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Big Sugar Turns to Mass Development, Potentially Affecting Everglades Restoreation Efforts

| September 17, 2014

Environmental groups around the state are alarmed at U.S. Sugar’s plans to change its business model and potentially develop huge tracts of land it owns in South Florida, which might affect Everglades restoration efforts.

Can This Guy Help Save Florida Oranges? State Unveils $1 Million Captain Citrus

| September 17, 2014

The muscled-up Captain Citrus, intended to help boost Florida citrus sales while fighting evil, has undergone a $1 million head-to-toe makeover with the help of comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment. He was unveiled Tuesday by the Department of Citrus at a comic-book store in Tampa.

Thrasher Almost Walks Out As He Is Heckled and Grilled By FSU Students and Staff

| September 16, 2014

During on-campus forums that are part of the presidential selection process, students and faculty often expressed a lack of trust in Thrasher, long considered the front runner for the FSU presidency.

Republican Optimism Grows as Scott Closes Gap with Crist

| September 15, 2014

More Republicans than Democrats cast ballots in last month’s primary elections, and Scott — facing a couple of token opponents — only fell about 6,000 votes short of matching the combined total votes for Crist and another Democratic candidate, former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich.

For or Against Medical Marijuana, Seven Ex-Supreme Court Justices Explain Why They Oppose Amendment 2

| September 14, 2014

Amendment 2, promoted as a compassionate effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, should be rejected – regardless of one’s position on the issue of medical marijuana, seven ex-Florida Supreme Court justices argue.

Continuing Brutality in Florida Prisons: 11 Guards Arrested Following Inmate Abuse

| September 13, 2014

On Wednesday, five prison guards were arrested for allegedly stomping on a handcuffed and shackled inmate at the Northwest Florida Reception Center last month. A sixth — a captain — was also charged with taking part in the attack and lying about it.

Amendment 1: GOP Raising Objections to Sensitive Lands Conservation Funding Measure

| September 11, 2014

The proposed “Water and Land Conservation” amendment would earmark 33 percent of the state’s documentary-stamp tax revenues — fees paid when real estate is sold — for 20 years. The money would go to buy conservation lands, protect areas vital to the water supply and restore natural systems that have been degraded, such as the Everglades.

Fish and Wildlife Proposing to Allow Silencers on Hunting Rifles and Pistols

| September 10, 2014

While critics said muzzling rifle shots could increase the risk of people being struck by wayward bullets or cause people to wander unaware into hunting areas, backers of the proposal said such concerns are unfounded.

Tin Man Veto: Gov. Rick Scott’s 4-Year War on Legal Aid for the Poor

| September 9, 2014

Owing to Scott, Florida is one of only four states that don’t spare a penny either from appropriations or earmarked court fees for legal aid. New York provides $56.8 million. Even in Texas there’s $6.26 for every estimated person in need.

John Thrasher Among Final Four in Run For Florida State Presidency, and Only Floridian

| September 9, 2014

While Thrasher vowed during his interview Tuesday to make the school “proud” if he gets hired, a number of students and faculty members implored the committee to focus on candidates with strong academic backgrounds.

Palm Coast Ends Federal Lobbying Efforts But Renews State Contract, Declining Coalition

| September 9, 2014

Palm Coast, the county and Flagler Beach spend $125,000 on lobbying firms between them. Palm Coast, accounting for $45,000 of that, doesn’t want to join a lobbying coalition, saying the city’s needs are too particular, and the return on investment already proven.

Far From Over, Florida’s Redistricting Wrangles Now Focus on State Senate Boundaries

| September 8, 2014

The case on redistricting State Senate boundaries is continuing, and could eventually lead to new districts for the 40-member upper chamber, which, like the state House, is currently dominated by Republicans.

In Florida, Police Can Use Deadly Force Without Fearing Prosecution

| September 8, 2014

“In the past 20 years, not a single officer in Florida has been charged with using deadly force,” The New York Times reported last week, a startling prevalence of de-facto immunity in a state where police violence is not rare.

Bowing to Criticism, Florida Health Regulators Agree to Delay Legal Pot Distribution Rule

| September 7, 2014

Health regulators will almost certainly delay a rule that will eventually create the framework for the state’s new medical marijuana industry after an outcry from a legislative panel saying the proposed regulation went too far.

Students and Faculty Don’t Want Him, But Sen. John Thrasher Makes FSU Presidency’s Short List

| September 5, 2014

The committee voted 18-8 against a motion to exclude Thrasher from the interview phase. He is one of 11 candidates on the shortlist, from 38. Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston and Tallahassee Democrat Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda didn’t make it.

Legislative Panel Joins Critics of Strict Proposals to Limit Legal Pot Access in Florida

| September 4, 2014

A 19-page letter from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee to the Department of Health’s general counsel questions nearly every aspect of the proposed rule, beginning with who would be allowed to apply for one of five licenses to grow, manufacture and distribute a type of cannabis approved during this year’s legislative session.

Ex-Florida County Judge Candidate Wants U.S. Supremes to Overturn Ban on Campaign Cash

| September 3, 2014

Lanell Williams-Yulee had thought personal contributions when she ran for county judge in Hillsborough. Now she could spur the U.S. Supreme Court to wade into a First Amendment debate about whether it is constitutional for Florida and other states to bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

Florida’s Obamacare Enrollment Projected To Rise to 1.1 Million by Next Year

| September 2, 2014

The number of Floridians enrolled in individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act in June was 866,485, with a 23 percent increase projected by 2015.

Labor Day Realities: When Employers Have a Hiring Bias Against the Unemployed

| August 31, 2014

About 3.2 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, and employers are punishing such job-seekers who have big gaps in their resumes, raising calls for anti-discrimination laws.

Tag Fees Drop Monday and Gov. Scott
Pledges More Tax Cuts on Campaign Trail

| August 30, 2014

Over the next two weeks Gov. Rick Scott will campaign across the state on a pledge to cut $1 billion in taxes over the next two years.

Lawsuit Challenges Florida’s School Voucher Program, Calling It a “Dereliction” of Free Education

| August 29, 2014

The Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which could raise as much as $357.8 million this year, provides tax credits to companies that donate money to nonprofit entities that pay for children to go to private schools.

Supreme Court Rebuffs Consumer Advocate Challenge of FPL’s $350 Million Rate Hike

| August 28, 2014

The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, fought the rate increases that stemmed from a deal reached by FPL and some major power users. The Florida Public Service Commission approved a $350 million base-rate increase, along with plans for additional increases tied to three new power plants.

Appeals Court Orders City Government to Release “Shade” Meeting Transcript

| August 28, 2014

In a highly critical opinion, an appeals court Wednesday ordered the city of St. Pete Beach to release a transcript of a closed-door discussion about the settlement of a lawsuit.

Do the Math: You Couldn’t Live On Minimum Wage

| August 27, 2014

Imagine living on $290 a week before taxes. It’s not a wage you can live on, Mark O’Brien, a minimum wage earner for a time recently, argues, challenging opponents of raising the minimum wage to try it for themselves.

Formalities Over, It’s Brass Knuckles Until November Between Scott and Crist

| August 27, 2014

The race between Scott and his predecessor Crist is already one of the nation’s most-watched, and expensive, campaign throw-downs after Crist spent much of 2014 reinventing himself as a Democrat.

Andy Dance Wins, McLaughlin, Meeker and Tucker Survive, Fischer and Both Palm Coast Races Headed for November Run-Offs

| August 26, 2014

Full results for the 2014 primary election in Flagler County and in statewide races relevant to the county, with the latest updates.

Time To Get Off Your Duff and Vote

| August 26, 2014

Even though it’s a primary with a few races closed to most voters, all registered voters get to vote on key races including school board, Palm Coast and three judicial races.

In Florida and Elsewhere, Obamacare Still GOP’s Favored Bait Even as Repeal Talk Fades

| August 25, 2014

Rather than just calling for repeal, Republican candidates focus on arguments about how the law is hurting consumers, government budgets or the economy even as millions of Americans have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Unemployment Down, Food Stamps Use Up, Pointing to Recovery’s Bane: Underemployment

| August 23, 2014

The overall U.S. unemployment rate has steadily declined since the recession officially ended in June 2009. But many Americans still are finding it hard to get by, even if they do have jobs. A key indicator of economic hardship—enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps—is higher in every state than it was five years ago, even though unemployment has dropped in every state during the same period.

Federal Judge Rules Florida’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional, But Stays Decision

| August 21, 2014

It is the fifth court decision in the state finding against Florida’s ban, but the first federal-court decision, and the first that applies state-wide. Nevertheless, as in previous cases, the judge stayed the decision, granting time for this and other decisions to be appealed.

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