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Jim Turner- News Service of Florida

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

Florida will get $380.7 million from the federal government to help parts of the timber industry and farms ravaged more than a year ago by Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Irma continues to challenge Florida’s citrus industry.

Two growing seasons separated from the September 2017 storm that flooded groves and uprooted citrus trees across the state, the industry has seen production rebound quicker than some anticipated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday questioned a proposal to increase Florida’s minimum wage through the constitutional amendment process, warning about effects on the restaurant industry.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
GOVERNOR'S PRESS OFFICE

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who captained his university’s baseball team, backed California-style legislation Thursday that would allow Florida college athletes to cash in on their names and images.

A Soviet-born South Florida businessman arrested last week on federal campaign-finance charges seemed just “like any other donor,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Map of Florida showing projected toll road projects
State of Florida

Potential environmental impacts from a series of controversial toll road projects could start to be known shortly after the start of the new year.

Will Watts, chief engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation, said Wednesday that preliminary routes for the three projects will be based on input from task forces over the next couple of months, with a focus on what to “avoid and minimize first.”

Florida Senate

Florida lawmakers Monday dug into issues involving climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, phrases mostly kept under wraps by state Republican leaders before last year’s elections.

Vowing that the state won’t forget hurricane-damaged Northwest Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday made his first use of a controversial economic-development program by saying money will go to a pair of roads tied to workforce housing in Bay County.

Florida’s struggling citrus industry is projected to see a 3.3 percent increase in production in the newly started growing season.

Calling the process “an administrative nightmare,” a federal judge on Tuesday urged the Florida Legislature to revamp a state law aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

Lawmakers are already seeking about $120 million for projects and programs in their local communities, while the latest state revenue estimates have spurred the House budget leader to urge “restraint” as the 2020 legislative session nears.

With the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael approaching, local first responders received a $1.1 million grant from the state Thursday, the first distribution from a $25 million fund approved this spring by lawmakers as part of hurricane relief.

Measures to protect police dogs and horses and crack down on hazing and child-like sex dolls are among new laws ready to take effect next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to boost spending next year on a controversial economic-development program, while tourism-marketing money wouldn’t increase, according to budget requests rolled out last week.

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise is seeking to replace its back-office structure, after criticism for more than a year about a troubled project to upgrade the SunPass collection system.

Florida emergency management efforts shifted Thursday from storm preparation to providing assistance as Hurricane Dorian, after devastating the Bahamas and skirting Florida’s East Coast, threatened to cause heavy damage in the Carolinas.

Emergency operations slowly started to wind down Wednesday as Hurricane Dorian remained offshore, inching its way north and away from Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Monday morning at a press conference about Hurricane Dorian at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
Gov. Ron DeSantis' Facebook page

With powerful Hurricane Dorian at a near standstill over the Bahamas, Florida officials impatiently waited and completed preparations Monday as the historic storm was forecast to deliver a blow to the state’s East Coast.

Tolls were suspended Sunday on Florida’s Turnpike and other roads in South Florida and Central Florida, as local mandatory evacuation orders started and large portions of the state’s East Coast continued to face threats from catastrophic Hurricane Dorian.

Florida doesn’t plan to turn portions of highways into all one-way traffic when evacuation orders are issued for Hurricane Dorian.

Lengthy and widespread power outages are in the forecast after Hurricane Dorian hits Florida.

Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Friday the state’s largest utility is ready for the storm, with crews and equipment positioned to start restoring power after sustained winds dip below 35 mph.

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians to heed local evacuation calls as Hurricane Dorian could be a “Category 4-plus” storm that lingers over the state after making landfall early next week on the East Coast.

Forensic experts are gearing up to conduct a high-tech sweep of the grounds at the Dozier School For Boys.
File Pool Photo/Edmund D. Fountain Tampa Bay Times

Forensic experts are gearing up to conduct a high-tech sweep of the grounds at a notorious Northwest Florida reform school where survivors remain convinced bodies of long-lost boys are still concealed.

Marion Hammer
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

After correcting four years of compensation reports for one of the entities she represents, Florida's top gun lobbyist Marion Hammer has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Florida Senate.

people at the beach
Lisa Peakes/WUSF Public Media

Bolstered by U.S. and Canadian tourists, Florida’s visitor count continued at a record pace through the second quarter of 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to “recesses of the internet” where people can share “vile” views and a need to look at white nationalism -- along with other causes -- when asked Wednesday about tackling mass violence.

But he also said, after a Purple Heart dedication ceremony at Tallahassee National Cemetery, that it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.

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.

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