U.S. judge tosses lawsuit to block All Aboard Florida; Money for Phase 2 still in question

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando survived a lawsuit filed by Indian River and Martin counties when a federal judge on May 10 dismissed the suit. But funding problems remain.

Trial looms as judge denies FBI request to keep 9/11 records secret for privacy reasons

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
In a ruling that could lead to the release of significant new information about 9/11, including details about who funded the al Qaeda terrorist attacks, a Miami federal judge has rejected FBI assertions that many records should be kept secret due to privacy considerations.

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U.S. Sugar seeks OK for huge development after news it paid for GOP leaders’ trips

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Weeks after news that Gov. Rick Scott and Florida GOP leaders took secret hunting trips to Texas financed by Florida’s sugar industry, U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers are pushing plans for a massive new development in rural Hendry County near the northwest edge of the Everglades. The Sugar Hill Sector Plan envisions turning more than 67 square miles of sugar cane fields, citrus groves and pasture lands into a planned community.

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Miami developer hires governor’s pal; Scott, Cabinet green light Watson Island project

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
In late March, state emails show, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was poised to pull the plug on a long-delayed, contentious plan to build a resort and mega-yacht marina on Miami’s Watson Island. But developer Flagstone Island Gardens had an ace in the hole. A month earlier, the company hired Fort Lauderdale lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, a longtime personal friend, business associate and political supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.

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Scott campaign ad touting jobs record stars convicted smuggler

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
A Cuban-born grocery store owner starring in a Rick Scott Spanish language television campaign ad touting the governor’s job creation record was convicted on human smuggling charges in St. Maarten four years ago. THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED

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How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash; HHS report exposes overbilling

By Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
A new federal study shows that many Medicare Advantage health plans routinely overbill the government for treating elderly patients — and have gotten away with doing it for years.

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Holness: Margate isn’t the only city that’s mishandled CRA funds

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
In the wake of a critical inspector general’s report that accused Margate of mishandling millions of dollars in community redevelopment funds, Broward Commissioner Dale Holness says he expects similar findings of wrongdoing about other cities as the county’s investigation continues.

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New law drives lobbyists out of the shadows at state water management districts

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Florida’s five water management districts, special-purpose governments that collectively will spend $1.1 billion next year, have publicly registered 250 special-interest lobbyists since new registration requirements took effect July 1.

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Broward judge to hear Hollywood tenants’ claims for relocation assistance

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Over the weekend, a decade after Hollywood City Hall approved plans to develop a luxury high-rise apartment-hotel complex off Young Circle, the 12-story Townhouse Apartments was demolished. A Broward judge will hear next week from former residents seeking relocation assistance they claim they are due.

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Gov. Scott, his investments and the ‘temptation to dishonor’

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
When Gov. Rick Scott set up his first blind trust in April 2011, his lawyers asked Florida’s ethics commission whether he had any conflicts of interest because of his investments in companies doing business in Florida. Topping their list of concern was Texas-based Energy Transfer Equity…

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Broward Schools construction program woes cloud vote on $800 million bond issue

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Three years after a scathing grand jury report about the Broward school district’s construction program, community activists are raising concerns about the management of future construction projects should voters approve an $800 million public schools bond issue in November.

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