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Category archives for: Florida

An $18,400 Raise for Supervisor of Elections And Other New Laws Go Into Effect This Week

| September 26, 2016

County elections supervisors are up for pay raises, while penalties increase for trafficking in the modern version of food stamps and for stealing credit-card information at gas pumps, under new laws that go into effect Saturday.

Bright Futures Scholarships Could Expand to Summer to Speed Up Graduation Rates

| September 23, 2016

Only 44 percent of students graduated in four years at 11 state universities. Summer scholarships would encourage more students to attend summer classes, increasing the chances they can graduate more quickly.

Florida Justices Let Felon Carry Hunting Rifle, Saying Prohibition Doesn’t Apply to Antique Guns

| September 22, 2016

In a 5-2 decision, justices cleared Weeks on the gun-possession charge because state law treats antique firearms — and their replicas — different from other guns. The ruling said lawmakers exempted firearms manufactured in or before 1918 and their replicas from the prohibition on felons possessing guns.

Mindful of Orlando Massacre, FDLE Seeks to Extend Federal Terrorism Crimes to State Laws

| September 21, 2016

Intent on preventing another mass nightclub shooting or a repeat of incidents this past weekend in New York and New Jersey, Florida’s top cop wants to bulk up the state’s anti-terrorism efforts.

The Climate Change Debate is Over: Seas and Temperatures Are Rising Dangerously

| September 21, 2016

Increasing major storms and rising sea levels have long been predicted by climate models, and now they’re coming true. Time for deniers to concede defeat and become part of the solution, argues Todd Larsen.

Pam Bondi Is Shocked, Shocked Over Claim That Trump Donation Influenced Her Decisions

| September 20, 2016

In a contentious session with reporters, Bondi said she had no regret about Trump’s $25,000 donation and refuted claims that it had influenced her decisions to dismiss allegations that Floridians had been bilked by Trump University.

Local Authorities Converge on Areas of Concern as Travel-Related Zika Cases Are Declared in Palm Coast

| September 20, 2016

Mosquito Control officials have been focusing on mosquito hot spots in Palm Coast’s P Section and visited other properties of concern as county officials prepare a county-wide meeting next week to address the local response.

Florida Universities Seeking $14.5 Million Extra To Meet Spiking Demand for Mental Health

| September 19, 2016

Universities saw a 48 percent increase in demands for counseling and other mental health services, and an increase in emergency or crisis visits, involving issues like severe depression, acute anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Florida’s GOP Sen. Keith Perry Defends Himself After Hitting Another Man Over Campaign Sign

| September 16, 2016

Perry, a contractor first elected to the House in 2010, is going up against former state Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, for the open Senate District 8 seat. Smith is also a former Florida Democratic Party chairman and a former state attorney in the Gainesville area.

Flagler’s Unemployment Back Down to 5.4% After Brief Rise, Florida’s at 4.7% for 4th Month

| September 16, 2016

When Florida’s under-employed and discouraged workers are included, the state’s unemployment rate zooms up to 10.6 percent, higher than the national rate of 9.6 percent.

Gov. Scott’s Office of Open Government Barricades Itself

| September 15, 2016

Florida once had one of the toughest sunshine laws in the country, and people were proud of that. But it’s no longer the case. Transparency has given way to talk–and barricades.

In Florida, Citrus Nears Oblivion as Disease and Development Squeeze it to Economy’s Margins

| September 13, 2016

The citrus industry lost 4 percent of its grove land, 21,275 acres, over the past year. Citrus greening disease, which is deadly to the crop, has infected nearly all of Florida’s commercial citrus groves.

Justice Perry Will Retire, Giving Gov. Scott 1st Chance to Appoint a Conservative to High Court

| September 12, 2016

Perry is among five jurists who make up a liberal-leaning majority of the seven-member court, which has drawn the wrath of the Republican governor and the GOP-dominated Legislature.

Tourism Industry Puts On Happy Face Despite Massacre, Algae, Zika and Alligator Kill

| September 9, 2016

In the past three months, there has been a mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub, a 2-year-old child killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World, toxic algae blooms choking East and West Coast waterways, and the continued spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Travelers Continue to Bring Zika Into Florida

| September 9, 2016

Florida has 744 reported cases of the Zika virus, with 12 new cases involving people who contracted the disease outside of the state, the Florida Department of Health reported Thursday. There were no new cases of locally transmitted Zika, with 56 previously reported.

Trump and Clinton Are Tied in Florida in Latest Quinnipiac Poll

| September 8, 2016

The two remain tied when the most prominent third-party candidates are thrown into the race, with Trump and Clinton drawing 43 percent apiece.

Fitful Recovery in Florida, Lingering Power Cuts in Panhandle After Hurricane Hermine

| September 6, 2016

More than 18,000 people in Florida were still without power Tuesday, including fewer than 10,000 in the state’s capital city, after the Category 1 storm made landfall Friday morning near St. Marks in Wakulla County.

That Dramatic Drop in Teen Births? Credit Easier Access to Contraceptives, Not Less Sex

| September 6, 2016

The drop was especially steep for younger girls: in births to girls 17 or younger in Flagler, the drop went from 12 such births per 1,000 in the early 90s to 3.8 in 2013-15, and four in Florida.

One Solar Amendment Passed, Backers and Opponents of November Measure Square Off

| September 1, 2016

The November proposal is more controversial than the one voters approved Tuesday, drawing opposition from groups such as the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy that argue the measure is intended to benefit utilities.

Holland Is Palm Coast’s New Mayor, Lenhart Wins Supervisor, Conklin Wins School Board, Manfre Is Out, Staly Beats Lamb

| August 30, 2016

Primary election results for Flagler County races including school board, sheriff, county commission, Palm Coast City Council, supervisor of elections, judges, and state congressional races.

Appeals Court Sides With Florida Prisons in Public Records Dispute With Miami Herald

| August 29, 2016

The Florida prisons department was required to provide item-by-item legal explanations for its decisions to black out information on public records requested by the Herald — a process known as redacting the information.

Movement to Opt-Out of Standardized Testing Bolstered By Judge’s Ruling

| August 27, 2016

A Leon County judge Friday declined to immediately order that students in a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit be promoted from third to fourth grade, but her rejection of several state arguments could fuel a movement that seeks to allow children to “opt out” of a standardized test.

Two Attorneys Disbarred Over “Unprecedented” DUI Set-Up of Opposing Lawyer in Big Case

| August 25, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court unanimously supported the disbarment of Robert D. Adams and Adam Robert Filthaut of Tampa for their role in setting up the drunken-driving arrest of an opposing lawyer during a high-profile case.

Florida Continues to Suppress Lethal-Injection Records in Face of Challenge by Death Row Inmates

| August 24, 2016

Lawyers for seven Death Row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona in June filed a subpoena seeking years of records related to Florida’s triple-drug lethal injection protocol, including the types of drugs purchased, the strengths and amounts of the drugs, the expiration dates of the drugs and the names of suppliers.

“Opt Out” Movement in the Balance as Judge Weighs Whether Tests Can Decide 3rd Grade Promotion

| August 23, 2016

The parents of the students involved in the case told their children to “minimally participate” in the Florida Standards Assessment for third grade by filling in their names, breaking the seals on the tests and then refusing to answer any questions.

Despite $1.65 Billion Profit in 2015, FPL Seeks 23% Rate Increase Over Next Three Years

| August 22, 2016

The proposal would increase the monthly base rate for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from $57 to about $70 by 2020. The Public Service Commission would have to approve.

Fresh From DNC Controversy, Florida’s Wasserman Schultz Faces Rare Primary Battle

| August 21, 2016

In heavily Democratic Broward, Tim Canova has the backing of Bernie Sanders, Wasserman Schultz is supported by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

John Timoney, 1948-2016
A Good Cop

| August 21, 2016

John Timoney, who served as the top cop in Philadelphia and Miami, where he radically reduced police shootings, was a good cop. No small thing in America, in 2016.

Citizens Insurance May See 6.8% Rate Hike as Water-Damage Claims Spike

| August 18, 2016

In Flagler County, 2 percent of all insured properties were insured by Citizens, or $265.7 million worth of property. That’s less than the 5 percent of properties insured statewide by Citizens.

Scott Seeks Applicants to Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission

| August 18, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday started seeking applications from people who want to serve on the state Constitution Revision Commission, a panel that meets every 20 years to recommend changes to the Florida Constitution. Scott will appoint 15 of the 37 members of the commission.

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