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News

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The six-month long 2017 Hurricane Season was “kicked off” across the state by public figures preaching preparedness: buy supplies, know your evacuation level and route and sign up for local, automated hurricane alerts.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

A three-day, tax-free holiday on hurricane supplies starts today and runs through Sunday. Legislators hope it will serve as an incentive for Floridians to stock up on supplies like batteries, gas containers, flashlights and portable generators costing $750 or less.

New Hurricane Advisories Will Give Storm Prep Deadlines

Jun 2, 2017
NOAA.gov

Some coastal residents always put off emergency preparations until storm clouds loom on the horizon. The National Hurricane Center is going to try giving those people a deadline this year, issuing experimental advisories showing when tropical-storm force winds may hit particular communities to help them understand when it's too late to put up storm shutters or evacuate.

Enterprise Florida’s board of directors are trying to accentuate the positives at their meeting in Tallahassee this week.  The agency is tightening its belt as lawmakers sour on funding the public private business recruiter.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly visited Port-au-Prince Wednesday to meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moise. The visit came after Kelly recommended a 6-month extension for Haitian Temporary Protected Status in May. Haitian activists and advocates had been pushing for at least an 18-month extension to the policy that protects them from deportation. 

At a National Hurricane Center press conference in Miami after the visit, Kelly said he encourages Haitians to remember it was never meant to be a permanent solution.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

A potential tsunami of tourists could be in store for Tampa when the National Hockey League's All-Star Game is held on the same weekend in January as the Gasparilla parade. But NHL and city officials are saying they'll be prepared.

Tampa has hosted one hockey All-Star Game, back in 1999. And it's hosted Gasparilla parades since 1904 - including the last time the Super Bowl was here, in 2001.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said it could present challenges in terms of traffic and security, but this "balancing act" will work out just fine.

Pinellas County Emergency Management

With the beginning of hurricane season Thursday, officials in Pinellas County are encouraging residents to check what their evacuation levels are because they may have changed since last year.

Thanks to updated storm surge maps, some people are now either more or less likely to evacuate in a hurricane.

Florida homeless agencies are working to shelter people in the state. But proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development could leave the state with fewer federal resources.

After weeks in a holding pattern, Florida Governor Rick Scott has the budget for the coming fiscal year on his desk.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins Thursday. To help Florida residents get ready, the state is offering a tax break on storm supplies.

Michael Davis Photography / Flickr

A former Marine who was armed with a fake gun attempted a "suicide by cop" Tuesday night during a nearly three-hour standoff with police at the Orlando International Airport, authorities said.

Survey: Consumer Confidence In State Drops Again In May

May 31, 2017
Pantherfan12 / Flickr

Consumer confidence in Florida keeps dropping.

Constitution Revision Commission Chairman Carlos Beruff is ordering the prestigious, 37-member panel back to the drawing board to settle a dispute over ground rules. A marathon working group meeting in Tampa ended without a full review of draft procedures.

Immigration lawyers and Haitian community activists hosted a social media live event on Monday to stress the necessity for recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to gather their documents and contact a local immigration lawyer if they want to stay in the United States after the program's deadline in January.

“The first things that people really need to do is get an attorney, get a consultation – at least a consultation with an attorney,” said Vanessa Joseph, immigration attorney, on a Facebook Live event watched by 42,000 people and shared 842 times. 

Wages paid to Florida workers remained stagnant for the last decade, says a new report from researchers.

www.orlandoweekly.com

As a law enforcement foundation reviews how the Orlando Police Department responded to a 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub, the organization's staffers say in a paper that police training and protocols may need to change.

Port Tampa Bay Would Get $9M Under Federal Spending Plan

May 30, 2017
Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay and two other Florida sea ports moved closer to advancing projects to make harbors deeper, following the release of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spending plan last week.

The plan for spending of discretionary funds approved by Congress, released Wednesday, would provide $9 million to Port Tampa Bay, $17.5 million to JaxPort and $2.8 million for Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

tampaairport.com

By the end of the 2026, the chairman of Tampa International Airport wants it to function as its own little city.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law inspired by two teenagers still lost at sea.

Florida’s Haitian immigrants are getting a six month reprieve on deportation orders. Advocates are claiming a small victory, but the timeline falls short of what many hoped for. Some are worried the community’s special status may be coming to an end.

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