HNF Stories

Lake Okeechobee’s Lower Level Debated Among Stakeholders

May 20, 2019
Amy Green / WMFE

Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s “Liquid Heart,” and people who depend on it for irrigation, drinking water, recreation and their livelihoods are often in conflict on how to take care of it.

This year, the conflict has heated up because the Army Corps of Engineers has been keeping the level lower than usual. Some say it will save the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers from toxic algae blooms. Others claim it risks a devastating water shortage.

'Gunshine State:' Florida Nears 2 Million Concealed Weapons Permits

Apr 15, 2019

Already leading the nation with the highest number of concealed weapon permits, Florida is nearing a new threshold: granting authority to 2 million civilians who can lawfully carry guns tucked in waistbands, under jackets or inside purses into restaurants, shopping malls and elsewhere.

Updated at 5:31 p.m. ET

The News Service of Florida

A controversial abortion measure known as the “fetal heartbeat bill” has been filed in the Florida Senate, mirroring a bill filed last month in the House. 

‘Free Market’ Marijuana Changes Could Be Hard Sell

Feb 1, 2019
Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons

He’s not calling it a cartel, as Gov. Ron DeSantis did.

But House Speaker José Oliva acknowledged this week that the state’s “vertically integrated” medical marijuana system – which requires operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products – “isn’t terribly free market.” 

Flickr Creative Commons

In a decision focused on expert witnesses, a state appeals court Friday rejected a medical-malpractice lawsuit stemming from allegations that a woman suffered a broken femur during a hip-replacement surgery. 

According to a new report by United Cerebral Palsy and the Ancor Foundation, Florida dropped from 18th to 34th in state rankings when it comes to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) lead more independent lives.

And in terms of helping these Floridians get jobs, Florida ranks last.

The latest red tide report shows high concentrations of the toxic algae blooms in Sarasota and Collier counties. This nearly 16-month red tide event has killed more sea turtles than ever recorded.

Respiratory irritation related to red tide was also reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Madison Waldron has an app on her phone that, on the surface, looks and acts a lot like a fitness tracker. But then there are the survey questions it pushes out to her:

"Questions in regards to what I do for a living, education and things like that," she says as she thumbs through her phone, showing her scheduled doctor visits. "And I get questions as far as my sexual history and my practices."

WMFE

Florida could soon allow sterile needle exchanges across the state.

The number of Floridians who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act this year increased by more than 55,000 compared to last year.

Videos and photos of police officers responding to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 show them saving at least two victims by applying tourniquets to gunshot wounds on their legs.

Now, Julie Osheroff is learning how to do that. And she's not a cop — she's a teacher.

Osheroff recently trained with about 85 of her colleagues in how to be a first responder.

Some Dentists Are Offering Their Own Dental Plans

Dec 12, 2018
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

As the deadline to enroll in the Affordable Care Act health insurance Marketplace approaches, many Floridians will have to make decisions about dental coverage. Even if an individual isn’t covered by a Marketplace health plan, or by their employer, there are new options for dental coverage.

If what he says is true, Samuel Little would be one of the worst serial killers in U-S history.

The 78-year-old claims that between 1970 and 2005, he murdered 90 people, mostly women, around the country. That includes some in Tampa, Plant City, and elsewhere around Florida.

Now investigators, including University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle, are trying to determine the validity of Little’s claims, as well as the identities of some of his victims.

There's been a big shakeup at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The CEO and two other administrators resigned today after a Tampa Bay Times investigation showed that the mortality rate at the hospital’s Heart Institute tripled between 2015 and 2017.

iStock

Medicaid enrollees in Florida will have a much shorter window to apply thanks to a change approved by the federal government. But the reason given for the change doesn't add up for some.

Former medical-marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried is on the verge of being the only Florida Democrat to capture a statewide win, gaining votes over Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell in the race for agriculture commissioner after a manual recount was completed Sunday.

The manual recount also had no effect on the outcome of three razor-thin legislative races, in which Democrat Janet Cruz flipped a state Senate seat and House Republicans picked up one seat and held onto another.

Peter Haden/WLRN

Hillsborough commissioners on Wednesday voted to spend $13.7 million dollars over the next year to combat opioid addiction.

Suzanne Young

St. Petersburg leaders have settled a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in 2016 after the city released millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay. 

Cheap Health Insurance / Flickr

A public health state of emergency has been declared in Florida after Hurricane Michael. Medical personnel have been deployed at the national level to respond. A team of seven people from the Orange County Health Department has been sent to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael.

Kaiser Family Foundation

Health insurance premiums and deductibles for employer-sponsored plans are costing workers more this year, according to a report from Kaiser Family Foundation.

medicare.gov

Open enrollment for Medicare begins October 15 and this year there are lots of changes that will create more health care options for seniors.

Courtesy of Juul Labs

E-cigarette use among young people in Florida spiked over the past year, according to data released by Tobacco Free Florida.

Pinellas County Schools

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The state’s school districts now must ask whether a child has ever been referred for mental health services on registration forms for new students.

healthcare.gov

Consumers signing up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace should double check how prescriptions are covered.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Sen. Bill Nelson filed a bill last week that would provide veterans with access to medical marijuana at the VA and open doors for more research on the drug.

Activists Call For Florida’s Removal From ACA Lawsuit

Aug 24, 2018

Activists gathered at an Orlando park on Thursday to call on Governor Rick Scott to remove Florida from a lawsuit that challenges the Affordable Care Act.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida is moving ahead with new Medicaid managed-care contracts, but mental-health providers continue to await publication of details about how services need to be delivered.

Wikimedia Commons

A dispute over the the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s decision to award a Medicaid managed-care contract in Southwest Florida has turned into a court battle.

You wouldn't know it by looking at her but, according to her mother, Sandra Lobaina was a biter. 

“I bit her," said Lobaina, smiling, when asked to explain why her mother didn't breastfeed her. "After that, she stopped. Even though I was a few days old, and I didn’t have teeth. But she was in pain, wasn’t in the correct position. And there wasn’t anyone there to come in and help her.”

Now Lobaina works as a licensed midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to make sure other mothers have the support they need to breastfeed. 

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