In The News Today – December 30, 2015

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FLORIDA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

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Florida Today: Palm Bay City Hall turnover claims 12 officials in 2015

PALM BAY — As 2015 draws to a close, a dozen key Palm Bay City Hall officials boasting nearly 233 years of combined experience have left their posts this year as a new management team settles in.

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NPR: Privacy Violations Rising At Veterans Affairs Medical Facilities

When Anthony McCann opened a thick manila envelope from the Department of Veterans Affairs last year, he expected to find his own medical records inside.

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The Gainesville Sun:  Special magistrate sides with UF faculty union

The University of Florida’s push for pre-eminence should have the administration offering more substantial faculty raises, a special magistrate says.

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NWF Daily News: Destin officials cleared of credit card misuse (DOCUMENT)

Two Destin elected officials and three city employees have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing regarding their use of city-issued credit cards.

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Washington Post: As college sports revenues spike, coaches aren’t only ones cashing in

For years, the highest-paid public employees in many states have been football and men’s basketball coaches at state universities. But as big-time college sports revenues have nearly doubled over the past decade, coaches are far from the only ones cashing in.

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Inside Higher Ed: Limit on Free Speech

Appeals court rules U of Hawaii was justified in denying student teaching experience to man who was qualified academically but whose statements about adult-child sex and on students with disabilities alarmed professors.

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The State: Supreme Court set to decide politically charged cases in 2016

WASHINGTON — As the nation heads into a presidential election year, the Supreme Court is set to decide a half-dozen politically charged cases in 2016 on such topics as abortion, affirmative action, contraceptives and immigration.

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WWSB: Pictures Surface Over Alleged Inhumane Activity at Manatee County Animal Services

Manatee County Animal Services is coming under fire. Shocking photos have surfaced of the room where animals are put down at the facility.

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Huffington Post: The 2015 SCOTUS Awards: A Look Back at the Highs, Lows and Yearly Shenanigans of the Supreme Court

Attention, fans of law and celebrity culture: It’s that time of year when–in keeping with the grand Truthdig tradition inaugurated last December–we hand out our annual SCOTUS Awards to the men and women who staff our nation’s most powerful judicial tribunal.

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Mass Transit Mag: FL: Tourism, Downtown Groups Urge Progress on Go Hillsborough Plan

Without a better transportation system, tourism in the Tampa area is likely to shrink from its current record levels and the region will lose its capacity to draw businesses to the urban core, according to two groups that promote economic development.

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NBC 6 News: 1 Killed in Shooting at Student Housing Complex Near Florida Atlantic University

A 19-year-old male victim died from his injuries after being shot twice in the torso, according to Boca Police Chief Dan Alexander. The victim’s name has not been released. He was transported to Delray Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

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Orlando Sentinel: Central Florida tornado outbreaks possible with El Niño patterns, experts urge preparedness

Central Florida governments are bracing for turbulent El Niño weather patterns over the next few months and are urging residents to be prepared.

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USA Today: Florida manatees could lose ‘endangered’ status

MELBOURNE, Fla. — The sea cow morphed into a sacred cow of sorts over the past half century. But Florida’s most iconic creature could soon flop down a peg from the status it’s held since America’s original list of endangered species was created in 1967.

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Palm Beach Post: Florida bill would preserve bear habitats, reduce conflicts

The bills came after the state held a controversial bear-hunting season this falland amid concerns about potentially dangerous interactions between bears and humans in residential areas.

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New York Post: Two arrested for Florida drive-by shooting that killed 7-year-old

MIAMI – A Florida teen accused of firing the shots during a drive-by shooting that killed a 7-year-old boy surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, Miami-Dade police said.

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WJXT: Florida Bar investigates 2 Jacksonville prosecutors

The Florida Times-Union reports the nine-member panel is reviewing complaints against assistant state attorneys Peter Overstreet and Erin Wolfson. They handled the case of a man who spent 19 months in jail despite questions about his guilt that were raised more than a year before he was released.

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Palm Beach Post: Will Florida’s 2016 bounty of cash cover all Florida leaders’ wants?

For starters, the Republican governor and his fellow GOP leaders in the Legislature are divided over the size of the state’s budget surplus, with Scott arguing that $1.6 billion extra is available — more than double what lawmakers think could be spent responsibly in the year ahead.

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Politico: Land-buying dispute, Buffett and Bondi: An environment-policy review of 2015

TALLAHASSEE — Florida environmentalists were riding high going into 2015 after 75 percent of voters supported the water and land conservation ballot initiative called Amendment 1.

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