12/19/14 State Roundup
Less than three weeks before his second-term inauguration, Gov. Rick Scott is crowing that he has accomplished a goal he initially said could take seven years, despite the fact he isn't even halfway to what he actually promised.
Scott and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said Friday that as of November, the state had added 715,700 private-sector jobs since December 2010, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data....
12/10/14 Pop Culture
China's video game console ban may be over, but publishers are lining up to offer more and more Western wares via PC and mobile devices.
The latest company to follow the trend is 2K Games, which announced this week they would be releasing Borderlands Online, an MMO adaptation of Gearbox's Mad Max-inspired shoot 'n' loot series, according to MMOCulture.com. Shanda Games will be publishing the title, created in cooperation with 2K and Gearbox, Kotaku reported. The support team will be based in Shanghai to help with a launch sometime in 2015....
11/25/14 Pop Culture
It's been a year since the new wave of video game consoles was fully unleashed on the world, and so far there seems to be one thing in common: If you want a good multiplayer experience, stick with the last generation.
But don't blame the hardware makers so much, because it's the software that's not playing nice.
The news as of late is that 343 Industries has been apologizing profusely for the ruinous matchmaking on its recently released, high-def redux of the Halo saga....
While everyone waits to see if former Gov. Jeb Bush announces an intention to run for president in 2016, PolitiFact Florida revisits its fact-checks about him.
The site has written 17 items about Bush since 2010, on topics ranging from education to immigration to the economy. He’s earned four True ratings, six Mostly Trues, two Half Trues, four Mostly Falses and one Pants on Fire....
11/16/14 State Roundup
Floridians turned down a state constitutional amendment for medical marijuana, but it's clear that a majority of voters were all for the idea.
Amendment 2, which would have changed the state's Constitution to allow the sale of cannabis for "certain medical conditions," such as cancer and Parkinson's disease, rang up 57.6 percent of the vote. Unfortunately for the measure's supporters, amendments require at least 60 percent approval to pass....
11/07/14 Pop Culture
There's been more and more research that shows video games can help keep your brain younger, improve your mental flexibility and even give you a boost after a stroke, but here's a story that you're sure to remember.
A poster on Reddit, whom Kotaku has identified as Brittany Levasseur, recounted a story last week about her husband, Eric. It seems Eric has had seven brain surgeries over the last year, including having portions of his brain removed and a section of his skull replaced with a titanium plate....
11/07/14 Pop Culture
It's been a long time since video-game consoles offered anything to frighten us — except for the price tags.
It's great to realize, then, that the latest generation of consoles have worked very hard to bolster my faith in software that scares.
Survival horror as a genre was on life support until the most recent wave. The trend of spooky games apparently reached its zenith with September 2001's Silent Hill 2, and really hasn't offered anything new that worked the way it was supposed to since December 2001's Fatal Frame (a fourth sequel hit Japan this year and is headed to Wii U, meaning no one will ever play it). ...
While the Crist campaign pointed to hourlong waits and equipment problems in Broward County, Tampa Bay had a busy but smooth day at polling places.
Supervisors of elections in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties all reported good turnout in their precincts. The only hiccup in Hillsborough happened when two polling places serving three precincts in Seffner lost electricity temporarily Tuesday morning. Voting continued with scanners operating on backup batteries until power was restored....
With mere days to go in this year's gubernatorial campaign, PolitiFact Florida has all but exhausted a seemingly endless supply of campaign ads, fliers, mailers, YouTube videos, debates, interviews and more in this year's gubernatorial race between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist.
To guide you home, the site has compiled the best of more than 80 fact-checks from the past year. PolitiFact looked at money issues, jobs, negative attacks and campaign promises. Take your time and check the Truth-O-Meter ratings on some of the biggest statements here....
10/26/14 State Roundup
Candidates in this year's gubernatorial race have launched so many attacks against each other, it's hard to keep them all straight. Even the candidates themselves seem to be having problems.
During the Oct. 21 CNN debate in Jacksonville, Democrat Charlie Crist seemed to mix his talking points when it came to insurance rates.
"We haven't had a hurricane in eight years and your property insurance rates have gone through the roof. Now why is that? I'll tell you why," he said. "It is because Rick Scott is not letting the department of insurance regulate insurance. He actually signed a bill last year that said that the Department of Insurance Regulation cannot regulate insurance."...
10/22/14 State Roundup
To hear Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist tell it, the 2014 gubernatorial campaign isn't about policy positions, but more about which candidate did less as governor.
Take the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. No, really, someone should take it, because neither governor did. Now each is berating the other for it.
"He will not lift a finger to get Medicaid expansion done," Crist said during Tuesday's CNN debate in Jacksonville. ...
60,000 jobs for high-speed rail? No
The statement: Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail would have created 60,000 jobs.
Charlie Crist, during a debate Tuesday night
Gov. Rick Scott refused $2.4 billion in federal funds for a proposed Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed line when he first came into office in 2011, joining several other Republican governors in rejecting federal stimulus money. But would it have created 60,000 jobs? By the Florida Department of Transportation's own estimates, the project would have created about 50,000 jobs — 23,600 direct jobs, like construction, and 26,300 indirect jobs, like those created for equipment suppliers. So right away, claiming 60,000 jobs is highballing the state's estimate. But even the 50,000-job figure is fuzzy. FDOT calculated jobs in "job-years," which refers to the number of jobs that will be funded each year. The best way to look at the rail project is to say that it would have employed directly or indirectly 6,200 workers in 2011, 21,600 workers in 2012, 18,900 workers in 2013, 2,100 workers in 2014. About 600 permanent workers would be needed to keep the rail running and about 500 spinoff jobs would have been created. That's a far cry from 60,000 jobs. We rate the statement False....
When it comes to discussing the Greenlight Pinellas mass transit initiative, two things are certain: Taxes and citizens complaining about taxes.
If the measure passes on Election Day, the county's sales tax would go up 1 cent. So an opposition group has made the alleged unfairness of it all a cornerstone of its campaign. No Tax for Tracks, a grass roots group opposed to Greenlight Pinellas, said in an email to voters that not only is the switch from a property tax for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to an increased sales tax unfair, it's going to last forever....
PolitiFact Florida is ramping up the Truth-O-Meter heading into the first gubernatorial debate of the election on Friday in Miramar.
The candidates, who are battling for the Hispanic vote ahead of the Nov. 4 election, will face questions at Telemundo’s studio at 11 a.m., and the debate will air at 7 p.m. The candidates will answer questions in English, and the station will translate into Spanish....
Florida's three attorney general candidates highlighted stark differences in their views on issues ranging from Obamacare to gambling and medical marijuana during a televised debate Monday, but incumbent Pam Bondi didn't commit on the issue of the day — gay marriage.
After the U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear appeals from five states seeking to prevent gay marriage, Bondi hedged when asked how her office will handle a U.S. District Court judge's decision to overturn Florida's ban on same-sex marriage. The Attorney General's Office previously has defended the ban on the state and federal levels and has appealed the district judge's decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta....