CAPE TOWN, South Africa
South Africa has long been on my travel wish list, so here was a dream trip, courtesy of work.
Four nights in Johannesburg. Two days to represent PolitiFact at meetings with our partners at Africa Check, and two to chill between the 18-hour travel days.
That's not much time for a massive country with a deep history of apartheid, so I zeroed in on my top goal: visiting Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robben Island. He spent 18 years there isolated from the world, and I wanted to see where this great man suffered so senselessly....
From Mike Spies at The Trace:
By early this year, the Florida agency that oversees water quality in the Tampa Bay area seemed to have the upper hand in an acrimonious legal fight with the Skyway Trap & Skeet Club.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District, also known as Swiftmud, had sued the gun range to force it to build a barrier to prevent spent ammunition from landing in Sawgrass Lake Park, a wetland next door. Then, without warning, Swiftmud abruptly dropped the lawsuit....
From our friends at the Miami Herald:
One of the state's leading political blogger voices was arrested in Pompano Beach Saturday on attempted murder charges, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office website.
Javier Manjarres, 43, known as The Shark and whose website is called The Shark Tank, was taken into custody Saturday morning and charged with attempted murder with a gun and burglary of a conveyance with battery, the website shows. He is being held without bond....
Times columnist John Romano with a terrific column this morning after Tuesday's Florida primary. An excerpt:
Donald Trump arrived in Florida on a roll, and he left with a pocketful of delegates. Meanwhile, a popular former governor didn't even make it to the starting line, and a once-promising senator got poll-slapped....
Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald has this good get:
Marco Rubio isn't the only one hungry for results from Tuesday's Florida primary.
Our election season has Hungry Like the Wolf pop/rocker John Taylor of Duran Duran hooked.
"It's last-chance café for Rubio to get any kind of result, isn't it?" Taylor said in an interview with the Miami Herald to promote his group's concert April 1 at Bayfront Park....
Sarah Palin was supposed to spend a second day stumping for Donald Trump in Florida, with a planned rally in The Villages Monday.
But word just arrived that the noon event had been canceled.
A second notice received later from the Trump campaign said Palin's husband, Todd, had been injured in a "bad snow machine accident" on Sunday night and had to be hospitalized. Palin was on her way back to Alaska to be with him, the statement said....
Donald Trump is holding a town hall at 2 p.m. today at the Tampa Convention Center, but the action is already heating up in the streets of downtown Tampa with protesters and supporters alike.
We have reporters inside and outside the convention center, but to stay atop all the news, follow our live blog....
The 2016 Florida legislative session is in the books and if you missed all the action for some reason, we've got you covered.
Every year, the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau compiles a scorecard of legislation so you can easily see what happened to that issue you forgot to follow.
Here we go. Enjoy....
Marco Rubio is headed back to the Tampa Bay area, scheduling a rally Saturday morning in Largo "to share his optimistic vision for the 21st century with Florida voters."
Details from the release:
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Pinellas County Rally With Marco
When: 9:00am ET, March 12, 2016. Doors open at 8:00am ET.
Where: Beckwith Electric, 6190 118th Avenue, Largo, FL 33773...
Bikers for Trump members rallied Sunday at the High Octane Saloon in Homosassa and Times photographer Douglas R. Clifford was there. Click on the link to see video and more photos from the event organized by Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Florida's 2016 legislative session opens Tuesday, and the Tampa Bay Times is presenting its annual "For A Better Florida" preview of issues facing the Legislature.
From first-person essays about guns to an analysis of the five reforms that could improve how Tallahassee works, we've got you covered. Hear what insiders think, read our columnists and learn about water, education, health and business policy:...
From our friends at the Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A Florida man who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol as a political protest says he will run for the congressional seat held by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
Douglas Hughes, a Democrat from Ruskin, said earlier this month that he intended to run for Congress but only indicated he would challenge a South Florida Democrat. In a court filing Wednesday, he says he will run in Florida's 23rd District, which Wasserman Schultz represents....
Times staff writer Hanna Marcus covered Rep. David Jolly's event today:
When Michael Rieker didn't get his check from the office of Veterans Affairs in November, he called to try to fix the issue.
Then he realized he had a bigger problem than a late check: The VA thought he was dead.
"I actually spent five minutes on the phone arguing with (the VA) that I was alive," Rieker said....
The Miami Herald's Daniel Chang brings us this interesting story:
A Coral Gables-based health insurance company and dozens of its employees are the latest casualties of a Republican-led legislative gambit in 2014 to undermine the Affordable Care Act — a maneuver for which presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has taken credit on the campaign trail.
Preferred Medical Plan filed notice on Wednesday that the private insurance company intends to lay off 162 employees in February, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity....
The Florida Senate provided a rare photo this morning of what was an extraordinary moment Wednesday after nearly four years of political warfare over who the 2016 Senate President will be. Lots to see in this photo, including Times bureau chief Steve Bousquet in the press gallery. Read the story....