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In Boon for Florida, Obama Will Normalize Full Diplomatic Relations With Cuba After 53 Years of Cold War

| December 17, 2014

The two nations will open embassies in Havana and Washington, D.C., 53 years and 10 presidents after Dwight Eisenhower, citing “self-respect,” closed the American Embassy in the Cuban capital on Jan. 3, 1961.

Drawing Mixed Response, Jeb Bush Says He Will “Actively Explore” Running For President in 2016

| December 16, 2014

Bush, 61, made the announcement a day after giving a commencement address at the University of South Carolina — a state that plays a major role in Republican primaries. If he ultimately decides to run, Bush would seek to follow his father and brother into the White House.

With 22 Days To Go Before Gay Wedding Bells, Pam Bondi Asks Court To Object

| December 15, 2014

Bondi’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court comes less than two weeks after a federal appeals court rejected her effort to at least temporarily extend the gay-marriage prohibition in Florida.

With 800,000 Floridians in Health Insurance Limbo, Hopes Return for Medicaid Expansion

| December 15, 2014

A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians who fall in the so-called Medicaid coverage gap.

Special Election for House: Renner Hauls In $76,500. His Three Opponents Combined: $355

| December 14, 2014

Renner’s $76,500 dwarfed amounts not exceeding $180 raised by three other candidates in the District 24 race — Republicans Sheamus McNeeley and Ron Sanchez and Democrat Adam Morley. Republican Danielle Anderson filed a waiver, as she had not posted a report on the state Division of Elections website by week’s end.

Craft Beer Growlers’ Day Finally Approaching in Florida, But Small Brewers Are Leery

| December 13, 2014

Proposals to end the state’s prohibition on 64-ounce containers known as “growlers” have been blocked in recent years by large beer distributors claiming a need to protect the state’s Depression-era three-tier regulation system.

Ferguson Events and FSU Shooting Trigger Florida’s Third-Busiest Gun Shopping Day Ever

| December 11, 2014

The Nov. 28 purchases trailed only the sales for two days in December 2012, which came after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Florida’s Minimum Wage Going Up to $8.05 as Obama’s Push For $10.10 Remains Elusive

| December 10, 2014

A Democratic bill in the Florida Legislature would seek the $10,10 threshold, but its chances of passing are slim to none. Business groups like the Florida Chamber of Commerce have argued against such proposals.

Taxpayers’ Bill for Rick Scott’s Losing Battle to Drug-Test Welfare Recipients: $307,000 and Rising

| December 8, 2014

ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, who blamed the governor and the Legislature for the cost to taxpayers, blasted Scott for refusing to back down as the governor mulls appealing the latest decision calling his ploy unconstitutional.

How to Easily Navigate Big Changes in Fine Print of Obamacare Plans Before Deadline

| December 8, 2014

Even if you’re getting the same plan — of the nearly 2,800 health plans offered in 2014, about 1,700 of them will exist in the same form next year — their benefits may not stay the same. Here’s an easy way to figure it all out.

Judge Rules Parents Can Join Lawsuit Over Florida’s School-Voucher Program

| December 7, 2014

Parents and their lawyers said they should be allowed the full-party status because their children would lose access to what is known as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program if the court finds it unconstitutional.

Varn Park Will Close Until April 15 For $476,000 Renovations Thanks to Scenic A1A Grant

| December 5, 2014

The federal National Scenic Byways grant was the largest of just three such awards in Florida, and will have a $140,000 match from Flagler County.

Satanic Temple Display Approved for State Capitol, With Festivus Beer Pole and Nativity

| December 5, 2014

The Florida Department of Management Services this week approved the proposed holiday display from the Satanic Temple, which a year ago was rejected because the agency said its proposal was “grossly offensive.”

Cue That Processional: Gay Marriage Could Be Legal in Florida Starting Jan. 6

| December 4, 2014

A federal appeals court Wednesday rejected Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request to at least temporarily extend Florida’s ban on gay marriage — possibly setting the stage for same-sex marriages to start in January.

Fifth Court Decision in a Row Calls Rick Scott’s Drug-Testing Scheme Illegal

| December 3, 2014

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Florida law pushed by Gov. Rick Scott requiring welfare applicants to submit to drug tests before they can receive benefits.

Should Brandishing a Gun at Someone Who Cuts You Off in Traffic Be Considered Self-Defense?

| December 2, 2014

The Florida Supreme Court is considering a “stand your ground” case in which a man was charged with aggravated assault after brandishing a gun at a trucker during a confrontation on a state highway.

Hurricane-Free For 9th Consecutive Season, Florida’s Property Insurers Now Better Braced for Catastrophe

| December 1, 2014

A single Andrew-like Hurricane could wipe out in a day what Florida has taken almost a decade to recoup, but those nine years of calm have also placed the state in a stronger position to face an eventual and inevitable catastrophic storm.

As Large Businesses Look to Dump Employees on Obamacare, Smaller Firms Snub Subsidies

| December 1, 2014

Few employers are embracing a temporary Obamacare subsidy for small businesses while large businesses are hiring brokers to help them shift employees to government-subsidized plans, which the Obama administration says is illegal.

Florida’s Pot Legalization Forces Open 2-Front Offensive: Legislature and 2016 Ballot

| November 29, 2014

After falling just 2 points short of victory in November, medical-marijuana advocates will take their battle to the Florida Legislature, and failing that, will place the initiative on the ballot again in 2016.

Bowing to Utilities, Florida Regulators Cut Energy-Efficiency Goals and Sunset Solar Incentives

| November 28, 2014

A solar rebate program will expire at the end of 2015 and the Public Service Commission accepted a controversial staff recommendation that will lessen overall energy-efficiency goals for power companies.

Student Ronny Ahmed, Paralyzed From Waist Down in FSU Shooting, Is Determined to Graduate

| November 25, 2014

The student who was critically injured in Thursday’s shooting at Florida State University is paralyzed from the waist down, but still determined to realize his dream of becoming a biomedical engineer, his sister told reporters.

Scott Signs 21st Death Warrant 3 Days After UN Vote Calling for Capital Punishment Moratorium

| November 25, 2014

The warrant is for the execution of Johnny Shane Kormondy, 42, accused of murdering Gary McAdams and participating in the gang rape of his wife Cecilia during a robbery in Pensacola in 1991, when Kormondy was 21.

Florida Republican and Democratic Legislators Renew Attempt to Protect Against Gay Bias

| November 24, 2014

The bill would add protections for more than 536,000 gays, lesbian and transgender adults living in Florida by expanding the law that forbids discrimination based on religion, race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, handicap or marital status.

Let the Hunting Begin:
Florida Lifts Ban on Silencers

| November 23, 2014

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday agreed, with little comment, to issue an order that immediately removes a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols.

FSU Shooter Myron May, an Attorney, Said to Have Been in a “State of Crisis”

| November 21, 2014

Myron May was an FSU student senator in 2002 and had been practicing law since 2009 before he shot and injured students at FSU’s Strozier Library.

Howard Holley Will Run for Flagler’s House Seat Against Paul Renner, Sullivan, O’Brien Teetering Out

| November 20, 2014

The special election to fill Travis Hutson’s Florida House seat in District 24, made up mostly of Flagler County, is turning into a combination of musical chairs band feeding frenzy.

Today’s The Day to Support the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

| November 20, 2014

The Miami-based Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is one of the state’s leading non-profit news source, whose work frequently appears in FlaglerLive.

Said to Have Been Framed For Tampa Murder, Deaf Convict Felix Garcia Is Denied Release

| November 20, 2014

Felix Garcia’s supporters had hoped he would be released with time served, arguing that he’d been unable to understand the evidence against him during the murder trial and wasn’t given an interpreter.

Divided and Diminished, Florida Democrats Choose West Palm’s Pafford to Lead in House

| November 18, 2014

After Democrats lost six seats in elections earlier this month, some members pushed instead for Rep. Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach. Taylor pulled out of the race earlier Monday, saying he couldn’t work with the leadership of the state party.

Derek Hankerson Will Not Run in Special Election for Travis Hutson’s Seat After All

| November 17, 2014

Derek Hankerson, who challenged John Thrasher in the Republican primary form Florida Senate last August, sent in the following letter today explaining why he has decided not to run again in the coming special election for either Senate or House.

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