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The Florida Roundup
The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.Join our host, WLRN’s Tom Hudson, broadcasting from Miami.

Florida’s infant mortality crisis, new FAFSA issues and FAMU’s failed donation

In Florida, Black mothers are at least two times more likely to die after giving birth than non-Black counterparts.
Martha Irvine
In Florida, Black mothers are at least two times more likely to die after giving birth than non-Black counterparts.

This week on The Florida Roundup, we discuss the state’s infant mortality rate, how a revamped federal form for financial aid for students is causing delays, fallout over a dubious major gift donation to Florida A&M, a deadly bus crash near Ocala and severe weather in the Panhandle. We also heard from our listeners from last week's mailbag.

Florida’s infant mortality crisis 

The state spends millions on maternal care , but Florida’s infant mortality rate hasn’t changed in a decade.

A three-part investigative series from the South Florida Sun Sentinel looks into why so many newborns are dying and what can be done to address the crisis.

We spoke with the reporter of the series as well as two doctors specialized in women's health and pregnancy.


  • Cindy Krischer Goodman, health reporter for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Dr. LaRae Brown, Medical Director at UF Health Women’s Specialists-North and Chief of the division of obstetrics and gynecology at UF Health North.  
  • Dr. Rodrigo Ruano, Director at UHealth Jackson Fetal Care Center and Division and Chief of the UHealth Jackson Maternal-Fetal Medicine. 

Issues with new FAFSA 

An extended deadline for high school students to accept their Florida college admissions came and went this week, even as some still wait for financial aid decisions.

Those delays are related to recent changes made to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, nicknamed FAFSA. The federal form is used to figure out how much federal financial aid a student is eligible to receive.

We talked about how prospective students and their families are managing the wait.


  • Billie Jo Hamilton, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Planning & Management at University of South Florida 

FAMU’s failed donation 

Florida A&M University launched an investigation into its processes for major gifts ami d ongoing fallout over a questionable donation.

FAMU made a surprise announcement of a $237 million donation during commencement on May 4. Several red flags arose in the days regarding the reliability of the donor. The gift has since been "ceased."

For more, we checked in with a member of the school’s Board of Trustees.


  • Deveron Gibbons, Vice Chair of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees.

Severe storms 

Severe weather a week ago brought three tornadoes to the Tallahassee area. Two of them were rated E-F-2 with winds up to 135 miles per hour.

The storms tore through parts of the Florida State University campus causing widespread damage and power outages in the area.


  • Megan Borowski, Meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

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