Florida Politics

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh tests positive for COVID-19

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh has tested positive for COVID-19. Singh began to feel ill Monday, was tested Tuesday, and received a positive result on Thursday, according to his spokesperson Beth Watson. “He is feeling better,” Watson said of Singh’s most recent status. Singh, who is normally quite active in the community and is …

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White House forces reporters to ditch social distancing

The White House abandoned social distancing for reporters attending President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden event Friday because “it looks better,” according to the aide who ordered it. Seats for reporters at recent White House events had been placed 6 feet apart to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. But shortly before Friday’s event, Trump …

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LA Galaxy releases player after wife’s ‘racist and violent’ social media posts

Aleksandar Katai has been released by Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy after a series of social media posts by his wife, Tea. The Galaxy announced their decision to “mutually part ways” with their new Serbian winger Friday in a one-sentence news release. Tea Katai made the posts on her Instagram story earlier this week, and …

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Cop who allegedly crushed George Floyd to death voted in Orange County

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was charged with the May 25 murder of Floyd George now is being accused of illegally voting in Orange County. Chauvin is registered as a Republican voter in Orange County, at a home he keeps in Windermere, Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said Friday. Chauvin voted …

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54 counties’ vacation rental safety plans approved ahead of first June weekend

Entering the first weekend in June, the state business regulatory agency has approved the vacation rental safety plans for 54 counties, paving the way for more guests to visit the Sunshine State. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) approved four counties’ safety plans this week, adding Broward, Hendry, Miami-Dade and Suwannee counties to …

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Embattled domestic violence agency sues insurers

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is suing two insurers, asking a court to force the companies to cover costs resulting from state lawsuits against the embattled domestic-violence agency because of allegedly “exorbitant” executive compensation. Hanover Insurance Co. and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America each issued one-year policies to the coalition effective Dec. …

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‘High Times’ for booming Florida cannabis space

A big name is coming into Florida’s medical marijuana market. High Times, the venerable cannabis magazine, has launched a retail arm, and intends to launch businesses in Florida soon, pending regulatory approval. In California, that came via a deal with Harvest, which has six Florida stores. A press release from High Times was long on …

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Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez comments on monorail project raise ethics questions

Comments from Commissioner Joe Martinez at a Tuesday County Commission meeting show he appears to have violated the county’s “cone of silence” rules barring certain communication between commissioners and potential vendors. At issue is a mass transit project connecting Miami and Miami Beach. Last year, Miami-Dade received an unsolicited bid from a company called Genting …

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Stillborn babies charity head charged with defrauding donors

The head of a Florida-based charity misappropriated money that was meant to buy cradles for stillborn babies to help grieving families, authorities said Thursday. Lori Marie Esteve, 53, was arrested earlier this week in Lakeland and charged with scheming to defraud and three other felonies, according to a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services …

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