Florida headlines

Christie commentary: Please, just stop trying to beat the train

Christie commentary: Please, just stop trying to beat the train

It was a tough week for Brightline. Maybe the last thing you want in your first week as a high-speed passenger rail line is people dying on your tracks. But public outcry has All Aboard Florida’s Brightline close to coming off the rails here. “We offer our deepest sympathy to those affected by the recent incidents,” Brightline’s President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick...
Trump protesters mark one-year anniversary with South Ocean shutdown

Trump protesters mark one-year anniversary with South Ocean shutdown

Usually known as a scenic and tranquil stretch of oceanfront mansions and palm trees, South Ocean Boulevard took on a far different look Saturday when it was briefly taken over by hundreds of feisty marchers protesting President Donald Trump’s first year in office. Holding colorful signs and yelling into bullhorns with chants like “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go,&rsquo...
Shutdown nixes Trump visit; party goes on with son Eric headlining

Shutdown nixes Trump visit; party goes on with son Eric headlining

The federal government shutdown led President Donald Trump to cancel plans to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office at a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday. As of Saturday evening, the fundraiser was still set to go on with presidential son Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel as headliners. About...
Mar-a-Lago fundraiser to go on as scheduled; Trump stays in D.C.

Mar-a-Lago fundraiser to go on as scheduled; Trump stays in D.C.

President Donald Trump will not attend a $100,000-per-couple political fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach tonight because of the federal government shutdown. “There is no plan to go to Florida while there is a shutdown,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told The Palm Beach Post. The fundraiser will go on with presidential son Eric Trump, his wife Lara...
Eric Trump says dad would be ‘hugely impeded’ if Dems take Congress

Eric Trump says dad would be ‘hugely impeded’ if Dems take Congress

Eric Trump and wife Lara speaking to Republican activists at the West Palm Beach Marriott today. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post) WEST PALM BEACH — Eric Trump thanked local Republican activists for their grass-roots efforts today and warned that his father’s agenda would be “hugely, hugely impeded” if the GOP loses its majorities in...
Shutdown: Some Senate Dems from Trump states vote with GOP; Florida’s Bill Nelson does not

Shutdown: Some Senate Dems from Trump states vote with GOP; Florida’s Bill Nelson does not

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (left) supported a short-term spending measure to avert a federal government shutdown; Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson was opposed. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Five Democratic senators from states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016 broke with party leadership late Friday and voted for a spending plan to avert a federal...
House Speaker: Florida lawmakers to weigh oversight of high-speed rail

House Speaker: Florida lawmakers to weigh oversight of high-speed rail

House Speaker Richard Corcoran said a push by some lawmakers for state oversight of high-speed passenger rail will get consideration during this year’s legislative session. But he offered little detail, as opponents want to put the brakes on a controversial new rail service in South Florida following a second recent death on the tracks. »RELATED: The latest in Florida political news Corcoran...
Trump’s Year One: There’s much more to his time in Palm Beach than just golf

Trump’s Year One: There’s much more to his time in Palm Beach than just golf

President Donald Trump is gaining fast on John F. Kennedy for most time spent here by a commander-in-chief. Approaching Saturday’s one-year anniversary of his taking the oath of office, Trump has spent about 10 percent of his presidency in Palm Beach County. Through last weekend, the president had made 11 visits totalling about 37 days in Palm Beach County. Most of that time has been...
UPDATE: Trump cancels Palm Beach trip today; roads remain closed

UPDATE: Trump cancels Palm Beach trip today; roads remain closed

President Donald Trump will not make a planned trip to Mar-a-Lago today because of a looming federal government shutdown, a White House official told The Palm Beach Post this morning. But the White House has not ruled out a Trump arrival on Saturday, when the president is scheduled to headline a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for his 2020 re-election campaign. A new Federal Aviation...

Money for Gardens storm shelter, Glades roads clear early hurdles

Bills that would provide millions of dollars for several projects in Palm Beach County on advanced out of two House appropriations subcommittees on Thursday. “It was a successful week for Palm Beach County,” said Rebecca de la Rosa, the county’s legislative affairs director via email. “I am appreciative of the collaboration between the Palm Beach County Delegation.” »...

State senate revamps sex harassment rules

The Florida Senate released a revamped sexual harassment policy Thursday, after sex scandals rocked the chamber and led to the resignations of two prominent senators. Former Sen. Jack Latvala announced his resignation this past month following the release of an investigative report that recommended a criminal probe into allegations the Clearwater Republican had promised legislative favors to a lobbyist...
Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project

Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project

A 74-year-old developer who operated from offices in Palm Beach faces a possible five-year prison sentence after admitting to a federal judge on Thursday that he submitted phony documents to banks to keep an oceanfront condominium project in Vero Beach afloat. Once facing eight counts of bank fraud, George Heaton pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit the offense...
Florida lawmakers advance new loan type sought by payday-loan industry

Florida lawmakers advance new loan type sought by payday-loan industry

Florida lawmakers have started moving forward with a proposal to revamp rules for the payday-loan industry, allowing customers to borrow larger amounts of money over longer periods of time. The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee unanimously approved the changes Wednesday, a day after a Senate committee backed the Senate version. The proposal, in part, would allow a new type of “installment&rdquo...
Florida man sent to prison after threatening to kill at Islamic Center 

Florida man sent to prison after threatening to kill at Islamic Center 

A 35-year-old Florida man was sentenced to prison after calling a mosque and leaving a message that said, “I’m gonna shoot all ya’ll,” the U.S. state attorney reported. Gerald S. Wallace, of Miami, pleaded guilty in October to one count of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs for making call. He was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and one day in prison and three...
Nelson, Mast voice bipartisan concern over Brightline train deaths

Nelson, Mast voice bipartisan concern over Brightline train deaths

Boynton Beach Fire Rescue personnel prepare to cover the body of a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a Brightline train on Wednesday. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) BOYNTON BEACH — The second death in less than a week involving a Brightline train drew a call for an investigation by Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday and a plea...
Bill to create state community colleges board advances in Senate

Bill to create state community colleges board advances in Senate

A bill that would create a new governance board for the state college system and impose a limit on the number of four-year degrees awarded by the colleges advanced in the Senate on Wednesday. In a 6-1 vote, the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved the bill (SB 540), sponsored by Senate Education Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange. The bill, in part, would create a 13-member...
Baker makes clear her interim pick, not Collins, leads Fire Rescue

Baker makes clear her interim pick, not Collins, leads Fire Rescue

Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker made it clear Wednesday that interim Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mackey — not former chief Jeffrey Collins — leads the department now in the wake of sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits filed by several employees. Collins resigned on Friday, but he rescinded that resignation on Monday, saying Baker and other county executives had coerced...
Anti-gambling measure will go on November ballot in Florida

Anti-gambling measure will go on November ballot in Florida

Florida voters could make decisions in the future about casino-style gambling, including slot machines, under a proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot. The “Voter Control of Gambling Amendment,” largely bankrolled by a Disney company and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, would require voter approval for any form of casino gambling, an issue now largely controlled...
Lawmakers grill water manager on start of Lake Okeechobee reservoir

Lawmakers grill water manager on start of Lake Okeechobee reservoir

A multi-billion-dollar reservoir construction plan to protect Treasure Coast waterways got a boost Wednesday from the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee but not before legislators grilled the South Florida Water Management District’s executive director on a start time for the project. Committee members approved a bill that would let the state Department of Environmental Protection...
Bill would require intellectual freedom survey at Florida universities

Bill would require intellectual freedom survey at Florida universities

Adding a mandate for an annual survey of “intellectual freedom” on state university campuses, a House panel Wednesday approved a wide-ranging higher education package that would expand Bright Futures merit scholarships. The bill (HB 423), approved on a 12-1 vote by the Post-Secondary Education Subcommittee, is similar to legislation (SB 4) passed unanimously by the Senate last week. RELATED...
Editorial: Congress’ fumbles jeopardize health of millions of kids

Editorial: Congress’ fumbles jeopardize health of millions of kids

With the parties as antagonistic as ever, Washington looks to be on the verge of another government shutdown. Once again, furloughs loom for many federal employees. National parks and monuments could be shut to the public that owns them. Once again, the world might gaze upon the inability of our republic to fulfill its most basic duties in this age of hyperpartisanship. Much attention has thus far...
Tournament: best way to honor lost fisherman is to get back on lake

Tournament: best way to honor lost fisherman is to get back on lake

The league that ran the Lake Okeechobee tournament at which pro fisherman Nik Kayler died this month said Wednesday it will get back to competitions on the lake, saying that’s the best way to honor him. The Fishing League Worldwide Tour said it will start its 23rd season Jan. 25 with an event on the lake that will draw 374 bass-fishing pros and co-anglers, with awards of...
Miami appeals court weighs whether priest can sue Palm Beach diocese

Miami appeals court weighs whether priest can sue Palm Beach diocese

A state appeals court on Wednesday wrestled with the thorny legal question of whether a Catholic priest can sue the Diocese of Palm Beach for defamation or whether the lawsuit is barred by the constitutional separation of church and state. In a spirited discussion about the Rev. John Gallagher’s claims that the diocese slandered him by calling him a liar who needed “serious professional...
NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

NEW: 2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

Two of the newest ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet have received failing grades in health inspections designed to control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses.  Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze both scored below a passing grade of 86, the Miami Herald reported. Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, received a 79 while Breeze was given a 77.  Vista's crew hid potentially...
Florida bill increases women’s non-hospital options for labor, delivery

Florida bill increases women’s non-hospital options for labor, delivery

Women with low-risk pregnancies would not have to deliver at hospitals to get epidurals or to have cesarean sections, under legislation overwhelmingly approved by a House panel Tuesday despite safety concerns raised by Florida hospitals. Bill sponsor MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, touted the proposal (HB 1099) as a potential way to help lower health-care costs while giving pregnant women more choices...
Bill hikes pension contributions for state agencies, local governments

Bill hikes pension contributions for state agencies, local governments

Florida counties would have to contribute an additional $66 million to the state pension fund in the new budget year, according to legislation that has started moving in the Senate. As a result of a decrease in the assumed rate of investment return on the $160 billion pension fund, counties, school boards, state agencies, universities, state colleges and other government entities will have to increase...
After Irma: Lawmakers to weigh blocking rebuilding in high-risk areas

After Irma: Lawmakers to weigh blocking rebuilding in high-risk areas

Requiring nursing homes to have adequate backup power, blocking storm-damaged properties from being rebuilt in “high-risk” areas, and looking into changes in highway traffic flow during evacuations are among hurricane proposals that moved forward Tuesday in a Florida House select committee. The House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness advanced 78 recommendations from...
Son of late Florida justice enters race for state Attorney General

Son of late Florida justice enters race for state Attorney General

State Rep. Sean Shaw, a Tampa Democrat and the son of the first black chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, entered the campaign for attorney general Tuesday and took issue with the performance of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi. Shaw announced his candidacy outside the Florida Supreme Court, where his father, the late Leander Shaw Jr., was a justice from 1983 to 2003, serving as chief justice...
FPL: Customers won’t pay surcharge for Irma costs due to tax reform

FPL: Customers won’t pay surcharge for Irma costs due to tax reform

Thanks to federal tax savings for Florida Power & Light, its customers will not face increased rates for Hurricane Irma-related restoration costs, company officials said Tuesday. Instead of charging customers a storm surcharge, FPL will apply the savings resulting from the new federal tax law toward the $1.3 billion restoration cost of the hurricane that struck in September. Each of FPL’s 4...
Letter from female firefighters urged chief’s firing before he resigned

Letter from female firefighters urged chief’s firing before he resigned

All sides in what is now a mushrooming scandal of alleged sexual harassment, retaliation and cover-up within Palm Beach County Fire Rescue were girding Tuesday for what could become a bitter legal battle after Chief Jeffrey Collins rescinded the resignation his lawyer said he was forced to offer last week. The resignation, the rescinding of that resignation and a set of lingering lawsuits bring the...
Santino: Removal from office for election infraction unconstitutional

Santino: Removal from office for election infraction unconstitutional

In what is likely Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino’s last chance to convince the Florida Supreme Court not to remove her from office, she insisted on Tuesday that other judges have been allowed to keep their jobs after committing far more serious infractions. Removing Santino for blasting her 2016 opponent for representing “murderers, rapists, child molesters and other criminals&rdquo...
Florida man brutally murders ex-wife after fight over infidelity, sheriff says 

Florida man brutally murders ex-wife after fight over infidelity, sheriff says 

    A 46-year-old Florida man is being charged with second-degree murder after he brutally beat and stomped his ex-wife to death, a sheriff said. Michael Cummings and his ex-wife Faith Cummings began arguing over infidelity on Thursday in the garage of their Palm Coast home, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. The fight escalated with 44-year-old Faith L. Cummings fleeing to a ...
Who was the only candidate for governor at Everglades Coalition conference?

Who was the only candidate for governor at Everglades Coalition conference?

Democratic governor candidate Chris King at a Palm Beach County Democratic meeting last year. Chris King, the Winter Park businessman seeking the 2018 Democratic nomination for Florida governor, scored some points with Everglades advocates by being the only gubernatorial hopeful to attend the recent Everglades Coalition Conference in Stuart. King impressed attendees by appearing &ldquo...
Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Cerabino: For Brightline, it’s a time for many to try rail

Roger and Mary Hansen were among the curious. The Wellington retirees had friends, Tom and Wanda Werneking, visiting from The Villages, a Central Florida retirement community. “We usually go to the fair, but we thought we’d try the train today,” Roger Hansen said. So the four friends made an outing of the area’s new train service, Brightline, by catching a noon train from the...
‘I’m not a racist,’ Trump declares; his Palm Beach weekend ends today

‘I’m not a racist,’ Trump declares; his Palm Beach weekend ends today

President Donald Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speak to reporter before dinner at Trump International Golf Club on Sunday Night. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post) President Donald Trump pushed back Sunday night against accusations that his disparagement of Haiti and African nations during recent immigration talks reflects...

POINT OF VIEW: Another use for the state’s Sadowski Housing funds

There may be a better use for the state’s Sadowski Housing Trust Fund revenue than handing it over to local officials. While Palm Beach County Commissioner Paulette Burdick has a point about the need for affordable housing, which the fund was meant to provide, I have little faith that the counties and cities in need of affordable housing will use the money wisely. RELATED: Editorial...
Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Beautiful day for train ride: The curious come out to take Brightline

Brightline’s second day of operation Sunday attracted lots of families, singles and others looking for an outing on the chilly, windy day that was too cold for the beach. A steady stream of people entered the station at 260 Quadrille Plaza Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, hoping to buy a tickets at $10 apiece one way to Fort Lauderdale. Some weren’t planning to take the 38-minute trip...
Editorial: Opioid-addicted babies collateral damage in drug epidemic

Editorial: Opioid-addicted babies collateral damage in drug epidemic

The most tragic, innocent casualties of the opioid crisis are lying in bassinets in hospitals like St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Screaming babies, bodies trembling from withdrawal, born to opioid-addicted mothers. Maybe they’re not as headline-grabbing as tales of children discovered in the backseats of cars with their parents passed out from drug overdoses in the front...
Christie commentary: Brightline shines light on what could be in SoFla

Christie commentary: Brightline shines light on what could be in SoFla

It’s one smooth ride. And yes, it’s fast. Nearly six years in the making, All Aboard Florida’s Brightline finally began limited service on Saturday. But I joined a gaggle of reporters, and business and government VIPs Friday morning for a test run. And once the four-car Brightline Green train got underway (about 10 minutes late), it was hard for me not to think of the travel possibilities...

POINT OF VIEW: Folly to increase waters exposed to oil drilling’s risks

Having proposed to open nearly all U.S. oceans to the potential hazards of oil and gas production, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke did an about-face last week, pledging to keep Florida’s waters off limits to drilling because, as he put it, the state’s “coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.” Clean and healthy oceans are, indeed, an economic driver for Florida&rsquo...
Palm Beach County legislators hopeful on bills to combat opioid crisis

Palm Beach County legislators hopeful on bills to combat opioid crisis

Battling the opioid epidemic is getting lots of attention during the 2018 legislative session – and that’s good news for Palm Beach County. On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott restated his proposal to put up $53 million to help crush the heroin crisis. The next day, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told a group of Palm Beach County business and community leaders that if elected governor he...
Trump in Palm Beach: President rips Democrats, briefed on Hawaii missile mishap

Trump in Palm Beach: President rips Democrats, briefed on Hawaii missile mishap

Tweeting from his Mar-a-Lago estate and from his motorcade on the way to his golf club on Saturday, President Donald Trump tried to regain the initiative in immigration talks with Democrats after his vulgar disparagement of Haiti and Africa caused an international uproar. The president, spending the three-day Martin Luther King Day weekend at his tropical White House, was also briefed on...
Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Happy rails to you: Brightline high-speed trains roll into action

Over, almost before it began. That’s how it felt as Brightline’s first train pulled into Fort Lauderdale, a quick 35 minutes after rolling out of downtown West Palm Beach. Barely had the seat-back trays come down, laptops opened, Wifi connected and snack-and-beverage cart made the rounds, then the destination city skyline came into sight and it was time to de-train. “It’s...
UPDATE: Boynton Beach Police identify woman fatally struck by Brightline train 

UPDATE: Boynton Beach Police identify woman fatally struck by Brightline train 

UPDATE 9:10 a.m.: Boynton Beach Police said Melissa Lavell, 32, was fatally struck by the Brightline train Friday night.  Witnesses told police that Lavell appeared to be crossing the tracks after the guard rails were in the down position in an attempt to make it across before the train came.  The train was traveling north on the Florida East Coast Railway when it struck the woman at 6:25...
Cerabino: Help is on the way! Cars without drivers coming to Florida.

Cerabino: Help is on the way! Cars without drivers coming to Florida.

Mark it on your calendar. This is the time Florida has entered a brave new world. We’re getting a large-scale experiment in bringing driver-less cars to a Florida retirement community. Yes, cars that travel on roadways without human drivers. I know. I know. It seems like we’ve had these cars forever in Florida. You’re driving on I-95, and you look at the car in the next lane, and...
Trump arrives in Palm Beach amid storm over remarks

Trump arrives in Palm Beach amid storm over remarks

After departing Washington amid another self-ignited firestorm, President Donald Trump arrived at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Friday evening to begin a three-day weekend. Air Force One landed at Palm Beach International Airport at about 6:45 p.m. with the president, first lady Melania Trump and son Barron drawing cheers from a crowd of about 40 supporters who gathered on the tarmac. Trump waved...
Florida House targets stadiums, cameras, car insurance

Florida House targets stadiums, cameras, car insurance

A measure intended to keep professional sports teams from building or renovating stadiums on publicly owned land and a separate proposal to repeal Florida’s red-light camera law were among numerous bills set up Thursday for House votes. The House also teed up proposals that would place new lobbying restrictions on state and local lawmakers as they leave office (HB 5 and HB 7003) and eliminate...
Local Haitians, politicians denounce Trump’s use of the ‘S’ word

Local Haitians, politicians denounce Trump’s use of the ‘S’ word

Haitian-American pastor Jean Bruny feels betrayed, sad and angry. “President Trump told us he was our champion when he was campaigning,” said Bruny, the head of the First Haitian Church of God in West Palm Beach, referring to a meeting candidate Trump had in Miami’s Little Haiti in September, 2016, when he told Haitian-American community leaders “I want to be your biggest champion...
Rep. Joe Abruzzo away from legislature because of illness

Rep. Joe Abruzzo away from legislature because of illness

It’s a man down situation with Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, who’s absent from the House for the second day in a row. In a telephone interview Friday, Abruzzo said he’s returned to Palm Beach County where he’s under a doctor’s care after being diagnosed with both the flu and pneumonia. The illnesses could have him missing in action from the House floor for up to...
House votes 88-15 to repeal Florida’s no-fault car insurance system

House votes 88-15 to repeal Florida’s no-fault car insurance system

The Florida House voted overwhelmingly on Friday to mothball the state’s no-fault car insurance system in place since the 1970s, sending a clear message for the second straight year amid rising expectations the Senate will pass its own version of repeal this session. “We will be able to do this at a cost reduction to the average driver in Florida,” said sponsor state Rep. Erin Grall...
VIDEO: Florida police officer wrangles 12-foot python 

VIDEO: Florida police officer wrangles 12-foot python 

It wasn’t just another mundane day on the job for one Florida police officer Thursday night. The Pembroke Pines Police department received word of a 12.5-foot Burmese python slithering around a neighborhood just on the edge of the Everglades, and officer Joseph Cabrera was the lucky officer on call.  Cabrera responded to the scene and captured the massive snake. He then took it to the police...
Baer, Mast raise big bucks in close-watched Florida congressional race

Baer, Mast raise big bucks in close-watched Florida congressional race

Attorney Lauren Baer has now raised $575,000 in her bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in what will be one of the most hotly contested congressional races in the country this year. Mast, R-Palm City, has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, a factor Democrats hope will weaken him with voters in District 18, which includes northern Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Although the...
Today: President Donald Trump arriving for MLK weekend at Mar-a-Lago

Today: President Donald Trump arriving for MLK weekend at Mar-a-Lago

President Donald Trump arriving at Palm Beach International Airport on Dec. 22. (Photos by Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post) President Donald Trump will arrive at Palm Beach International Airport tonight to spend the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago. Be sure to check out MyPalmBeachPost.com, PostOnPolitics.com...

Florida Senate backs higher-ed overhaul

The Florida Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to permanently expand Bright Futures merit scholarships for some 94,000 students. The legislation (SB 4) revives a higher-education initiative, known as the “Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act,” that was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year when he objected to its impact on the state college system. Most of the changes occurred in...

Florida House ready to pass ‘sanctuary city’ ban

Amid a national debate about immigration reform, the Republican-dominated Florida House is poised to approve a measure banning so-called “sanctuary cities” despite the objections of Democrats, immigrant advocates and civil rights groups. The House debated the controversial policy for hours Thursday — day three of the 2018 legislative session — an indication of its importance...
Trump administration’s Medicaid work requirement unlikely in Florida

Trump administration’s Medicaid work requirement unlikely in Florida

While the Trump administration signaled willingness this week to allow work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries, the Florida Legislature is unlikely to move ahead with such a mandate this year. House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’ Lakes, told The News Service of Florida on Wednesday that the state’s $26 billion Medicaid program is comprised mostly of children and seniors and that...

POINT OF VIEW: Energy deregulation no ‘price panacea’ for Floridians

Every few years, proponents of deregulation try to peddle the notion that Florida should do away with the protections afforded by the state’s regulated electricity system. It’s about consumer “choice,” they say… obviously “competition” means lower prices for consumers … right? Wrong. While supporters of deregulated electricity claim that competition...
Gov. Scott can throw cold water on ICE raids at 7-Elevens in Florida

Gov. Scott can throw cold water on ICE raids at 7-Elevens in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott needs to ask for one of those “Florida exemptions” from the nationally conducted immigration raids on 7-Elevens. This week, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made pre-dawn raids on 7-Eleven convenience stores in 17 states to look for undocumented immigrant workers. Of the nearly 100 stores raided, five of them were in Florida, including one in Palm...
Palm Beach County graduation rate hits new high

Palm Beach County graduation rate hits new high

Palm Beach County’s high school graduation rate jumped nearly 3 percentage points in 2017, a leap so large that it was remarkable the first time it happened in 2016 and one that now brings the county’s graduation rate to an all-time high of 85 percent, according to newly released state figures. The increase mirrors a rise to new heights at the state level, with Florida reporting an...
County leaders think Palm Beach delegation will advance local issues

County leaders think Palm Beach delegation will advance local issues

After a full day of meetings and conferences, county leaders say they’re feeling confident the Palm Beach delegation will do well in the 2018 Legislative Session. County Administrator Verdenia Baker said in her discussions with legislators on Wednesday during Palm Beach County Day that delegation members appeared eager to do their part to advance the county’s priorities, such as obtaining...
Appeals court tosses $22.4 million verdict against PBSO in shooting

Appeals court tosses $22.4 million verdict against PBSO in shooting

A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a $22.4 million verdict against the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office — the largest in the agency’s history — in connection with a 2013 shooting that left a 24-year-old West Palm Beach man paralyzed from the waist down. In a split decision, a widely divided 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial on claims by Dontrell...
House panel OKs bill to let local tourism taxes pay for roads, sewers

House panel OKs bill to let local tourism taxes pay for roads, sewers

Despite objections from parts of the tourism industry, Florida House members Wednesday began moving forward with a bill that would allow local tourist-development taxes to be used for projects such as adding roads or expanding sewer and water systems. The bill (HB 585), which was approved in a 9-4 vote by the House Tourism & Gaming Control Subcommittee, would expand the ways so-called “bed&rdquo...
Senators question Florida plan to privatize Medicaid program for kids

Senators question Florida plan to privatize Medicaid program for kids

Florida senators on Wednesday expressed concerns about plans by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to alter a Medicaid program that cares for about 80,000 medically complex children with a network of specialty physicians and care coordinators. The changes would transfer control of the program from the state to a privately run managed-care plan. Jeffrey Brosco, deputy secretary for Children&rsquo...

POINT OF VIEW: Community colleges lower-cost alternative for taxpayers

The Palm Beach Post editorial, “Senate wants to fix colleges but they’re not broken,” (Sunday ), examines a vital topic — the access to affordable education for our taxpayers and their children, and the equitable distribution of our tax monies for our benefit as citizens of Florida, not for the benefit of the university college system at the expense of the community college...
New tax law could mean lower FPL rates

New tax law could mean lower FPL rates

Across the country, electric utilities in Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon and Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have announced they will pass on their corporate income tax savings to customers in the form of lower rates. Florida’s investor-owned utilities, including Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light Co., have not made any rate-cutting announcements, and FPL officials say they are analyzing...
Trump in Palm Beach: Sweepstakes winner will dine at Mar-a-Lago with president

Trump in Palm Beach: Sweepstakes winner will dine at Mar-a-Lago with president

For just $1, you and a friend could win dinner with President Trump, his family and friends at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, Jan. 20 to celebrate the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, according to a sweepstakes contest sponsored by a Trump campaign committee. Trump Make America Great Again Committee sent an email announcing the sweepstakes on Monday, a day after public security alerts were...
Palm Beach County grad rates jump 3 percentage points, hit new high

Palm Beach County grad rates jump 3 percentage points, hit new high

Palm Beach County’s high school graduation rate jumped by nearly 3 percentage points in 2017, a leap so large that was remarkable the first time it happened in 2016 and one that brings the graduation rate in the county to an all-time high of 85 percent, according to newly released state figures. The increase mirrors a rise to new heights at the state level, with Florida reporting a overall...
LATEST: Burned Fort Pierce-area girl fighting infections, family says

LATEST: Burned Fort Pierce-area girl fighting infections, family says

Even as well-wishers continued to raise money for her family, 14-year-old Layne Chesney fought infections this week as she recovered from burns suffered in a bonfire flare-up on New Year’s Eve. Layne was at the home of a friend southwest of Fort Pierce when she picked up a can of gasoline to refresh the fire. The can exploded in her hands and covered her in flames, a St. Lucie County sheriff&rsquo...
BREAKING: Body of missing fisherman found in Lake Okeechobee

BREAKING: Body of missing fisherman found in Lake Okeechobee

Just before noon Wednesday, the relatives and friends of Nik Kayler spoke quietly among themselves and shared hugs. Hours earlier, a nearly weeklong search had ended for the 38-year-old Army veteran, husband and father, missing since he was flung overboard into the rough waves of Lake Okeechobee last Thursday during a fishing tournament. Those who had gathered somberly loaded up gear and tied down...
Editorial: Floridians must push hard to reverse Trump drilling plan

Editorial: Floridians must push hard to reverse Trump drilling plan

No, no, a thousand times no. In no way should offshore oil and gas drilling be allowed off the coast of Florida. Or off the coast of the Carolinas, California, New Jersey — or any other coastal state, for that matter. But that is what the Trump administration proposes to do, despite the states’ widespread opposition. Reversing longstanding policies upheld by both Republican and Democratic...
Boca brouhaha? Weinroth eyes same county commission race as ally Haynie

Boca brouhaha? Weinroth eyes same county commission race as ally Haynie

Boca Raton City Councilman Bob Weinroth (left) chats with Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner in Tallahassee on Tuesday night. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) TALLAHASSEE — Boca Raton City Councilman Bob Weinroth said Tuesday night he won’t seek re-election and instead plans to launch a Democratic bid for the same Palm Beach County commission...
Sex-scandal issues cloud pomp of Florida Legislature’s opening day

Sex-scandal issues cloud pomp of Florida Legislature’s opening day

On Tuesday, Florida’s outgoing Republican governor detailed a wish list costing millions while the House speaker laid down the gauntlet against tax increases. Meanwhile, the Senate president put forth a hard stance against sexual harassment just as a fresh sex-related scandal involving two members of his chamber was unfolding. The 2018 Florida Legislature officially is in session. Opening day...
Time to move Florida capital from Tallahassee? This PBC rep thinks so

Time to move Florida capital from Tallahassee? This PBC rep thinks so

A Palm Beach County representative thinks it’s time for Florida’s capital to move to new digs. A bill (HB 1335) filed by state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, would require the formation of a committee to study moving the Legislature and the offices of the governor, state attorney and chief financial officer to a location that can be accessible to more citizens. The “bureaucracy&rdquo...
House panel OKs Slosberg’s bill to toughen texting-while-driving law

House panel OKs Slosberg’s bill to toughen texting-while-driving law

With support from the House speaker, a proposal to make texting while driving a “primary” offense in Florida received unanimous support Tuesday from a House panel as the 2018 legislative session opened. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee approved the measure (HB 33), which would allow law-enforcement officers to stop vehicles when they see motorists texting behind the...
Florida senators’ affair rocks Legislature’s opening day

Florida senators’ affair rocks Legislature’s opening day

Florida Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, issued a joint statement Tuesday acknowledging that “our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret” after an anonymous website claimed the senators were “actively engaged in inappropriate extramarital activities with each other.” The website featured what appeared...
NEW: Missing fisherman’s family posts $10,000 reward for his recovery

NEW: Missing fisherman’s family posts $10,000 reward for his recovery

As the search for missing fisherman Nik Kayler entered its fifth day Tuesday, his family offered a $10,000 reward for his recovery. Authorities have said the 38-year-old Army veteran, husband and father, was flung overboard Thursday into Lake Okeechobee as he and another angler participated in the first day of the Fishing League Worldwide’s 3-day Costa Series tournament. Organizers canceled...

POINT OF VIEW: Sea-level rise increases danger of hurricane season

It’s time for actions that protect coastal communities from flooding. It’s far better to protect than recover, and far cheaper. Flooding statistics are alarming. In Florida sea-level rise has increased high-tide flooding by 400 percent in the past 10 years, while the speed of sea-level rise has tripled. This same sea-level rise raised the storm surge of Hurricane Irma 8 inches higher than...
Two Florida senators express regret after website accuses them of affair

Two Florida senators express regret after website accuses them of affair

Sens. Oscar Braynon and Anitere Flores say “our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret. We have sought the forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God.” Florida state Sens. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, and Anitere Flores, R-Miami, issued a joint statement acknowledging that &ldquo...
NEW: Stuart Publix sells Lottery ticket paying $1,000 a week for life

NEW: Stuart Publix sells Lottery ticket paying $1,000 a week for life

Two Martin County businesses sold winning tickets in Florida Lottery games on Monday, including one that will pay the player $1,000 per week for life. The Publix Super Market on Ocean Boulevard north of the Stuart Causeway sold the lone winning ticket in the state’s Cash 4 Life game. The ticket bore the numbers 3-11-44-47-58 and was a Quick Pick, meaning the lottery’s computers chose the...
Negron declares ‘zero tolerance for sexual harassment’ as Florida Senate opens

Negron declares ‘zero tolerance for sexual harassment’ as Florida Senate opens

Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, addresses the chamber at the start of the 2018 session. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) TALLAHASSEE — After two members resigned amid controversies over their sexual behavior, Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, opened the Senate’s 2018 session this morning by declaring “zero tolerance&rdquo...
Today: Past clues to watch in Rick Scott’s final State of the State speech

Today: Past clues to watch in Rick Scott’s final State of the State speech

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay (left) and Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron talk with Florida Gov. Rick Scott during an Associated Industries of Florida reception on Monday night. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) TALLAHASSEE  — Florida Gov. Rick Scott will deliver his eighth and final State of the State speech today &mdash...
Slosberg rips PBC legislative affairs director over driver’s ed funding

Slosberg rips PBC legislative affairs director over driver’s ed funding

State Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, issued a sharply worded statement Sunday criticizing a Palm Beach County staff member she says backed legislation that would have dramatically reduced funding for driver’s education programs. The criticism was unusual in targeting a staff member who typically works at the direction of the county commission or the legislative delegation itself, and it...
Wife, son of late Florida lawmaker arrested after dance floor scuffle, deputies say

Wife, son of late Florida lawmaker arrested after dance floor scuffle, deputies say

The son and wife of a late Florida U.S. representative were arrested Friday night after a scuffle began on a dance floor, news reports state. Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies said Patrick Rainey Young, the son of former Tampa Bay Rep. C.W. Bill Young, was on the dance floor at JD’s Restaurant and Lounge when he bumped into a 65-year-old man, according to records obtained by Tampa Bay...

POINT OF VIEW: 2018 session offers much to be enthusiastic about

As we kick off 2018, a message to Florida lawmakers: Don’t quit while you’re ahead. Last year, our legislators kept many New Year’s resolutions: trimming the fat from the state budget, making sure taxpayers kept more of their hard-earned money, and expanding educational opportunity for children across the state. This session, there are several proposals that would maintain the steady...
Palm Beach County officials looking for small legislative wins in 2018

Palm Beach County officials looking for small legislative wins in 2018

When the Florida Legislature convenes on Tuesday, Palm Beach County government leaders will have their fingers crossed. It might be a good practice, if the flurry of activity before the session – including the resignations of Democrat Jeff Clemens and Clearwater Republican Jack Latvala – is any indication of the ride that’s ahead. » RELATED: More Florida government news With...
Brightline allows passengers onboard for staff training exercises

Brightline allows passengers onboard for staff training exercises

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline has started letting passengers ride its trains as part of an exercise to prepare its staff for the launch of its express service this week. The company recently begun shuttling passengers along its route in a continued effort to train its customer service staff, a Brightline spokesperson said Sunday. The training exercises are expected to continue Monday and Tuesday...
Trump says he’s ‘like, really smart,’ ‘a very stable genius’

Trump says he’s ‘like, really smart,’ ‘a very stable genius’

If there were any doubt these are political times like none before, consider that the American president felt compelled Saturday to let the world know he’s playing with all his marbles and is among the sharpest cookies around. In a series of tweets, Donald Trump defended his mental fitness and boasted about brains, saying he is “like, really smart” and “a very stable genius...
Winning Fantasy 5 ticket sold near WPB; 1 ticket wins Powerball

Winning Fantasy 5 ticket sold near WPB; 1 ticket wins Powerball

WEST PALM BEACH — One of two winning Fantasy 5 lottery tickets in Saturday’s drawing was sold at a convenience store west of the city, the Florida Lottery said. The ticket was sold at Quickies Mini Mart on Collin Drive, south of Summit Boulevard and West of Congress Avenue. That ticket was a Quick Pick, meaning the lottery’s computers chose the number combination for the player....

POINT OF VIEW: Trend toward recreational use of marijuana bad for kids

1. Dope: Illegal drug: an illegal drug, especially marijuana. It’s possible for something to be acceptable by a large segment of society, even a majority, and still be wrong. And what is legal may not be moral or ethical or wise. As a nation, we are a confused bunch when it comes to consistency in this regard. And if we as adults are groping in a moral fog, it’s no wonder our children...
Editorial: Senate wants to fix state colleges, but they’re not broken

Editorial: Senate wants to fix state colleges, but they’re not broken

At the end of last year’s legislative session, Gov. Rick Scott sent a shock to Florida higher education by vetoing a bill aimed at boosting the universities’ national esteem. Scott wielded the ax because he thought the universities were being favored at the expense of the state’s community college system. Well, as it turned out, higher ed weathered that shock, and then some. The...
Praised by Trump, Ron DeSantis announces run for Florida governor

Praised by Trump, Ron DeSantis announces run for Florida governor

Backed by the Twitter praise of President Donald Trump and a finance team loaded with national heavyweights, Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis launched a 2018 bid for Florida governor on Friday. DeSantis joins well-financed Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in a GOP primary that could also include House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, who says he’ll announce his plans after...
View from within Justice Department: ‘Justice must be based on truth’

View from within Justice Department: ‘Justice must be based on truth’

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who hired and oversees special counsel Robert Mueller, has been tight-lipped about Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Forum Club of the Palm Beaches President Tony Pirozzi tried to get Rosenstein to break precedent Friday when Rosenstein appeared before 950 people...

POINT OF VIEW: Why is affordable housing unattainable in Florida?

CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly said that Gov. Scott’s 2018-19 budget recommends sweeping $154 million from the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund. That was his 2017-18 budget recommendation. Florida is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Unfortunately, our governor and state lawmakers are only making matters worse. Our state leaders continue to engage in a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul...
Rod Rosenstein discusses the rule of law at Forum Club lunch

Rod Rosenstein discusses the rule of law at Forum Club lunch

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, left, greets fellow Harvard Law alumnus Rod Rosenstein, the deputy U.S. attorney general, at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) WEST PALM BEACH — Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation...
Praised by Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis enters Florida governor race

Praised by Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis enters Florida governor race

With a virtual endorsement from President Donald Trump and a finance team packed with national heavyweights, Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is entering the 2018 race for Florida governor. “As somebody who’s a military officer, Iraq veteran, a proven conservative and then with the support of the president, I’m in a position to exercise the leadership that can build on the great...
Donald Trump looms large in Florida governor’s race

Donald Trump looms large in Florida governor’s race

Two weeks after President Donald Trump tweeted praise for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, DeSantis has entered the race for Florida governor. President Donald Trump always figured to loom large in this year’s midterm elections across the nation, and Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis‘ entry into the Florida governor’s race today confirms...
Democrat Philip Levine brings ‘purple’ message to deep-blue Palm Beach County

Democrat Philip Levine brings ‘purple’ message to deep-blue Palm Beach County

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a 2018 Democratic candidate for Florida governor, speaks to a Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee meeting in West Delray on Thursday night. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Palm Beach County Democratic activists are used to hearing a tub-thumping liberal message when candidates come through the deep-blue county seeking...
JUST IN: Boy, 14, dies after car strikes tree in Stuart

JUST IN: Boy, 14, dies after car strikes tree in Stuart

A 14-year-old Stuart boy died Wednesday from injuries he sustained when the car he was riding in crashed into a tree, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Devin Minus was pronounced dead at Martin Memorial South following the wreck on Southwest Wildcat Trail, west of Florida’s Turnpike and north of Kanner Highway. Minus was riding in a 2018 Infiniti Q50 sedan just before 4:30 p.m. when the car left...
Infamous 'poop cruise' ship gets failing grade for unsanitary conditions

Infamous 'poop cruise' ship gets failing grade for unsanitary conditions

A Carnival Cruise Lines ship has been cited by inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than two dozen violations involving unsanitary conditions.  The failing grade for the Carnival Triumph is rare for a major cruise line, the Miami Herald reported. Conditions cited by the CDC included flies in the food preparation areas; milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt not...
More Stories