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State Makes Gains Against Fruit Flies in South Florida

October 20, 2015 - 6:00pm
Oriental Fruit Fly

Florida is on the way to eradicating the largest outbreak of Oriental fruit flies in the state's history, an agriculture official told a Senate panel Tuesday.

Since Aug. 26, a record 165 of the voracious insects have been found in part of Miami-Dade County that is mainly agricultural land, with an estimated 2,000 growers, nurseries and other businesses affected.

Lawmakers Seek to Shield Seniors from Shady Guardians

October 11, 2015 - 2:15pm

A Southwest Florida lawmaker is renewing a push to better protect elderly Floridians from unscrupulous guardians who take control of seniors' assets.

Apalachicola Braces for Army Corps Water Plan

September 29, 2015 - 6:45pm
Apalachicola Bay

Florida elected officials, environmentalists and seafood workers are bracing for the release of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft plan for the river system that feeds struggling Apalachicola Bay.

Last updated in 1989, the all-important plan --- known as an operating manual --- controls freshwater flows throughout the network of dams and reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin, which starts in Georgia and winds south into Alabama and ends at Apalachicola Bay in Northwest Florida's Franklin County.

Lawmakers Call for FAMU Board Chairman to Resign

August 19, 2015 - 5:45pm
Rufus Montgomery

As relations between Florida A&M University's president and board chairman reached a new low this week, lawmakers who are FAMU alumni called Wednesday for Chairman Rufus Montgomery to resign his post --- but he quickly refused.

Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner of Tampa, Sen. Dwight Bullard of Miami, Rep. Mia Jones of Jacksonville, Rep. Alan Williams of Tallahassee and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum --- all Democrats and FAMU alumni --- called for Montgomery's resignation following months of conflict.

Planned Parenthood Seeks Injunction After Abortion Allegations

August 17, 2015 - 6:45pm

Planned Parenthood fired back Monday against allegations that three Florida abortion clinics provided second-trimester abortions without proper licenses, seeking an emergency injunction against the state Agency for Health Care Administration "to protect women's access to safe, legal abortion."

As grounds for the injunction, Planned Parenthood said AHCA was ignoring a 2006 agency rule, which defined the first trimester as "extending through the completion of 14 weeks of pregnancy as measured from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period."

Chairman of FAMU Trustees Seeks Tighter Control of President

July 21, 2015 - 9:30pm
Elmira Mangum

Little more than a year into her job, Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum on Tuesday faced criticism from some of the university's trustees as they evaluated her performance.

A presidential evaluation-committee meeting was tense, reflecting the gap between Mangum's belief that she should have day-to-day control of the university and board chairman Rufus Montgomery's move to place her on a "performance improvement plan."

Five Questions for Steve Uhlfelder

July 19, 2015 - 9:45pm
Steve Uhlfelder and the Florida Capitol

Tallahassee attorney Steve Uhlfelder has had any number of roles: corporate lawyer, state official, children's advocate, civic fundraiser and media consultant.

Early Learning Could Get Federal Boost after Slow Progress

July 8, 2015 - 7:15pm

It was a so-so legislative season for early education in Florida.

A bill that would have raised health and safety standards for voluntary pre-kindergarten and school-readiness programs failed for the second year in a row.

State leaders added no new money to voluntary pre-K, which serves 170,000 4-year-olds --- while per-student spending remains well below the national average.

Judge Considers Challenge to Abortion Waiting Period

June 24, 2015 - 9:00pm

Only days before a new Florida law would start requiring 24-hour waits before women can have abortions, a Leon County circuit judge is considering whether to place a hold on the law while a constitutional challenge goes forward.

The law (HB 633), which passed in April, is slated to go into effect July 1. The day after Gov. Rick Scott signed the law, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a constitutional challenge and sought an emergency injunction.

Five Questions for Rep. Jennifer Sullivan

June 14, 2015 - 3:30pm

At age 23, Rep. Jennifer Sullivan is the youngest member of the Florida Legislature. But the Mount Dora Republican scored a major victory Wednesday, when Gov. Rick Scott signed her bill to require a 24-hour waiting period before women can have abortions.

And with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights immediately filing a legal challenge to the new abortion law (HB 633), Sullivan is sure to remain in the spotlight.

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