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NSF MONTHLY DIGEST FOR SEPTEMBER 2017

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
STAFF |
Maybe it is the calm before the storm... Read the Advances

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: SCOTT, DEMOCRATS CLAIM VICTORIES
DARA KAM |
The historic flooding in Texas this week mesmerized people throughout the nation, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who dispatched hundreds of search and rescue personnel to the storm-ravaged region... Read the Roundup

OFFICIALS PUSH DEADLINE FOR DISCLOSING FINANCES
JIM TURNER |
Seven state lawmakers were among more than 600 state and local officials and employees testing a two-month grace period to file personal financial-disclosure forms... Story

UF OPENS DOOR TO WHITE NATIONALIST SPEECH
DARA KAM |
With the threat of a federal lawsuit looming, University of Florida officials said Friday they will consider allowing white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus... Story

EXPANSION OF E-BOOKS COULD EQUATE TO STUDENT SAVINGS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Florida universities are taking the first steps toward expanding the use of electronic textbooks and other material, hoping to bring significant savings to students who spend hundreds of dollars each semester on traditional textbooks... Story

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2017

SCOTT DECLARES EMERGENCY AS HURRICANE THREATENS
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday placed all of Florida under a state of emergency as the projected path of Hurricane Irma could take the powerful storm toward the southern tip of the state by the end of the week... Story

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2017

STATE OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR `DANGEROUS' IRMA
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott, who had already issued a state of emergency because of the ominous threat of powerful Hurricane Irma, asked Tuesday for pre-landfall assistance from the federal government... Story

COURT BACKS NORTH FLORIDA TRACK IN RACING DISPUTE
JIM SAUNDERS |
Videos, in the words of an administrative law judge, showed a “series of races involving --- as a rule --- tired, reluctant, skittish, or disinterested horses moving at a slow pace down the dust-choked path... Story

FSU PANEL TO REVIEW STATUES, CAMPUS NAMES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
From a 9-foot bronze statue of former coach Bobby Bowden outside the football stadium to a three-figure monument commemorating the admission of the first African-American students in the 1960s, Florida State University has a number of statues, memorials and other monuments on its campus... Story

`DREAMERS' DECISION CREATES DILEMMA FOR REPUBLICANS
DARA KAM |
President Donald Trump's decision to do away with his predecessor's policy that benefited hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers” has put Florida Republicans in a bind... Story

FLORIDA BRACES FOR MASSIVE HURRICANE IRMA
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians on Tuesday that powerful Hurricane Irma will start impacting the state by the end of the week --- it's just not clear where... Story

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 06, 2017

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
LISA AARON has registered to lobby for Alamo City Engineering Services, Inc. CHRISTINA MARGARET DELEO BARKER has registered to lobby for the city of Tampa... Story

GOVERNOR SAYS IRMA COULD BE BIGGER THAN ANDREW
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday continued warning all Floridians to pay attention to record-setting Hurricane Irma marching through the Caribbean toward a weekend encounter with the Sunshine State... Story

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES CANCELED AS IRMA LOOMS
DARA KAM |
In anticipation of what could be the most devastating hurricane to make landfall in Florida in decades, legislative leaders Wednesday canceled committee meetings scheduled for next week... Story

NEW LAW BLOCKS RELEASE OF WITNESS IDENTITIES
JIM SAUNDERS |
Pointing to a new state law, an appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office does not have to disclose the names of witnesses to a February murder on Interstate 95... Story

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2017

SCOTT TELLS FLORIDIANS TO `GO NOW' IF EVACUATING
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday implored Floridians and tourists planning to evacuate in advance of deadly Hurricane Irma to do so now, before winds and surging waters arrive later this week... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: NASA PICK FACES ROUGH LAUNCH
JIM TURNER |
Space Florida, the agency leading Florida's efforts in the reviving space industry at Cape Canaveral, praised President Donald Trump's new nominee to lead NASA... Read the Briefing

USF REACHES TOP TIER OF STATE UNIVERSITIES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The University of South Florida will join the ranks of Florida's “pre-eminent” state universities, USF President Judy Genshaft announced Wednesday in her fall address at the Tampa-based school... Story

FLORIDIANS FLOOD PRICE-GOUGING HOTLINE
JIM TURNER |
Floridians bracing for the pounding winds and rains of powerful Hurricane Irma are complaining at a historic clip about price gouging and shortages of fuel, Attorney General Pam Bondi said Thursday... Story

WHITE NATIONALIST COULD SPEAK OCT. 19 AT UF
DARA KAM |
After rejecting a request by white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus and being threatened with a federal lawsuit, the University of Florida has set a tentative Oct. 19 date for an appearance by the “alt-right” leader... Story

FUEL BECOMES KEY AS FLORIDIANS FLEE IRMA
JIM TURNER AND DARA KAM |
Florida is scrambling to keep up with high demand for gas from people fleeing and preparing for the weekend arrival of powerful and deadly Hurricane Irma... Story

BILLIONAIRE BLASTS TRUMP `DREAMER' DECISION
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
A prominent Republican fund-raiser turned critic of President Donald Trump said Thursday it would be a huge economic mistake not to let young undocumented immigrants, called “Dreamers,” remain in the United States... Story

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2017

FLORIDIANS URGED TO REMAIN `VIGILANT' AS IRMA APPROACHES
JIM TURNER |
Almost all of Florida will be directly affected the next couple of days by deadly and powerful Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott warned Friday... Story

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
STAFF |
Hurricane Irma has led to the cancellation of legislative committee meetings during the coming week --- and numerous other types of government meetings and political gatherings across Florida... Read the Advances

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: `WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER'
DARA KAM |
The week started off with the state --- and the nation --- mesmerized by Hurricane Harvey... Read the Roundup

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO FLEE IRMA
JIM TURNER |
Roads became clogged and fuel supplies strained as more than 1 million people were told to find shelter inland, upstate or in neighboring states in advance of massive Hurricane Irma, which will blanket most of Florida this weekend... Story

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 09, 2017

IRMA TAKES AIM AT GULF COAST
JIM TURNER |
Florida's West Coast is now expected to take the brunt of potentially devastating Hurricane Irma, as the system started making itself felt Saturday across South Florida... Story

FLORIDIANS SHOULD EXPECT DAYS WITHOUT POWER
JIM TURNER |
Widespread and prolonged power outages will become part of life for most Floridians over the next few days as Hurricane Irma has started to make an anticipated northern turn that will result in a destructive run through the state starting Sunday... Story

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2017

SCOTT URGES PATIENCE AS IRMA HITS STATE
JIM TURNER |
As massive Hurricane Irma battered Florida on a path up the Gulf Coast, Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday advised residents against rushing out once the storm appears to have passed... Story

FEDERAL AID APPROVED AS IRMA MAKES SECOND LANDFALL
JIM TURNER |
Florida was approved Sunday for federal disaster relief as the powerful, wide and deadly Hurricane Irma made its second landfall of the day... Story

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

IRMA DOWNGRADED BUT TROUBLES REMAIN
JIM TURNER |
Floridians awoke Monday no longer with a hurricane overhead, but more than 6.2 million homes and businesses did not have power and flooding concerns continued nearly statewide... Story

UCF, FIU GROWTH RAISES QUESTION: HOW BIG IS TOO BIG?
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Florida has some of the largest public universities in the country... Story

IRMA COULD COST `BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS'
JIM TURNER |
Local curfews were in place throughout the state, much of the Florida Keys remained closed and millions of people continued to lack electricity as cleanup work expected to reach into the billions of dollars began Monday in the wake of deadly Hurricane Irma... Story

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

PUTNAM, GRAHAM LEAD CAMPAIGN MONEY CHASE
JIM SAUNDERS |
Republican Adam Putnam and Democrat Gwen Graham continued last month to hold financial edges over their opponents in the 2018 race for governor, but a potential candidate --- state House Speaker Richard Corcoran --- is quickly building up cash, new reports show... Story

FOCUS TURNS TO RECOVERY AFTER IRMA'S EXIT
JIM TURNER |
More than 5.5 million homes and businesses in Florida remained without power at midday Tuesday after Hurricane Irma plowed through the state... Story

TEBOW PLAYS CHEERLEADER FOR IRMA RELIEF EFFORTS
JIM TURNER |
A New York Mets minor leaguer with a Heisman Trophy from his time in The Swamp brought some star power to Gov. Rick Scott's Hurricane Irma relief efforts Tuesday... Story

STATE UNIVERSITIES GET BOOST IN ANNUAL RANKINGS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
In what state university leaders say is another sign of improving quality, Florida's top public universities rose to new heights in the latest U. S. News & World Report annual college rankings... Story

MOST DUKE CUSTOMERS TO HAVE POWER THIS WEEKEND
JIM TURNER |
Duke Energy Florida expects to restore power to most of its coverage area by this weekend but did not project a date for electricity to come back on in Hardee and Highlands counties, which it described as “severely impacted” by Hurricane Irma... Story

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017

LOBBYIST FILE --- DOING BUSINESS ON THE FOURTH FLOOR, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
BALLARD PARTNERS lobbyists Brian Ballard and Chris Dorworth have registered to lobby for Alternate Health Corp... Story

HOLLYWOOD NURSING HOME RATED `BELOW AVERAGE'
JIM SAUNDERS |
A Hollywood nursing home where six residents died Wednesday after Hurricane Irma is rated “below average” in a federal scorecard that includes information about issues such as inspections, staffing and quality of care... Story

FLOODING COULD WORSEN IRMA TRAFFIC WOES
JIM TURNER |
Evacuees already struggling to return home because of heavy traffic and overworked fuel supplies are being advised to consider alternative routes, as flash flooding could close sections of major roads including Interstate 75 north of Gainesville... Story

MORE MONEY PROPOSED FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, COLLEGES
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
The Florida Board of Education on Wednesday approved a 2018-2019 budget request that includes a $200 per-student boost in the K-12 system, increased funding for the 28 state colleges and construction money for public schools, colleges and universities... Story

GAS SUPPLIES GET BOOST AS TANKERS HEAD TO PORTS
JIM TURNER |
Oil tankers are streaming into Florida's ports as demand for gasoline spikes with Hurricane Irma evacuees returning home... Story

STATE ACTS AGAINST NURSING HOME AFTER 8 DEATHS
JIM SAUNDERS |
State regulators late Wednesday took emergency action to block admissions to a Broward County nursing home where eight residents died after an air-conditioning system went out --- a situation that Gov. Rick Scott described as “unfathomable... Story

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2017

PERSONNEL FILE --- PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA |
MARCO PAREDES has joined the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops as associate director for health... Read the Personnel File

INTERSTATE 75 TO REMAIN OPEN AS FLOODING RECEDES
JIM SAUNDERS |
Hurricane Irma evacuees trying to return home can breathe a little easier... Story

BACKROOM BRIEFING: IRMA DOESN'T TURN OUT LIGHTS ON ELECTION
DARA KAM |
A heated contest for an open Senate seat in Miami just got hotter --- literally... Read the Briefing

HURRICANE NO BOON TO STATE BUDGET
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
Hurricane Irma could extend her destructive reach to the next state budget... Story

PUTNAM SAYS AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY HAMMERED BY IRMA
JIM TURNER |
Parts of Florida's agriculture industry are in “tatters” as rural communities throughout the state continue to face severe conditions after Hurricane Irma, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday... Story

TEACHERS UNION CHALLENGES `BEST AND BRIGHTEST'
JIM SAUNDERS |
The Florida Education Association teachers union has filed a potential class-action lawsuit alleging that the state's controversial “Best and Brightest” bonus program discriminates against older teachers and minorities... Story

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

WEEKLY ROUNDUP: `UNFATHOMABLE'
DARA KAM |
Days after Hurricane Irma slashed a destructive swath through Florida, it's still unclear exactly how much damage the state and its inhabitants have suffered... Read the Roundup

STATE'S TAB FOR IRMA ALREADY MOUNTING
JIM TURNER |
Florida has preliminarily outlined more than $273 million in Hurricane Irma costs for federal reimbursement, with the money primarily used for storm preparation and debris removal... Story

ADVANCES: WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
STAFF |
With electricity steadily getting restored after Hurricane Irma, state government should start to return to a more-normal rhythm during the coming week... Read the Advances

LAWMAKERS LIKELY TO FACE TOUGH BUDGET
JIM SAUNDERS |
A key economist offered a sobering message Friday to state lawmakers: Forget having extra cash for next year's budget... Story

LAWMAKERS SEEK FDLE PROBE OF NURSING HOME DEATHS
DARA KAM |
The deaths of eight seniors who were in a sweltering Broward County nursing home for days after Hurricane Irma has spurred some lawmakers to demand a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation and to file legislation to require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have generators... Story

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

SCOTT TAPS EX-LAWMAKER TO BECOME UTILITY REGULATOR
JIM SAUNDERS |
Little more than a year after losing a bid for the Florida Senate, former state Rep. Ritch Workman has been tapped by Gov. Rick Scott to serve as a utility regulator... Story

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

NURSING HOMES PLAN `SUMMIT' ON GENERATOR ORDER
JIM SAUNDERS AND TOM URBAN |
Calling the deaths of eight seniors last week an “isolated incident,” a nursing-home industry group will hold a meeting Friday to discuss a move by Gov. Rick Scott to require nursing homes to be equipped with generators to power air-conditioning systems when electricity goes out... Story

IRMA DEATH TOLL IN FLORIDA AT 34 --- AND RISING
JIM TURNER |
Hurricane Irma has officially been tied to 34 deaths in Florida, but the number will rise... Story

SCOTT SEEKS SPEEDY RECOVERY IN KEYS
JIM TURNER |
Gov. Rick Scott wants the Florida Keys “open for business” by Oct. 1... Story

IRMA INSURANCE CLAIMS ALREADY NEAR $2 BILLION
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
With 335,000 insurance claims representing $1.9 billion in property losses, Hurricane Irma has already exceeded the claims and losses from the two hurricanes that pummeled Florida last year, the state Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday... Story

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

LAKE OKEECHOBEE RISE SPURS MORE WATER RELEASES
JIM TURNER |
Water started to be released southwest from Lake Okeechobee on Tuesday morning, as the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks to stem a post-hurricane rise in the lake's water level... Story

JUSTICES DECLINE TO HEAR CHARTER SCHOOL BATTLE
JIM SAUNDERS |
The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a case that challenged the constitutionality of a law that gives power to the State Board of Education in the approval of charter schools... Story

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT HURRICANE READINESS
LLOYD DUNKELBERGER |
From creating a state gasoline reserve to protecting vulnerable seniors in nursing homes, a newly created House committee will look at ways of better preparing Florida to face major storms like Hurricane Irma... Story

GET THAT SUNPASS READY --- TOLLS ARE COMING BACK
JIM TURNER |
Toll collections will resume at 12:01 a. m. Thursday on most state toll roads after being lifted Sept... Story

 

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