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Hospitals Drop Trauma Challenges

Tampa General Hospital
Tampa General Hospital

Three Tampa Bay-area hospitals have filed notices that they are dropping legal challenges against trauma centers at Blake Medical Center in Manatee County and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County.

The moves Friday by Tampa General Hospital, Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa were expected after an administrative law judge last month approved a new state rule for determining where trauma centers could be allowed across the state.

The Tampa Bay-area hospitals waged long-running fights against the Manatee County and Pasco County trauma centers, which the state Department of Health allowed to open in 2011. But after the new rule was approved last month by Administrative Law Judge R. Bruce McKibben, attorneys said it likely would be difficult for the Tampa Bay-area hospitals to win the legal challenges.

UF Health Shands in Gainesville also had challenged a new trauma center at Ocala Regional Medical Center. UF Health Shands already dismissed its case after the McKibben ruling.

Negron, Brandes Top $30k In Senate Races

Faced with challenges as they seek another term, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, each raised more than $30,000 in contributions from July 5 to July 18, according to newly filed reports.

Negron, the powerful Senate Appropriations chairman, collected $33,385 during the two-week period, bringing his overall campaign total to $656,424. Also during the two-week period, Negron spent $227,900, which included paying $184,275 to Maryland-based Mentzer Media Services, Inc., for advertising, the records show.

Brandon Cannon, Negron's opponent in the Aug. 26 Republican primary in Senate District 32, had raised an overall total of $15,516 as of July 18, while loaning his campaign $49,158.

Across the state, Brandes raised $30,250 from July 5 to July 18, giving his campaign an overall total of $477,586. Judithanne McLauchlan, Brandes' Democratic opponent in Senate District 22, raised $10,675 during the two-week period, bringing her total to $144,326.

Among other Democratic candidates, Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, collected $29,980 for his re-election bid in Senate District 36, giving him an overall total of $165,711. Braynon's Democratic opponent, Anis "Auguste" Blemur, had raised a total of $10,600 as of July 18 and loaned $55,810 to the campaign.

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