Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Les Neuhaus

Les Neuhaus has 78 articles published.

Les Neuhaus is an all-platform journalist, with specialties in print reporting and writing. In addition to Florida Politics, he freelances as a general-assignment and breaking-news reporter for most of the major national daily newspapers, along with a host of digital media, and a human rights group. A former foreign correspondent across Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, Les covered a multitude of high-profile events in chronically-unstable nations. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which he served as a Security Policeman, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in political science. He is a proud father to his daughter and enjoys spending time with his family.

Legislation would improve career education standards

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A new bill would analyze career education standards and make suggestions to improve Florida’s job training programs, according to the lawmaker who proposed it Thursday. Rep. Al Jacquet, who sponsored HB 517, said it would create a new committee within the Department of Education to strengthen the state education system and help ensure Floridians would have an opportunity to gain the skills they need to in order to provide a better living for themselves and their families. “Access to quality…

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Emails continue to hound Andrew Gillum; fundraising invitation among newest trove

in 2017 by

A slowly simmering email kerfuffle is turning into a close-to-uncomfortably hot scandal for Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who announced his candidacy for Florida governor in 2018 last month. Another email has been unearthed revealing he used state equipment as a means for campaigning, which is an ethics violation in the state of Florida. The email in question invited a host of people to a Florida Democratic fundraiser, according to The Tallahassee Democrat. “Last month, the city of Tallahassee turned over 60…

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Documentary on Florida’s troubled foster care system draws big St. Pete crowd

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A new film focusing on Florida’s troubled foster care system drew a large crowd at a screening in Gulfport Wednesday night. ‘Foster Shock’ is a documentary highlighting the ills of the state’s child welfare system showed how a government body had completely turned over the responsibility and care of children to contracted, for-profit companies, who, in turn, contract out the work to other companies, exposing minors to dangers such as violence, drugs, sex trafficking and criminalization. Directed by Mari Frankel…

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Bay Pines VA Center recognized for work with LGBTQ community

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A leading global human rights organization is honoring Bay Pines VA Healthcare System as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” among nearly 600 hospitals participating in a national survey. A representative for the facility, officially known as the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, announced the award Wednesday. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights organization, based their findings in the 10th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), reflecting…

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2015 redux? House committee hotly debates, passes redistricting reform

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Legislation intended as a “what if’ scenario for potential snags in future political redistricting received a fair amount of blowback from several House committee members. Nevertheless, the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee passed the bill Wednesday. HB 953, sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, received a thorough level of skepticism and interrogation due to a knee-jerk reaction to the proposal’s context: legislative redistricting and Congressional reapportionment. “It really just asks the courts to speed up the process as the law…

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Clearwater teacher arrested on 10 counts child pornography

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A sixth-grade math and science teacher at a Clearwater school was arrested Tuesday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography, according to police. Largo police arrested Robert James Plotkin, 57, after his roommate filed a complaint with law enforcement March 15. For the last five years, Plotkin taught at Clearwater Intermediate School. Plotkin’s roommate found the material on his personal computer, said Lt. Joe Coyle, public information officer with the Largo Police Department. “After an argument over a vehicle,…

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St. Petersburg officials to take another look at noise ordinance

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg’s Planning and Economic Development Department set another date in its re-evaluation of a 2016 amendment to a city noise ordinance. It will be the second public meeting on the noise ordinance and will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at Sunshine Center in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce advocacy manager Travis Norton said Tuesday. In 2016, the city officials amended the noise ordinance to accommodate residents and businesses. It requires bars and restaurants with outdoor…

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