ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
88°
Partly Cloudy
H 93° L 75°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    87°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 77°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

State & Regional Govt & Politics

    The Florida House is passing a gun control bill that raises the age for gun purchases in the state and expands mental health measures. The 'Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act' named after the high school in Parkland where 17 people were murdered in a mass shooting on Valentines day. The bill was approved by the house in a 67-50 vote two days after the state Senate narrowly approved it. The bill now heads to Governor Rick Scott's desk.  The measure raises the minimum age to buy guns from 18 to 21 and requires a three-day waiting period on most gun purchases. It establishes rules for arming some people in schools, provides funding for mental health care programs in schools and expands mental health measures.  It Creates a process to allow law enforcement to petition a court for a risk protection order to stop someone from accessing firearms if there is a danger that they will harm themselves or others.  it Would allow law enforcement to seize firearms or ammunition for someone taken into custody under the Baker Act for 24 hours after that person has been released, provided there is no risk protection order against them.  The bill Prohibits a person with a mental illness or has been committed to a mental institution from owning a gun unless a court says otherwise.
  • The Florida state Senate passed the 'Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,' named after the high school where 17 people were killed on Valentine's Day. The bill would make it illegal for anyone under 21-years-old to buy a rifle, would require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases and also establishes new mental health programs.  'This bill will make a difference now,'' said Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, sponsor of the bill. 'When it becomes law, things will start changing.' The measure also establishes rules for arming some people in schools, but excludes teachers from performing that duty.  A Republican amendment changed the so-called Marshal Program Monday.  The program originally allocated $67 million to arm teachers who volunteer to go through law enforcement training. The new version of the bill only allow teachers who perform other duties, such as coaching, to have guns. Other school staff, such as psychologists and guidance counselors, can also be trained to carry guns.  The bill narrowly passed, 20-18, and will now go to the Florida House.
  • Allegations of misconduct and bad behavior are swirling around Tallahassee and the head of Florida's Democratic Party is the latest casualty. Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel resigned Friday in response to the accusations leveled against him. Politico Florida reports as many as a half dozen former female party staffers have accused Bittel of creating an “unprofessional workplace environment” by making inappropriate comments and demeaning women. Bittel acknowledged the allegations and issued a public apology. “Every person, regardless of their gender, race, age or sexuality should be treated with respect and valued for their hard work and contributions to our community and if any of my comments or actions did not reflect that belief I am deeply sorry,” Bittel said. “I have much to learn, but my goal is and has always been to make sure every member of our party has a safe environment in which to succeed. It seems I’ve not been successful in that goal, and I will do better.' It’s the latest story in a series of accusations against state lawmakers. Last month, Democrat State Senator Jeff Clemens resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a lobbyist. Republican State Senator Jack Latvala was caught on camera kissing a female lobbyist.  Both denied having a relationship. Latvala has also been accused of groping women and making offensive statements to others about their physical appearance.
  • You don’t have to be a college football fan to realize that the University of Miami’s Turnover Chain has become something of a cultural phenomenon. A large University of Miami emblem hangs from the gaudy, oversized gold chain.  Miami’s turnover chain weighs close to 6 lbs.   Whenever a Hurricanes player creates a turnover during a football game, he is rewarded on the sideline with the Turnover Chain.   It’s been the talk of the ‘Canes’ season and its influence has spread all the way to the Florida State Capitol. Democrat lawmakers in Tallahassee have recreated their own turnover chain and they’re using it to troll their Republican counterparts.   State Senator Perry Thurston was spotted this week sporting the turnover chain.   Marc Caputo of Politico Florida has been having fun with the Democrats’ turnover chain and what their real motivation for it may be.
  • More than a dozen people held their Passover seder dinner at a pair of picnic tables – in line to attend a town hall hosted by North Florida Representative Ted Yoho.  Close to 500 people showed up at Yoho’s event, according to The Independent Florida Alligator. But a group of constituents expressed resentment toward the Congressman for holding his town hall on a Jewish holiday.  Some 15 people huddled around two picnic tables to hold a traditional seder dinner. The paper reports about 50 people watched on.  Many complained that the meeting should have been scheduled to avoid conflict with the Jewish holiday.  “To me, it means that either he didn't want Jewish people at this town hall,” Attendee Pam Smith said, “but more likely, he didn't know that it was Passover.”  The majority of people at the town hall reportedly disagreed with Representative Yoho on most issues. The discussion topics ranged from health care and climate change, to President Trump’s tax returns and the missile barrage in Syria.
  • Amber Mariano cut her four classes on Tuesday, but the third-year political science major at the University of Central Florida more than likely won’t be penalized by her professors. In fact, she might get extra credit. >> Read more trending stories Not only was she studying the political process, she was winning at it. Mariano, a Republican candidate who turned 21 on Oct. 18, became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida House of Representatives, winning District 36 by 719 votes over incumbent Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy. Before Mariano, the youngest person elected to the Florida House was Adam Putnam, who was 22 when he won in 1996 and is now Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture. “It was honestly the best night of my life,” Mariano told WFTS. The Tampa Bay Times reported that the margin was 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent out of 66,939 ballots cast in Pasco County, located north of the Tampa Bay area — according to final but unofficial results. Mariano the youngest of any gender since 1996, when Adam Putnam, then 22, won his first statehouse race. According to her website, Mariano gained experience on the issues of education and health care during her time working for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in Washington, D.C. During the 2016 Florida legislative session, she worked for state representatives Rene “Coach P” Plasencia and Scott Plakon. She received endorsements from Rubio and Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Mariano, who plans to attend law school after graduation, is no stranger to politics. Her father, Jack Mariano, won re-election to a fourth term as a Pasco County commissioner. “We didn’t expect this opportunity to present itself so quickly in her life,” Jack Mariano told WFTS. “But I will tell you at 6 years old she said she wanted to be the first woman president. “So it’s been in her blood from way back when.” “He says I’m leapfrogging him. He just wanted me to follow my dream,” Amber Mariano told WFTS.  “And this is my dream.” 
  • This story originally published Feb. 3. Editor’s note: Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who hasn’t lost an election since his bid to lead Ohio State University student government in 1973, is closing in on the biggest bet of his political life as he tries to win over Republican presidential primary voters.  On Monday, Feb. 1 — the day he finished eighth in Iowa’s Republican caucus — Kasich kicked off an eight-day stretch of campaigning in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, he finished second to Donald Trump, securing a major win in the lead-up to the GOP nomination process. Here is the back story.  —- Monday, February 1, 2016 Kasich and New Day for America, the super PAC backing him, are banking on a dicey strategy to skip Iowa and invest heavily in New Hampshire in the hopes that a solid finish will catapult him into the limelight and bring in campaign cash. It’s a strategy that has worked for some in the past and been fatal for others, such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who placed sixth in Iowa and then came in fourth in New Hampshire after being the national front-runner. “We will know on the morning of the 10th (of February) whether we are a story and it’s really going to be whether you’re saying ‘Oh, my goodness, this guy Kasich, we sort of counted him out.’ … And all of sudden you folks (in the media) will be forced to shift a little bit of your attention away from the Trumper. You might have to talk about John Kasich,” Kasich told CNN. Watch Kasich here on CNN. Bypassing Iowa, and performing poorly in Monday’s caucuses, could hurt Kasich’s momentum in New Hampshire because voters will likely consider the Iowa results in deciding who to support, said Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Cedarville University Center for Political Studies. “There is a very real bandwagon effect when it comes to presidential primaries,” Smith said. “People like to be associated with the winning candidate, the successful candidate.” >>Read more trending stories Selling the candidate Kasich, 63, entered the race in July, qualified for all seven GOP debates, earned the endorsements of the Boston Globe, New York Times and several New Hampshire newspapers, and held nearly 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire and raised $7.6 million, outside the millions raised by New Day For America. Kasich’s narrative is that he is an experienced executive who knows how to manage government, balance budgets, fix problems, cut taxes and help those in need. He tells voters on the trail that there is the establishment lane, the outsider lane and the Kasich lane. The race in New Hampshire is still unsettled since six out of 1o Republicans there said they have not made up their minds, according to a recent CNN/WMUR poll. New Hampshire’s primary process, in which voters cast ordinary ballots, offers the candidates a more straightforward sprint toward victory than Iowa. But undeclared voters, who make up the largest bloc in New Hampshire, can vote in either party’s primary, infusing the race with an added level of uncertainty. Several polls show Kasich in second place behind reality TV star Donald Trump, who finished second in Iowa behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. But Kasich’s grasp on second place could be in jeopardy if U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s strong third-place showing in Iowa gives him momentum and campaign money in New Hampshire, said University of Dayton political scientist Dan Birdsong. “If, and admittedly this is a big if, Rubio can ride the momentum from Iowa into New Hampshire, he could put a dent in Trump’s support but he will likely take some support away from candidates like Kasich and (New Jersey Gov. Chris) Christie,” Birdsong said. He added: “The only thing that should pull Rubio down is his lack of experience. Republicans are so upset with the ‘novice’ in the White House, are they really willingly to put another one in? This has been the puzzle for me. Rubio’s speech from Monday night was almost a carbon copy for the 2008 Barack Obama Iowa speech. Partisanship can be blinding. “If Kasich wants to break Rubio’s momentum he must make the next week and the rest of the campaign about experience vs. inexperience. Although a Rubio-Kasich or Kasich-Rubio ticket could make for an interesting General Election.” >>Read more trending stories The Trump alternative Smith said Rubio’s third-place finish in Iowa “probably made it difficult for Jeb Bush to do anything.” Smith said if Rubio wins or places second in New Hampshire that could make him “the clear Trump alternative,” which wouldn’t bode well for Kaisch. Kasich is getting some help from the home team, with as many as 200 people already campaigning for him, a number which could double next week, said Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. “We will knock on doors, make phone calls and talk to voters, help him organize rallies and town halls and various things that he’s doing to help win voters over and help him get his message out there,” Borges said. Borges, and spokeswoman Brittany Warner, and state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, are headed to New Hampshire this week and former Centerville Mayor Mark Kingseed is already there. State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, just returned from campaigning for the governor. “The folks here are so tuned in and involved in the primary,” said Kingseed. “I think they take their duty very seriously here knowing that they have a huge influence on who the president is going to be.” Antani, a Kasich delegate, said it is exciting to have an Ohioan in the presidential race and he’s looking forward to talking to voters in New Hampshire. “Getting out the vote is crucial. This is probably going to be the important weekend of the campaign because if he can get a solid second place it will vault him into the other primary states and therefore give him the national exposure he needs in order to win,” Antani said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, announced his resignation Friday, ending one of the strangest political scandals the state has seen. This is a big deal because Kitzhaber is an institution in Oregon politics: He was elected to serve as governor for the first time in 1994, then again in '98, then later in 2010 and 2014. (Video via John Kitzhaber for Oregon Governor) But shortly after his most recent inauguration, it was discovered Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, was allegedly using government contacts to enrich her private business. (Video via KOBI) 'Kitzhaber says the couple knew they were operating in a gray area and tried to keep clear lines between her activities as first lady and her paid work as an environmental consultant,' KOIN reported.  Hayes earned about $213,000 as a consultant during Kitzhaber's first term, and multiple sources said she frequently guided government contracts toward firms that did business with her. She's now being accused of running what's called a 'pay-for-play' scheme where her influence over the former governor was translated into jobs and money for people willing to give her business. This isn't the first time we've seen negative press surrounding Hayes. In October of last year, she admitted to a 1997 green-card marriage, for which she was paid $5,000. 'Seventeen years ago I made a serious mistake by committing an illegal act when I married a person so that he could maintain residency in the United States,' she's said of that decision.  Oregon voters were able to forgive a sham marriage, but they weren't willing to forgive this. Political leaders from both sides of the aisle are calling for the governor's resignation. 'I met with the governor this morning, and the speaker and I both met with him, and I asked him for his resignation,' said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney. With Kitzhaber now gone, Oregon's next governor will be the current Democratic Secretary of State Kate Brown. And here's where it gets a little weird: On Wednesday, Kitzhaber reportedly asked Brown to return to Oregon from a conference in Washington, D.C., for a one-on-one meeting. (Video via Oregon Social Business Challenge)  >>Related: Kate Brown to make history as first openly bisexual governor Brown returned, meeting with Kitzhaber Wednesday afternoon. The governor was expected to announce his resignation at that meeting, but instead he apparently asked Brown why she 'came back early,' conveniently ignoring the fact he asked her to.  Brown herself said the meeting was strange, calling it a 'bizarre and unprecedented situation.'  Bizarre and unprecedented are good words, but others have also called the whole thing 'illegal.' As of Friday, both the state attorney general and the FBI are looking into the couple.  This video includes an image from the Oregon National Guard.