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U.S. Congress approves renaming of Tallahassee VA clinic

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCTV) — Late Thursday, the United States Congress approved legislation to rename the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in Tallahassee in honor of Marine Corps Sgt. Enrest "Boots" Thomas.

The center is located at 2181 Orange Avenue.

The legislation was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Representative Al Lawson (D-FL) and was approved unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law. It gained Senate approval in February.

"Sergeant Thomas is an American hero," Sen. Nelson said when he introduced the bill. "I can think of no more fitting tribute to his extraordinary service to our country than the renaming of this VA clinic in his honor."

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Attention Jersey Shore Fans: DJ Pauly D is Coming to Tallahassee!

Attention Jersey Shore Fans: DJ Pauly D is Coming to Tallahassee!By Victoria LandronFlorida State UniversityCampus Life
‘Jersey Shore’ is back and better than ever.

To all you Jersey Shore fans in Tallahassee: boy do we have some good news for you.

With the newfound excitement around the cast of Jersey Shore, everyone is buzzing about their favorite moments from the show as well as seeing what the cast is up to nowadays. It has been about ten years since we’ve seen these extravagant personalities causing drama on our television screens, so all we have left is to reminisce about the good old days.

MTV, however, most recently premiered an almost “sequel” to the previous reality show phenomenon that was Jersey Shore...

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Florida prisons to cut programs due to health care cost hike

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida prisons are cutting mental health, substance abuse and re-entry programs to help make up for a $50 million shortfall in its health care and pharmaceuticals budgets.

Even prison chaplains and librarians will feel the sting for what the Department of Corrections blames on underfunding in the budget the Legislature approved in March.

"First and foremost, it’s our responsibility to ensure the security of individuals in our custody and to make certain their human and constitutional rights are upheld while incarcerated. Health care is one of these constitutional responsibilities," Corrections Secretary Julie Jones said in a press release. "We’ve unfortunately had to make some very difficult decisions."

The department said it will need $28 million more for health ...

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Philip Levine at Orlando town hall: Florida needs a ‘culture of excellence’

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine talks with people during a town-hall meeting in Orlando on Thursday, May 3, 2018. (Steven Lemongello / Orlando Sentinel)

Philip Levine told an Orlando town hall Thursday night that he’s the Democratic candidate for governor with a real progressive record — and he pointed to businesses as a guide on how the state could become more liberal.

“People say: ‘Phil, you’re in business. How can you be a Democrat and be in business?’” said the cruise line and real estate executive and former mayor of Miami Beach. “Have you ever taken a look at human resources manuals for the most admired companies in America? … They’re pro-education, pro-health care, pro-environment, anti-discrimination...

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Most of Tampa Bay’s new liquor licenses won by applicants from South Florida, Tallahassee

Liquor behind the bar at the Pelican Pub, 18 2nd St N, in downtown St. Petersburg. The state’s annual drawing for quota liquor licenses, which can be very lucrative for winners, was held today. [DIRK SHADD | Times file]

TALLAHASSEE — The newest batch of quota liquor licenses for the Tampa Bay area will go to applicants from South Florida and Tallahassee.

In its annual drawing, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco selected the winners of 51 licenses in 26 counties including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco. The winners now have the right to apply for the licenses, which they can either use themselves or resell for potentially more than $100,000.

Winners in the drawing for the three Hillsborough licenses are from Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Tallahassee...

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Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott running for Senate, report says

Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott will run for Senate against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, The Associated Press reported Monday. The election could be one of the most expensive and highly-watched races in the U.S.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Source Article

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What caused the Miami pedestrian bridge to collapse?

A variety of factors figure in, bridge construction experts say; they may not know exactly for months, but do have some theories

MIAMI — The unfinished pedestrian overpass that toppled onto the Tamiami Trail on Thursday was being built under a relatively novel approach called accelerated bridge construction — a fast, tested method that carries some risks if not rigorously carried out.

Until it’s fully secured, a quick-build structure is unstable and requires the utmost precision as construction continues. Properly shoring up the bridge can take weeks, a period during which even small mistakes can compound and cause a partial or total collapse, said Amjad Aref, a researcher at University at Buffalo’s Institute of Bridge Engineering.

Just before the bridge’s concrete main span abruptly gave ...

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Tallahassee, turn back the clock on daylight saving time decision | Letters

The state Senate approved a bill Tuesday to let Florida remain on Daylight Saving Time year round and now it’s headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

I agree wholeheartedly with letter to the editor writer Ted Bazer and others who are against keeping daylight saving time all year round. Not only would it affect the TV schedule, but it also would affect everyone who has to be at work at 7 a.m., which is most hospital employees and doctors offices.

I hate having to get up, even now, and it is still dark outside. It doesn’t make you feel good. Not many seniors are able to sleep late anymore, and when we get up we like to see a bright, sunny day.

Don’t forget, the young children who go to school at 6:30 a.m...

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Trump’s Florida Fundraiser Flourishes as New Washington Lobbyist

Brian Ballard, the Florida fundraiser often sought out by Republican presidential candidates, was best known in Tallahassee until election night 2016. When the state was called for Trump, Ballard’s cellphone lit up with clients looking for a guide into the new administration.

Disclosures now show just how lucrative those services can be: by the end of 2017, Ballard Partners LP had racked up $9.8 million in federal lobbying fees, the most of any new K Street arrival in the two decades such records have been available.

Trump’s surprising victory and Ballard’s relationship with him proved pivotal as clients looked for someone who knew the outsider in the White House. Ballard first met Trump in the 1980s and had represented the real estate developer in Florida since 2013...

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Puerto Rican evacuees advocate for affordable housing in Orange County

Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees urged Orange County officials to help them find affordable housing.

Thousands of evacuees who were forced to flee the island for Central Florida received FEMA funding to pay to stay in hotels in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

But some don’t know where they will live once the funding runs out on March 20.

“The owner of the hotel we’re staying in is checking them out. They have nowhere to go,” said a translator for evacuee Genette Marrero.

Top 5 Mattresses of 2018

A group of these evacuees along with others struggling to find housing pleaded to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the rest of the Orange County Commission on Tuesday to support two pieces of legislation that would protect the Sadowski Affordable Trust Fund.

The evacuees said the fund, which focus...

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