12/22/17: Sen. Latvala Resigns, El Faro Report, Jimmy Buffett

Dec 22, 2017

A Florida senator quits after news of more bad behavior and big changes could be coming to the shipping industry after the disaster surrounding El Faro. Plus, we have a look at the far-ranging influence of Florida icon Jimmy Buffett.

Sen. Jack Latvala Resigns After ‘Probable Cause’ In Sexual Harassment Probe

Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala resigned from the Florida Senate Wednesday. His last day will be January 5th, less than a week before the annual state legislative session gets underway.

The resignation came a day after a retired judge’s investigation found probable cause that Latvala had repeatedly harassed or made unwanted sexual advances to half a dozen women who first shared their stories about two months ago with Politico.

Alexandra Glorioso from Politico Florida, who has been covering the probe, joined us to discuss Latvala’s downfall.

Coast Guard's Final Review Of El Faro

The sinking of El Faro two years ago killed all 33 crew members on board as it sailed from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico - and right into Hurricane Joaquin. It is one of this country’s worst maritime disasters.

A report released Thursday by the Coast Guard calls the sinking a "tragic and preventable accident." It said, “this is a call to action for the entire maritime community” to commit to following safety procedures.

Ryan Benk, a WJCT reporter, and Maeve McGoran, a WLRN producer, gave us a look at the findings and what federal investigators had to say.

Jimmy Buffett’s Impact

One Floridian who will be celebrating a birthday on Christmas Day is also one of the state’s biggest icons - Jimmy Buffett.

Buffett is the reason for the season for Parrotheads around the world who flock to Florida in the winter months for a little taste of Margaritaville, that mythical place where the drinks are flowing, the music is magical, the air is balmy and the ocean beckons.

Even though the mayor of Margaritaville is beloved, he’s not always given credit for actually creating an entire genre of music - what he calls Gulf and Western - or Trop Rock.

Jamie Rich, founder and editor of Flamingo magazine and WLRN Key West reporter Nancy Klingener joined us with their thoughts on this very Florida story.