State

CRASHES UP AT RED-LIGHT CAMERA INTERSECTIONS

January 06, 2017 - 07:59

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Red light camera at Cortez and Cobb Rd.  The Brooksville Red Light Camera Program ended Oct. 31, 2016, with the expiration of the Sensys Contract.

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, January 5, 2017.......... As Florida lawmakers prepare to renew their debate over red-light cameras, a new report from state highway officials shows an increase in vehicle collisions at intersections with the traffic-control devices.

In a survey of 148 intersections in 28 cities and counties across the state, total crashes were up 10.14 percent when comparing data before the cameras were installed and after they were in place, according to the Dec. 31 report from the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

PENSION FUND PROJECTIONS COULD BE TOO ROSY

January 05, 2017 - 08:07

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, January 4, 2017.......... While Florida has a financially healthy state pension fund, a new report from the Department of Management Services warns the $144 billion system is relying on a projected investment return that independent financial consultants say is too optimistic.

State analysts lowered the projected rate of return to 7.6 percent in October, down from 7.65 percent.

'BIZARRE' COURT ACTION ADDS TO DEATH PENALTY CONFUSION

January 04, 2017 - 18:33

By DARA KAM
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, January 4, 2017.......... In a highly unusual move that heightened confusion in an already-murky legal arena, the Florida Supreme Court quickly rescinded an order Wednesday that would have barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in capital cases.

The release of the order --- a mistake, according to a court spokesman --- and its almost immediate retraction further muddled Florida's embattled death penalty, on hold for nearly a year following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last January.

STATE AWARDS ANOTHER MARIJUANA LICENSE

December 21, 2016 - 15:09

By DARA KAM
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 21, 2016.......... With the state's pot industry poised to explode, Florida health officials have agreed to issue another medical marijuana license --- the state's seventh --- to a Central Florida nursery that lost out to a competitor by a fraction of a percentage point last fall.

Florida Electors go for Trump amid protests

December 19, 2016 - 18:57

By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 19, 2016.......... With more attention than usual --- following the most-unusual presidential campaign in recent memory --- Florida's 29 electors met Monday to formally cast their votes to send Republican Donald Trump to the White House.

A last-ditch effort in Florida, and across the nation, tried to get members of the Electoral College to bolt from Trump and throw the election into the U.S. House, where supporters hoped that a more mainstream Republican could prevail.

TOURISM CHIEF OUT AFTER PITBULL CONTROVERSY

December 16, 2016 - 20:32

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 16, 2016.......... Gov. Rick Scott on Friday requested the resignation of the state's tourism-marketing leader amid a controversy over an expired $1 million contract with a Miami hip-hop artist whom the governor praised for his "devotion to our great state."

Visit Florida President and CEO Will Seccombe agreed to resign from the $120,000-a-year position he's held since November 2012.

PITBULL RELEASES $1 MILLION DEAL WITH TOURISM AGENCY

December 15, 2016 - 15:58

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 15, 2016.......... The Miami rapper Pitbull released details Thursday of a controversial $1 million deal to promote Florida, two days after the state House filed a lawsuit to try to get the information.

But while the House intends to end the lawsuit, House Speaker Richard Corcoran said lawmakers will continue their "dogged pursuit" of how government agencies spend taxpayers' money.

STATE LEADERS LOOK TO INCREASE GRADUATE DEGREES

December 15, 2016 - 15:33

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 12, 2016.......... Although Florida's production of graduate degrees has stalled in the past few years, Senate President Joe Negron said Monday he wants to enhance the state's graduate and professional schools as part of a plan to improve the quality of the state's higher-education system.

Negron, R-Stuart, who wants to boost university system funding by $1 billion over the next two years, said one of the quickest ways to elevate the system is to enhance "our graduate programs, particularly law, business and medicine."

COUNTIES TO GET MONEY TO CURB BEAR CONFLICTS

December 13, 2016 - 15:53

By JIM TURNER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

image by FWC

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 13, 2016.......... State money was spread across 12 counties on Tuesday to help reduce the potential for conflicts between Florida's bear and human populations.

Most of the $825,000 in "BearWise" program money will go to lower the cost of bear-resistant trash cans for residents, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a release announcing the grants.

THRASHER TAKES AIM AT GUNS ON CAMPUS

December 07, 2016 - 19:17

By LLOYD DUNKELBERGER
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Landis Hall, FSU User:Chargarther

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, December 7, 2016.......... In his annual "state of the university" address on Wednesday, Florida State University President John Thrasher reiterated his strong opposition to allowing guns on university and college campuses.

As a member of the Florida Senate, Thrasher helped kill a bill in 2011 that would have allowed gun owners with concealed-weapons licenses to bring their firearms to Florida's university and state-college campuses.

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