News & Public Affairs

Thursday July 2, 2015

6 Baltimore officers charged in death of Freddie Gray

Baltimore's mayor says at least five of the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are in custody. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made the announcement Friday afternoon, hours after the city's chief prosecutor said they were charged. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the death of Gray, from an unexplained spinal injury, "was a homicide." She says his arrest was illegal in the first place -- and that his treatment in custody amounted to murder and manslaughter.

The stiffest charge --...

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Ben Pollara weighs in on medical pot

The Florida House has adjourned sine die, meaning the are abandoning the legislative session three-days early and leaving a host of unresolved issues on the table.

Among those issues is medical marijuana, which has been left dead for 2015.

“Today the people we elected to represent us in Tallahassee literally abdicated their responsibility to Floridians. The House of Representatives decided to simply quit work, three days before the end of session, and with that, medical marijuana legisl...

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Hillary Clinton's viability and HOPE pursues meeting with Mayor Buckhorn on "fair chance" hiring

Bernie Sanders today officially became the first challenger to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary race for president. With issues regarding the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation continuing to make headlines, we ask how Democrats feel about Mrs. Clinton being their seemingly certain candidate in 2016?

We also spoke with Bernice Powell Jackson from the group HOPE (Hillsborough Organization for Progress & Equality) about their unsuccessful efforts so far to meet with Tam...

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Vietnam in 1972


photo by Raymond Depardon/Flickr

Vietnam War journalist discusses it's legacy on the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which marked the end of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam war and the beginning of communist control of Southern Vietnam. according to recent survey estimates, between 1.5 and 3.6 million people during the 20 year span of the war. We are joined by TD Allman, a Tampa-born journalist who covered the war and revealed a secret illegal war in Laos that was kept under wraps by the Nixon Administration. TD is an author of books such as...

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Florida Governor Rick Scott


photo by Sean Kinane

Bill for 24 hour waiting period for abortions passes Florida Legislature, heads to Gov.Scott's desk

We talk to Kellie Dupree, Vice President of Public Policy & Communications for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, on the bill that would require women to wait 24 hours after consultation to get an abortion. The bill passed the house and senate with mostly republican support and democrat opposition. Along the way the bill was amended to exempt cases of rape, incest, human trafficking and domestic abuse.

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New Port Richey state rep sounds off on the Florida House early session closure

Today we talk about the surprising adjournment of the Florida House yesterday,3 days before the end of the legislative session and without reaching an agreement with the senate on the state budget. The point of contention is the expansion of Medicaid to provide coverage to more than 800,000 working poor Floridians, as federal money for hospitals to treat them runs out. Bills on tax cuts, prison reform, and medical marijuana died in the house due to the sudden closure. State Representative Ama...

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Hillsborough River State Park


photo by Seán Kinane

FDEP head wants to allow commercial use on State Park land,and details on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Today we look at plans by the head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to open up state parks for commercial use. A story from Craig Pittman for the Tampa Bay Times this weekend says FDEP secretary Jon Steverson aims to make the parks completely financially self-sustaining. Currently revenue from the parks cover about 77 percent of their operating costs...

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Marisol Marquez (l) and Gague Lacharite.


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF News.

Preview of May Day labor and immigration rally in Tampa

Friday is May First – Celebrated around the world as May Day, International Workers Day or Labor Day; on MidPoint we spoke about a May Day celebration in Tampa and about labor rights and immigration rights.

Guests were Marisol Marquez and Gague Lacharite, with Raices en Tampa and Tampa Bay SDS.

We talked about the history of May Day, and about a disturbing response to the event on Facebook by a right-wing group called ROF.

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Peter Kageyama, author of "For the Love of Cities"


photo by Rob Lorei

Urban Activist Peter Kageyama on successful cities and the people who love them

Today we have Peter Kageyama, urban activist and author of For the Love of Cities, to discuss what it takes to make a livable and emotionally engaging city. We look at several factors that have contributed in making St.Petersburg such a desirable place to live over the past decade, and if sister city Tampa can recreate the same vibrancy in its urban core. Kageyama will be a keynote speaker for a conversation called "For the Love of St.Pete", hosted by St. Petersburg Sunset Rotary Foundation a...

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Pier Selection Committee chooses Pier Park for new St. Pete icon

Last night, the Pier Selection Committee approved the design known as Pier Park as its top-ranked team. That design was number two in the city’s public survey. Destination, the public’s top ranked team and the only design that would have renovated the current inverted pyramid, was ranked number two by the selection committee.

The issue has been a contentious one. Following a ballot referendum in 2013 in which voters overwhelmingly rejected the previous chosen design called the Lens, the ci...

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