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News

This Saturday more than 100 new laws go into effect in Florida. Here's a look at five.

Ride-for-hire services like Lyft and Uber will have to comply with statewide rules, and religious expression at public schools will be explicitly protected in Florida, under new laws that go into effect Sat., July 1.

The changes are among 125 revisions the state Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott approved this year.

Advocates are happy about a new law on the books slated to take effect Saturday to help protect kids within Florida’s child welfare system.

Hard-Fought Budget Finally Takes Effect

Jun 30, 2017

It took an extension to the regular session and a special session on top of that to finally get a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, but the budget that tied up lawmakers for months finally takes effect Saturday.

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A 30-year veteran of TECO and a Tampa contractor were killed in an accident Thursday at the Big Bend Power Plant in Apollo Beach. 

 

The explosion happened when the workers were trying to unclog a blockage in a tank where molten coal slag falls into cooling tanks after being burned to generate electricity.

Photo courtesy Joseph Wood

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy who wrote on social media about "almost" shooting someone and followed it with "lol" has been fired.

Religious Expression Law Goes Into Effect July 1st

Jun 30, 2017

A multitude of bills goes into effect Saturday, including one that is protecting the religious expression of public school students. 

Disney: Animatronic Trump Will Speak At Disney World Show

Jun 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Disney has confirmed that an animatronic version of President Donald Trump will have a speaking role at its Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Justices Seem Skeptical Of Prosecutor’s Arguments On Death Penalty

Jun 29, 2017

Florida Supreme Court justices appeared highly skeptical of a Central Florida state attorney’s assertion that prosecutors have absolute discretion in death-penalty cases during arguments Wednesday in a legal dispute between the prosecutor and Gov. Rick Scott.

www.newStPetePier.com

After years of debate, ground has finally been broken on the new St. Petersburg Pier.

"This is a dream come true for so many in our community," Mayor Rick Kriseman said at a ceremony Wednesday. "For more than a decade, countless elected officials, community leaders, engaged citizens and city staff have poured an immeasurable amount of time and energy into this project - perhaps the highest profile endeavor in our city's history."

Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia)

Attracting more than 120 million visitors before the end of the calendar year remains a goal of the state's tourism-marketing arm, now that Visit Florida's funding won't be slashed.

Governor Rick Scott has approved a bill aimed at expanding 5-G wireless technology. But the measure also reduces local control. It takes away the ability of local governments to decide where the infrastructure for the technology should go, and how much to charge.

The “Cameron Mayhew Act” is slated to take effect Saturday, after Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law aimed at increasing school bus safety.

UPDATE: 11: 30 AM Monday

The Lee County Building Industry Association has issued a statement to members identifying the pilot of Saturday morning’s plane crash as Cape Coral resident and vice president of ACRA Electric, Anthony Greco.  “Anthony is in the hospital and his passenger passed in the accident.  Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” reads the statement.

The National Transportation and Safety Board continues to investigate what caused the plane to crash.

Scott Signs Economic Development, School Funding BIlls

Jun 27, 2017
Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott signed 29 bills late Monday, including measures boosting spending on education, tourism marketing and economic development.

Last year was one of the deadliest for the Florida panther. Wildlife experts say there will likely not be as many fatalities this year, but Florida drivers should still take several precautions. 

MyFlorida.com

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is traveling to Tampa and two other cities to tout his decision to tap a political ally and former legislator to a top position.

FICPA / Flickr

Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department / Facebook page

Investigators are still trying to determine how two Texas siblings drowned in a pool at a Hillsborough County motel while on a Father's Day outing with their church.

Alex Cook

A worker has died from apparent electrocution at a Polk County distillery.

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