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Crist and Scott Deadlocked at 42% in Latest Quinnipiac Poll as Early Voting Begins

| October 22, 2014

Among those who have already voted, the poll found Crist leading by 5 points–42 to 38, with Wyllie getting just 3 percent. Scott’s trump card is his ready millions of dollars, Crist’s is the younger voters hoping to pass the medical marijuana legalization amendment.

Brittany Maynard and the Right to Die: An Open Letter from a State That Denies It

| October 21, 2014

Laureen Kornel, a Flagler Beach resident, was left helpless, watching her mother’s agonizing death from cancer because the right to die on terms other than those dictated by doctors was not an option. She writes Brittany Maynard in hopes of spurring the movement in Florida and other states that deny that right.

Charlie Crist:
People’s Governor or Master Chameleon?

| October 21, 2014

Charlie Crist profile: In an interview, the former governor said he is confident he can defeat Scott “by going to people in person and having the chance to reacquaint them with my heart and what I care about, which is them.”

Gov. Rick Scott: The Known Unknown Running on Four Years of Contradictions

| October 21, 2014

Four years after his election, Floridians still have a mixed, at times almost-contradictory view of their governor, now running for a second term. The tea-party darling who won an election promising to slash spending but now boasts of the largest education budget in state history.

Briefing: Amendment 3 Would Give Governor Power to Make Midnight Appointments to Florida’s Courts

| October 20, 2014

A low-profile ballot proposal that supporters say would avert a constitutional crisis but opponents say is nothing more than thinly-veiled partisan power grab is headed to voters in November, possibly with the future of the Florida Supreme Court at stake.

Nearly Sure Thing Months Ago, Medical Pot Initiative Appears Headed For Defeat Behind Snuff Money

| October 20, 2014

The latest Tampa Bay Times poll has the measure winning only 48 percent of the vote, 12 points short of the needed 60 percent, as Sheldon Las Vegas gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson increased his contributions against the measure to $3.5 million.

From Favorite to Fanghazi: The Two Worst Days of Gov. Rick Scott’s Re-Election Campaign

| October 18, 2014

If Scott does end up being the third Republican governor in 20 years to not serve a second term, two days this week can be pinpointed as the worst of his campaign, argues Peter Schorsch.

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Cell-Phone Tracking by Police, Citing Privacy Rights

| October 17, 2014

Justices, in a 5-2 decision, sided with a man who was arrested in 2007 in Broward County after a search of his vehicle uncovered a kilogram brick of cocaine hidden in a spare-tire well. Police tracked the man, Shawn Alvin Tracey, through location information given off when cell-phone calls are made.

Flagler Posts Biggest Single-Month Unemployment Drop Since Recession, to 8.4%, as 474 Residents Gain Jobs

| October 17, 2014

Flagler County still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state, but September was a banner month for the county’s economic health in almost every regard.

Scott and Crist Make Blowing Air a Metaphor of Their Campaign in 2nd Tempestuous Debate

| October 16, 2014

An electric fan at Crist’s feet hijacked the first portion of the second debate as Scott first refused to come out, as both camps later attempted to spin the embarrassment to their advantage. The debate itself was mildly substantial.

The Other University Presidency: UF Selects Kent Fuchs, Cornell Provost and Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

| October 15, 2014

Kent Fuchs’s resume includes six years at Purdue University, where he was head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and little more than a decade at the University of Illinois, where he was a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory.

Bloodbath at Deteriorating Tallahassee Democrat Is Newspapers’ Latest For-Profit Suicide

| October 15, 2014

The story of the Tallahassee Democrat’s decomposition is a deeper cautionary tale on how monopoly media can turn a vibrant, growing community into a cloistered cultural backwater.

Pot Amendment: For Debilitating Diseases or an Open Door to Full Marijuana Legalization?

| October 13, 2014

A briefing on Amendment 2, the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana: supporters say it’ll help the sick, opponents claim it’s flawed and will result in “a joint in every backpack.”

Scott and Crist Trade Familiar Barbs and Mockeries in First of 3 Debates

| October 10, 2014

Scott repeatedly took shots at Crist’s time as governor, saying the former Republican was all talk and no action. Crist, who is running this year as a Democrat, portrayed Scott as an uncaring plutocrat unresponsive to middle-class needs.

I’m 67 Years Old. I Smoke Pot. And It’s Time to Make It Legal, Period.

| October 9, 2014

If anyone thinks that passing Amendment 2 is not a step toward legalizing recreational marijuana, then you’re been ingesting too much of the wrong kind of drugs, argues Thomas O’Hara, who is voting for Amendment 2 because it’s a step toward full marijuana legalization.

Advocates Call for DCF to Give Up Child Safety Oversight to Local Cops After Mass Murders

| October 8, 2014

Roy Miller, spokesman for the Children’s Lobby, said last month’s mass murder-suicide involving six children in Gilchrist County amounted to the last straw in the department’s response to a series of child deaths stretching back many years.

Inmate Dies in a Florida Prison Less Than a Day After Family Questioned Safety; Federal Probe Sought

| October 7, 2014

Latandra Ellington, 36, died Wednesday at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, less than 24 hours after her family called prison officials to express concerns about her safety.

Weekly Roundup: Redistricting Fight Continues, Utility Customers Bilked Again, DCF’s Woes

| October 5, 2014

With Gov. Rick Scott, the entire Cabinet and many of the state’s 160 lawmakers out on the stump campaigning for re-election, the news about government in Florida has largely moved elsewhere.

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Florida Lawyer’s Appeal of Ban on Judicial Candidates’ Campaign Solicitations

| October 2, 2014

Lanell Williams-Yulee was disciplined by the Florida Bar for violating a rule barring judicial candidates from soliciting money when running for judgeships. The U.S. Supreme Court may reverse that rule, affecting 30 states where similar bans are in place.

Despite 18 Investigations, DCF Claims Man’s 7 Murders in Bell Couldn’t Have Been Foreseen

| October 2, 2014

The murders drew national attention to the small town of Bell and led to questions about whether the Department of Children and Families could have done more to protect the children. The department and the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office visited the family’s home as recently as Sept. 2.

Lockheed’s F-35 Stealth Fighter: A $1.5 Trillion Waste of Tax Dollars

| October 1, 2014

With a projected eye-popping price tag of up to $344.8 million each, the F-35 is almost 8 years behind schedule, billions over budget and not yet combat-ready. And it’s bleeding the Treasury.

Michael Dunn Is Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Shooting of Jordan Davis as Jury Rejects Self-Defense Claim

| October 1, 2014

Michael Dunn murdered 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a gas station in Jacksonville the day after Thanksgiving 2012, in a case that again put the focus on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and racial implications.

FPL’s $13-a-Month Surcharge on Customers Who Refuse Smart Meters Draws Challenges

| October 1, 2014

The dispute involves only a fraction of FPL’s customers, but it is part of a broader controversy in which critics say they worry the new meter technology could pose threats to their privacy or health.

Sheriff Don Eslinger, “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot” Chief, Defines Opposition to Amendment 2

| September 30, 2014

Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger has been leading the campaign against Amendment 2, the proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. He calls it “flawed.”

Keith Olbermann, Derek Jeter, John Thrasher and the Artlessness of Rants

| September 29, 2014

Ed Moore delivers a rant of his own about Keith Olbermann’s rant denigrating Derek Jeter, and compares that opinion to the unfriendly reception John Thrasher got from FSU faculty and staff.

More Secrecy, Harsher Punishment for Pregnant-Women Beaters, Parasailing Regulations: 32 New Laws Go In Effect

| September 28, 2014

A number of the new Florida laws going in effect Wednesday involve public-records exemptions, including one to allow some university boards to meet in private to discuss donors and research funding.

Consultants’ Cost in FSU Presidential Search That Led to Thrasher Anyway: $160,000

| September 26, 2014

The controversial and at-times muddled search for a new president of Florida State University includes an expected tab of about $160,000 for consultants.

Gangs’ Links to Crooked Guards, Targeted Killing, Money Laundering: Details Emerge in Florida Prison Crisis

| September 25, 2014

Two former prison sergeants are awaiting trial after being accused of ordering an inmate to be killed to protect the guards’ role as kingpins of an institution-wide gang operation.

Meet Tim Morgan, the Man Behind John Morgan’s Push for Medical Marijuana

| September 24, 2014

Tim Morgan, John Morgan’s younger brother, suffered a severe spinal cord injury as a lifeguard while trying to save someone, and suffered excruciating pain. Marijuana helped him. His brother has devoted himself to legalizing pot for others with medical needs.

Judge Throws Out Union’s Challenge of School Voucher Expansion, But Only on Technicality

| September 24, 2014

The judge gave opponents of the law 15 days to try to amend their complaint and come up with another way to challenge the legislation after ruling that the plaintiff in the challenge, teacher Tom Faasse, doesn’t have the legal right to file suit.

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