Sunday, February 22, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - February 22, 2009

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-Second legal opinions for South Florida Water Management District costly for taxpayers
By Andy Reid
Even with 27 full-time lawyers already at hand, the South Florida Water Management District's board prefers to have an extra attorney of its own for costly, just-in-case second opinions. In recent years, that has meant flying in an attorney from Miami and paying him $3,500 a day to sit in on monthly meetings - even though there is a floor full of lawyers available at the district's headquarters west of West Palm Beach.,0,3621094.story

-Huge project to expand Interstate 595 in Broward County to begin this summer
More lanes, safer ramps, new jobs: Construction will begin this summer on massive project to accommodate traffic growth
By Michael Turnbell,0,4075837.story

Fort Report
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-Candidates featured at gay, lesbian caucus
North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, who recently announced his run for the U.S. Senate, courted about 80 people at the first gathering of a state gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democratic group in Southwest Florida.

-It's Crist vs. Jindal on 'Meet the Press'
By Adam C. Smith
In this corner, Charlie Crist, carrying 27 electoral votes and sky-high approval ratings among moderate, independent voters. In that corner, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar and darling of conservatives, who see him as one of the brightest young lights in the GOP.

-Hundreds of people waiting for housing applications are sent home as process is abruptly shut down
By Andrew Ba Tran
Thousands of people seeking government-subsidized housing packed the street Saturday morning in front of the Robert P. Kelly Housing Authority Building until police shut down the line because the crowd had grown unmanageable.,0,1202986.story?track=rss

-How dogs, dirt take priority over education
College students may think of themselves as dirt poor, but in Florida they're regarded as less than dirt. Fill dirt, unlike students, remains a sacred commodity in Florida, among the 239 items that the state Legislature has decreed too essential to our way of life to be squeezed for new revenue. Just as dry cleaning is exempt from the state's 6 percent sales tax. Or religious bric-a-brac. Or doggie manicures. Or Super Bowl tickets. Or haircuts. Or photo finishing. Or newspaper subscriptions. Or state flags (from any state).

-Virtual schools become an option for students
By Christopher O'Donnell
Starting this summer, all Florida school districts will be required by law to set up virtual schools for kindergartners through eighth-graders.


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