FAC News Clips – January 23, 2018
Fara Megargee took over caring for the three dozen cats in Sun Lake Village Estates in Sharpes, after their previous caregiver, who'd been feeding them for years, died just before Hurricane Irma. Now, more than three months after contacting the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office's Animal Services division, the agency has trapped only a few of the cats in her neighborhood, bringing them right back to the same spot. "Some of them are a little skittish, but they are friendly cats," Megargee said, referring to the cats she feeds daily. "They would be adoptable."
MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows Madison County is the poorest county in Florida. Madison County looks like any main street around the country. And it is, however, in Florida, this county is the poorest in the Sunshine State. According to the United States Census Bureau, the level of education is a key factor into determining the rankings. The study adds, that those with a college education are more likely to secure higher paying jobs. In Madison County, only 12 percent of adults have at least a bachelor's degree.
TALLAHASSEE — A bill designed to stem the epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses was approved Monday by a House committee, despite objections from some doctors that a provision limiting the length of some prescriptions is impractical. The bill, HB 21, would require more reporting to the state opioid prescription database and provides funding to expand the database to work with other states so physicians can prevent doctor shopping across state lines. It also increases reporting requirements for pain management clinics to state health agencies.
The Republican-led Congress has turned the work of the president's opioid commission into a "charade" and a "sham," a member of the panel told CNN. "Everyone is willing to tolerate the intolerable -- and not do anything about it," said former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who was one of six members appointed to the bipartisan commission in March. "I'm as cynical as I've ever been about this stuff." President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a 90-day public health emergency in October, but did not make any new funding available. In November the president said he would donate his third quarter salary to the Department of Health and Human Services to help fight the crisis.
ABC Action News
HOLIDAY, Fla. — A fix could soon be on the way for some Pasco County communities plagued by flooding. FEMA is allocating millions of dollars for the trouble spots. Yanni Lorentzos says his neighborhood in Holiday floods all the time. “I just feel bad for the elderly people here that have to drive. I feel really bad for them so I try to help them as much as I can.” He says it’s easy to see what the problem is — not enough drainage. “There’s a lot of ditches everywhere and it doesn’t want to go anywhere and that’s not good.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
One of the more appealing aspects of living in Florida is that it is such a diverse state, geographically and culturally. The Panhandle has little in common with Central Florida, which is quite different from South Florida. The old saying about the Sunshine State — “The farther south you go, the further North you are” — rings true to this day. So why are so many lawmakers in the Capitol intent on treating Florida as a homogeneous entity? Continuing a trend that has gained steam in recent years, the Legislature this session is considering several bills that would strip counties and municipalities of their ability to govern themselves.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to sign off next week on a proposed 2018-2019 budget, with the spending plan going to the full House the following week, Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, said Monday. Subcommittees will discuss their portions of the budget this week, with a proposed spending plan released Friday. The Appropriations Committee then will take up the plan Jan. 31, with the full House considering it the following week.
News Service of Florida
A further reduction in a business-lease taxes, lifting sales taxes on diapers and aircraft and holding sales-tax “holidays” were among proposals that a key House committee heard Monday as lawmakers start to put together a tax-cut package for the coming year. The measures presented to the House Ways & Means Committee had already been submitted as individual bills and, if all were approved, would well exceed the $180 million in tax and fee cuts requested by Gov. Rick Scott. Ways & Means Chairman Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, was quick to say not all of the proposals would advance. He also said other measures —- such as Scott’s proposal to decrease fees on motorists —- may not need much vetting.
After Florida legalized medical marijuana, dispensaries have popped up all over the state. Action News Jax has been reporting on local government's efforts to regulate them, or even keep them out entirely. One argument against the dispensaries is they may hurt property values and affect neighborhood safety. To determine if this is true, Action News Jax investigated police service calls near Jacksonville's two dispensaries -- Trulieve and Knox.
Central Florida’s real estate map of wealth reshaped has this year with a vacation home that rents for $33,000 a week and a mansion purchased by the politically connected co-founder of Full Sail University. Southwest of Orlando in Reunion, the top-dollar vacation retreat boasts its own water park, rooftop pool and bowling alley. With room for three dozen overnight guests, the house has a game room, home theater, sports courts and multiple kitchens. It is the first vacation rental to land on MansionQuest’s fifth annual list of the 100 highest-valued residences, with houses valued at $5 million to $10 million in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties.