WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Monday, March 13th, 2023


Pushback to Florida Surgeon General

U.S. health agencies have sent a letter to Florida’s surgeon general, warning him that his claims about COVID-19 vaccine risks are harmful to the public. The letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was sent to Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday. Ladapo has recommended against men ages 18 to 39 getting the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. He claims that an analysis showed an 84% increase in cardiac-related deaths. In their letter, the federal agencies debunked that conclusion. Ladapo was appointed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and has attracted national scrutiny over his close alignment with DeSantis in opposing health policies embraced by the federal government.

Florida Sex Education

A new bill filed in the Florida Legislature would require state officials to approve a sex education curriculum – instead of local school districts. Kate Payne reports, teaching on human health has come under fire from activists who claim it’s not “age appropriate.”

Red Tide in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay area residents are complaining about burning eyes and breathing problems. Dead fish have washed up on beaches. An April beachside festival has been canceled. Florida’s southwest coast experienced another flare up of the toxic red tide algae over the last week, setting off concerns that it could be around for a while. The annual BeachFest in Indian Rocks Beach was canceled after it determined with help from the city and the Pinellas County Health Department that red tide likely would stick around through the middle of next month when the festival was scheduled. On Friday the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that it had found red tide in 157 samples along Florida’s Gulf Coast, with the strongest concentrations along Pinellas and Sarasota counties. A county spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times that nearly two tons of debris, mainly dead fish, had been cleared from Pinellas County beaches and brought to a landfill.

Planned Parenthood Responds to Bill

Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban abortions in Florida after six weeks. WMNF’s Chris Young reports on the response from Planned Parenthood. the people involved, but said that information would be released today.

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s sergeant shot and killed a vehicle burglary suspect in unincorporated Pinellas Park last night. A press release from the St. Petersburg Police Department said the incident is being investigated by Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Task Force. The release says that Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a vehicle burglary in the 6300 block of 60th Avenue North, near Pinellas Park. The Pinellas Sherriff’s sergeant, a K9 handler and the police dog tracked the suspect into a fenced backyard. The press release says the suspect “fired several shots, striking the K9 handler. The Sgt. fired back and struck the suspect. The suspect, an adult male, died at the scene. The K9 Deputy is hospitalized in stable condition. His dog was not injured. The Sgt. was not hurt. He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.” The press release did not identify any of

Trump’s Lawyer to testify today

 Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is poised to testify today before a Manhattan grand jury investigating hush-money payments he arranged and made on the former president’s behalf. Cohen’s testimony comes as the Manhattan district attorney’s office closes in on a decision on whether to seek charges against Trump. The former president has denied the affairs and has said he did nothing wrong.

Pythons in Florida

Burmese pythons expanding their range in Florida. According to an ambitious new paper produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, their population has exploded in only 20 years from a few snakes at the southern tip of Everglades National Park to an invasion that envelops the southern third of Florida. The reptile’s “invasion front” has recently rolled through Broward and Palm Beach counties and is moving up the state. The current front encompasses the southern end of Lake Okeechobee and is pushing westward north of Fort Myers. Pythons are nearly undetectable to both humans and their prey, they barely need to move and when they do they’re deadly. On top of that, they have lots of babies.




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