Good Monday morning.

Breaking in a single day — “‘It’s devastating over there.’ Grateful U.S. citizens return from Haiti on first flight” through Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald — Touchdown at Miami Worldwide Airport, the vacationers, a lot of them Haitian People, have been amongst 47 passengers onboard a constitution flight organized by the State Division for U.S. residents and their fast relations. Many have been vacationing or visiting household, they stated, when violence broke out Feb. 29. The U.S. authorities organized the constitution flight to assist U.S. residents evacuate Haiti amid the escalating violence. Late Saturday, armed teams continued to focus on key authorities installations and on Saturday looted a number of properties in a well-to-do group within the capital not removed from the U.S. embassy. The violence is spurring a wave of panic and worry, resulting in the continued cancellations of business flights into the Toussaint Louverture Worldwide Airport within the path of the police’s headquarters.

The primary flight of Haitian People arrives in Miami to flee the rising violence and turmoil in Haiti.


On Friday, the Palm Seashore County Republican Social gathering held its Lincoln Day Gala at Mar-a-Lago to honor Congressman Matt Gaetz as Statesman of the Yr.

Audio system included former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio (by means of video); U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack and Anna Paulina Luna.

The best way Matt Gaetz works a room, there may be little doubt he can fundraise.

Actor Kevin Sorbo served as grasp of ceremonies.

In line with a number of attendees of the occasion, partygoers stood in line for 40 minutes to see Gaetz, whose reference to the viewers was noteworthy. Throughout his remarks, Trump once more praised Gaetz.

It’s clear that Gaetz was a success with the Mar-a-Lago crowd and members of the Republican grassroots who have been lots of of miles away from his dwelling district.

Watching Gaetz work the group, there was little doubt about his capability to fundraise.

“It’s that he doesn’t actually ask for it that makes him distinctive,” one of many attendees stated.

If there may be ever a Gaetz for Governor marketing campaign, politicos can be clever to comprehend there’s an entire world past Tallahassee — and on the subject of gubernatorial politics, the middle of gravity is shifting away from Adams Road.


Arizona/Florida/Illinois/Kansas/Ohio Primaries — 1; James Madison Institute’s ‘2024 Naples Dinner’ with keynote speaker Laura Ingraham — 3; ‘3 Physique Drawback’ premieres on Netflix — 3; Trump’s New York hush cash trial begins — 7; The Supreme Court docket will hear arguments within the mifepristone/abortion capsule case — 8; Main League Baseball’s (MLB) 2024 season — 10; Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ launched — 11; March Insanity Ultimate 4 (girls’s) begins — 17; March Insanity Ultimate 4 (males’s) — 20; Florida TaxWatch’s Spring Assembly — 24; The Masters start — 25; Kentucky Derby — 48; 2024 Management Convention on Security, Well being & Sustainability — 53; ‘Bridgerton’ new season (half one) premieres on Netflix — 61; French Open begins — 63; ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ premieres — 65; Dave Matthews Band 2024 Summer time Tour begins in Tampa — 65; Monaco Grand Prix — 69; the 2024 World Cup begins — 85; ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ premieres — 103; Republican Nationwide Conference begins — 119; the 2024 World Cup ends — 123; 2024 MLS All-Star Sport — 128; Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Video games on NBC/Peacock — 130; ‘Alien: Romulus’ premieres — 149; Democratic Nationwide Conference begins — 155; Georgia Tech to face Florida State in 2024 opener in Dublin — 159; Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour stops in Miami — 214; 2024 Florida Chamber Annual Assembly & Way forward for Florida Discussion board — 217; 2024 Presidential Election — 232; Las Vegas Grand Prix — 245; MLS Cup 2024 — 260; ‘Captain America: Courageous New World’ premieres — 330; Florida’s 2025 Legislative Session begins — 351; 2025 Session ends — 410; ‘Moana’ premieres — 460; ‘Thunderbolts’ premieres — 491; ‘Incredible 4’ reboot premieres — 494; ‘Blade’ reboot premieres — 599; ‘Avatar 3’ premieres — 641; ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ premieres — 778; Untitled ‘Star Wars’ film premieres — 794; One other untitled ‘Star Wars’ film premieres — 1,005; ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ premieres — 1,145; ‘Avatar 4’ premieres — 2,104; ‘Avatar 5’ premieres — 2,826.


Florida Republicans escalate talk of safety risk posed by ‘criminal’ migrants” through Ana Ceballos and Syra Ortiz Blanes of the Miami Herald — On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed laws that goals to crack down on unlawful immigration by banning area people IDs which have traditionally benefited some migrants in locations like Miami-Dade County, and by enhancing prison penalties for migrants who drive and not using a license or who’ve beforehand been deported.

The Governor additionally amplified how his administration — getting ready for what it calls a potential “invasion” — helps patrol the South Florida shores in an effort to cease migrants at sea. DeSantis acknowledged {that a} surge of migrants has not materialized amid the scenario in Haiti, however he stated the state must be “proactive” and “ready” to answer a possible mass migration occasion.

Ron DeSantis complains (once more) about immigration.

“It’s the identical factor we do when we’ve got hurricanes,” DeSantis stated, noting that his focus is on “defending Floridians.”

The tone of the information convention — one in all urgency and alarm — underscores how the politics of immigration is as soon as once more taking middle stage within the minds of Florida Republicans, who’re blaming President Joe Biden’s administration for the border safety subject and endangering People.

One other visitor on the information convention, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, stated that undocumented immigrants “are coming right here not simply to discover a higher lifestyle like a lot of our forefathers did, however they’re coming right here to kill our folks whereas they make monumental income,” in reference to the fentanyl disaster.

In relation to Judd’s fentanyl feedback, authorities knowledge reveals that between October 2021 and September 2022, 88% of fentanyl trafficking offenders have been U.S. residents, in keeping with the U.S. Sentencing Fee. It was across the identical proportion of People the earlier yr.

—“Ron DeSantis blasts Congressional Republicans, Joe Biden on the border at bill signing in Polk” through Ana Goñi-Lessan and Sara-Megan Walsh of USA At present Community

DeSantis confirms rescue flights to Haiti for ‘Christian missionary groups’” through A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — “I’ve licensed rescue flights like we did in Israel after the Oct. 7 (Hamas assaults) as a result of we’ve acquired a whole lot of people who’re a part of Christian missionary teams and so they do issues to attempt to truly assist a really troubled nation. And so, they are surely doing good work, they should get out,” DeSantis stated. Operational particulars, in the meantime, corresponding to value and distributors getting the contracts, are nonetheless to not be divulged to the general public. These can add up: the Israel flights value $19 million. “We don’t need to say something too publicly about what precisely we’re doing till it occurs,” DeSantis stated. “It’s a really dicey scenario. However we do really feel an obligation to go in and assist Florida residents who have been caught within the crossfire of a really tough scenario.”


Florida knows best? In 2024, the Legislature overruled a host of local laws” through Ryan Gillespie of the Orlando Sentinel — Amid a battle with Orlando’s code enforcement workplace over an electrical fence it put in at an auto restore store lot in Parramore, a nationwide firm turned to Florida lawmakers for assist. Seven months after a trial courtroom backed town’s elimination order, legislators signed off on a invoice that basically prevents native governments from regulating such fences altogether. The more and more widespread tactic flummoxes native officers, who bristle at what is named “preemption,” an strategy during which the state blocks cities and counties from regulating numerous issues.

The Session ends with extra preemption of dwelling rule.

Calls mount for DeSantis to veto bill that makes it harder to file ethics complaints” through John Kennedy of the USA At present Community — Per week after Florida lawmakers permitted sharp new restrictions on ethics complaints filed towards public officers, calls are rising for DeSantis to veto the measure to protect towards corruption. 9 organizations signed onto a letter despatched to DeSantis whereas native ethics officers and open authorities organizations are endorsing one other pushing the Governor to reject the laws permitted shortly earlier than Florida’s 2024 Session adjourned final week.

If DeSantis signs school chaplain bill, a ‘Hindu statesman’ from Nevada eager to volunteer” through Lauren Costantino of the Miami Herald — DeSantis has but to signal a invoice that will enable chaplains to supply counseling in public faculties, however one colourful non secular determine says he’s already desirous to volunteer. He’s a self-described “Hindu statesman” from Nevada who says he want to deliver “the knowledge of historical Sanskrit scriptures” to college students — maybe not precisely what Florida lawmakers had in thoughts after they permitted a invoice that supporters tout as a method to make up for a scarcity of psychological well being counselors in many colleges.

‘It’s bad’: In state budget, arts groups get short shrift through Matthew Palm of the Orlando Sentinel — The state funds permitted by the Florida Legislature paints a grim image for cultural organizations. Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of United Arts of Central Florida, doesn’t mince phrases: “It’s unhealthy for the humanities.” Arts organizations permitted for common help funding will obtain lower than half their eligible allowances. A program for particular cultural initiatives went utterly unfunded — leaving a number of Central Florida organizations empty-handed.

Lawmakers are planning to buy more than 220 acres of land in Wakulla County” through Adrian Andrews of WFSU — It’s being referred to as an enormous win for Florida’s surroundings. Final summer season, lots of of state environmentalists and native Wakulla residents voiced considerations a few piece of land within the county being eyed for a gasoline station. The property stretches 225 acres and sits 14 miles south of Florida’s Capital metropolis in Wakulla County. The land is dwelling to the most important underwater cave system in america.

Wakulla County will get environmental protections for one more 220 acres of land.

Legislature boots standards for storing guns in cars, boats” through Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — A number of Democratic lawmakers from South and Central Florida took a shot at passing laws to enhance storage requirements for weapons in vehicles and on boats. Each measure died and not using a listening to. One proposal (SB 1250, HB 1087) by Sen. Lori Berman, Rep. Joe Casello and Rep. Dan Daley would have required weapons left in unoccupied automobiles and vessels to be saved out of plain sight and within the trunk or a “securely affixed,” locked container. No such legislation exists in state statutes at this time, Daley and Casello stated. Nonetheless, Florida legislation does require comparable gun storage at dwelling. Violators would have confronted a second-degree misdemeanor cost, punishable by as much as 60 days in jail and $500 in fines — the identical as exists for at-home storage now.


Pornhub is now blocked in Texas. Could Florida be next?” through Douglas Soule of the USA At present Community —Texas and a rising variety of states have handed legal guidelines requiring age verification to observe porn. Pornhub has responded by proscribing entry in most of them. The Florida Legislature just lately permitted a invoice that, too, requires age verification. It’s anticipated to be signed by DeSantis and take impact firstly of 2025 if it survives anticipated authorized challenges. When requested what its Florida plans have been, a Pornhub consultant declined to “talk about the hypothetical state of affairs.” However Aylo, the mum or dad firm of the web site stated such legal guidelines create knowledge privateness points.

Pornhub is blocked in Texas. Will Florida be subsequent?

Florida picks Moms for Liberty members for group to advise librarians on book removals” through Douglas Soule of the USA At present Community — A few of Florida’s loudest advocates for public schoolbook removals make up half a state government-sponsored group to advise college districts on find out how to choose titles and when to drag them off cabinets. Mothers for Liberty members made up three of six members of a Division of Schooling work group that met Thursday in Tallahassee to redevelop an internet coaching program for college librarians and media specialists following a 2023 state legislation centered on e-book challenges.

Lobbying compensation: Greenberg Traurig pulls down $8M in 2023” through Florida Politics — In line with compensation reviews, the worldwide legislation agency netted $4.7 million lobbying the Legislature and a further $3.3 million lobbying the chief department in 2023, for a grand whole of $8 million in income. Utilizing median estimates, Greenberg Traurig routinely ranks among the many High 10 companies in Florida Politics’ Foyer Agency Rankings. Moreover, the agency’s 2023 haul marks a rise from 2022, when the staff reeled in an estimated $7.6 million in general lobbying earnings. Greenberg Traurig’s legislative lobbying reviews featured 13 purchasers that paid the agency $100,000 or extra all year long. Greenberg Traurig’s govt department report included largely the identical purchasers, with Heritage as soon as once more marked down on the $180,000 stage.

Lobbying compensation: Rubin Turnbull tops $11M in 2023” through Florida Politics — The agency led by Invoice Rubin and Heather Turnbull collected $5.5 million lobbying the Legislature final yr and a further $5.6 million lobbying the chief department for an general whole of $11.1 million. Rubin Turnbull’s legislative compensation reviews present greater than a dozen purchasers that paid the agency $100,000 or extra final yr. The twenty first Century Household Empowerment Council topped the listing with $300,000 in funds final yr, adopted intently by HCA Healthcare at $273,000. Orchid Cove Well being Group and The Richman Group of Florida break up the No. 3 spot, each on the $140,000 stage. A good portion of the agency’s legislative purchasers have been within the well being care business. Based mostly on median estimates, Rubin Turnbull & Associates posted the fifth-highest compensation tally amongst all companies final yr, incomes the No. 5 rating primarily based on Florida Politics’ estimates. On the prime finish, the agency could have earned greater than $15 million.

— 2024 —

Behind the scenes, Biden has grown angry and anxious about re-election effort” through Peter Nicholas, Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee of NBC Information — Biden was seething. In a personal assembly on the White Home in January, allies of the President had simply advised him that his ballot numbers in Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his dealing with of the warfare between Israel and Hamas. Each are battleground states he narrowly received 4 years in the past, and he can’t afford any backsliding if he’s to defeat Trump as soon as once more. He started to shout and swear, a lawmaker acquainted with the assembly stated. He believed he had been doing what was proper, regardless of the political fallout, he advised the group. Requested in regards to the episode, Andrew Bates, a White Home spokesperson, stated: “President Biden makes nationwide safety choices primarily based on the nation’s nationwide safety wants alone — no different issue.” Biden’s 38% approval ranking at this stage within the calendar is decrease than that of the final three Presidents who went on to lose re-election.

Joe Biden is annoyed along with his efforts to be re-elected.

Biden campaign has amassed $155M in cash on hand for 2024 campaign and raised $53M last month” through Colleen Lengthy of The Related Press — Biden’s marketing campaign amassed money readily available far exceeding the in-hand whole for his Republican opponent, Trump. The President raised $53 million alone final month, which was the strongest grassroots fundraising month for the reason that marketing campaign launched, in keeping with marketing campaign officers. Amongst these efforts was a contest for supporters to attend a fundraiser on March 28 in New York with Biden, Barack Obama and Invoice Clinton that raised $4 million final month.

Pandemic? What pandemic? Four years later, coronavirus no factor in 2024 Biden-Donald Trump rematch” through Antonio Fins of the Palm Seashore Submit — The nation is mired in one other presidential election, a rematch pitting the previous President towards the incumbent who defeated him. Besides this time, there isn’t any social distancing and subsequent to nobody is carrying a masks. There’s additionally one different distinction: Biden and Trump not often even point out the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic, so contemporary within the American collective reminiscence, has been buried deep within the recesses of the U.S. electoral hippocampus.

Mike Pence won’t endorse Trump” through The Related Press — Pence says he won’t be backing Trump within the 2024 Election. “It ought to come as no shock that I can’t be endorsing Donald Trump this yr,” Pence stated in an interview with Fox Information Channel on Friday, weighing in for the primary time for the reason that former President turned the presumptive GOP nominee. The choice makes Pence the most recent in a sequence of senior Trump administration officers who’ve declined to endorse their former boss’s bid to return to the Oval Workplace.


Matt Gaetz subpoenaed in lawsuit regarding Joel Greenberg sex scandal” through Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — Gaetz should testify beneath oath as a part of a lawsuit that entails his previous friendship with disgraced Seminole County Tax Collector Greenberg and allegations Gaetz had intercourse with a teenage woman. A subpoena was issued to Gaetz Thursday by attorneys representing the lady, recognized in courtroom filings as A.B., who’s now in her early 20s. Gaetz is scheduled to offer his testimony and reply questions on April 5. The subpoena doesn’t listing any matters Gaetz, who represents the Florida Panhandle, can be requested, stated legal professional Laura Wolf of Spark Justice Legislation, a Colorado legislation agency representing the lady, in an e-mail Friday.

Joel Greenberg’s intercourse scandal as soon as once more ensnares Matt Gaetz.

Mitch Albom recalls evacuation from Haiti by Cory Mills” through Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The creator recalled a swift transition when U.S. Rep. Mills airlifted him and others from Haiti. “It was the midnight factor you realize,” Albom advised Fox Information Sunday. “We got here operating misplaced the place we have been actually held, 67 seconds, we have been thrown right into a helicopter and up and out.” Albom and his spouse, Janine Sabino, have been amongst these evacuated out of the Have Religion Haiti orphanage. That’s a facility run by the A Gap In The Roof Basis and named for one in all Albom’s books, “Have a Little Religion.”

Occurring at this time — U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and Tampa housing leaders will maintain a media availability after they unveil plans for the Robles Park Good Neighborhood Hub, because of $4 million secured by Castor: 10 a.m., Sacred Coronary heart, 3515 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. Please RSVP to [email protected].


Democrat rises to challenge Kiyan Michael in HD 16” through A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics — Regardless of lengthy odds and highly effective backers for her opponent, Democrat Rachel Grage is difficult the Republican incumbent. The jap Duval County district has greater than 56,000 Republicans and fewer than 34,000 Democrats. With greater than 30,000 registrants being no-party voters, it’s clear that Seashores Democrats are small in quantity in comparison with the general district. What’s additionally clear is that Republican Michael is uniquely related to management in Tallahassee. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ endorsement propelled her to an unlikely win in 2022’s Republican Major, however she has found out the Home in a short time, calling future Speaker Sam Garrison a “mentor” and has carried a number of out-of-district appropriations requests for present Speaker Paul Renner.

Rachel Grage will probably be taking over incumbent Kiyan Michael in HD 16. Picture through Rachel Grage.

Tyler Sirois wants space program pioneer Dave Weldon to join him in the Florida House” through Janelle Irwin Taylor of Florida Politics — State Rep. Sirois is endorsing Weldon for Home District 32 within the Melbourne space. Sirois, who represents close by Home District 31 in Central Brevard County, referred to as Weldon a “principled chief who served his nation in uniform, served us with distinction in Congress and who will ably serve Brevard as soon as once more.” “We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Weldon for his good work to increase the area program, enhance well being take care of Brevard veterans, protect our surroundings, and shield our values in Congress,” Sirois stated. “Dr. Weldon is a person of integrity, religion, and deeply held conservative values. In Tallahassee, I do know Dr. Weldon will serve Brevard properly and champion options to the problems that have an effect on our households, from good jobs, reducing the price of residing, bettering faculties, and preserving us protected from unlawful immigration and crime. Dave Weldon is an efficient man, and he’ll do Brevard proud.”

Richard Gentry lands support from all HD 27 Sheriffs” through Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — Each Sheriff in Home District 27 has endorsed Gentry’s run for Home District 27. The Astor Republican introduced endorsements from Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell and Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods. Gentry, who introduced his candidacy in January, embraced the help. “Having the help of our space’s prime legislation enforcement officers is humbling, to say the least,” Gentry stated. “Nonetheless, I would like you to know my No. 1 precedence has and can at all times be public security.” The sheriffs supplied reward to the legal professional, who beforehand served as Florida Public Counsel.

— LOCAL: S. FL —

Fire at Jewish community center in Fort Lauderdale was arson, but not a hate crime, officials say” through Shira Moolten of the Orlando Sentinel — A fireplace on the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Middle in Fort Lauderdale Saturday morning was deliberately set, however not a hate crime, officers say. The alleged arsonist, Scott Hannaford, 50, is now charged with two counts of arson, prison mischief and possession of cocaine, in keeping with Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson Casey Liening. He’s a transient resident who has trespassed on the property earlier than. Fort Lauderdale Police and Hearth Rescue responded to a name a few automobile hearth on the middle on Tarpon Drive and East Las Olas Boulevard just a little after 7 a.m. Saturday, in keeping with Liening and Battalion Chief Greg Could. By the point firefighters acquired there the fireplace had unfold from the automobile to the precise constructing, he stated.

An arsonist units the Las Olas Chabad Jewish Middle on hearth, nevertheless it wasn’t a hate crime. Picture through NBC 6.

Fort Lauderdale is looking at raising roads to battle rising seas” through Susannah Bryan of the South Florida Solar-Sentinel — It’s a scary thought: Sea ranges rising by as a lot as 2 toes, swallowing up land, properties and all the pieces else not on excessive floor. It may occur as quickly as 2060, specialists say. Fort Lauderdale, with its overabundance of low-lying neighborhoods each inland and alongside the coast, is already one drastic, “final resort” choice to assist maintain streets excessive and dry: Elevating roads. Larger sea partitions, greater pipes and higher pumping stations received’t be sufficient to armor town, Fort Lauderdale officers warn. Fort Lauderdale is in search of enter from specialists with the City Land Institute, a nonprofit group made up of land-use specialists. Fort Lauderdale is elevating sea partitions, upgrading drainage and putting in tidal valves in an try to cut back coastal flooding.

Miami-Dade GOP slams vape expo as ‘mockery of our federal government’s failed enforcement’” through Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — As vaping and hashish lovers converge on the Various Merchandise Expo in Miami, the Miami-Dade GOP is sounding the alarm that lots of the merchandise there are federally banned, however nonetheless being brazenly bought. Fortuitously, the state of Florida appears poised to handle it when the federal authorities has not. Rep. Alex Rizo, the group’s Chair, stated in an announcement that the expo and firm’s “brazen defiance of federal legislation” have to be referred to as out and merchandise with child-enticing designs and flavors have to be purged from the Florida market. “Unlawful disposable vapes in flavors like ‘Rainbow Sweet’ and wrapped in cartoon packaging are banned in america, however the predatory advertising and marketing practices of those Chinese language producers are the rationale these sinister merchandise have develop into the most well-liked merchandise for center and highschool college students,” he stated in an announcement.

Surfside election features rematch for Mayor, 10 candidates for 4 Town Commission seats” through Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics — Surfside voters will resolve whether or not to alter or protect most of their elected leaders in a Normal Election that includes a rematch for Mayor and 10 candidates vying for 4 City Fee seats. Atop the poll, first-term Mayor Shlomo Danzinger defends towards former Mayor Charles Burkett, who misplaced by simply 35 votes two years in the past. The 2 squared off in a Mayor’s candidate discussion board on Jan. 30.

Occurring at this time — State Lawyer Dave Aronberg will maintain a information convention to announce latest arrests on account of the State Lawyer/PBSO job drive that targets people who defrauded the federal Paycheck Safety Program (PPP): 11:15 a.m., State Lawyer’s Workplace, 2nd Ground Convention Room, 401 North Dixie Freeway, West Palm Seashore.

— LOCAL: C. FL —

Sanford group completes first step toward ousting Kerry Wiggins” through Martin Comas of the Orlando Sentinel — A gaggle of Sanford residents is one step nearer to its purpose of ousting Metropolis Commissioner Wiggins. The Involved Residents Job Pressure collected 1,110 signatures from registered voters within the metropolis’s District 2 — 4 greater than required by state legislation — and turned them in to Metropolis Clerk Traci Houchin. Houchin despatched the petition to Seminole Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson, whose workers members have 30 days to confirm signatures. Wiggins then has 5 days to problem the recall effort with a written protection.

A gaggle of Sanford residents have knives out for Kerry Wiggins.

Developer proposes huge entertainment complex near Disney” through Laura Kinsler of the Orlando Sentinel — One of many worst blighted areas in Orlando’s tourism hall may very well be reworked right into a sprawling new leisure district referred to as Ovation with luxurious inns, eating and sights, together with a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel that may be seen from Interstate-4. “It’s going to be very cool,” stated Invoice Shewalter, vice chairman of growth for Meyers Group, which wrapped up greater than two years of planning to create the Ovation grasp plan on a 77-acre deserted resort web site on the I-4 interchange with U.S. Freeway 192 in Kissimmee.


One vote killed a House-approved measure to revamp the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority” through Craig Kopp of WUSF — A invoice that will have radically modified the make-up and operation of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority was permitted by the Home this Session. It died, nonetheless, when it acquired to the Senate due to the vote of 1 state Senator, Darryl Rouson. The measure earlier than the Florida Legislature would have downsized the transit authority’s Board from 15 to 11, eliminating appointed citizen Board members. However when a Home invoice is domestically centered, the principles say one member of the Senate can block it from being heard.

Darryl Rouson places a maintain on the proposed revamp of the PSTA.

Race for east St. Petersburg City Council seat heating up” through William March of the Tampa Bay Occasions — The St. Petersburg District 3 Metropolis Council race reveals indicators of changing into a extremely aggressive donnybrook with extra pleasure than common for a non-mayoral election. To this point, there are 5 candidates within the race, all with no less than some vital ranges of public prominence, influential backers or each, and extra candidates are potential.

Construction is complete on Feeding Tampa Bay’s new facility, set to open in May” through Jo-Lynn Brown of TBBW — Ryan Corporations has accomplished Feeding Tampa Bay’s new headquarters, a 210,000-square-foot industrial, distribution and workplace facility devoted to supplying meals for hundreds of thousands of households going through meals insecurity in West Central Florida. The headquarters is predicted to open in Could and can enable Feeding Tampa Bay to offer extra meals and extra companies that can carry the ten counties they serve. The brand new headquarters will act as the first distribution facility for the group and consists of 31,000 sq. toes of chilly storage, an 11,000-square-foot kitchen that can serve every day meals and versatile areas for a meals financial institution and clinic.

— LOCAL: N. FL —

Former Jacksonville Public Defender Matt Shirk disbarred” through Andrew Pantazi of The Tributary — The Florida Supreme Court docket has disbarred Jacksonville’s disgraced former public defender, Shirk, as soon as a rising Republican star who then squandered his possibilities at a political future when he employed girls primarily based on their bodily look, propositioned them, fired them after his spouse advised him to, deleted public information, drank within the workplace, diverted marketing campaign funds to his little one’s personal college, violated the attorney-client privilege of a 12-year-old, paid his attorneys the bottom salaries within the state, gave away workplace weapons to a bike membership with out documenting it and used the workplace’s spending energy to pay for lavish inns. Shirk would face two prison investigations, a grand jury, a state ethics investigation, a state Auditor Normal investigation, and a number of Florida Bar complaints. Ultimately, it was the unlicensed observe of legislation that did Shirk in.

In any case of Matt Shirk’s shenanigans, it was the unlicensed observe of legislation that did him in.

Not the right time? Duval School Board drops hunt for new headquarters, citing budget issues” through Steve Patterson of The Florida Occasions-Union — Duval County’s College Board received’t be shifting its headquarters off downtown’s Southbank riverfront anytime quickly, because the Board voted to reject the final two options left on the desk. “We have to transfer off the river. I’m simply unsure that this level that is the proper time to try this,” member Warren Jones stated, just a little earlier than the Board canceled an invite for negotiations over potential websites for brand new college district places of work. That vote ended, no less than for now, a set of steps the Board began in 2020.

Florida GOP suspends St. Johns County Chair Blake Paterson” through Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — The Republican Social gathering of Florida (RPOF) has eliminated the St. Johns County GOP Chair. State Chair Evan Energy knowledgeable Paterson in an e-mail that he was eliminated, efficient instantly, as each the St. Johns County Republican Government Committee Chair and as a precinct Committee member. His duties will quickly be assumed by Jamie Parham, a county GOP Vice Chair whom the social gathering stated Paterson wrongly suspended months in the past. “You might be prohibited from holding any place inside the St. Johns GOP, the RPOF, or any RPOF chartered membership in St. Johns County for a interval of two (2) years,” Energy wrote.

GRU shake-up: All members of Governor-appointed Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority Board to resign” through Nora O’Neill of The Gainesville Solar — All 4 members of the Governor-appointed GRU Authority Board have submitted resignation letters over a lawsuit filed by an area citizen group, Gainesville Residents United. The lawsuit questions the eligibility of the authority members primarily based on their residency statuses. In line with Robert Hutchinson, the president of Gainesville Residents United, the entire resignations will take impact inside 60 days, although it’s unclear whether or not any of the members resigned efficient instantly.

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections sues church after injury” through Ryan Wyatt Turbeville of WCJB — Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton is suing a Gainesville church after she tripped and fell whereas delivering voting supplies. Barton was delivering the supplies to Gateway Christian Middle on Oct. 22 when she tripped on a riser. She alleges the riser was improperly put in with the mistaken screws. Barton needed to bear a number of surgical procedures for her damaged kneecap and arm. Alachua County paid the medical payments and wages. County officers are in search of reimbursement for the funds. The lawsuit seeks a judgment of $50,000 from the church for the negligence which led to the damage.


Conservancy scores big win against Burmese pythons — most wanted invasive species in Florida” through Mark H. Bickel and Natalie Neysa Alund of the Naples Day by day Information — The brand new yr is simply over two months outdated, however already the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is placing a formidable dent within the invasive Burmese python inhabitants. The Conservancy posted on its Fb web page on March 1 that its scientists captured and humanely killed 11 pythons just lately. The mixed weight of the 11 snakes was a whopping 500 kilos. One of many snakes was 16 toes lengthy. The Fb was made throughout Nationwide Invasive Species Week and underscored the decadelong efforts by the Conservancy to take away pythons from the surroundings.

Conservationists have been in a position to humanely take away 1 / 4 ton of Burmese pythons.


Democrats are hemorrhaging support with voters of color” through Nate Silver of the Silver Bulletin — As you might know, I’m not a lot of a fan of digging into ballot cross tabs. Due to the small pattern sizes and difficulties in reaching sure underrepresented teams, you’ll be able to at all times discover one thing “mistaken” with them and use that to dismiss polling outcomes you don’t like.

Nonetheless, Adam Carlson of Cut up-Ticket has been performing a useful service by aggregating the outcomes of various polls collectively, which no less than solves the pattern measurement drawback. And he’s discovering that Biden’s share of the vote has dropped dramatically amongst Black and Hispanic voters in contrast with a mean dependable estimate of the 2020 vote.

Biden’s margin towards Trump has principally not moved an inch amongst White voters; he’s dropping them by 12 proportion factors, as he did in 2020. Nonetheless, Biden is now solely profitable Hispanics by 7 proportion factors — down from 24 factors in 2020 — and Black voters by “solely” 55 factors, as in contrast with 83 factors in 2020.

I’m not going to cowl each potential problem when surveying non-White voters, who usually have decrease response charges to polls than white voters do. I’m simply saying this has been a constant sample; Carlson has been doing the identical evaluation for months now, and he’s been discovering the identical factor each time. So, on the very least, Democrats can’t want this drawback away by complaining about small pattern sizes, though that doesn’t imply they received’t attempt.

Let’s maintain it to that, for now. Though the idea is believable — that Democrats’ rising progressivism and generational turnover is the basis of the issue — that’s one thing that deserves an extended evaluation. What he’s seeing within the knowledge shouldn’t be dismissed as some sort of outlier, nonetheless. It’s been replicated in ballot after ballot, and it has develop into more and more obvious in election outcomes, too.


Going it alone isn’t a COVID-19 strategy. Just ask Florida” through Mary Ellen Klas of Bloomberg — One of many enduring classes of the pandemic is that politics reigned over public well being. Quite than asserting management on the federal stage, Trump left a lot of the choices to the states. The absence of a coherent federal response meant state public well being methods diversified extensively. DeSantis was so decided to spice up Trump’s re-election marketing campaign within the Spring of 2020 that he saved residents at midnight about proof that the virus was spreading as a result of it contradicted the President’s claims that issues have been getting higher. Florida solely offered knowledge that offered its outbreak in probably the most favorable gentle. One public well being knowledgeable thought-about the state knowledge so deceptive, he constructed his personal Florida COVID-19 Dashboard, utilizing numbers augmented by federal knowledge.

Verdict brings closure to JEA mess left in ex-CEO Aaron Zahn’s wake” through Nate Monroe of The Florida Occasions-Union — The corruption trial of JEA’s former executives, which was historic on this city by any measure — the scale of the tried raid on the general public treasury, the variety of juries, the size, its lengthy shadow over metropolis politics — was Zahn’s huge probability, the platform upon which he may lastly present all of us haters, all of us doubters, all of us dummies, how mistaken we have been and the way brave, how forward-thinking, how good he of Yale was, lo these a few years. As an alternative, Zahn’s protection was marked by the very lying and unhealthy religion that outlined his transient however catastrophic tenure because the chief govt of Jacksonville’s city-owned electrical, water and sewer utility. His protection was a group of crackpot conspiracy theories and too-cute-by-half obfuscations.

JEA saga led to outrage and, in the end, an outrageous defense” through Mark Woods of The Florida Occasions-Union — It was fairly the outrageous path to take on the finish of all of this. To spin the fees round and say not solely wasn’t Zahn concerned in a conspiracy, he was the sufferer of 1. To throw out the baited phrases “deep state” after which level accusatory fingers on the Council auditors, the State Lawyer’s workplace, enterprise leaders within the Civic Council, and, out of the blue, one present Board member by no means talked about within the trial earlier than this level. Whatever the verdicts, even lengthy earlier than this went to trial, I’d comfortably say one factor: Let historical past and the file present that, when it got here to the JEA saga, we noticed outrage in Jacksonville. Loads of it. That’s a big a part of this chapter in Jacksonville’s historical past.

Lawmakers didn’t fix prisons. They may wish they had” through Robert Sanchez of the Miami Herald — It’s not simple to muster public sympathy or political help for a function linked to a gaggle that features murderers, rapists and little one molesters. So, the 2024 Legislature’s refusal to adequately handle festering issues inside the state’s huge jail system was not a complete shock. Even so, the failure to behave responsibly was doubly shameful as a result of the Legislature was properly conscious of the issues, They have been outlined in a state-commissioned report by the KPMG consulting agency. You possibly can learn it right here. KPMG had advisable $2 billion in spending straight away to start addressing a number of the extra urgent issues. As an alternative, within the $117 billion state funds, the Division of Corrections will get $100 million now and perhaps extra sooner or later to take care of these pressing wants. Why did the laws supporting the KPMG report’s advisable stage of spending fail to advance? Possibly the issue was the way in which they have been offered.

Jeffrey Epstein case shows problem with grand jury secrecy” through Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel — DeSantis just lately signed a invoice that might reveal what occurred when Florida prosecutors went behind closed doorways and ended up providing a ridiculous sweetheart deal to Epstein. Good. Solutions are manner overdue. The best way Epstein’s case was initially dealt with is taken into account one in all this state’s highest-profile circumstances of perverted justice. A supremely rich man with connections to everybody from Invoice Clinton to Trump was accused of abuse by greater than a dozen ladies and younger girls. But state and federal prosecutors used secretive grand jury proceedings to emerge with a deal that was so lax that Epstein obtained a brief stint in jail the place he wasn’t even required to remain behind bars and was as an alternative allowed to go to his West Palm Seashore workplace six days per week. It wasn’t till a decade later that federal prosecutors in New York went after Epstein once more, saying he needed to account for a litany of crimes towards minors.

Thank you, Florida legislators, for supporting Florida Polytechnic” through Randy Avent for The Ledger — The Florida Polytechnic College group is grateful for the sturdy help we obtained from the Polk County Legislative Delegation in the course of the 2024 Session. Sens. Colleen Burton and Ben Albritton and Reps. Josie Tomkow, Jennifer Canady, Melony Bell and Sam Killebrew have been staunch advocates for our college, and I need to thank them for believing in our mission and for his or her service to our group. Because of this help and that of the legislative management, we will proceed our development efforts by increasing our in-demand tutorial applications, our gifted pupil physique, prime college, and important campus amenities.



— ALOE —

Will Robinson prepares for 10K at preserve named for his father” through Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics — There’s an necessary run on the horizon for Robinson, though he stays unopposed. The Bradenton Republican will be a part of throngs of runners on the Robinson Protect Twilight 5K &10K. Whereas anybody who visited the state Consultant’s Tallahassee workplace possible seen the finisher medals on show, this annual run stays particularly expensive to the lawmaker. It’s held on the Robinson Protect, 487 acres of public land named for Robinson’s father William Robinson, Sr.

Will Robinson laces up for a 10K run in his father’s honor.


Celebrating at this time is Andy Ford, previously of the Florida Schooling Affiliation, Chelsea Lunn, Ron Matus of Step Up for College students, Orlando Pryor, and former Rep. Deborah Tamargo. As a result of Sunburn was off, we missed our pal Christian Minor‘s birthday. We belief it was an ideal one! Extra belated comfortable birthday needs to Kelsey Lehtomaa Frouge and former Rep. Sean Shaw.


Sunburn is authored and assembled by Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel Dean, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, and Drew Wilson.

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