Florida

The State of Florida is holding a “garage sale” of sorts this Saturday in Tampa. Diamonds, rubies and pearls are among the more than 70,000 items that will be up for bid.

It’s the annual Unclaimed Property Auction and will include featured items like an 18-karat gold Rolex-brand watch, rare coins, vintage jewelry and collectibles like sports trading cards featuring Hank Aaron, Dan Marino and Larry Bird.

WPLG

The Punta Gorda policeman who tragically shot and killed a retired librarian when he fired real bullets — instead of blanks — at her during a citizens academy is a former Miramar officer with a troubled record, forced to resign from his job at the end of his rookie year.

Three years before the shooting that led to the death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton on Tuesday, Lee Coel was accused twice of using excessive force and relieved of his duties before investigators found he violated department policies and was allowed to resign.

Gov. Rick Scott has been attacking Congress’ inability to pass a spending package for Zika virus prevention.  

But, POLITICO Florida recently took a look back at Scott’s own history with the state’s efforts to fight mosquitos.

Reporters Christine Sexton and Marc Caputo reported how Scott reduced state aid to mosquito-control programs by 40 percent in the year after he was elected.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY 

 

Dr. Esper Kallas shared a prediction about Zika with me earlier this year. And I could have made big bucks betting that unfortunately he’d be right.

A new law will raise the salary threshold for overtime across the country. All those extra hours that went into a void will have a paycheck attached to them come December. But for employees at nonprofits, that’s not so simple. In an industry where fundraising is king and long hours, queen, administrators are scrambling to figure out how they’ll comply with the new law.

Florida's first charter school opened 20 years ago.  Since then, enrollment in these publicly funded, privately run schools has exploded. 

Today, more than 250,000 students attend about 650 charter schools across the state and many of them are returning to school this week.

But the rapid growth has come with more than a few speed bumps.


Federal lawmakers from Florida are criticizing the state’s recent decision to allow for higher levels of toxins in its waterways. They’re worried about public health because some of the toxins cause cancer.

The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission approved increased levels for about 20 different toxins in Florida surface waters, like rivers and estuaries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would still have to approve the move.

Nine members of Congress recently sent the EPA a letter voicing their concern.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Latinos will be a key swing vote in November’s presidential election. Today a new poll of who Florida Latinos like was released. - and the numbers don’t look good for Donald Trump.

It’s no secret that Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has a big problem with Latino voters. Thanks largely to his harsh anti-immigration rhetoric, Trump has consistently polled well below 20 percent nationwide among Latinos. As low as 11 percent in one recent survey.

Monday, Aug. 1 is the last day to register to vote in Florida's Aug. 30 primary.

Florida is a closed primary state, which means you must be a registered Republican to vote for the GOP candidate or you must be registered Democrat to vote for candidates in that party.

In the Aug. 30 primary, Floridians will vote for candidates they would like to see representing their party on the general election ballot in November.

Tropical Development Imminent in Caribbean

Aug 1, 2016

Seemingly on cue with the flip of the calendar, a tropical storm is likely to develop in the Caribbean soon. A disturbance south of Puerto Rico, currently referred to as Invest 97, is likely to become the season’s fifth tropical storm by midweek. Based on satellite data coming in Monday morning, it may even happen sooner than that. On average, three times as many tropical storms form in August than in July.

A statewide coalition of pastors, attorneys, and former felons says in this key election year Florida Governor Rick Scott and other state lawmakers need to put 1.5 million former felons back on the voter rolls. Members of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition dropped off a petitions with 7,000 signatures to the Orange County elections office Monday, the last day for Floridians to register for the August 30th primary.

Florida parents shopping for the new school year are getting a smaller, shorter back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Florida's Department of Health has granted its second dispensing authorization for medical marijuana and its location will be in Tampa.

If internet searches are any indication -- and that’s a big “if,” -- Democrats will get a bigger bump from their national convention than Republicans.

DOS.MYFLORIDA.COM

Florida has no shortage of weird and wacky stories that contribute to its reputation as the 'punchline' state.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman has spent decades collecting those stories. He’s made regular use of the #OhFlorida hashtag on Twitter for years thanks to a seemingly endless supply of bizarre news fodder. Now he’s compiled many of his favorites into a book. "Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country" is in bookstores now.

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