Tallahassee, FL – On any given day in Florida there are over 40,000 people under correctional supervision who are severely mentally ill. This, says Judge Steven Leifman, is an issue that Florida needs to address now.

To get the policy makers talking, Leifman and other members of the Mental Health Subcommittee and Workgroup put together a proposal for restructuring the state's mental health system.

Tallahassee, FL – Sally & Mary, a same-sex couple, have a large family.

We have ten people. From this one, who is the baby, three to eleven years old. Five boys, two girls, me, her, and my brother, who we take care of.

But recent events have left them broke and on the brink of homelessness. The trouble started just over a month ago when the house they rented was foreclosed on without warning.

We had a 24 hour eviction notice. So I took all my money to help us move.

Tallahassee, FL – Exotic pets are popular in the state. Many of them are illegal. On the list of exotics are big cats- many of which are not native to Florida or the U.S. These cats are the end result of generations of breeding from the original animals that were brought to the states years ago. Henry Cabbage is the community relations coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Tallahassee, FL – The Hometown Democracy amendment would require a referendum by voters before a
county change its comprehensive plan. Supporters say it is to easy to amend the long-range planning document. But opponents argue it is not practical to hold referendums for every land use change. To prove their point they printed up what they said last year's
Orange City Ballot would have looked liked if Hometown was law. Three columns of
land use proposals spread across 45 pages.

Tallahassee, FL – K2 Urbancorp, the developer of Evening Rose, a new 36 acre 80 million dollar community in Tallahassee announced they will make all of their homes to meet new green building standards adopted by the US Green Building Council. K2 Urbancorp CEO David Wamsley

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or Leed certification is a national voluntary rating system that sets standards for things including water savings, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Wamsley says all this really means, more savings for homeowners

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.

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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

President Trump stood by his heavily criticized defense of monuments commemorating the Confederacy in a series of tweets Thursday morning. Trump said removing the statues of Confederate generals meant removing "beauty" — that would "never able to be comparably replaced" — from American cities. As he did in a Tuesday press conference, he also attempted to equate some Confederate generals with some of the Founding Fathers.

Strung together, the tweets read:

When Anna Neuman was applying to college, there weren't a lot of people around to help her. Students from her high school in Maryland rarely went on to competitive colleges, the school counselor worked at several different schools and was hard to pin down for meetings and neither of her parents had been through the application process before.

The only thing her parents told her was, she'd have to pay for it herself.

Jared Taylor was not in Charlottesville on Saturday. But Taylor, one of the leading voices for white rights in the country, says it was clear what really happened at that rally.

Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

It's a common refrain from whiskey enthusiasts: Add a few drops of water to a glass to open up the flavors and aroma of the drink.

For example, hard-liquor expert Alice Lascelles said in a demonstration for the Sunday Times that "if you're tasting with a master blender, they will always add some water at some stage."

Copyright 2017 NCPR. To see more, visit NCPR.

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