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Jim Turner

Jim Turner is a reporter for the News Service of Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis formally asked Wednesday that the statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune replace the likeness of a Confederate general as a representative of Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

Florida’s citrus industry ended its growing season on a slight uptick, regaining the Sunshine State’s dominance in orange production over California.
Flikr / Creative Commons

By Jim Turner/ News Service of Florida

Florida’s citrus industry ended its growing season on a slight uptick, regaining the Sunshine State’s dominance in orange production over California.

But struggles remain.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Friday encouraged supporters of a new state hemp industry to tell Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign a bill that would lead to a regulatory framework for the crop.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is getting closer to deciding whether to approve the bill (HB 629), which passed the House and Senate in early May.

Gov. Ron DeSantis favors a House plan to crack down on texting while driving, as the Senate on Wednesday delayed for at least a day a separate measure that would only allow motorists to use hands-free wireless devices while on the road.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday downplayed growing concerns that President Donald Trump is putting Florida’s coastal waters back in play for oil exploration.

The tourism industry pushed Wednesday to keep the doors open at the state’s tourism-marketing agency as House and Senate budget committees advanced competing spending plans for next year.

Lawmakers are pushing forward with plans to continue carving up millions of dollars voters more than four years ago directed to be spent on land and water protection, despite environmentalists’ concerns about the way the money is being used to help the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay.

Florida’s latest attempt to draw more film production to the Sunshine State started rolling Tuesday in the Senate.

A seemingly annual effort to turn off red-light traffic cameras – as Jacksonville has done - is again on the move in the Florida House.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis makes his first international trip to Israel, he plans to tout Florida but also will have a chance to get a new supply of water --- and probably will do a better labeling job.

Using chum to attract sharks in waters used by beachgoers, surfers and divers is closer to being banned in Florida, despite concerns the change will further squeeze out “blue collar” angling.

A follow-up report on the handling of the state’s concealed-carry permitting process pointed to a lack of management oversight by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but the agency claims it is addressing the issues.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Brightline got the green light Wednesday from the state to negotiate for land to add high-speed passenger rail service from Orlando to Tampa --- a link envisioned to eventually connect with Brightline’s existing service in South Florida.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said he is “deeply troubled” that Attorney General Pam Bondi thought he would not pursue investigations into potential criminal activity related to last week’s elections.

Water Woes Become A Political Wildcard

Nov 1, 2018

Throughout the summer, politicians heard from Floridians angered by the latest bouts of toxic blue-green algae in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, along with a festering red-tide outbreak on the Gulf Coast.

Tourism Marketing Backed After Hurricane, Red Tide

Oct 31, 2018

The state’s tourism-marketing arm wants to send a message to potential visitors: Hurricane damage and fish-killing red tide don’t cover all of the Sunshine State.

Three proposals on the November ballot that would make tax-related changes to the state Constitution have drawn conflicting views from the real-estate industry, local governments and other groups about the measures’ potential economic impacts.

Florida Democrats should find out by Friday if one of their candidates for attorney general could be knocked out of Tuesday’s primary election, which has already seen more than 500,000 Democratic ballots cast.

With Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday now underway, some retailers may face an enthusiasm dip as laptops and other electronics are not on the discount menu.

State Sen. Denise Grimsley would immediately order a “full audit” of Florida’s concealed-weapons licensing process, as well as examine the management structure of the program, if she is elected agriculture commissioner.

Florida’s nearshore waters would be off limits to future oil and gas drilling under a measure that is moving closer to appearing before voters in November.

​A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

A measure that would ban the controversial oil- and natural-gas drilling process known as “fracking” is again on the move in the Florida Senate. However, the proposal remains sidelined in the House as the 60-day legislative session nears its midpoint.

Senate President Joe Negron reiterated his chamber will have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment or misconduct against employees and visitors, as he gave an opening address Tuesday for the 2018 legislative session.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis filed paperwork Friday to formally enter Florida's 2018 gubernatorial race, after landing praise from President Donald Trump and rounding up a list of wealthy financial backers.

Six bills from the 2017 legislative session became effective with the arrival of the New Year.

Saying it's not the role of judges to determine education policy, an appeals court Wednesday rejected a long-running lawsuit that alleged Florida has failed to meet its constitutional duty of providing a high-quality system of public schools.

Gov. Rick Scott has yet to dip into the $85 million lawmakers set aside this year to attract new businesses to Florida, but he's already seeking to replenish the pool of money.

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