Gulf Coast Live on WGCU

Weekdays at 1PM (encore Sundays at 11am)

Gulf Coast Live is a live, locally produced, call-in radio show focusing on issues that matter to Southwest Floridians. It's your chance to share your thoughts and connect to your community, live on the radio, and interact with experts, decision makers and each other via phone calls and social media.

Hosted by: Julie Glenn
Produced by: Matthew F. Smith

Call:  1-877-GCU-TALK 
Facebook: WGCU Public Media
Twitter: twitter.com/wgcu - #GCL

Gulf Coast Live is funded by the Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation

Tara Calligan

When Florida lawmakers approved a last-minute budget in special session earlier this year, $20.4 million in federal funding for mental health services expired with no plans to make up for it.

Now, mental health and substance abuse facilities across the state are looking at slashing services—sometimes in half—because of the surprise de-funding.

PHOTO: NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Steadily growing since the early 2000’s, the number of syphilis cases in Lee County saw an alarming spike in the first half of this year- already surpassing the total number of new reported cases in all of 2016. According to the Florida Department of Health in Lee County, there are 106 new cases of early syphilis infection confirmed as of July.  In all of 2016, 96 cases were reported- which follows a trend that saw syphilis cases jump by more than 70% in the past seven years.

Jenstew2012 via Wikimedia Creative commons

With a student population just under 900, New College of Florida in Sarasota has plans to grow to 1,200 students by 2020, and now they have the money to do it. This summer the school started phase one of its growth plan with $5.4 million on funding- another $45 million is expected to be spent on new buildings, forty more professors, and expanding enrollment.

Photo: U.S. Army by Stephen Baack

As we send our kids back to school, we take a look back at an interesting study that calculates the costs of getting three- and four-year old students prepared for kindergarten across Southwest Florida. The price tag is about $12,000 per student for an ideal combination of small classes, experienced head teachers, and materials. But the study finds a roughly $8,000 gap between what's needed and what federal and state funds provide.

Scott Wheeler/silver image photo agency

More people are touched by sinkholes in Florida than everywhere else in the world. Professor and scientist Dr. Robert Brinkman writes in his new book “Florida Sinkholes: Science and Policy” that at least one sinkhole forms somewhere in the state doing some type of property damage every week although most form between March and May. 

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