Tallahassee

What had been a graffiti-stained brick wall in downtown Tallahassee has become a giant canvas to celebrate three female Floridians of note. A community recognition took place Friday, Aug. 27 for the "Project Daring" mural. Painter Olivia Barattini was the creation's primary artist. Although not really an experienced muralist, she said she jumped at the chance when she learned the Junior League of Tallahassee had such a project in mind.

JSO patrol vehicle in a parking lot
News4Jax

A police practices bill co-sponsored by Neptune Beach Republican State Rep. Cord Byrd has passed both houses of the Florida Legislature unanimously and is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. 

The bipartisan bill would require local police departments to adopt use-of-force policies. It would require the state to establish standards for how police officers are trained, which is currently up to individual departments. 

National Humane Society

A bill in a Tallahassee house committee would increase penalties for leaving dogs tethered and unattended in Florida. 

A Tesla Model S (foreground) and Tesla Model 3 are pictured charging at the Cummer Museum parking lot on Riverside Ave. in this 2018 file photo.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

A set of bills filed in the Florida legislature would implement a flat tax on the purchase of electric vehicles. The revenue from that tax would fund new electric vehicle charging stations around the state and address the drop in tax collected from gasoline sales.

WJCT News

A bill ending requirements that governments and agencies place public notices in local Florida newspapers passed out of a Tallahassee civil justice and property rights subcommittee this week. 

Martha Graham / St. Augustine Public Works

Florida’s capital county, Leon, was among the hardest hit by Friday’s Hurricane Hermine, and the city of St. Augustine was among the communities that heeded its call for help over the Labor Day Weekend.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Business leaders, advocates and politicos met in Jacksonville Wednesday to call for solutions to mass incarceration.

Two of Operation Reform’s attendees were Republican Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

The progressive and conservative mayors found themselves meeting in the middle.


  Update: The former Virginia journalist who killed two of his former co-workers, is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  WDBJ7-TV general manager Jeffrey Marks described Bryce Williams as a disgruntled employee who displayed "anger issues".

On a foggy Monday morning, the Florida Capitol is nearly inaccessible.  With many offices winding down for the holidays, stairways and entrances are blocked off for construction projects or cleaning.  But this didn’t stop a handful of Satanic Temple members from spreading their own brand of holiday cheer.

News4Jax

A Leon County judge upheld a second draft of the state's congressional districts in a decision issued Friday, but shelved the new map until after the November elections.

The decision marked a major victory for legislative Republicans, who approved the new plan this month after Lewis ruled that their first draft violated the Florida Constitution's ban on political gerrymandering. The GOP had also pushed for the earlier version of the districts, approved in 2012, to remain in place through this year's elections.

Florida Lobbying Firms Collect Millions During Second Quarter

Aug 18, 2014

With industries ranging from casinos to taxicabs looking to influence the Legislature, new reports offer a glimpse of the millions of dollars in fees that lobbying firms collected during the second quarter of the year.

The reports, due before a Thursday night deadline, show that at least four lobbying firms collected $1 million or more in fees from April 1 to June 30 --- a period that included the second half of the 60-day legislative session.

The New York Times looks at how the Tallahassee Police Department is revising it's sexual assault complaint policy after a high-profile case involving star FSU quarterback Jameis Winston.

In about a month, Leon County and Tallahassee officials will offer a free internet-based workshop to help residents be better prepared in a “workplace active shooter incident.” It’s timely, given the recent gun incidents around the nation and on area college campuses.

Some of the questions the series of online videos hope to answer include if an active shooter showed up at your workplace, do you have plan? Are there safe areas employees can get to?

Pete Thomas: Flickr

State Senator Aaron Bean is taking a page from reality television and challenging fellow legislators and their staff to lose weight for a good cause…or two.

The Fernandina Beach Republican kicked off his second annual “Biggest Loser” contest in Tallahassee Thursday.

There's a brand-new holiday display at Florida's state Capitol in Tallahassee: a pole celebrating the fake holiday Festivus from the TV show Seinfeld.

It's the latest protest exhibit after a Nativity scene was set up in the rotunda last week.

Wikipedia

TALLAHASSEE (The News Service of Florida) — A nearly 6-foot-tall pole made from emptied beer cans, marking a parody holiday, will be put up in the Florida Capitol this week as a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christian nativity scene.

Amelia Tillman

A Tallahassee middle school student’s history project will soon be available for study by scholars from all over the world as it joins the archives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

“I had to do a history fair project for sixth grade because it was  required and we had to pick a time in history that was a turning point  that made something change in history," said Amoreena Tillman a student at Cobb Middle School.

Shawn Bayern/Flickr

The Florida Department of Education building in Tallahassee has been closed following an early morning traffic accident that ruptured nearby water lines supplying the building.

According to a release, the Turlington Building at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Gaines St. will remain closed for the day for health and safety reasons, despite there being no reported injuries or damage to the building.  

Department staff will remain working today using email and via telephone as the city repairs the damaged lines. The building will likely reopen tomorrow morning.

In state legislatures around the country, lawmakers are debating important subjects — education reform, election laws, gun control and abortion. But in Florida, one of the hottest issues to come before the Legislature this term involves cats.

There, lawmakers are considering a contentious bill that would offer legal protection to groups that trap, neuter and return feral cats to their colonies.

An Alternative To Shelters

WLRN

The Florida House has passed a bill that would preempt local living wage ordinances and a similar version is making its way through the Senate.

The House measure would not allow local governments to mandate that their vendors pay employees more than a set minimum or provide them with special work-related benefits.

Medicaid Funding Frenzy Grows at Capitol

Apr 10, 2013

Republicans who control the Florida House hint they're about to unveil their version of a health plan for the state's low-income uninsured between now and Monday. It appears that they still intend to turn down more than $50 billion in federal funds that would pay the tab.

Meanwhile, calls grew louder for House leaders to accept the money. Gov. Rick Scott said, "We're already paying the taxes" and the money will simply go to another state if Florida turns it down.  State Rep. Mike Fasano went farther, saying he hopes his fellow House Republicans "come to their senses."

What kind of health coverage can you buy for $20 to $30 a month?

"You can't," says John Sinibaldi, an independent broker in Seminole.  

That may sum up the real-world prospects for Florida Health Choices Plus, the plan for extremely low-income uninsured Florida adults that State Sen. Aaron Bean's Health Policy Committee approved Tuesday along party lines.

Bean said he offered it in the knowledge that it wasn't much, but was at least something that the Florida House leadership might accept. 

Sen. Aaron Bean Releases Alternative To Medicaid Expansion

Apr 1, 2013
State Sen. Aaron Bean (R), District 4.
Aaron Bean

In a possible alternative to expanding Medicaid, a Senate committee Tuesday is expected to take up a proposal aimed at helping low-income Floridians get health services --- while turning down billions of dollars in federal money.

The proposal, which Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean has helped draw up, would create the "Health Choice Plus Program" and would target adults whose incomes are below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

State lawmakers in Tallahassee are fast-tracking through the Legislature a proposal that would essentially eliminate permanent alimony in Florida, and also, presume most child custody arrangements begin with a 50-50 timesharing arrangement.

Senate Bill 718 does set guidelines for alimony based on the length of marriages. But permanent alimony would be virtually done away with, and instead would only last for a certain period of time, which would vary based on the circumstances of the divorce.