‘Penttbomb 2.0’ and the FBI’s brush-off of reports alleging 9/11 ties to Saudi Arabia

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
FBI officials who briefed the 9/11 Review Commission on the bureau’s sprawling 9/11 investigation code-named PENTTBOMB steered the discussion away from Saudi Arabia by repeatedly disavowing or downplaying reports by agents alleging terrorist ties to the kingdom.

As trial date draws near, FBI releases more about secretive 9/11 Review Commission

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
In moves aimed at heading off an unusual Freedom of Information Act trial in Miami next month, the FBI has released new information about the secretive work of its 9/11 Review Commission.

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Broward insurance firm-turned-‘Ponzi scheme’ cost Florida, policyholders $100 million

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The final act in the little-noticed liquidation of a Fort Lauderdale-based insurance company that regulators say evolved into a “Ponzi scheme” that cost Florida and its policyholders more than $100 million is set to unfold in court this spring.

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Miami-Dade judge sent Shelborne Hotel case to judge with similar conflict

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
The Miami-Dade Circuit judge who chose to quit presiding over the high-profile Shelborne Hotel case due to an apparent conflict of interest, funneled the case directly to a second judge with a similar conflict in a way that avoided the case being randomly reassigned.

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Hallandale Beach halts advertising in local newspaper where mayor is a columnist

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach city commissioners have pulled the plug on city advertising in the local Sun Times newspaper featuring articles by Mayor Joy Cooper that drew fire from commission colleagues as “propaganda” for the mayor.

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New majority on Hallandale commission wants to know: Where did CRA millions go?

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Update: Jan. 23 – Hallandale Beach city commissioners Monday night gave initial approval to hiring an accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit of the city’s long troubled Community Redevelopment Agency.

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A curious search for justice amid Miami-Dade judges’ desire for new civil courthouse

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
The effort to build a new civil court building to replace the historic, but crumbling, Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami recently took a bizarre turn that prompted a local judge to remove herself from a high-profile case involving prominent developer Russell Galbut and another local landmark, the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach.

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No discipline for FBI agent accused of writing 9/11 report FBI now calls bogus

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The FBI agent who wrote a powerful investigative report about 9/11 that the bureau later publicly repudiated faced no apparent discipline even though the FBI subsequently deemed his report to be “poorly written” and “wholly unsubstantiated.”

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Miami-Dade union leaders fear more outsourcing of members’ work at district schools

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
The Miami-Dade School Board has agreed to spend up to $1.8 million to outsource lawn service maintenance long done by unionized workers, and union leaders now say they fear Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is eyeing more privatization that could lead to additional work cuts for its members.

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Critics: Miami-Dade wants to make it harder for land owners to fight assessment hikes

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Miami-Dade property owners will find it much more difficult to contest their annual property assessments under a new guideline being considered by the Value Adjustment Board, a semi-governmental agency that mediates disputes between landowners and Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia, critics of the proposal claim.

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Bulldog Extra

By Brian Joseph, FairWarningillustration_2

Gwen Caplan’s nightmare began with a Yelp search.

It was the summer of 2012 and the middle-aged mother of two was looking for someone to move her and her kids from San Rafael, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz. Money was tight, so Caplan scoured the web for an affordable but reputable moving company.

Her search unearthed several moving companies. One was called America’s Best Movers. It had terrible reviews online. “I said to myself, ‘It’s a good thing I used Yelp. I’m not going to use these people,’ ” Caplan would later tell a criminal grand jury. Full Story »

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