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Capital Report: 07-18-2014

Four years ago, an oil rig owned by BP exploded off the Louisiana coast—causing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The oil flowed all the way to the Western Panhandle, causing tourists to flee and businesses to dry up. Now, as Lynn Hatter reports, tourism is back and the money is flowing again—and the oil remains.

Governor Rick Scott recently said he was “no scientist” when asked whether or not he believed there was climate change made worse by human activity.  Now ten real-life scientists say they want to meet the governor face-to-face to present their evidence that such a situation does in fact exist.  And, as Sascha Cordner tells us, the scientists don’t want to deal with some administration staff person….they want to talk with the governor himself.

The Florida legislature passed the Stand your ground statute in 2005 to expand protections for self-defense.  But as Nick Evans reports, one south Florida man’s case shows the law is far more complex than it may at first seem.

The Florida Teachers Union is turning to the courts to block an expansion of the state’s so called school voucher program. The group says it’s bad for students because it allows for an expansion of unregulated schools. But Regan McCarthy reports school choice organizations are blasting the union, saying it’s turned its back on special needs kids.

Here’s a story that, sadly, has become far too common at this time of year. So far this summer, 16 children have died nationwide after being left in cars.  Two of those cases were reported in Florida.   In one Georgia case, authorities are investigating the possibility the child may have intentionally left to die.  Jill Roberts from member station WQCS in Fort Pierce reports there are steps parents can take to keep this from happening to their children…

Florida businesses and institutions need to step up their recycling efforts if the state has any hope of meeting a goal of 75 percent recycled waste.  As Jessica Palombo reports, that’s what environmental officials are saying after a recent progress report showed Floridians are recycling less than half of all waste.