9/11 Review Commission under the FBI’s thumb

New York's World Trade Center. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A secretive blue-ribbon panel formed by Congress to conduct an “external review” of the FBI’s post-9/11 performance – and to assess new evidence – was largely under the sway of the very agency it was tasked to examine.

Change orders add millions in airport costs; Is this how Broward should do business?

Rendering of east end of the expanded south runway with US 1 tunnels

By William Hladky
FloridaBulldog.org
For the third time in three years, Broward Commissioners voted last week to pay more — $2.5 million this time – to the company that’s managing the ongoing $800 million runway expansion project at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Commissioner Lois Wexler is concerned about repeated costly change orders.

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Embattled nonprofit Plaza Health Network sells property, insider pockets millions

The original facility of the Plaza Health Network, the Hebrew Home of South Beach, was sold last year for $13.6 million

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
When nonprofit Miami-Dade nursing home operator Plaza Health Network sold a prime slice of Miami Beach real estate for $13.6 million last spring, its board chairman, Russell Galbut, collected more than $3 million for himself and his real estate company, Crescent Heights, according to company documents reviewed by FloridaBulldog.org.

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Going from bad to worse: the new southbound exit at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood airport

SouthboundUS1exit ramp600

By William Hladky
FloridaBulldog.org
The new southbound exit ramp out of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport funnels vehicles to an intersection so congested it is rated near the bottom for traffic flow, according to a study commissioned by state transportation officials.

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Town’s class action RICO lawsuit says Florida public records law misused to extort settlements

Martin O'Boyle, left, and Christopher O'Hare

By Dan Moffett
The Coastal Star
Town of Gulf Stream in South Palm Beach County has rolled out the heavy artillery in its legal war against residents Martin O’Boyle and Christopher O’Hare, filing a class-action RICO lawsuit Feb. 12 in U.S. District Court.

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Miami-Dade commissioners find $30 million to fix iconic courthouse

The Dade County Courthouse

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Last year, local judges and prominent attorneys led an unsuccessful campaign to convince Miami-Dade voters to foot the bill for a new $368 million civil court building, plus $25 million to fix up the iconic Dade County Courthouse. The measure failed 2-to-1. Now it turns out Miami-Dade County already had a pot of taxpayer money available for extensive repairs needed at the deteriorating, 87-year-old landmark.

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Jeb Bush’s missing emails detail his lobbying support for Bacardi as contributions flowed

A screen shot of the home page of jebemails.com

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The mass release of emails covering presidential aspirant Jeb Bush’s years as governor omitted at least a dozen emails documenting behind-the-scenes lobbying support he gave to liquor giant Bacardi.

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Federal highway agency takes a hit over safety report on electronic billboards

Photo: Scenic America

By Myron Levin
FairWarning
Why did the billboard cross the road? It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke, but it’s actually a question raised by a baffling glitch in a Federal Highway Administration study on the safety of electronic billboards.

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New Saudi king ran state charity that 9/11 victims say funded and armed al Qaeda

Saudi King Salman with President Obama at Erga Palace during a January 27 trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Pete Souza, official White House photo

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman, “actively directed” a Saudi charity whose funding was “especially important to al Qaeda acquiring the strike capabilities used to launch attacks in the U.S.,” say new court papers filed by lawyers representing 9/11 victims and their families.

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Fort Lauderdale redevelopment project fails; $1 million in taxpayer funds at risk

Fort Lauderdale's Sixth Street Plaza

By William Hladky
FloridaBulldog.org
Almost $1 million in taxpayer loans may never be repaid due to the forced sale of the Sixth Street Plaza, centerpiece of Fort Lauderdale’s ambitious plans to revitalize Sistrunk Boulevard corridor, at a public auction on May 5.

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FDLE’s Miami regional office ‘like ‘The Walking Dead'”

Miami FDLE Agent Addy Villanueva, former special agent in charge. Photo: CBSMiami.com

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
The Miami regional office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was a dysfunctional, hostile workplace where the special agent-in-charge, Addy Villanueva, was in the dark about turmoil between rank-and-file officers and her abrasive second-in-command, Robert Breeden.

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