Home Briefs | The Phoenix Flyer

Briefs | The Phoenix Flyer

FL groups move to block ‘rush’ by outgoing EPA authorities to offload wetlands regulation

A lawsuit filed Thursday to stop transfer of wetlands permitting from federal agencies to a state agency says Florida cannot afford to take on the role of fast-tracking development permit reviews.State legislators this week reviewed Florida's financial picture, showing that the state faces a budget shortfall of at least $2.1 billion.The lawsuit was filed in U.S District Court in Washington, D.C., by Earthjustice, an environmental-law organization, on behalf of seven organizations in Florida that advocate for environmental protection and conservation of natural resources.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Dec. 17 that it would transfer authority for wetlands permitting in...

Former Broward school administrator indicted for felony bid tampering

A former top Broward school administrator has been indicted for bid tampering and unlawful compensation, part of a statewide grant jury probe into bidding irregularities.The grand jury indicted Anthony Hunter on Jan. 7, over the purchase of thousands of Recordex interactive panels for Broward County schools. The interactive display boards are high tech and digital, and are used in classrooms in place of white boards that use markers.At the time, Hunter was serving as the Chief Information Officer for the Broward County School District. He was arrested Jan. 12.Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a press release that...

FL Supreme Court updates rules to make it easier for trial courts to hand...

The Florida Supreme Court has formally amended the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure to comport with its ruling in late October making it easier for trial courts to hand down death sentences.The move on Thursday enshrines the new precedent in the guide that attorneys and courts must follow in litigating murder cases.Henceforth, courts will be barred from conducting “proportionality review” — meaning they no longer may consider whether executions are ordered in circumstances that diverge from the overall trend, to determine whether the sentences are excessive.The votes for the new rule roughly align with the court’s Oct. 29 ruling...

Members of FL’s delegation in the U.S. House have a say about impeaching President...

Here's what members of Florida's delegation are saying Wednesday in Washington, D.C., as the U.S. House of Representatives discusses impeaching President Donald Trump. The effort follows last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor Castor urged the immediate removal of Trump from office."I rise today to urge the impeachment of Donald Trump because the attack on the Capitol and the Congress was the single most depraved betrayal of the U.S. Constitution ever committed by a president,” the Tampa Democrat said on the House floor.She added that "the incitement of an insurrection demands not just an...

COVID-19 infections reach 1.5-million mark; more easily-spread ‘variant’ cases are rising in FL

The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday reported 1,503,482 COVID-19 infections, with new cases rising since New Year's Day and additional COVID cases that involve new variants that spread more easily.A variant case emerged for the first time in Florida on New Year's Eve — a young man in Martin County, north of Palm Beach County.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far identified 72 variant cases, mostly in Florida, with 22 variant cases, and in California, with 32 of the cases. The CDC cases are based on a sampling of specimens and not the total number...

FL TaxWatch endorses legislation blocking lawsuits by people who catch COVID at work

Florida TaxWatch and a Republican Cabinet member are putting pressure on the Legislature to pass civil liability protection from lawsuits related to COVID-19 against businesses that follow safety guidelines during the pandemic.The nonprofit government watchdog group held a virtual press conference Monday to discuss key findings from its report on the economic damage from COVID-19 litigation against businesses."As you read this report, you'll also know that there is one clear recommendation that cuts across all others,” said Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of TaxWatch.“And that is the need for a responsible liability shield for responsible companies, non-profits, government agencies,...

Gov. DeSantis opens church-affiliated COVID vaccination program in Bay County

Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his barnstorming tour of Florida opening COVID-10 vaccination sites over the weekend. On Sunday, it took him to Bay County, where the state, count,y and 50 local houses of worship are sponsoring a clinic targeting senior citizens for the shots.The venue was the Lynn Haven Senior Center, but church-sponsored programs will have capacity to administer 500 shots per day in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Tallahassee, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, and Jacksonville.Having initially directed doses toward nursing home residents and staff and front-line medical workers, DeSantis gave priority to the 65-and-older cohort, reasoning they are more likely...
Florida Capitol

Ex-FL Department of Health spokesman joins capital PR shop amid churn in the communications...

Several familiar names in Florida’s professional communications realm have new posts this week.Alberto Moscoso, former communications director at the news hotspot that is the Florida Department of Health, is now a vice president at On3PR, a public relations firm whose clients include the Florida Medical Association.Moscoso abruptly resigned from the Department of Health in November without giving a public explanation. He'd worked there for 14 months, with much of his attention centering on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 22,000 Floridians.He also was director of communications and external affairs for two years at the Florida Division of...

Gov. DeSantis says he wears criticism from the news media on COVID ‘as a...

Following a heated exchange with a CNN reporter over problems with the state's vaccine rollout, Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his leadership of the state's response to COVID-19 and said he isn't fazed by criticism from the new media.Florida's vaccine rollout plan has sparked chaos in some counties, where many who are first in line for inoculation have faced difficulty in getting an appointment."I am totally willing to wear the criticism as a badge of honor if it means that my state is a state in which every parent has the right to send their kid to in-person instruction," DeSantis...
solar rooftop

Duke Energy gets green light on solar plans

Duke Energy Florida may proceed with its “Clean Energy Connection” program, designed to generate 750 megawatts of solar power in 2022, as approved Tuesday by the Florida Public Service Commission.“We found the program to be in the public interest because it encourages the development of renewable energy, lessens Florida’s reliance on fossil fuels, and decreases carbon emissions,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark.In a nutshell, Duke’s construction of solar power plants will be financed in part by customers, who can subscribe to pre-pay for the solar power yet to come and get credits for it later.Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental and...

LATEST STORIES