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State mulls 700 mph hyperloop project from Tampa to South Florida: report

State mulls 700 mph hyperloop project from Tampa to South Florida: report

Based on the Elon Musk concept, Florida is looking at a company developing a 700 mph hyperloop that could run from Tampa to South Florida, according to a report in the Fort Myers News-Press. The form of high-speed transportation that involves a pod that moves from place to place by use of pressure systems would be developed by California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, . Advertisement In 2017, another company, Hyperloop One, had listed an Orlando-to-Miami route as a finalist for its proposed efforts. Companies have been running with Musk’s open-source concept, which was a...

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Richard Tribou
2d ago
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Is Little Marco a big hypocrite? His Supreme Court vote will tell | Commentary

Is Little Marco a big hypocrite? His Supreme Court vote will tell | Commentary

It’s time for another edition of “Politicians Say the Darndest Things,” featuring a Democratic legislative candidate’s odd explanation for missing nearly a year’s worth of meetings and a Republican election official’s admission that he didn’t know much about the job he now holds until the governor asked him to fill it. But let’s start with the words of Florida’s senior U.S. senator, Marco Rubio. Advertisement Four years ago, the South Florida Republican said it would be for the Senate to confirm a presidential nominee to the Supreme Court near the end of a president’s a term. In Rubio’s :...

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Scott Maxwell
6d ago
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DeSantis protest crackdown grabs headlines, but he does nothing about the racism that leads to protests | Editorial

DeSantis protest crackdown grabs headlines, but he does nothing about the racism that leads to protests | Editorial

In 1965, Alabama Gov. George Wallace traffic problems as a pretext to halt the march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights. The march was “not conducive to the orderly flow of traffic and commerce,” Wallace said in forbidding it. “[The] march cannot and will not be tolerated.” Advertisement On Monday, 55 years later, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared his state will not tolerate protest marches — peaceful or not — that obstruct traffic. Anyone who does could be charged with a , which puts blocking traffic on par with auto theft and aggravated assault. That’s quite a jump from the...

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7d ago
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Rep. Eskamani: Protest laws are a DeSantis power grab | Commentary

Rep. Eskamani: Protest laws are a DeSantis power grab | Commentary

Nearly 700,000 Floridians have been infected by COVID-19, and nearly 14,000 have died. More than a million Floridians have lost their jobs, and hundreds of thousands remain unemployed. The ongoing pandemic is the worst health and economic crisis in Florida’s history, and Floridians are begging for help — and leadership. But Gov. Ron DeSantis has ignored their pleas. Instead, this week he announced that his top legislative priority is not fixing the unemployment system or ensuring better access to health care, but an abuse of power aimed at suppressing Floridians' First Amendment rights....

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Anna Eskamani
4d ago
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Florida reopens: DeSantis lifts state’s coronavirus restrictions

Florida reopens: DeSantis lifts state’s coronavirus restrictions

Governor Ron DeSantis announces move to Phase 3 of COVID-19 restrictions which has no limitations on restaurants. TALLAHASSEE — Florida will no longer require bars and restaurants to operate at less than full capacity, as Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday removing all remaining restrictions on those businesses because of the coronavirus pandemic. The order, which takes effect immediately, also prohibits local governments from closing businesses or collecting fines related to pandemic-related mandates, such as mask requirements — leading to at least one Central Florida...

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Gray Rohrer
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4d ago
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Trump vs. Biden: Track the race for president in key battleground states

Trump vs. Biden: Track the race for president in key battleground states

The race for the White House between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be determined in 12 key battleground states and a pair of congressional districts. The winner will need 270 of 538 total Electoral College votes to secure victory. Of those, 218 electoral votes are in states rated as likely or solidly Democrat and expected to vote for Biden. An additional 125 electoral votes are tied to states rated as likely or solidly Republican and expected to vote for Trump. Advertisement That leaves 195 electoral votes that are up for grabs in states rated as...

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Jonathon Berlin
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5d ago
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DeSantis says he’ll lift restaurant capacity restrictions soon

DeSantis says he’ll lift restaurant capacity restrictions soon

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’ll be lifting capacity restrictions on restaurants soon and prevent any local government from closing restaurants. “I don’t think that the closure of restaurants has been particularly effective,” DeSantis said Thursday in the Capitol. “They’re not going to be able to be closed by locals anymore, and they’ll be able to operate at the capacity that they’re comfortable with.” Advertisement Under current state guidelines issued by an executive order from DeSantis, restaurants can operate at 50% capacity. As of Thursday evening, though, DeSantis hadn’t...

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Gray Rohrer
5d ago
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Florida protest laws could be harshest in nation under DeSantis proposal

Florida protest laws could be harshest in nation under DeSantis proposal

Gov. Ron DeSantis proposes policy that could create harshest punishments for protesters in the nation. Protesters arrested in Florida could face the harshest punishments in the nation if a new proposal from Gov. Ron DeSantis becomes law. The sweeping policy changes would make felonies out of participating in protests that result in property damage or blocking roads, and anyone who organizes or donates money to protesters would risk to liability under the state’s racketeering laws. Advertisement At the same time, it would grant protections to people who drive cars into crowds of protesters,...

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Katie Rice
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6d ago
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Central Florida Puerto Ricans decry Trump’s $13 billion for Hurricane Maria recovery as too little, too late

Central Florida Puerto Ricans decry Trump’s $13 billion for Hurricane Maria recovery as too little, too late

President Trump announced $13 billion in FEMA money for Puerto Rico’s three-year recovery from Hurricane Maria on Friday, but the move was criticized by some Central Florida Puerto Ricans as being too late and pandering before the election. The announcement also comes days after Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden put out his plan for Puerto Rico at an event in Kissimmee, prompting an activist to say the action was politically motivated. Advertisement The White House said the $13 billion would include $9.6 billion in federal funding to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, allowing...

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Steven Lemongello
Sep 18
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Frustrated Black Democrats say governor has too much power in naming judges

Frustrated Black Democrats say governor has too much power in naming judges

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court’s rejection of Judge Renatha Francis, Gov. Ron DeSantis' initial pick to fill a vacancy on the court, has spurred Black Democrats to renew calls to overhaul the judicial selection process they say gives the governor too much power. Namely, they want Judicial Nominating Commissions that vet and recommend judicial candidates to be more independent by reducing the governor’s power to appoint its members. Advertisement “This situation is just a continuation of the abuse of the system,” said Sen. Perry Thurston, a Black Democrat from Fort Lauderdale. “Is...

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Gray Rohrer
Sep 18
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South Asians must fight for Black lives, too | Commentary

South Asians must fight for Black lives, too | Commentary

I remember an elderly relative asking me in Hindi in the middle of my fifth-grade birthday party, “Why do you have so many Black friends?” My 10-year-old self had no answer, but decades later I still remember the discomfort of that moment. Another time, in temple, an aunt asked me if I felt safe at my magnet program at my high school. She wanted to send her kid there but worried about the “bad neighborhood” with predominantly Black residents. I demurred but didn’t have the words to call out the inappropriateness of the conversation. Advertisement As the daughter of Indian immigrants, I am...

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Megha Garg
Sep 11
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Senate candidate Jason Brodeur and his wife claimed homestead exemptions on 2 homes

Senate candidate Jason Brodeur and his wife claimed homestead exemptions on 2 homes

GOP state Senate candidate Jason Brodeur and his wife, Christina Daly Brodeur, each claimed a separate homestead exemption on their homes during the first years of their marriage from 2016 to 2018, taking advantage of a provision that the head of the state property appraisers organization said should only apply to separated or estranged couples. Brodeur and his attorney said their interpretation of state law was that married couples can take separate exemptions as long as their finances are also completely separate. Seminole Property Appraiser David Johnson, whose office approved the dual...

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Steven Lemongello
Sep 17
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Two-thirds of Florida voters support higher minimum wage

Two-thirds of Florida voters support higher minimum wage

A shows 67% of Florida voters plan to support the November referendum that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. If the findings hold through the election, that’s more than enough than the 60% required for passage. Advertisement The proposal has the support of 67% of registered voters, with 26% opposed, according to the Monmouth poll released on Tuesday. It has broad support, with more than 60% from Democrats, independents, liberals, moderates, conservatives, men, women and in all regions of the state. Among Democrats, 87% support the idea. Advertisement It falls...

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Anthony Man
Sep 16
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1,900 SeaWorld employees are laid off in latest cuts for the company

1,900 SeaWorld employees are laid off in latest cuts for the company

Nearly 1,900 furloughed employees permanently lost their jobs this month at SeaWorld’s three Orlando properties, according to a state notice. The layoffs come as theme park attendance at SeaWorld Orlando reopened in June with limited capacity of 30% to 35% attendance during the coronavirus pandemic, the company disclosed to the National Labor Relations Board. Advertisement Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment furloughed 95% of its company workforce during the pandemic. On Sept. 4, the company disclosed it was going to permanently lay off furloughed employees who hadn’t been called back to...

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Gabrielle Russon
Sep 15
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Florida voters much more negative about DeSantis performance. Pandemic and political polarization have eaten away his early high approval ratings

Florida voters much more negative about DeSantis performance. Pandemic and political polarization have eaten away his early high approval ratings

After 20 months as the state’s top elected official and six months into the coronavirus pandemic, some of the luster has worn off Gov. Ron DeSantis in the minds of Florida voters. A released Tuesday found he was slightly underwater, with 43% of Florida voters approving of his performance, and 44% disapproving. Advertisement Statistically that’s a tie, within the polls margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. But it is a huge fall from the stratospheric levels of approval he enjoyed during his first year in office. Approval for the governor has dipped, and disapproval has...

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Anthony Man
Sep 15
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With no help from Washington in sight, layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up

With no help from Washington in sight, layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up

In the spring, as the new coronavirus began to spread throughout Central Florida, companies began shedding employees and Congress rushed in to provide some short-term relief. Not knowing how severe the outbreak would become and how long its grip on the tourism-dependent region would last, executives hoped things would go back to normal soon. But the layoffs haven’t stopped, and the calls to Congress for more help for the jobless and for the hotels, theme parks and other businesses that employed them have gone unanswered. It’s further evidence of the stark message Florida’s chief economist,...

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Caroline Glenn
Sep 14
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SpaceX prepping for next level of Starship tests

SpaceX prepping for next level of Starship tests

SpaceX’s next-generation rocket has only flown prototypes to 150 meters, but the company just sent along the first rocket that can be used for an eventual test of Starship in the vacuum of space. The Raptor Vacuum engine was shipped from SpaceX’s rocket factory in Hawthorne, California to a development facility in McGregor, Texas, the company announced on its Twitter account this week. Advertisement The photo of the engine shows it towering above a human, but also twice the size of a normal Raptor engine sitting adjacent. Elon Musk chimed into Twitter to explain that despite its size, it’s...

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Richard Tribou
Sep 10
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DeSantis itching to reopen just about everything but Florida’s government

DeSantis itching to reopen just about everything but Florida’s government

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing to reopen Florida to help the state emerge from the coronavirus shutdown, but the government he oversees remains largely closed. There hasn’t been an in-person Cabinet meeting since February. The Capitol remains shut down to the public. State workers are still operating under social-distancing restrictions and mask-wearing guidelines. Advertisement But the governor has insisted on opening schools for in-person learning, allowed visitors for nursing homes, encouraged theme parks to expand attendance caps, invited more tourists to the state and is...

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Gray Rohrer
Sep 8
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At $25 million, former monastery is Maryland’s most expensive home

At $25 million, former monastery is Maryland’s most expensive home

A former monastery on 22 riverfront acres is Maryland’s most expensive listing, at $24.9 million. This price is actually a steep discount from the $32 million in 2012, when it initially came on the market. The 22,000-square-foot home on in has sheltered monks, a smuggler, and now a leader in the seafood industry. Advertisement “It’s a pretty spectacular estate just in terms of the finishes and features, and is a very interesting house from the perspective of history,” explains listing agent Dave DeSantis. “It was originally built for an industrialist in who manufactured weapons for wars but...

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Tiffani Sherman
Sep 9
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A solution to Florida’s economic misery: End corporate welfare | Editorial

A solution to Florida’s economic misery: End corporate welfare | Editorial

Editorial: A solution to Florida’s economic misery - end corporate welfare. Cash-strapped Floridians got a reprieve last week when Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the moratorium on evictions for another month. That was extension No. 5 for those of you counting inside your threatened homes. The week before, DeSantis signed on to the federal government’s unemployment supplement. It’s unclear how long that funding will continue. Advertisement What is certain is the COVID-19 crisis has left Florida’s economy bloody and beaten, and the moves DeSantis has been making are basically Band-Aids. Helpful...

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Sep 5
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Amendment 3: Would a ‘top 2′ primary open up elections or dilute the minority vote?

Amendment 3: Would a ‘top 2′ primary open up elections or dilute the minority vote?

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus is openly opposing and the League of Women Voters of Florida has changed their minds about a proposed amendment on the ballot this fall that would allow every voter to vote in a single, open primary for state candidates. But supporters of the initiative say their concerns are misguided. Advertisement If approved by 60% of voters on Nov. 3, Amendment 3 would change Florida’s current partisan primary system to create one big “top two" primary for state races, also known as a “jungle primary.” All candidates for statewide offices and the Legislature,...

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Steven Lemongello
Sep 10
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Body cam shows man slain by Orange sheriff’s deputy was no threat, family’s attorneys say

Body cam shows man slain by Orange sheriff’s deputy was no threat, family’s attorneys say

The attorneys who represent the family of Salaythis Melvin, the armed 22-year-old man fatally shot in the back by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy earlier this month, say the body camera footage shows he posed no threat to the deputy. “From what we’ve looked at so far and what we can see from our own eyes, it’s clear that Salaythis Melvin was not a threat,” attorney Bradley Laurent said at a press conference Wednesday. “It’s clear that he was just running. He was trying to get away.” Advertisement The attorneys also questioned whether a deputy, in one of the body camera videos, called...

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David Harris
Aug 19
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Why did Florida’s charter schools fund a campaign to get a former porn worker on the Orange school board? | Commentary

Why did Florida’s charter schools fund a campaign to get a former porn worker on the Orange school board? | Commentary

There were a lot of nasty campaign attacks this season. But few were as bizarre as the for-profit charter school industry’s attempt to kick a respected teacher off the Orange County school board — and replace her with someone with a background in porn. Advertisement Yes, charter school companies — including one that lists “integrity” as a key value — funded a political committee that funded another, which labeled teacher Karen Castor Dentel “Public Enemy #1.” The campaign instead urged voters to elect hospitality worker Jonathan Hacker, who about his past in the “adult entertainment...

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Scott Maxwell
Aug 19
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Florida primary results: Monique Worrell wins State Attorney race; U.S. Rep Spano falls to GOP challenger

Florida primary results: Monique Worrell wins State Attorney race; U.S. Rep Spano falls to GOP challenger

Monique Worrell and will replace Aramis Ayala. With all 347 precincts reporting, Worrell had 42.4% of the vote. Her nearest competitor in the four-person race, retired judge Belvin Perry Jr., had 31.7% of the vote. Other competitors: Deborah Lynne Barra had 19.6% and Ryan Williams 6.3%. Advertisement Worrell’s campaign , who has helped tip local races before. A Soros-backed spent at least $1.5 million on last-minute ads to help Worrell become the next top prosecutor for Orange and Osceola counties. Advertisement Beleaguered Republican in District 15. In District 15, which includes parts of...

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Orlando Sentinel Staff
Aug 18
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Michelle Obama: Vote like your lives depend on it

Michelle Obama: Vote like your lives depend on it

NEW YORK — Michelle Obama delivered a passionate broadside against President Donald Trump during Monday’s opening night of the Democratic National Convention, assailing the Republican president as unfit for the job and warning that the nation’s mounting crises would only get worse if he’s reelected. The former first lady issued an emotional call to the coalition that sent her husband to the White House, declaring that strong feelings must be translated into votes. Advertisement "Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country," she declared. "He has had more than enough time to prove...

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Steve Peoples
Aug 18
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