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Every day, hundreds of sick and injured patients walk into free and charitable clinics around the Tampa Bay area in need of a doctor.Many are suffering from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Some patients were referred to the clinics by staff at hospitals where they landed after years of neglecting to care for treatable conditions.The clinics allow the patients to pay what they can, or nothing at all. They are staffed by doctors and nurses who volunteer their time. They survive off donations and small grants.Many of the patients have jobs but they are living paycheck to paycheck. None have health insurance, either because they do not qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private coverage. For these patients, the clinics are often their only option for primary care.

Cruz Attorneys Want To Question His Mental Counselors Alone

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Broward County Sheriff's Office
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Attorneys for the suspect in last year's Florida school massacre will ask a judge to let them question his former mental health counselors without prosecutors present.

Attorneys for Nikolas Cruz are scheduled Thursday to ask Judge Elizabeth Scherer for permission to question the counselors without notifying prosecutors or allowing their attendance. The counselors treated Cruz before the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

The attorneys wanted to question them informally, but their employer said they would only comply if subpoenaed. That would require prosecutors' attendance. Cruz's attorneys say that would hinder their ability to prepare his defense.

Prosecutors say there is no exception to the rule allowing their attendance.

The 20-year-old defendant has offered to plead guilty for a life sentence. Prosecutors want the death penalty.