Medical marijuana is one step closer to the ballot in 2016- the amendment failed last year after it fell just shy of 60 percent of voters needed to put it in the consitution- but supporters now have enough signatures to trigger a supreme court review. Can it make it all the way back to the ballot? Then- there's a proposal to change the way drivers' licenses are issued move them from the county tax collector's offices to a centralized system that would mail the license out. And- bears have been getting a lot of attention in Florida- but what about the Florida panther? The state wants more federal involvement in managing the iconic animal- but what does this mean for the animal's survival? The Friday news round up on intersection with Darryl Owens, Rhetta Peoples and Jason Garcia.
Orlando's got theme parks. But that's not all: there's a vibrant arts community in the city beautiful- with everything from classical music to break dancing. Today on Intersection- we'll introduce you to some of Central Florida's most talented: the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra's principal flute and clarinet Colleen and Nikolay Blagov; Slam poet Curtis Meyer; break dancing champion Victor Montalvo; and up and coming band Beemo.
"Incredibly stupid choices." That's how Orange and Osceola County state attorney Jeff Ashton described his decision to sign up for an Ashley Madison account. At a press conference Ashton gave a day after he was outed by a local website, he said he did nothing illegal and has no plans to step down. The Orlando police union doesn't see it that way. The union wants an investigation into whether Ashton broke any laws. Then, there's a storm bearing down on Florida. Erika could make landfall next week. Is the state ready? It's been a decade since a hurricane hit Florida. And, Orange County is throwing more resources into an escalating drug problem. The county's set up a field hospital staffed with counselors at an apartment complex where there's been a rash of heroin overdoses. What else needs to happen to stem the tide of drug abuse?
Intersection: Orange County Tackles Heroin Epidemic
Orange County has a growing problem with heroin. In April it overtook cocaine as the county's deadliest street drug. Mayor Teresa Jacobs has assembled a task force- including law enforcement and health care professionals- to try to stem the tide of drug overdoses. And there's a high profile name attached to this taskforce: David Siegel. Siegel's eighteen year old daughter Victoria died in June of an accidental overdose- a combination of methadone and an anti depressant. . Now Siegel says he's making it his life's work to shed light on drug addiction and overdoses- and save lives. Coming up on Intersection, the 80 year old founder of Westgate Resorts talks about his quest. And we'll talk about the heroin task force with a panel of experts: Orange County sheriff Jerry Demings, ER doctor George Ralls and nurse practitioner Janet Hutchison.
Heroin has overtaken cocaine as the deadliest street drug in Orange County and Mayor Teresa Jacobs says she wants to do something about it - fast. What's the best way to tackle the heroin problem in Central Florida? And if it's not heroin, will something else spring up just as fast to replace it? Also, there's a primary battle brewing with Central Florida Democrats eyeing new congressional seats. Is redistricting helping the Democratic party in Florida? And, urban renewal in Parramore. Orlando City Soccer sells out of its season tickets. The team's on a roll- but what's impact is the new stadium going to have on the Parramore neighborhood?
Intersection: Parramore Tackles A Changing Neighborhood
Parramore is in flux. Orlando's historically black neighborhood will soon be home to a soccer stadium, and a brand new preschool through eighth grade public school. And that's just the start. Orlando city leaders say the future's looking good for residents of this neighborhood with better educational choices and more job opportunities. But some long-time residents are wary of what's ahead. Will there still be a place for them in the new Parramore? Ahead on Intersection we talk to people with a stake in the neighborhood's future: City Commissioner Regina Hill, Orlando City Soccer Club president Phil Rawlins, and hotelier Harris Rosen. And we'll hear how Parramore is tackling crime, how development is spilling into surrounding neighborhoods and how an economy has sprung up around game day parking.
Summer's not over yet but it's back to school already for some kids in Central Florida. Brevard County students hit the books this week- more time for instruction before testing begins perhaps- but should they get that extra week or two of summer? Seminole County school board officials want to replace the Florida Standards Assessment test with something else. And in Volusia County should school kids have to wear a uniform? Parents for and against school uniforms speak out. Join the conversation with our panel of journalists about these stories - plus we'll dig into redistricting, how some cities are tackling panhandling and more.
State lawmakers are back in Tallahassee this week. They'll have another go at drawing up congressional maps after the Florida Supreme Court ruled 8 of the 27 districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. It's the second time the legislature has been recalled to Tallahassee for extra time this year, and it won't be the last. In October they'll take up another special session- this time to draw up state senate maps. Redistricting is complex and prone to political missteps. State lawmakers are proving that right now as they gather in Tallahassee to put together new congressional maps free of political influence- This hour we'll explore some of the pitfalls of redistricting- and how some lawmakers say the process could be improved. Congresswoman Corinne Brown says the Supreme Court got it wrong. We'll also hear from Panhandle Republican state rep. Mike Hill, who says the Court is out of bounds with its ruling. What exactly is going on in Tallahassee? political scientist Aubrey Jewett walks us through the complex process - while former state lawmaker Paula Dockery, and the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party Carlos Guillermo Smith explore what these new maps mean for the future of Florida politics.
Ten candidates squared off last night in the first prime-time GOP primary debate. All eyes were on Donald Trump but what of Florida's Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush? Then more than a thousand hunters - including rocker Ted Nugent - line up to get Florida's first bear hunting permits in two decades. The hunt goes on- despite a lawsuit and protest from environmentalists. And even hunters can't agree on whether it's a good idea. It's the Friday news roundable with Florida Trend's Jason Garcia, Florida Sun's Rhetta Peoples and Orlando Political Observer's Frank Torres.
Florida's Natural Environment And The Challenge Of A Growing Population
For the first time in 20 years, Florida wildlife officials are issuing permits to hunt bears. The hunt, which starts in October, is part of a plan to manage the growing black bear population. But environmentalists say it's a bad idea, and a lawsuit was filed last week to stop the hunt. Even some hunters say there are some aspects of the hunt that should be changed. Coming up, a conversation with an environmentalist and a bear hunter about the upcoming black bear season. Also, development is changing Florida's wetlands. Tampa Bay times environmental reporter Craig Pittman joins the program to talk about the impact of surging population growth and urban sprawl and the national and state policies aimed at preserving the state's wetlands. And later in the program, a University of Central Florida professor of Biology is studying how oysters can help restore the Indian River Lagoon. She talks about her about her efforts to filter the lagoon naturally — and an uptick of algae blooms that pose a threat to the 153-mile long waterway.