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PINfluence

Every week we highlight a few stories produced by PIN partner newsrooms informed by sources in the Public Insight Network.

Do smartphones make for smart students?

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An increasing number of educators in both college and grade school have built cellphones and social media into their curriculums.We asked members whether cell phones or tablets in school are helpful or distracting.

Internships offer students a hiring advantage

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Gone are the days of interns fetching coffee. Instead, they’re gaining real-world experience: taking on duties such as developing treatment plans for people with disabilities, creating medical databases in Guatemala and shadowing police officers. Often all before college graduation.
We asked members to share their unique internship opportunities. We also reached out to local universities that shared the form and connected the reporter with an internship specialist at Florida International University.

Can Uber change Miami car culture?

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We asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: Can Uber change Miami car culture?

Fusion’s cable programs, website have yet to explode

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When the cable TV channel Fusion went live on Oct. 28, 2013, the moment was the culmination of several years of preparation, research and experimentation by Univision and the Walt Disney-owned ABC News. The joint venture was designed to capture the attention of millennials — people ages 18-35 — with a mixture of English-language news and entertainment.
Eighteen months later, inside a gray 150,000 square-foot building in Doral, the network has yet to fully find its groove.
We sent the reporter a PIN source who could give insight for this story.

School district wants to grow STEM from bottom up

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In the race to educate more students in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — a major obstacle is finding enough qualified teachers. We asked members to share what motivated them to become STEM teachers.

Florida says privatizing Medicaid cut costs, but insurers say they’re underpaid by state

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In less than a year, Florida’s switch to privately managed healthcare for more than 3 million poor, disabled and elderly residents has achieved one of its primary goals: cutting costs for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low-income people that accounted for roughly one-fifth or about $9.5 billion of state spending last year.
We asked members if they were on Medicaid managed care.

Would a California ‘gas bank’ reduce price spikes?

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Los Angeles gas prices rose again Wednesday to an average of $4.30 per gallon, up 76 cents from a week ago.

The spike in gas prices – a weekly record dating back to 2000, according to AAA – is the symptom of very tight supply in Southern California.

Whatever it takes, Fullerton-based landscaper, Laurie Ann Malone, just hopes gas prices will go down soon. She says the spike is making her to reconsider what jobs she takes based upon how far she has to drive.

“If someone from Laguna Beach called me, I would probably do some politically-incorrect profiling,” said Malone. “I’ll turn things down that I wouldn’t have before.”

Malone says her mother is buying some of her gasoline to keep her struggling business afloat.

“But my mom does not enjoy swiping her American Express that often,” said Malone.

Disneyland 60: Take Two listeners share their favorite memories

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On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney opened a brand new, $17 million amusement park in Anaheim.As it turns out, that first day at Disneyland was a disaster. According to Variety, counterfeit tickets led to overcrowding, vendors ran out of food, and some of th…