Two GOP potential candidates won’t take on Rep. Murphy
Two Republicans who talked with the National Republican Congressional Committee about running for the seat of Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, have decided not to enter the race.
St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery said Tuesday that he will seek reelection to his commission seat next year rather than pursue a bid for Congress. Hobe Sound businessman Gary Uber has also decided not to run, saying he’ll focus instead on an international organization that runs schools for girls and health clinics in remote regions of the world.
Three Republicans have announced campaigns for Murphy’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat – former state Rep. Carl Domino, Juno Beach Vice Mayor Ellen Andel and former Derby, Conn., mayor Alan Schlesinger. Other potential GOP candidates include state Rep. Gayle Harrell, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest.
US, Florida create retail theft task force
Federal and Florida law enforcement officials are creating the nation’s first task force to tackle the growing problem of organized retail theft, which costs retailers some $30 billion in losses each year.
Alysa D. Erichs, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in Miami, said retail thievery has become a sophisticated and well-organized criminal enterprise that uses teams of people armed with technology and the Internet to steal merchandise from stores of all sizes.
Criminal tactics run the gamut. One group might use teams of shoplifters to target certain items at multiple stores, later reselling them on the Internet or at a flea market. Others use fake receipts to return items in exchange for gift cards, which they then convert into cash.
The task force, which includes ICE, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and multiple police agencies in South Florida, will target the thieves with federal money laundering and cash smuggling laws in many cases, officials said.
Graham announces $375,000 haul
Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, announced on her website that she has raised “more than $375,000” for her congressional campaign. Graham, a Democrat, is running for the northwest Florida seat currently held by Republican Congressman Steve Southerland. Graham did not immediately release a more specific fundraising total for the three months that ended June 30, the first fundraising quarter since she entered the race in April.
Nursing home that housed kids will close
A Tampa nursing home involved in a controversy about the care of children with severe disabilities will close in August after federal health regulators decided to end Medicare and Medicaid payments, The Miami Herald reported. Lakeshore Villas, which has been repeatedly cited by state and federal agencies for deficiencies, will see its federal funding end Saturday.
The home was one of a handful in Florida that accepted children with complex medical conditions. The U.S. Department of Justice last year issued a report alleging that children were being unnecessarily placed in nursing homes, possibly in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Swimmer finds out log wasn’t a log
A 17-year-old was treated for puncture wounds on his head after being bitten by an alligator while swimming at a central Florida state park.
Andrew Hudson of Winter Springs was swimming with friends in the Little Big Econ State Forest when he kicked what he thought was a log in the water. The object was actually an alligator nearly 10 feet long. It came up behind Hudson and jerked him underwater.
When he got to shore, blood was running from the top of his head. A friend ran for help to a forestry office about a half-mile away. Doctors at a Seminole County hospital treated Hudson with stitches and staples for several puncture wounds on his head.
Rehabilitated manatees released
Seven manatees rescued during a red tide bloom in southwest Florida have been released back into the wild.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and partners released the rehabilitated manatees in Cape Coral. Authorities say more than a dozen manatees were rescued from the red tide bloom between last September and this April.
FWC reports that red tide is the primary cause of death for nearly 300 manatees so far this year.
Post staff and wire services.