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Head of Florida teachers union criticizes state education budget listen

06/30/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Tuesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: education, Andy Ford, Florida, Rick Scott, FEA, unions, teachers, Florida Educaiton Association

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The state budget that was signed into law last week by Governor Rick Scott included a slight increase in funding for education; but many school advocates say it’s not enough.

WMNF interviewed Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association -- the state’s largest teachers union.

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Pasco WWII vet mustard gassed by U.S. experiments still waiting on VA benefits listen

06/26/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Friday
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Tags: military, Bill Nelson, Navy, mustard gas, veteran, VA, Florida, npr, World War, benefits

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American service members who were exposed to toxic mustard gas during secret testing by the U.S. military during World War II have developed severe physiological ailments. An NPR investigation found the Department of Veterans Affairs has not lived up to a promise to compensate the 4,000 men subjected to the most extreme tests. Here is the story of a Pasco County man who says he was exposed and is not getting medical treatment from the government.

John Tedesco and his wife share a home in S...

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Historical amnesia about lynching in St. Petersburg: the John Evans plaque listen

06/22/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: Saint Petersburg, St Pete, African-American, Lynching, racial, violence, history, Florida, John Evans, Landmarks, Tropicana Field

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A small aluminum plaque, memorializing a victim of Saint Petersburg racial violence in 1914, is collecting dust in city archives. Investigation into a particularly grim episode in Saint Petersburg's past as a way to reevaluate the historical amnesia of Saint Petersburg.

On November 12, 1914, the intersection of 2nd Ave and 9th Street South in Saint Petersburg was the grizzly scene of the lynching of John Evans, an itinerant black farm worker. He was dragged out of the city jail on Central...

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Former State Senators Paula Dockery and Mike Fasano rip Florida leadership

06/16/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Tuesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: Florida, Florida Legislature, Rick Scott, Paula Dockery, Mike Fasano

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On MidPoint former Florida State Senator Paula Dockery (R-Polk) spoke with former state Senator Mike Fasano (R-Pasco) about the special Legislative session; they are highly critical of Governor Rick Scott and the Republican House.

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Advocates want to clean up Florida's dirty water now and in the future listen

05/18/15 Samuel Johnson
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: beaches, Florida, environment, Hands Across The Sand, water, pollution, garbage

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Environmentalists are focused on keeping Florida beaches clean and pristine; on Saturday more than a hundred people came together on Gandy Beach in St Petersburg for Hands Across the Sand. Residents, advocates and grassroots organizations were trying to raise awareness for a greener Florida environment.

Many of the participants came early to the beach on the south side of the Gandy Bridge to help pick up trash. Most beach-goers and onlookers didn’t see...

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In Florida Secretary of Labor pushes paid family leave and increased minimum wage listen

05/14/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Thursday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: minimum wage, Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, unions, labor, wages, paid family leave, miami, St. Petersburg, Florida

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The U.S. Secretary of Labor is in Florida this week pushing for an increased minimum wage and for paid leave for employees; Wednesday in St. Petersburg Tom Perez rallied for paid family leave and Thursday in Miami Secretary Perez is pushing for a higher federal minimum wage.

WMNF News spoke with him Wednesday night and he said the Obama administration wants a $12/hour minimum wage by 2020.

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Florida House mandates 24-hour waiting period before abortion listen

04/22/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Wednesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: abortion, Florida, Florida Legislature, Women's rights

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Wednesday the Florida House passed a bill that would mandate a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion; Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley spoke in support of the bill.

But Tallahassee Democra...

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Full transcript of presidents remarks in Everglades on climate change

04/22/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Wednesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: Barack Obama, Everglades, Florida, climate change, global warming, environment, Earth Day, sea level rise

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Here is the transcript of the remarks on climate change by President Barack Obama in the Everglades Wednesday, as provided by the White House.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 22, 2015

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

The Everglades, Florida

3:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Please have a seat. It’s good to be back in Florida. So I can’t think of a better ...

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More problems with standardized tests; discussion of education issues in Florida listen

04/20/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Monday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: education, Florida, Florida Legislature, Susan Smith, schools, charter schools, standardized tests, vouchers, Alan Grayson

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There was a new round of problems around the state Monday with Florida's standardized tests; we spoke about this and several other state education issues with Susan Smith, the president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

We also spoke about the state's class size amendment, education funding, charter schools and private school vouchers.

Here's The Associated Press story on Monday's testing problems:

Florida school districts are suspending testing amid a new round of ...

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Should law enforcement departments keep the spoils from seized money and property? listen

04/16/15 Seán Kinane
MidPoint with WMNF News Thursday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: police, Florida, Florida Legislature, Jeff Brandes, Arthenia Joyner, Joe Negron

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A Florida Senate committee is considering a bill by St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes to direct money and property seized by police to charities instead of to the law enforcement agency itself.

Thursday morning in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Republican Senator Joe Negron supported Brandes’ bill.

An amendment by Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner attempted to keep seized assets in the hands of law enforcement.

Br...

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