In The News Today – February 16, 2016

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FLORIDA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

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AL:  6,200 without power, several houses destroyed by tornado in Escambia County, Florida

A tornado cut through Escambia County and may have cut into southern Alabama Monday afternoon. Assessments are still underway, but officials say the damage so far is quite extensive.

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ABC: Thousands of Blacktip Sharks Clog the Coastline of Florida in Palm Beach County

People aren’t the only ones heading to Florida for warmer weather. Over 10,000 sharks have situated themselves just off the Palm Beach County coastline for the winter, although further north than usual.

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Palm Beach Post: Enviros claim Legislature misapplying land conservation amendment

TALLAHASSEE — Environmental groups contend that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is again snubbing voters who want the state to purchase conservation land.

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Sun Sentinel: Severe weather across South Florida; Broward tornado warning ends

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning that includes a large portion of southwest Broward.  It is scheduled to remain in effect until 8 a.m.

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Sun Sentinel:Florida lawmakers leave gay marriage ban on books

It’s been more than a year since same-sex marriages became legal in Florida, but a state law banning the unions is still on the books, and a proposal to repeal it seems doomed.

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WSVN: Florida voters prepare for upcoming presidential primary

MIAMI (WSVN) — The Florida primary is a month away and the elections department is making some changes to help make the process go smoother.

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CBS: 2016 Python Challenge in Florida better than last time

Researchers believe tens of thousands of pythons may be slithering through the Everglades, decimating native mammal populations. They’ve been known to grow up to 18 feet in length in Florida. Some experts believe pet owners released their Burmese into the wild when the snakes grew too big.

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WFTV: Impressive tornado caught on video in northern Florida.

Just after 6 p.m. this evening a confirmed tornado, touched down near the Florida-Alabama border in McDavid, Florida.Watch Video here, courtesy Breaking Disaster

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WSVN: Bill Clinton stumps for Hillary in South Florida

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — Former president Bill Clinton made the case for his wife as the next commander in chief at a rally in Palm Beach County, Monday, one of the three campaign stops he made during his South Florida visit.

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WTSP: Multiple DUIs and still driving very common in Florida

Luis Moralez doesn’t just blame Allison Huffman for killing his friend and employee Roger Perez-Barroto.  He blames the system that allows Huffman to keep driving.

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WTSP: Are transgender bathroom policies coming to schools?

On Tuesday, a controversial topic will take center stage in Sarasota County. School district leaders will consider allowing transgender students to use the bathroom they identify with at school. It’s a story that has people fired up on both sides and 10News WTSP learned soon you could see more local school

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WESH: Hit-and-run crashes an epidemic in Central Florida, troopers say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —State troopers are calling the recent rash of hit-and-run crashes in Florida an epidemic.

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ALTERNET: Billionaire-Funded Charter School Juggernaut Hits Roadblock in Los Angeles

Over the past decade and longer, there has been a massively funded effort by the wealthiest people in America to replace public education and elected school boards with a privatized charter-school system. Walmart’s Walton Family Foundation justcommitted an additional $1 billion to the cause.

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Florida Today: Brevard public schools earn an “A” from state

Brevard Public Schools received an “A” grade from the state in an accountability report released Friday.

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POLITICO: Business groups enlist Legislature to preempt local environmental regs

TALLAHASSEE — From foam plates to plastic bags, fertilizer to fracking, business and industry groups are finding a way to thwart local environmental regulations by going to the Legislature for relief.

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POLITICO: State insurance department approves Aetna-Humana deal, with conditions

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Monday issued aconsent order approving Aetna’s application to acquire Humana Health Insurance Company of Florida, Inc. and its Florida holdings including Humana Medical Plan, Inc., Careplus Health Plans, Inc., and CompBenefits Company.

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