News & Public Affairs


Florida on the hook for $250,000 for firing whistleblower listen

06/23/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: whistleblower, Florida, Rick Scott, Diane Parcell

Lawyers for a fired state worker say Florida could owe nearly $2 billion to people who were incorrectly reported to credit agencies. Former Department of Economic Opportunity employee Dianne Parcell spoke during a press conference in Tallahassee Monday.

Parcell’s lawyer released video of the woman talking about what happened to her.

A jury is making the state pay $250,000 in attorney’s fees and damages for Parcell’s firing.

To date, the state of Florida has not taken steps to addres...

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Kennedy Space Center prepares for sea level rise listen

06/18/14 Crystal Farina and Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: climate change, NASA, sea level rise, Florida, Kennedy Space Center, science


NASA is taking steps to protect Florida’s coastal Kennedy Space Center from rising seas.

Climate scientists say that sea levels will continue to rise because of melting polar ice and because warmer oceans will expand as the planet warms.

WMNF spoke with Kim Toufectis, the architect who coordinates master planning for NASA’s 15 locations, including KSC.

“Adapting to climate risks is part of what NASA needs to do in order to make sure our facilities can support our work going forwar...

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Charlie Crist says if elected he'll reconvene annual climate change summit listen

06/16/14 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: Charlie Crist, Florida, Rick Scott, economy, The Everglades, Cuba, jobs, environment, marijuana, Space X, Elon Musk, education, Steve Kornell, Saint Petersburg, climate change


If Charlie Crist is re-elected governor this year he says he will reconvene two environmental summits that were held at the beginning of his previous term as governor. One hundred or so Crist supporters were on hand Saturday to help launch a new St. Petersburg campaign office.

During his first two years as governor, Crist convened what were billed as annual summits on global climate change. But then, in his last two years as governor the [summits stopped without notice](https://www.wmnf.or...

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Here's why you should care about the health of the Gulf of Mexico listen

06/12/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Gulf of Mexico, environment, Florida, fishing, beaches, BP oil spill


Most people look out at the sparkly blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and figure it’s perfectly healthy. But Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland’s center for environmental science says there are plenty of reasons to worry.

“For example, the whole water system in terms of the water that evaporates and comes back down in rain – it removes about 2/3 of the carbon dioxide that we produce excessively.”

A White House climate change report released earlier this year shows that...

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Florida Governor's wife, Ann Scott, supports lack of action on Medicaid expansion listen

06/11/14 Crystal Farina
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: Ann Scott, Florida, governor, Rick Scott, Medicaid, Tampa General Hospital


The governor’s wife, Ann Scott, doesn’t express her own opinion on Medicaid expansion.

In 2013, Governor Scott said he supported expansion of the federal Medicaid program in Florida. But so far the state has not accepted the 51 billion federal dollars

The SEIU, or the Service Employees International Union, recently estimated that 720,000 Floridians are not covered between the current Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act.

On Tuesday afternoon, WMNF asked Scott what she th...

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Medicinal marijuana debated at Suncoast Tiger Bay club listen

06/04/14 Ashley Whitney
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: marijuana, medical marijuana, Tiger Bay, St. Petersburg, drugs, Florida, Constitution

Is Medical Marijuana an illicit drug? If Florida voters approve Amendment Two in November, will the Department of Health be able to regulate its distribution, and what consequences will Floridians suffer if loopholes in its legislation arise? Members of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club gathered in St. Petersburg Wednesday to ask these questions.

Lana Beck of the Drug Free America Foundation opposes the amendment.

“But I’d like to leave you with just asking if you would please read the a...

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FL Gov. Rick Scott touts commitment to small business during campaign stop in Tampa listen

05/30/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist, Carlos Lopez Canterra, Florida, small business, Let's Get to Work


Florida Governor Rick Scott swung by a locally-owned Spanish market in Tampa Friday to tout his commitment to small businesses. The campaign stop doubled as a commercial shoot.

The immigrant-owned M&D Market on West Hillsborough Avenue has about five aisles, a meat counter, a small refrigerated section and a whole lot of produce. Scott filed into the store to a boom of cheers from Cuban, Venezualan and Mexican-Americans. He started his speech in Spanish.

“We’ve cut taxes about 40 times...

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Climate change means challenges for Florida agriculture: scientist listen

05/16/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: agriculture, climate change, farms, Florida


You’ve probably heard about changes that could be in store because of climate change to sea levels, summer heat waves and intense hurricanes; but how will disruptions to the climate affect Florida’s agriculture industry?

To answer that, WMNF spoke with Jerry Hatfield, the director of the National Lab for Agriculture and Environment in Iowa. He was a lead author for the agricultural chapter of the recent National Climate Assessment.

"If you look at Florida, now you're talking about a t...

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Should Florida Give Tax Breaks to Homeowners Who Install Solar?

03/28/14 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)
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Tags: solar energy, Florida, intangibles tax


Good morning, welcome to radioactivity. My guest is part of a coalition which says: "Florida’s solar energy industry and clean energy advocates are calling on state Representative Ritch Workman to stop blocking consideration of a resolution that would allow voters to decide whether or not to remove punitive taxes on solar energy systems. The solar industry supports letting the voters decide on the exemption of solar energy systems from the punitive tangible personal property tax. Removing thi...

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Florida DEP moves forward with numeric nutrient water standards as critics push back listen

03/26/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: water, numeric nutrient standards, TMDL, total maximum daily load, DEP, EPA, Florida


Many Florida waterways still don’t have nutrient pollution standards. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is holding a series of meetings all over the state to talk about nutrient standards and how to make sure things like nitrogen and phosphorus are not contaminating water bodies.

“A healthy water body needs nitrogen and phosphorus so it makes plants grow and the plants grow and the aquatic fish and other life forms can eat the plants and you have a healthy system.”


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