KISSIMMEE — The warehouse off Florida's Turnpike is renovated and waiting. The parking lot has a fresh coat of blacktop and the building has new, blue awnings. There's even a white "C" — for Colt's Manufacturing Co. — painted above the front door.
But two years after Colt promised to bring 63 jobs to the state, the jobs are still not here, Colt officials have largely stopped talking and taxpayers are so far on the hook for about $550,000....
Brevard County's unemployment rate rose above 11 percent when NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011. Now it sits at 7 percent, and Gov. Rick Scott has millions in tax incentives on the line to take the number even lower.
Things are better on the Space Coast, and getting better still.
But in Scott's zealous quest to find more private-sector jobs, the CEO-turned-governor sometimes relies on federal and state tax money to do the heavy lifting, according to a Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald review of 342 jobs incentive deals crafted since Scott took office....
Two of Jameis Winston's teammates said they saw everything the night he was accused of sexual assault and that there was no rape.
Florida State defensive end Chris Casher, Winston's roommate, and defensive back Ronald Darby signed affidavits saying they saw the accuser willingly engage in oral and vaginal sex with Winston in the early morning hours of Dec. 7.
"From what I saw, she was a more than willing participant," Casher said in his sworn statement....
Republican representatives and senators from Orange County apparently weren't too keen on the topic of the latest delegation meeting: the Affordable Care Act.
Not one GOP lawmaker from Orlando showed up to the meeting in Orlando Monday night to discuss Obamacare. They reportedly missed a great deal of public testimony encouraging the legislature to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars to reduce the number of uninsured, according to a press release from the Oraneg County Democratic Party....
TALLAHASSEE — An attorney for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said Thursday that his client "absolutely" had consensual sex with a woman who has accused him of sexual assault.
Tim Jansen, a Tallahassee attorney, said Winston, 19, voluntarily submitted a DNA sample Nov. 14, the Associated Press reported. Jansen said in a news conference that he believes Winston, who has not been arrested or charged with a crime, will be cleared of any wrongdoing and the presence of DNA does not mean he is guilty....
Marshall Criser III starts his new job as state university system chancellor on Jan. 6, 2014.
After the Board of Governors' unanimous vote to approve him for the post, 55-year-old Criser addressed the board and outlined his vision for the 12 public universities he will oversees. He said Chancellor Frank Brogan, who stepped down in September to take a similar job in Pennsylvania, worked with the board to create a foundation Criser plans to build upon....
TALLAHASSEE — Prominent Florida businessman Marshall Criser III is making the transition to a job that speaks to his passion: higher education.
The Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved Criser as the next state university system chancellor. He starts Jan. 6.
After the vote, Criser, 55, addressed the board and outlined his vision for the 12 public universities he will oversee. He said he will build on the foundation created by Frank Brogan, who stepped down as chancellor in September to take a similar job in Pennsylvania....
The Board of Governors made it official today by unanimously approving Marshall Criser III as the next state university system chancellor.
His first day will be Jan. 6.
After the vote, 55-year-old Criser addressed the board and outlined his vision for the 12 public universities he will oversees. He said Chancellor Frank Brogan, who stepped down in September to take a similar job in Pennsylvania, worked with the board to create a foundation Criser plans to build upon....
A Tallahassee detective told an accuser's attorney that her client's life "will be made miserable" if she pursued a sexual assault case against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the woman's family said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.
The statement — released through the family's attorney, Patricia Carroll — includes the first public comments from the complainant and her family since allegations surfaced last week that the Heisman Trophy front-runner was involved in an investigation of a reported sexual assault in December 2012....
11/19/13 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — He spoke up for himself and received international attention.
On Tuesday, Davion Navar Henry Only took his story to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet to speak on behalf of all Florida teenagers looking for their forever family.
"Even though I'm going through an adoption process right now at the moment, I still hope that other kids in foster care get the benefit that I'm going to have to be adopted and to have somewhere to call home and to have a bed to call theirs," he said, shaking off his nerves as he spoke to a packed meeting....
Former House Speaker Allan Bense talked publicly about his fight against a rare autoimmune disease and relearning basic functions in this Sunday's Panama City News Herald. An excerpt:
Former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense says he’s feeling better; his weight has stabilized and he’s starting to regain control of his body — a far cry from when he "almost bought the farm a couple of times."...
Marshall Criser III, the man expected to be approved next week as the next state university system chancellor, publicly backed Common Core standards in an opinion piece published in at least two newspapers. Some excerpts:
Early in October, I was in Davie to attend one of the public hearings on education standards for Florida’s K-12 students. It was an energized room, and I was honored to speak as a citizen, parent and business leader in favor of staying the course on the Florida Standards. As a strong supporter of education in the Sunshine State, I believe that these standards are a powerful tool to make sure our young people are ready for the world and workplace that await them....
TALLAHASSEE — A search committee on Tuesday selected AT&T Florida president Marshall Criser III to become Florida's new state university system chancellor.
Criser, 55, has been the front-runner to replace former Chancellor Frank Brogan all along and now the Board of Governors will be asked to make his hiring official next week.
The committee's vote was unanimous and several board members sat in on Tuesday's interviews. The group spent about an hour each with Criser and three other finalists before comparing notes....
He was the front-runner all along, but now it's official.
A search committee tasked with finding the next head for the state university system has selected AT&T Florida president Marshall Criser III for the job. The full Board of Governors will be asked to approve the decision on Nov. 21.
It's all but a done deal. The search committee selected Criser after interviewing him and three other finalists today. During discussion about the candidates, members said that all of the finalists had good qualities but one stood out from the rest....
The Secretary of State doesn't call his plan to remove ineligible voters from the rolls a "purge" or "scrub." "List management" is Ken Detzner's preferred terminology.
But the plan is still raising the ire of Democrats, and supervisors of elections continue to express concerns. Many Democrats believe that Detzner is trying to solve an issue that doesn't exist while ignoring more pressing elections and voting issues....