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Florida News

  1. Toll lanes booming across Florida

    Roads

    In the next decade, Florida's biggest cities will add toll lanes to the state's busiest highways. Nobody knows exactly how much it will cost. Maybe as little as $3 billion. Maybe double that.

    A nine-mile stretch of the Veterans Expressway, from Memorial Highway to Dale Mabry in Tampa, is part of a project that will include adding lanes and other infrastructure improvements, scheduled to open in 2016 (first phase) and 2017 (second phase).  
[JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]
  2. With black vote crucial in Florida governor's race, Charlie Crist hopes to ignite support

    State Roundup

    JACKSONVILLE

    Mary Wilkerson is aware there's a governor's race on the November ballot, but "it's not on my radar,'' says the 60-year-old from Jacksonville.

    Former Gov. Charlie Crist speaks with Betty Reese at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church last Sunday in St. Petersburg. Crist has been making the rounds to black churches across the state in his attempt to retake the Governor’s Mansion.
  3. GOP consultant says 'integrity' of court is at stake over redistricting

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — One of Florida's top Republican political consultants stopped short of accusing the state Supreme Court of lacking "integrity" Friday if it rules that he must disclose emails in a case brought under the state's new anti-gerrymanding laws.

  4. Very early voting starts as wave of Florida ballots go overseas

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Just more than six weeks before Election Day, some voters are already casting ballots and helping to elect Florida's next governor.

    Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer tweeted this picture Friday with the message: “Ballots ready to be shipped off to our overseas military. Proud to serve those who serve.”
  5. Complaint against Gov. Rick Scott over on-duty police at Tampa event gets dismissed

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A state elections panel has tossed out a highly publicized complaint filed against Florida Gov. Rick Scott over the presence of on-duty police at a July campaign event in Tampa.

  6. Water park offers Florida residents unlimited ticket deal

    Florida

    As long as this heat keeps lingering, we can appreciate the deal Wet 'n Wild Orlando water park is offering Florida residents: For $36 (already $20 less than admission) you can have unlimited visits to the water slides through Dec. 31. The park this year debuted the new Aqua Drag Racer, Florida's tallest and fastest …

    A rendering of the new ride coming to Wet 'n Wild this summer, the Aqua Drag Racer.
  7. Thrasher's political links with billionaire Kochs questioned

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — One of the latest lines of attack against state Sen. John Thrasher becoming Florida State University's next president: Tying him to the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers.

    State Sen. John Thrasher  has received donations from the Libertarian Koch brothers, including $1,000 to his campaign in 2012 and another $1,000 in February.
  8. Tiny Florida town of Bell copes with mass killing (w/video)

    Crime

    BELL — It was hard enough for the adults in this tiny North Florida town to make sense of the mass killing that jolted their community Thursday.

    Gilchrist County Schools superintendent Robert Rankin, left, and Sheriff Robert Schultz, center, greet students outside Bell Elementary before the start of classes Friday morning. Four of the children killed in Thursday's shootings attended Bell Elementary. [Associated Press]
  9. White House, Democratic Party offer defense of embattled chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    National

    WASHINGTON — The White House and the Democratic National Committee offered detailed defenses of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday after the South Florida lawmaker was shredded in a prominent story about her tenure as head of the party organization.

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  10. Howl-O-Scream drops some props in wake of beheadings

    Florida

    With international horrors far more disturbing than any zombie horde, Busch Gardens is removing some props from Howl-O-Scream after complaints about severed heads at its sister park in Virginia.

    Howl-O-Scream has always been graphic, but props of severed heads at Busch Gardens’ sister park in Virginia drew complaints recently.