Florida

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Standing outside his church in Palmetto Bay on Sunday, Jesus Figueroa listened intently to information coming across his iPhone from Puerto Rico on Zello. The walkie-talkie app transmits messages on group channels when cell phone service is a challenge – and in Puerto Rico right now it’s an epic ordeal.

National Hurricane Center

COMMENTARY

I’ll confess I said something rather stupid during Hurricane Irma.

As the monster storm drove westward, a colleague checked his tracker app and said it would clip Cuba. Without thinking I blurted, “That’s good news.” Not because I wanted a hurricane to hit Cuba. I just reasoned if Irma’s less dangerous left side grazed Cuba’s mountains, it might drop heavy rain on the island but it might also disrupt the hurricane.

As in: weaken it before it hit Florida. As in: before it hit my house.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Growing up in Miami, Luis Gazitúa lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 – one of the most destructive storms ever to hit South Florida. That’s why the Coconut Grove attorney recognized the awful danger of Hurricane Irma.

Irma was even bigger and stronger than Andrew. So when early forecast models this month showed it heading straight for Miami, Gazitúa and his family decided to evacuate South Florida.

“We had actually booked rooms in Orlando,” Gazitúa says at his law office in Coral Gables. “My father, my brother, our children and our wives and my mother.”

Florida fruit growers and farmers have just barely begun to assess the damage Hurricane Irma wrought on the state's citrus, sugar cane and vegetable crops — but they expect it will be significant.

Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) wants to roll back Florida’s confederate holiday observances.

Latvala Asks Scott To Free Up $20M For Opioid Fight

Aug 29, 2017

Saying the “opioid crisis presents an existential threat,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala on Monday asked Gov. Rick Scott to use executive authority to provide $20 million for opioid-related services.

Florida has more than 41,191 pending immigration court proceedings underway.

Courtesy of the MagLab

Florida can once again brag about having the world's strongest magnet. Officials at Florida's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory said Tuesday they tested a magnet that is able to crank out more than 41 tesla of magnetic power, beating the record holder that comes from China  “This is a new world-record magnet,” explained Mag Lab Associate Director Eric Palm. “It’s a resistive magnet so we have to keep putting power into it and water through it to take the heat out of the magnet. And as long as we keep paying our power bill, we can keep running it.” 

Bill Seeks To Add Police To Hate Crime Law

Aug 22, 2017

Hate-crime protections would be extended to law-enforcement officers and other first responders under a measure reintroduced Monday by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah.

Judge Sets Hearing On Abortion Waiting Period

Aug 22, 2017

A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments in November about the constitutionality of a 2015 state law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

In the spring and summer of 2015, the state switched more than 13,000 children out of Children's Medical Services, a part of Florida Medicaid, according to a report by CNN.

Miami Herald

Florida ranks No. 2  in the list of U.S. states with the most active hate groups. The most recent Hate Map, put out regularly by the Southern Poverty Law Center, shows 63 hate groups operating from Pensacola to Miami. 

Associated Press

Calling it “huge step in the right direction,” Gov. Rick Scott got support from two state Cabinet members Wednesday to keep an agency they oversee from conducting future business linked to the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

While not as wide-reaching as first proposed by the governor, the resolution approved by the State Board of Administration's trustees --- Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis --- will prohibit the board from investing in certain companies that have financial ties to the Venezuelan regime.

Eric Larson, Florida’s top cyber cop, says even hyper vigilance can’t completely protect the state’s critical data networks from a daily barrage of illegal probes.

Florida’s campaign to restore voting rights to felons is gathering national media attention, and national financing. Now activists are trying to focus that energy to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot. WFSU reports on the grassroots campaign to gather 1 million signatures before the end of the year.

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