Tainted water releases likely to continue even after Lake Okeechobee dike is refurbished

Crews install a partial cutoff wall in the middle of the Herbert Hoover Dike near Pahokee in 2012. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed 21.4 miles of cutoff wall in the southeast side of the dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee from 2007-2013. Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
While Floridians are anticipating the completion of the renovation to the 75-year-old Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee during 2020, more water discharges, like those that occurred this winter, will likely be required after the work is complete, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

‘What’s going on?’ Broward airport contractor said to owe millions may win millions instead

Former Broward Aviation Department Director Kent George

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Five months after demanding that contractor Tutor Perini pay Broward more than $34 million in damages for costly airport construction delays, ex-county aviation boss Kent George instead wants the county to pay Tutor Perini $18.9 million.

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Fear of stalling as U.S. intelligence chief says Congress must OK release of 28 pages

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Photo: CNN

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
In a development that could delay the release of 28 classified pages from Congress’s report about Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11, the head of the nation’s intelligence community has told a delegation seeking their release that the ultimate decision about whether to make those pages public would be made by Congress.

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Study: New members of Congress rely on special interest money once in Washington

U.S. Reps. Gwen Graham and Carlos Curbelo

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Nearly five-dozen newly elected members of Congress collectively raised $17.3 million in special interest money during their first year in office – increasing their reliance on contributions from single-issue political action committees, according to a new government watchdog report.

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Lobbyist rules? What rules? Broward Health fails to enforce own policy in another snafu

Broward Health's never used lobbyist registration form

By Dan Christensen and Buddy Nevins
FloridaBulldog.org
For more than a decade Broward Health has ignored its own rules, allowing lobbyists to operate freely behind the scenes as they seek to influence who gets tens of millions of dollars in contracts the hospital district awards every year.

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Auditors: feds failed to rein in billions over-billed by Medicare Advantage plans

Carol Berman, of West Palm Beach speaks with pedestrians about the need for policymakers to protect Medicare Advantage benefits during the Coalition for Medicare Choices' Medicare Advantage Food Truck stop on North Capitol Street in Washington on Monday, March 9, 2015. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

By Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
Private Medicare Advantage plans treating the elderly have over-billed the government by billions of dollars, but rarely been forced to repay the money or face other consequences for their actions, according to a new Congressional audit.

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As heroin, fentanyl deaths mount, Miami-Dade leaders “research the topic”

Epidemiologist James Hall, left, and drug addiction interventionist John Schmidt

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Three months after presenting a plan to Miami-Dade commissioners to tackle an alarming rise in overdose deaths, drug-addiction experts say the county has not moved quickly enough to curb the local opiate epidemic.

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Its spy vs spy as CIA directors differ on making public 28 hidden pages of 9-11 report

CIA Director John Brennan, right, and former CIA Director Porter Goss

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Two CIA directors. Two conflicting opinions.
On Monday, former CIA director Porter Goss strongly disagreed with current CIA chief John Brennan’s assertions on Meet the Press as to why President Obama should keep secret 28 classified pages from a 14-year-old congressional report about 9/11 said to implicate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the terrorist attacks.

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Broward Health looks to pay headhunting firm $300,000 to find a $950,000 CEO

Broward Health Interim CEO Pauline Grant, whose salary will be voted on Wednesday. Photo: Nova Southeastern University

By Dan Christensen and Buddy Nevins
FloridaBulldog.org
Taxpayer supported Broward Health’s board of commissioners will be asked today to approve spending $300,000 for a search firm to find a new CEO whose total pay would be $950,000 a year.

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Bulldog Extra

By Paul Feldman, FairWarning cyclecrash

Last year was a bad one for motorcyclists, with a new estimate showing that 5,010 bikers were killed in crashes nationwide, the worst death toll in seven years.

Florida led the nation with an estimated 550 motorcyclist fatalities in 2015 amid the largest year-to-year surge in such deaths of any state, according to an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The grim new count pushed the Sunshine State well past last year’s leader, California. Full Story »

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