Beyond the News WFLA Interviews

Beyond the News WFLA Interviews

Interviews conducted by the WFLA Radio newsroom in Tampa Florida, with local and national newsmakers. Be sure to follow us!

Episodes

May 23, 2024 7 mins
This Memorial Day weekend, a group that counsels veterans is holding a special service for those veterans and first responders who died by taking their own lives. It's taking place at the American Legion Post 5 and cemetery in Tampa, at Kennedy and Dale Mabry. We speak with Ellsworth "Tony" Williams, who leads a group called Veterans Counseling Veterans whose purpose includes preventing veteran suicides. 
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Starting in August, the National Hurricane Center will start experimenting with changes in the well-known "cone of uncertainty". They're going to show potential impacts on inland areas, which often feel under-warned during a hurricane. We speak with Polk County Emergency Management Director Paul Womble, about what this will mean for communities away from the coastline. 
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Wednesday evening (15), bicycle riders across the nation will be taking part in Rides of Silence to remember those killed or injured in crashes, and o promote bike and pedestrian safety. We speak with John Sinibaldi of the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club 
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Newsradio WFLA's Read Shepherd talks to Florida Chief Financial Officer/Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis about the "My Safe Florida Home" program, which got a $200 millikon boost from the state legislature this past session.  New applicants will be able to sign up and schedule an inspection starting July 1.
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The Florida chapter of the nation's oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization is meeting in an unusual spot. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) state convention is happening in Haines City. Organizers are also sponsoring a job fair and voter education. We speak with Florida director Eliseo Santana about the meeting, LULAC's issues in Florida and the fast-growing Hispanic population in eastern Polk County...
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May 9, 2024 8 mins
NewsRadio WFLA/FNN's Read Shepherd talks to Dave Connor, Pinellas County Public Information.  With hurricane season now less than a month away, Pinellas County is opening a year-round self-serve sandbag pickup site at the County Solid Waste facility, 2855 109th Ave. N, St. Petersburg.  Dave talks about how the site will work, and under what circumstances sandbags will work for a homeowner, and under what conditions they won't....
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This is the 500th episode of Beyond the News. We speak with US News governmental managing editor Gary Emerling about their 2024 Best States survey. Florida makes the top 10 overall and scores very highly in two important categories. Find out more by listening here. 
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The National Wheelchair Rugby Championships are taking place Friday through Sunday in Wiregrass Ranch in Pasco County. We speak with Mike DeLancey, a disabled veteran who's helped in the formation of a wheelchair rugby team locally and in bringing the championships and hundreds of athletes, family, coaches and volunteer assistants to the Tampa Bay area. 
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Saturday, April 27th is National Drug Takeback Day, with hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the nation collecting old prescription meds as part of Operation Medicine Cabinet. In Clearwater, they're offering to collect old drugs AND shred old documents, to keep them away from identity thieves.  We speak with Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw. 
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April 24, 2024 8 mins
Newsradio WFLA's Read Shepherd talks to Greg Deese, F-DOT Regional Engineer, about the impending opening of the Gateway Expressway, which will connect I-275, US 19, and the approach to the Bayside Bridge.  The toll road is set to open to drivers on Friday, April 26.
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Every year, the American Lung Association ranks metro areas across the nation for air quality in terms of ozone and particle pollution. Most of Florida gets good marks, but some areas have issues, particularly Tampa Bay and South Florida. We speak with Ashley Lyerly with the ALA. 
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Newsradio WFLA's Read Shepherd talks to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Captain Garth Swingle about a May 11 event in which local and elected officials--along with the media--can get a first-hand look at what Fire Rescue crews and how they do it.  The "Fire Ops 101" program will also give participants a chance to expeience hands-on firefighting and rescue operations.  The event is scheduled for May 11 at the Clearwater Fire & Rescue...
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Dickey Betts, legendary guitarist and singer best known for his work with the Allman Brothers, has died at age 80 at his home in Osprey, near Sarasota. Betts was born in Florida and grew up in the Bradenton area. We speak with musician Damon Fowler, who toured with the Dickey Betts Band in 2018, about Betts and his legacy. 
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Former Florida governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham has died at age 87. One of his major initiatives involved manatee protection and conservation. We speak with Patrick Rose, executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, which was co-founded by Graham and singer Jimmy Buffett, who died last September. 
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Bat maternity season begins Tuesday (April 16th), which means some restrictions in the way you can deal with bats that get into your house or business property. We speak with Jayne Johnston, a senior wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, about how to deal with bats during bat baby time. 
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Hillsborough County is updating its vulnerability assessment for the first time since 2020. They hope to get information on challenges facing neighborhoods and areas within the county to help residents stay safe and deal with potential impacts of flooding and other climate-related issues. The county is holding a public meeting April 16th that can also be accessed virtually. We speak with Hazard Mitigation, Resiliency and Sustainabi...
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A private nonprofit that describes itself as the eyes and ears of the Florida taxpayer takes a look at the proposed deal to build a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays and redevelop the Gas Plant, and offers some suggestions. We speak with Bob Nave, senior VP of research at Florida Taxwatch. 
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April 5, 2024 4 mins
The solar eclipse is Monday, April 8. It's not total in any part of Florida but the Tampa-Hillsborough library system is holding watch parties nonetheless. We speak with the system's Cheryl Wolfe. 
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 A new hurricane forecast coming out, from a Sarasota-based climate group. The Climate Adaptation Center will focus its outlook on Florida's west coast. We speak with Center CEO Bob Bunting 
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March 26, 2024 7 mins
Newsradio WFLA's Read Shepherd talks with Elliott Falcione, the Executive Director of the Bradenton Convention and Visitors Bureau about the expansion of the Gulf Islands Ferry from Bradenton to Anna Maria Island
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