *St. Pete...

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Columnist: Bush mostly to blame for deficit listen

06/10/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that in the coming years, the federal government will be running the biggest deficits since the years just after World War II.

Republicans blame President Obama’s budget for this – but according to New York Times Business Columnist David Leonhardt, Obama’s ambitious agenda is responsible for only a small part of the deficits. However, Leonardt writes that the president does not have a realistic plan for eliminating it.

Leonhardt looked ...

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Report: Florida's "Green Economy" grew nearly 8% over past decade listen

06/10/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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According to a new study, Florida’s clean energy economy grew nearly 8 percent between 1998 and 2007. The study by the Pew Charitable Trusts released today found that Florida was among the top 10 states in America’s clean energy, or Green Job economy.

Lori Grange is the interim deputy director with the Pew Center on the States.

To see the report, which lists a hard count of jobs created in the green economy over the past decade, visit PewTrusts.org.

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Obama administration says stimulus to kick in now listen

06/08/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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While 67 percent of Americans view President Barack Obama favorably, a new Gallup poll shows only 45 percent of Americans approve of Obama's handling of federal spending, and 46 percent agree with his handling of the federal budget deficit.

The poll also says that even though a majority support on handling the economy, Obama's disapproval rating has risen by 12 points since March.

Perhaps cognizant of that, President Obama announced today that his administration will be increasing sti...

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State university tuition increase going to Governor Crist's desk listen

04/29/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A bill designed to eventually raise tuition at Florida's public universities to the national average is going to Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist supports the legislation that received final passage today in the House.

Democrat Marty Kiar was one of the relatively few in either state body against the bill.

Florida's tuition now ranks at or near the bottom nationally. It’s numbers like that prompted St. Petersburg Democrat Bill Heller to support the bill.

The bill would give each of ...

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