Gulf Coast Live

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According to a University of Pennsylvania Annenburg Public Policy Center study, in which more than a thousand adults were surveyed late last year, 37% did not know what the 1st Amendment was about. Still, it is the amendment that is cited repeatedly in political discourse, facebook rants, and at dinner tables and it is used by all sides when it suits an arguement or aggrievement.


Between the ongoing issue of whether NFL players have the right to protest by kneeling during the national anthem, to whether a baker has the right to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple, and now the US Press secretary being asked to leave a restaurant, 1st Amendment-related stories have found themselves front and center in our national conversation. So, we thought we’d bring in two people who spend a lot of time thinking about the 1st Amendment and what it means. We're joined by Ron Feemster, a journalism professor at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers, and Dr. Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.


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After a petition was signed by nearly 850,000 Floridians, the decision of whether or not voting rights will be restored to former felons in the state is now in the hands of the people.


It comes in the form of Amendment 4 on the upcoming November ballot. The amendment needs 60 percent of the vote to become law, but that might not be a problem, according to a new bipartisan poll that shows nearly three-quarters of voters support it.


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While hemp has been grown as a fiber and grain crop for thousands of years, it was made illegal in the U.S. in the 1930s. But, times are changing and now there are more than 30 states exploring it as an agricultural crop. Now, that process is getting started here with a new pilot project from the University of Florida. UF’s Industrial Hemp research plan will explore the economic viability of growing hemp in the sunshine state. On today’s show we’re going to find out what that entails.

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We explore the life of Barron Gift Collier with local author Marya Repko. Her new book, "The Story of Barron Collier" tells the story of Collier, who made a fortune with his advertising business before investing in Florida. He became the largest landowner in Florida, bought hotels, operated telephone systems, published newspapers, and undertook a road-building project across the swamps of the Everglades. At the same time, he was keeping up his New York interests as a civic leader, generous with his creativity and wealth. This is the third in a series of History for Younger Readers and is based on the Repko’s research for the adult version "Everglades Entrepreneur," all published by ECity Publishing.

When President George W. Bush asked New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to travel North Korea on a diplomatic mission he took a group of experts with him. One person who joined that delegation was Florida Gulf Coast University President Mike Martin, who was the education expert. We sat down with President Martin to learn more about his time in North Korea, and what insights he brought back with him.