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Florida News

  1. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala on Wednesday defended her "absolute discretion" to never seek the death penalty in murder cases, as skeptical justices of the Florida Supreme Court bombarded her lawyer with sharp questions.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]
  2. A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It's fake

    National

    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    The magazine cover was hanging in Trump's Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago Last July. The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump's golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. [Scott Keeler | Times]
  3. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    PANAMA CITY — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday picked close friend and supporter Jimmy Patronis to be Florida's next chief financial officer, a lucrative prize for loyalty that casts new light on Patronis' pro-business votes as a legislator and his support for higher electricity costs as a regulator.

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  5. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  6. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  7. Rick Scott eyes Patronis as CFO, but it may not help him in Panhandle

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's expected pick of Jimmy Patronis as the state's next chief financial officer would be a solid addition to the Republican Party ticket but may not do much to smooth some rough waters developing in the Panhandle over schools, area Republicans said this week.

    Former state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, left, is being considered by Gov. Rick Scott for the state’s chief financial officer. Patronis, seen with Scott in 2011, is considered one of the governor’s chief loyalists. (Associated Press)

  8. Security threats on voting system loom as Florida's elections officials gather in Polk County

    State Roundup

    DAVENPORT — Voting experts in Florida, the national epicenter of electoral suspense, have one concern above all others as they prepare for the 2018 election.

    Click. Cybersecurity.

    Ben Martin is chief operating officer of VR Systems, the Florida firm targeted by a Russian "phishing" attack in 2016. [Steve Bousquet | Tampa Bay Times]
  9. Citing water losses, Citizens Property Insurance approves rate hikes targeting south Florida

    Banking

    MAITLAND — Florida's state-run property insurer is moving forward with a rate hike for 2018, but its 62,000 policyholders in Tampa Bay are largely being spared.

    Barry Gilway, CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., said a hike in rates is necessary because the state Legislature did not address a crisis tied to non-weather related water claims. 
[AP file photo}
  10. PolitiFact Florida: Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum overstates campaign donors

    Gubernatorial

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum says he outperformed his rivals for Florida governor in a key fundraising metric despite having less name recognition and taking time off from the campaign.

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at the Capital Tiger Bay Club on  May 31.