State News

Depression can be a clear indication that bullying is taking place
Florida Department of Children and Families

Last week, lawmakers reviewed Florida's progress toward helping child victims of sex trafficking, as a 2014 law starts to yield more information about victims.

The House Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee heard presentations from state officials about the law, which made a wide range of changes to try to curb sex trafficking. That included creating a new screening system, which was rolled out in April, to better identify and serve sexually exploited children.

Pat Gaines via Flickr

With Florida black bear hunting season scheduled to start next month, a conservation group is asking a judge to block it. But a veteran wildlife lawyer says the group’s chance of success is slim.


Kyra Trahern / Facebook

The state's child-welfare chief said the recent death of a 4-year-old Palatka boy, allegedly strangled by an older child in his home, points to the challenges posed by families in which addiction, sexual abuse and domestic violence create a perilous environment.

In the case of 4-year-old Brayden Trahern, the boy's extended family had repeatedly been involved in beatings, molestations, incarceration, homelessness, prostitution and drug abuse going back years, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll said in an interview this week.

Capital Report: 09-04-2015

Sep 4, 2015

Florida lawmakers will meet later this month to go over a report that is raising more questions than answers about the state’s new standardized test. Lynn Hatter reports teachers and local superintendents aren’t buying the results of the study, which found the Florida Standards Assessment Valid.

Solar power has always been popular in the Sunshine State and as the costs come down, interest in the clean energy alternative is heating up. And so is the political battle for control of the market. Jim Ash has more

bear sleeping
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr

A target was placed on at least 320 black bears Wednesday as the once-threatened species will be hunted across Florida next month for the first time in more than two decades.

Capital Report: 08-28-2015

Sep 1, 2015

Politicians and activists are taking the fight for Florida’s congressional borders to court.  Again.  Nick Evans reports the courts are weighing whether to take over or leave the next draft in the hands of lawmakers.

A recent federal court decision in Miami may help health care providers who are suing plans that have slashed Medicare Advantage payments, Modern Healthcare reports.

AAA

A recent AAA survey found that close to half of Florida residents are not prepared for a possible hurricane.

The news comes as the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season barrels toward the Caribbean.

Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet voted Wednesday to appoint John Steverson as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. The move came despite protests over his support for logging, cattle grazing and hunting in state parks.

Mary McIntyre / WJCT News

The state of Florida’s unclaimed property auction held in Jacksonville over the weekend generated more than $1.5 million.

The News Service of Florida reports the most expensive item was a diamond ring that sold for $100,000.

The state picks a different city each year where it auctions off items found in abandoned safe deposit boxes. The items first go to a vault in Tallahassee for two years while the state tries to locate their owners.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered the state to immediately investigate all Florida Planned Parenthood offices that perform abortions on Wednesday.

The order comes after the release of secretly recorded videos. They show Planned Parenthood officials talking about tissue from aborted fetuses used for research.

Gov. Rick Scott signed four anti-human trafficking bills into law Thursday at a Hialeah ceremony, surrounded by advocates who gathered to highlight similar legislation passed earlier this year.

Scott said he was proud of the state’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi is joining 44 other states in a fight against Robocall scams.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Florida Governor Rick Scott talked to guardsmen at a Jacksonville National Guard base Wednesday about how he’s working to protect them in the wake of last week’s Chattanooga shooting.

National Guard recruiting centers across the state are being temporarily relocated until they are made more secure.

Scott has moved the state’s six recruiting centers to their closest National Guard Armory. He says he’s working with Adjutant General of Florida Michael Calhoun to make the centers safer.

baby
Richard Elzey via Flickr

The number of Florida children in the state's foster-care system has reached its highest level since 2008, driven by both a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes and a drop in the number being discharged after a stint in foster care.

In the last two years months, the number of children in what's also called "out-of-home care" has reached 22,004 statewide, up from 17,591 in 2013.

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