Tallahassee, FL – Dr. Billy Close is chair of the subcommittee wanting to improve the educational outcomes for black males. He says that there are many factors that contribute to their success and failure. According to the Florida Department of Education, the achievement gap begins to show itself between the 3rd and 5th grade.

Historically African Americans have been marginalized out of the educational system. Close suggests that this may be part of the reason why black males are struggling in schools.

Tallahassee, FL – Rick Theilaball jokes that he is the financial advisor to the stars. But Wednesday he was a USO pitchman.Waddell and Reed is among the oldest and more successful mutual fund companies. Top
management decided to celebrate the firm's 70th anniversary by turning an 18 wheel semi trailer into a USO care package store and send it to 70 cities.

The care packages cost 25 dollars. They contain between 50 and 75 dollars worth of
requested items.

Tallahassee, FL – Jeanine Brown is a new mom. Her son, Aaron is eleven weeks old. She is breastfeeding, for many of the same reasons that other mothers do- it facilitates attachment, babies tend to be healthier and have higher test scores. And, like many other mothers, she is very conscious about breastfeeding in public.

Her attitude is not uncommon among new mothers. Molly Shaker, owner of the boutique, says that society tells women that breastfeeding isn't appropriate, especially in public, when many states have laws that say it is perfectly ok.

Tallahassee, FL – A power plant that would burn gasified garbage moved a step closer to reality for the City of Tallahassee this week. During his Brazilian trade mission, Governor Crist announced a 182-million dollar financing deal for the project. City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey says city officials are grateful for the help .

Tallahassee, FL – Tal Tech and Young Black Male Discovery have incorporated a technology program initiative, intended to give at-risk youth access to technology, mainly computers, and their benefits. Leon County School Superintendent Jackie Pons explained the importance of programs like Tal Tech and Young Black Male Discovery, also known as YBM.

The YBM Discovery Project is expanding this year and will target eight middle schools. Two hundred middle school at-risk boys will be selected to participate in the program.

Leon County, FL – Helen Gainous is the mother of the late Sylvester Davis Jr., former Director of the Dade Street Community Center. Davis was found murdered in his home in October of 2005.

His story is not unfamiliar to the many families who have lost loved ones and those with people missing. This is why Crime Stoppers and the Sheriffs Office are distributing playing cards to Leon County jail inmates- in the hopes that someone who knows something about these cases will come forward. Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell was at the conference.

Tallahassee, FL – The King of the Road went up Chestnut Hill Saturday night and ruined Boston College's chance at playing for a national championship. James Call reports, Bobby Bowden's Florida State football team upset the Eagles 27-17 with a nearly flawless performance.

U.S. – David Sloan, director of government relations with the AARP, says it's already tough for many older Floridians to find a doctor who takes Medicare patients

Sloan says it soon may get even tougher. That's because Medicare is set to cut its payments for physician services by ten percent in 2008. The U.S. House has passed a bill reversing the cut, but the Sloan says the outcome is far from certain in the Senate.

Tallahassee, FL – That is Monique Gillum, FAMU's student body president. Her last name may sound familiar. Her brother is Commissioner Andrew Gillium, a FAMU Alumni. It is Friday and the Rattler Nation, old and young, has gathered in Gaither Gymnasium for the Homecoming Convocation.

FAMU's keynote speaker is Will Packard, a 1996 graduate and creator of Rainforest films. His movie credits include The Gospel Stomp the Yard and This Christmas which is set for release later in the month.

Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers passed a proposed constitutional amendment that doubles the
homestead exemption and allows residents to take an assessment cap with them when they moved. That's called portability. And local government groups say it complicates efforts to measure the proposal's impact on city, county and schools. Among the groups withholding judgement at this time is the Florida Association of Counties. Cragin Marsteller is the FAC's spokesperson.

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2017 Legislative Issues

Florida's legislative session has begun and several issues are expected to arise during this year's lawmaking session.

From NPR News

After high school, Staff Sgt. Kimi wanted to go to art school, but she didn't have the money. So she joined the military.

Intelligence analysts like Kimi work with drone pilots and others in the Air Force to guide decisions about where to deploy weapons in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida. (The U.S. Air Force won't release her last name because of the high-security work she does).

When I ask friends how they're doing, "tired" is often part of the response. A 2015 YouGov.com poll found 38 percent of Americans were poorly rested at least four days of the week. Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a few years earlier found that 15 percent of women and 10 percent of men said they were "very tired or exhausted" most days or every day of the week.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Dani Shapiro's new memoir, Hourglass, opens on a scene from a marriage: On a winter's day, Shapiro looks out a window of her old house in Connecticut, and spots her husband. Now pushing 60, he is standing in the driveway in his bathrobe, his pale legs stuffed into galoshes, aiming a rifle at the woodpecker, who for months has been jackhammering holes into the side of their house.

Former President Barack Obama on Monday gave his first public address since leaving office, moderating a panel with young people on community engagement while dancing around the turmoil surrounding his White House successor.

"So, uh, what's been going on while I've been gone?" Obama deadpanned at the beginning of his opening remarks at the University of Chicago.

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