In The News Today – December 22, 2015

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WPLG: Miami-Dade police officers honored for saving bailiff’s life

The bailiff collapsed in the courthouse lobby Dec. 10, suffering from heart failure. Luckily, the officers were able to revive him.


WPXI: Employees surprised with Christmas bonuses worth thousands of dollars

in Tampa, Florida, a business surprised its employees with a special bonus: stock options valued between $7,000 and $56,000.


STAT: Florida crackdown on pill mills drives down opioid overdose deaths

Fewer people in Florida are dying from opioid overdose after the state passed laws making it more difficult for patients to get the drugs and federal authorities arrested dozens of individuals involved in “pill mills,” according to a study published Monday in the American Journal of Public Health.


WPEC: Florida governor gives state workers Christmas Eve off

This is the third time Scott has given state workers Christmas Eve off. Last year, employees had the day after Christmas off. In 2011 state employees received Dec. 23 off since Christmas Eve fell on a weekend.


WGCU: 100,000 In FL Must Find New Plans

Two insurers – Cigna and Preferred Medical Plan – aren’t offering plans on the Florida health care exchange in 2016, forcing more than 100,000 Floridians to shop for new coverage.


KOMO News: Street gangs migrate from drugs to white-collar crimes

These aren’t members of an organized Mafia or band of hackers. They’re street crews and gangs netting millions in white-collar schemes like identity theft and credit card fraud — in some instances, giving up the old ways of making an illicit income in exchange for easier crimes with shorter sentences.


Tampa Bay Times: Florida teachers union says new ‘Best and Brightest’ bonus program discriminates

Florida’s Best and Brightest teacher scholarship program had its critics from the moment it became law last summer.


ABC News: Man Dies After Being Shot by Deputy in Florida

Sheriff Ben Johnson says when deputies arrived, Teter pulled a gun on the deputies. According to Johnson, Teter was told to put the gun down but he refused. He was then shot three times.


Climate Central: Florida’s Record Warm 2015 an Outlier in U.S. East

Florida stuck out like a sore thumb on U.S. temperature maps this year, the lone bright orange spot in the sea of blue that dominated the eastern half of the country for most of the year. And after particularly sultry November weather that has bled into December, it is likely to see its hottest year on record — the only state east of the Mississippi River to do so.


Tampa Bay Times: Florida lags as other states make progress in prison and sentencing reforms

TALLAHASSEE — As other states reformed their criminal justice systems in the past year to reduce their prison populations, update their sentencing laws and establish new programs for the re-entry of offenders, Florida remained on the sidelines, according to a new report from the bipartisan U.S. Justice Action Network.


PR NewsWire: Census Bureau Releases 2014 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll Data

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Census Bureau today released statistics from the 2014Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll, which provides a comprehensive look at the number of state and local government civilian employees and their gross payrolls. The survey is the only data source that specifies employment by government function for state and local governments; some of these functions include education, police protection, hospitals, corrections and natural resources.


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