Florida News

Aspiring Mermaids Hope To Make A Splash At Weeki Wachee State Park

Professional mermaid isn't a position that comes up often for job seekers. But for 70 years, a Florida roadside attraction has been the profession's biggest employer. On a cold, gray Saturday morning, dozens of women swam laps in iceberg blue water at WeekiWacheeSprings State Park as onlookers bundled up in coats and mittens cheered them on. Close to 60 aspiring mermaids are competing to earn just eight slots on the park's famous mermaid squad.

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National News

Food Stamp Program Makes Fresh Produce More Affordable

Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother's farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border. When she prepared meals at her family's home in Garden Grove, Calif., Gonzalez would also omit avocados, a staple of Mexican cuisine that are often costly here. "I saw the prices and I said, 'No, never mind,' " says...

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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."

Is your backyard citrus tree failing?  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a new iPhone app that can that can probably help you identify the culprit.  Rebecca Blue is the USDA’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs which developed the free “Save Our Citrus” app.

GOP Convention Marchers Promote "Peaceful" Event

Aug 16, 2012

A massive protest bringing together thousands of people from around the country is planned for the streets of downtown Tampa during the first day of the Republican National Convention. A group of organizers met today, and Steve Newborn reports they promise the event will be peaceful.

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