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The space shuttle Atlantis lands in the pre-dawn hours on July 21, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending its last mission to the International Space Station and bringing down the curtain on NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.
A Florida Edition Of The Political Junkie
Four Republican presidential hopefuls are left standing, less than a week before the suddenly all-important Florida primary. The state is significantly larger in size and population than other early primary states, and only registered Republicans can vote in the GOP primary. The state also has several costly media markets and TV advertising is expected to play its largest role so far in the campaign. In this hour-long Political Junkie, host Neal Conan and Ken Rudin broadcast from member station WMFE in Orlando, and look ahead to the Florida primary. University of Central Florida political scientist Aubrey Jewett and Tampa Bay Times senior correspondent Lucy Morgan will explain the Florida GOP and how the four candidates are campaigning. Florida Republican chairman Leonard Curry will give his take on the primary, too. Ken and Neal will also recap the week in politics, from Rick Perry ending his bid, to the president's State of the Union address.
The Future Of Space
Six months after the end of NASA's shuttle program, America's future in space remains uncertain. Roughly 9,000 workers at the Kennedy Space Center lost their jobs. The fallout rippled throughout the local economy, affecting families and local businesses. But many people around Cape Canaveral hope that the private space industry will blossom, and lead the way back into space, and back to work. Neal Conan talks with Nicole Creston of member station WMFE about the future of U.S. space exploration and Florida's Space Coast.
The Persistent Problem Of Prescription Drug Abuse
Seven people die every day in Florida from prescription drug overdoses, by one estimate. Many of those deaths have been linked to pill mills — clinics and other medical establishments often run by doctors who prescribe or dispense powerful narcotics illegally. Years of weak regulation and a lack of a program to monitor prescription drugs lead to an epidemic in the state. Florida lawmakers responded to the crisis last year with legislation aimed at shutting down pill mills. Law enforcement agencies are attempting to crack down on dealers, abusers, and doctors who prescribe the drugs. Neal Conan talks with Amy Pavuk of the Orlando Sentinel about Florida's persistent prescription drug abuse problem and the state's renewed efforts to stop it.