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Rain's Coming, But Schools Are Open Monday

Though a flood watch is underway for the Tampa Bay area, public school districts from Pinellas to Hillsborough to Polk have announced they will be open as normal on Monday. Friday’s concerns that Tropical Storm Erika would strike the Tampa Bay area dissipated over the weekend, and families in the three districts were notified that students, teachers and other employees should report to class and work as normal.
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House, Senate Remain At Odds

17 minutes ago

As they waited for a potential Florida Supreme Court decision about how the state's congressional redistricting process should proceed, legislative leaders traded messages Friday that appeared to put them no closer to resolving a standoff over the shape of Florida's 27 U.S. House districts.

In a memo to state House members, Redistricting Chairman Jose Oliva came close to ruling out further consideration of a plan that Senate Reapportionment Chairman Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, floated on Thursday.

Environmental Groups Sue Over Amendment 1

38 minutes ago
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Service

Arguing that lawmakers "defied" a constitutional mandate, four environmental groups filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to force the state to shift $237 million to help carry out a conservation measure approved by voters in November.

The Florida Wildlife Federation, the St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, the Sierra Club and Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller filed the lawsuit in Leon County circuit court against Senate President Andy Gardiner, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Though a flood watch is underway for the Tampa Bay area, public school districts from Pinellas to Hillsborough to Polk have announced they will be open as normal on Monday.

Friday’s concerns that Tropical Storm Erika would strike the Tampa Bay area dissipated over the weekend, and families in the three districts were notified that students, teachers and other employees should report to class and work as normal.

Weakened Erika Still A Worry For Tampa Bay

23 hours ago
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Erika dissipated Saturday, but folks in the Tampa Bay area are watching it carefully.

The 9 a.m. forecast from the National Hurricane Center showed the storm had degenerated into a trough of low pressure by early Saturday after mountains and an unfavorable environment in Hispaniola knocked Erika below tropical storm force.

Erika Fizzles, But Be Ready For The Rain

Aug 29, 2015
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Good news this morning regarding tropical storm Erika. It is no longer a tropical storm.

But residents in the Tampa Bay area should be ready for several days of rain.

The National Hurricane Center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday said the storm has officially dissipated into a tropical wave. As a result, all coastal watches and warnings were discontinued.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that Tropical Storm Erika is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression.

During the 5 p.m. announcement, meteorologists said they expect Erika to be downgraded to a depression Saturday. There's even a possibility that the storm could dissipate to a trough of low pressure during or after its passage over Hispaniola.

Officials say there's "a significant chance" that no watches or warnings for Florida will be required over the weekend.

Erika Strikes Islands, Kills At Least A Dozen

Aug 28, 2015
Office of the Governor

Tropical Storm Erika began to lose steam Friday as it skirted along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, but it left behind a trail of destruction that included at least a dozen people killed on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, authorities said.

Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Whether it’s a full-blown hurricane or just a tropical storm - Erika has the potential to bring heavy rains and with that comes the potential of flooding.

So, here is information on who to call and what to do should you experience flooding. If your county is offering free sandbags, be sure to bring your own shovel.

Hillsborough County

USF Beta Gamma chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha

USF senior Barbara "Barbie" Jimenez, who has been in a Cuban hospital since being seriously injured earlier this month, is scheduled to arrive in Tampa Friday afternoon.

Jimenez, 22, was briefly left in a coma after a car accident in Havana August 3 that killed one man and injured her, her boyfriend and two of her family members.

She and boyfriend, John Fox, had just arrived on a visit to her aunt and uncle, and had left the airport about a half hour before the taxi cab they were in was struck head on by a government transportation truck.

FloridaLottery.com

Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell is resigning amid questions about her travel, spending and work habits.

The governor’s office announced the resignation Friday. It is effective Oct. 1.

O’Connell was appointed by Scott in 2011. The governor’s office said she is seeking work in the private sector.

Scott appointed deputy secretary of sales Tom Delacenserie as interim secretary.

O’Connell’s abrupt resignation came days after a news report that she had taken nearly nine weeks of vacation last year and racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills.

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