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Today on Context Florida: Death awaits, sobering answers to ISIS threat and full college graduation

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Today on Context Florida:

Death happens to the best of us, and also to the worst. Florence Snyder says that the Grim Reaper is waiting, we just don’t when or where. This Thanksgiving, she suggests to skip the competition for Smartest Guy in the Room and Prettiest Presentation of Green Bean Casserole and focus — really focus — on learning something we didn’t know about someone who shares our holiday table. That’s as close as we can come to cheating death.

Tom O’Hara says there is no doubt we are overwhelmed by the reporting and commentary after Friday slaughter in Paris. A lot of smart people have written about the brutality of the attacks complexities of the ISIS threat and to what degree will the West respond. To simplify things, O’Hara drafted some sobering answers to basic questions many of us are sure to have.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott once told the state university system to aim high, says Shannon Nickinson. This week, Scott announced the “Ready, Set, Work” College Challenge to achieve just that. All 28 state colleges are asked to participate by graduating 100 percent of their full-time students to attend a four-year university or begin a career. Currently, the average state college graduation rate in Florida’s 43 percent. It’s a big challenge, Nickinson says.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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