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FDLE investigating attack on female inmate at Lowell Correctional

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a disturbing  incident of abuse involving a corrections officer and an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution in Marion County, the largest prison for women in the U.S.The Florida Department of Corrections acknowledges that an incident at the facility took place this week, but otherwise is providing no details at all about what actually happened.Quoting anonymous sources, the Miami Herald is reporting that the incident involved a 51-year-old woman who was “gravely injured” after getting involved with a confrontation with corrections officers. The story was first reported by the Ocala Star Banner.The...
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Business boosters say there’s a 34 % chance of recession in Florida’s future

The chances of a recession in Florida have increased to more than 34 percent, notwithstanding declines in the state’s unemployment rate and other positive trends, according to an analysis by the pro-business Florida Chamber of Commerce.Meanwhile, Bay and Gulf counties – both hit hard by Hurricane Michael last October, have seen declines of more than 3 percent in their workforces, reflecting the struggle for businesses to get back on their feet.The data are included in the Chamber’s Florida Scorecard for August. The scorecard is a periodic update on economic trends.Jerry Parrish, the Chamber’s chief economist, estimated the chances for...

Democratic lawmaker wants GOP leaders to include misogyny among factors leading to gun violence

Noting that a planned shooting attack at a Tallahassee yoga studio was not classified as a hate crime by the state of Florida, a Democratic state representative is asking legislative leaders to consider updating the state’s hate crime statute to conform with federal law.Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani also wants lawmakers to add misogyny to the upcoming examination of mass shootings when the Legislature returns to Tallahassee.“The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often complex or unknown, but one common thread that ties so many together -- in addition to their access of firearms -- is a history...

FL Congresswoman: It’s ‘outrageous’ that U.S. won’t help Venezuelans fleeing crisis

With an economic crisis in Venezuela causing refugees to flee to Florida and other parts of the U.S., Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala of Miami says a decision may be coming soon on whether to grant special legal status for Venezuelan immigrants.Shalala was among those in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives that voted last month to offer Venezuelan refugees so-called “temporary protected status” in the United States, which will give them the right to work here.The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate has yet to follow suit.Every Democrat in the House voted to give Venezuelans temporary protected status, and 49 Republicans did...
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FL joining key multi-state elections coalition to check voter registrations

Florida will join a key multi-state voter registration integrity coalition that will allow officials to spot duplicate registrations and identify registered voters who have died, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.The Legislature authorized the move in 2018, and DeSantis said it makes sense, given that close to 1 million new residents arrive in Florida every year.“Obviously, when people pass away, we wish them all the best in the world that lies ahead, but we don’t want them still involved with politics,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Orlando. “There’s other parts in the country where they do that. We...

Florida execution planned tomorrow

Florida is preparing to execute Gary Ray Bowles Thursday for one in a string of murders targeting gay men during the 1990s. If the execution happens, it would be the second since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in January.The execution is set for 6 p.m., the Florida Department of Corrections said. DeSantis signed the death warrant on June 11.The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down Bowles’ latest appeal on Monday. He has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.Bowles is believed to have killed six gay men whom he’d met up and down the East Coast,...
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March For Our Lives movement unveils proposals to take on gun violence

The Florida students who galvanized into a national gun-control movement after their high school was the site of a mass shooting have released a sweeping gun control proposal that they say the next president and Congress must take on to address the epidemic of gun violence in America.March for Our Lives,  a group created by survivors of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, released its plan on Wednesday, a day after President Trump backed off from previous statements that he was open to gun regulations in the aftermath of the shooting massacres in El...

Group files lawsuit to protect coral in FL, Caribbean, and Pacific Ocean

An environmental group has filed suit against the Trump administration, saying federal authorities are failing to protect 12 coral species around Florida and islands in the Pacific Ocean.The corals have been on the federal endangered species list since 2014. In its lawsuit against National Marine Fisheries Service, the Center for Biological Diversity says federal environmental authorities haven’t designated critical habitat zones to protect the corals, as required by law.“You can’t save these vanishing corals without protecting their most important habitat,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney at the group. “It’s time for the Trump administration to stop dragging its feet...

A special legislative session on guns? Florida’s House Democratic caucus is pushing for it

(Updated) Florida legislative Democrats are calling on the Secretary of State to hold a special legislative session to consider proposals to combat gun violence.Republican legislative leaders are not backing the idea.The calls for special sessions in Florida to tackle gun restrictions have happened several times in recent years following high-profile shootings. This time it’s after the horrific shootings earlier this month in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio which left 31 Americans dead.Florida law dictates that if Secretary of State Laurel Lee receives letters requesting a special session by at least 32 members of the Legislature (20 percent), then she...
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New poll reveals the politics and policies of education, with some surprises

In a broad look at some of the thorny issues in public education, a new nationwide poll from Harvard reveals the political chasms over education quality and spending – including higher teacher pay -- as well as some surprises over controversial academic standards and testing.Amid rising concerns about teacher pay across the country, those polled in the 2019 Education Next Poll of 3,046 adults were asked about public school salaries in their states. Overall, 56 percent said teacher pay should increase or greatly increase.But the figure was only 43 percent for Republicans, compared to 64 percent for Democrats.That said,...

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