Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

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

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott would like to see storm-battered Key West “open for business” within two weeks, but tourism officials marketing the southern end of U.S. 1 indicate it could take longer.

Tamara Lush / Associated Press

A long wait may be ahead for broad federal relief for Florida's beleaguered citrus industry, “decimated” last week by a lethal hurricane that crossed the peninsula at the start of the growing season, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday.

JOHN RAOUX / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hurricane Irma has officially been tied to 34 deaths in Florida, but the number will rise.

Ponte Vedra home damaged
David Luckin / WJCT

Florida has preliminarily outlined more than $273 million in Hurricane Irma costs for federal reimbursement, with the money primarily used for storm preparation and debris removal.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Northeast Florida native Tim Tebow has started his week visiting hometown shelters after Hurricane Irma left thousands in Northeast Florida with flooded homes or without power.  

candle
Shawn Carpenter via Flickr

Widespread and prolonged power outages will become part of life for most Floridians over the next few days as Hurricane Irma has started to make an anticipated northern turn that will result in a destructive run through the state starting Sunday.

Bethune
Bethune-Cookman University

Amid a national debate about monuments and statues, a South Florida lawmaker renewed his push Monday for a likeness of Mary McLeod Bethune — an educator and civil-rights activist who founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman University — to represent Florida in the U.S. Capitol.

beach chairs
Pixabay

Florida continues to see record numbers of visitors while the state's tourism-marketing agency has been forced to reinvent its approach after months of legislative turmoil.

Gov. Rick Scott
Associated Press

Gov. Rick Scott, expected to run for U.S. Senate next year, wants lawmakers to put on the 2018 ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder for future legislators to raise taxes.

shark swimming
Malkusch Markus via Flickr

As state investigators seek more evidence from the public about a growing number of videos that showcase abuse of sharks, legislation may be filed that seeks to better define state wildlife laws.

various school supplies
Cindy Schultz via Flickr

With computers returned to the discount list, Florida retailers are readying for back-to-school shoppers this weekend during the state's sales-tax “holiday.”

The holiday, which will run Friday through Sunday, is a large part of a tax-cut package (HB 7109) that lawmakers passed this spring. The package is projected to provide $91.6 million in tax breaks during the budget year that started July 1.

new driver's license front
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Colorful high-tech driver's licenses and state identification cards, designed for added security and to cut down on fake IDs, will start rolling out across Florida this month.

But unless it's time to update a card because of an expiration date or a name or address change, there's no need to rush out for a new ID.

In the works since 2014, the new design will become available Aug. 21 at a driver's license office in Volusia County's Orange City.

hunter with gun seen from the back
m01229 via Flickr

Florida may proclaim itself the “fishing capital of the world,” but wildlife officials say they need more anglers to help cover costs of running state programs.

The same goes for hunters.

ballot in voting booth
Heather Katsoulis via Flickr

Updated 7/11 with statement from Secretary of State Ken Detzner.   

With Democrats and some Republicans increasing calls this week to fully reject a federal commission's request for voter information, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Thursday that the state will provide only publicly available data.

Lyft car
Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Ride-for-hire services like Lyft and Uber will have to comply with statewide rules, and religious expression at public schools will be explicitly protected in Florida, under new laws that go into effect Sat., July 1.

The changes are among 125 revisions the state Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott approved this year.

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