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In Defense of "Weird Florida"

Popular Twitter accounts like “Florida Man,” have helped to spread some of the Sunshine State’s strangest stories and encounters to readers throughout the country and even the world. The unusual (and sometimes criminal) exploits that occur here coupled with the dangers of hurricanes, sinkholes, shark encounters and lightning strikes have helped give the state a reputation that can make Florida seem like a national punchline and prompt outsiders to wonder why so many people continue to relocate to a place that seems bent on killing its residents.
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Florida News

Hurricane Watch Issued For Parts Of Pinellas And Areas North

Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for parts of Florida stretching from northwest of Tampa to an area east of Panama City.The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued the watch for an area of the Gulf coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. An area to the west of Indian pass on the Panhandle is under a tropical storm watch.The watches are related to a tropical depression churning in the Gulf about 345 miles west of Key West.Forecasters say they expect the system to turn to the...
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National News

Poisonous Algae Blooms Threaten People, Ecosystems Across U.S.

Serious algae outbreaks have hit more than 20 states this summer. Organisms are shutting down beaches in Florida, sickening swimmers in Utah and threatening ecosystems in California.The blooms are a normal part of summer, but the frequency, size and toxicity this year are worse than ever.And water managers are rattled."Everyone's on edge with the cyanobacteria," says Bev Anderson, a scientist with the California Water Resources Control Board.Emails reporting outbreaks of cyanobacteria — or...
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Latest Headlines from BBC

Topher Forhecz

Francis Rooney is the victor to become Southwest Florida’s republican nominee for Congress.

He won about 53% percent of the vote, beating out competitors Chauncey Goss and Dan Bongino tonight. He will face a little-known Democratic challenger in November.

Francis Rooney says he’s excited about his win. He says he plans to follow through on the issues he’s campaigned on.

Republican Greg Steube of Sarasota won the GOP nomination for the State Senate District 23 seat being vacated by Nancy Detert. It covers Sarasota and Charlotte Counties.

Sarasota Herald Tribune Political editor Zach Anderson spoke to WUSF about the race. He said Steube, whose father is Manatee County sheriff Brad Steube, won by a slim margin.

Topher Forhecz

Southwest Florida will pick a Republican candidate for Congress today during the primary. Among the contenders is businessman Chauncey Goss, former secret service member Dan Bongino, and former Ambassador Francis Rooney.

Rooney’s party is being held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. It’s in a large ballroom with glowing blue and red tables, and long white couches.

The vibe at Rooney’s party is celebratory, with jazz playing and some occasional dancing. The size of the party matches Rooney’s campaign efforts.

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

McCollum Hall is on its way to become the pride of Dunbar again— the predominantly black community of Fort Myers. The building from the 1930s was once a safe place for black musicians, comedians and entertainers to perform during the segregation era. It’s a locally designated historical landmark. But over the years, it dwindled into a boarding house that violated housing codes. The city purchased the deteriorated property about eight years ago, and now its restoration project is about halfway done. About 100 locals recently celebrated the renewed exterior. 

Collier County Mosquito Control District

Gov. Rick Scott was in Naples Monday, hosting a roundtable discussion on Zika readiness with the Collier County Health Department and the county’s mosquito control district.

Florida health officials are battling 43 confirmed cases of homegrown transmission of the virus. Nearly all of them are in the Miami-Dade neighborhoods of Wynwood and Miami Beach, including one new case of local transmission as recently as Monday. But there have been two investigations of locally-transmitted cases in Palm Beach County, as well as one case in Pinellas County. That’s on top of the nearly 550 travel-related cases statewide.

Florida is in the last few months of its sea turtle nesting season. State wildlife officials say during this critical time for the hatchlings, it’s important the public leaves them alone.

A judge is siding with families who are fighting a Florida law that ties students' promotion to fourth grade on how they perform on standardized reading tests.

At the instruction of their parents, students wrote their names on the tests and then didn't answer questions.

Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for parts of Florida stretching from northwest of Tampa to an area east of Panama City.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued the watch for an area of the Gulf coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. An area to the west of Indian pass on the Panhandle is under a tropical storm watch.

The watches are related to a tropical depression churning in the Gulf about 345 miles west of Key West.

Southwest Florida voters will elect their new state representative Tuesday for the House District 80 seat that serves eastern Collier County and all of Hendry County. One of the two candidates running will replace Matt Hudson (R-Naples), who’s termed out of the chamber. 

While Florida Keys residents debate the use of genetically modified mosquitoes ahead of a November referendum, a new survey finds that a majority of Floridians supports the concept.

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