Florida News

Jessica Meszaros / WGCU News

EPA Declines Petition To Revise DEP Water Criteria

Federal environmental officials said Tuesday they will not force Florida to update its standards for potable and surface waters. This response comes eight years after environmental advocates petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare and publish revised regulations for the state’s waters. Activists want the feds involved because state environmental officials have not updated the state’s water quality criteria in 25 years.

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National News

Republican Gianforte Wins Montana House Race Despite Assault Charge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQwu4wff7lI Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter. Gianforte had been silent following the allegations, with his campaign only releasing a statement claiming that The Guardian 's Ben Jacobs had been the aggressor. But speaking at his victory party in Bozeman shortly after the race was...

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Latest Headlines from BBC

FPL Makes Case for Rate Hikes

Aug 20, 2012

Florida's largest utility company wants to raise its rates by $690-million dollars a year.

Florida Power and Light will make its case today in a hearing with the Florida Public Service Commission.

FPL argues that it needs to charge customers more to build new power plants in Cape Canaveral, Rivera Beach and Port Everglades.

The utility tried late last week to delay today's hearing so the panel could look into a proposed settlement with groups representing industrial, health care and federal government customers.

Across Florida, college freshmen are signing up for classes. Many are taking advantage of the Bright Futures scholarship to help pay their way.

And many are experiencing sticker shock when they see what the scholarships DON’T cover. 

Students earn Bright Futures Scholarships based on their grades, test scores, and community service -- and NOT their financial need.

More than a third of Florida’s high school graduates qualified for the scholarship last year.

Forrest Estep was one of them. He's a student at Florida State.

Some healthcare advocates are pushing for Governor Rick Scott to hold public hearings on a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. It would allow states to decide which benefits should be covered by health insurance in 2014.

Under the plan, each state will be able to design what's called an Essential Health Benefits package. It would spell out the bare minimum that insurance companies must cover and is required to include childbirth, hospitalization and preventative care.

Protesters Gather as HHS Secretary Touts Healthcare Overhaul

Aug 20, 2012

Among the hot-button issues this election cycle is the rising cost of healthcare and the future of Medicare. A member of President Obama's cabinet has been traveling throughout Florida this week, to discuss how the federal healthcare overhaul will affect Medicare. But opponents of the Affordable Care Act also speaking out.

Tampa Police Show Off Newest GOP Convention Tactics

Aug 17, 2012

Tampa Police rolled out their newest tactics today to help keep the peace at the upcoming Republican National Convention. Steve Newborn reports they have learned a few lessons from previous cities that hosted conventions that weren't so peaceful.

A young woman died earlier this week in a parasailing accident off of Pompano Beach.

The 28-year-old was up in the air tandem with her husband when her harness "malfunctioned" and she plunged the equivalent of 20 stories into the ocean.

Following Kathleen Miskell's death, government leaders and lawmakers are calling again for more oversight of the popular industry.

RNC Adds Air-Conditioned Covered Walkways

Aug 16, 2012

Mitt Romney was on Florida’s east coast Monday – but in just two weeks he’ll be camped out on west coast for the Republican National Convention in Tampa. WUSF’s Bobbie O’Brien updates us with the convention preparations.

Medicare: Connie Mack IV Says Democrats Are Lying

Aug 16, 2012

Just like the temperature of a fever stricken patient - Medicare is rising as the hottest campaign issue in Florida ever since Paul Ryan was named as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

The Wisconsin congressman proposed a budget that makes major changes in Medicare for future generations – something Democrats are eagerly pointing out.

In response, Republicans are adding fuel to the Medicare debate.

Florida’s GOP candidate for U.S. Senate - Connie Mack the fourth – says the Democrats are offering no Medicare plan only criticism of Republican reforms.

As of Wednesday, young undocumented immigrants in Southwest Florida who want to stay here legally can apply for a temporary reprieve from deportation. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications Wednesday under the new deferred action policy. 

There are more than 140,000 DREAM Act students in the state of Florida that can apply for deferred action.

And close to 50 thousand in Miami-Dade county.

Jose Luis Marantes is co-founder of Students Working For Equal Rights -- or SWER

He says it is risky for undocumented students to share their information with the federal government.

"But I will tell you one thing. When rights are given to someone. Imagine the amount of power and energy that's taken to win those rights. Watch out what happens if when you try to take those rights away.There's no stopping us."

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