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Watch ole ‘Bandit’ run: Fans assemble to mark movie’s 40th

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They had a long way to go and a short time to get there, but hundreds of fans in Trans Ams have put the hammer down and made it to Atlanta to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Smokey and the Bandit.” About 350 cars this week retraced actor Burt Reynolds‘ wild beer run from the Texas-Arkansas line to Atlanta in the movie that roared into pop culture in 1977. Some truckers also took part in “Snowman’s Run,” named for singer…

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Ron Howard takes helm of Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ film

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Ron Howard is taking command of the Han Solo “Star Wars” spinoff after the surprise departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Lucasfilm announced their replacement director Thursday, two days after Lord and Miller left the project over creative differences. Howard gives the reeling production a veteran hand in the wake of Lord and Miller’s exit in the midst of shooting. Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said filming will resume July 10. The untitled film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich…

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Hard Rock names three new top executives

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Hard Rock International, controlled by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Wednesday announced three new top executives. Jon Lucas will be the company’s new chief operating officer and “will oversee key company departments, in addition to brand operations,” according to a press release. He will report directly to Chairman and CEO Jim Allen. He was previously executive vice president of hotel operations, where “he helped acquire Hard Rock casino and hotel rights throughout the western part of the U.S. and major international markets, spearheaded casino entry…

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Review: In ‘The Last Knight,’ round 5 for the Transformers

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A concussed serenity sets in somewhere in the middle of the ceaseless ballet of metal and machismo in Michael Bay’s “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Freed of concerns like plausibility or story, you can simply gape in wonder at the ruthlessly thunderous images in front of you. Maybe that’s the feeling of brain cells dying a painful, anguished death. It’s a sensation I imagine cornered boxers sometimes experience while blow after blow rains down upon them. Dazed by the unrelenting digital…

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Citing water losses, Florida insurer approves rate hikes

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Florida’s state-created property insurer, contending that it is dealing with a flood of suspicious water-related claims and lawsuits, is asking state regulators to raise rates for thousands of homeowners next year, including those in the most heavily-populated areas. The board that oversees Citizens Property Insurance voted unanimously Tuesday to raise homeowner rates an average 5.3 percent and commercial accounts by an 8.4 percent average. Citizens has more than 451,000 customers, many of them living near the coast or in South…

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Florida Bar holds annual convention this week

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The Florida Bar

The Florida Bar‘s Annual Convention begins Wednesday at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, with “a focus on the future of the legal profession and the challenges lawyers face,” the organization said in a news release. On Friday, Miami attorney Michael J. Higer will be sworn in as the Bar’s 69th president, and West Palm Beach attorney Michelle Suskauer will become the Bar’s president-elect. She’ll assume the presidency next June. The Bar is charged with regulating the state’s 104,000 licensed attorneys. The theme of this year’s…

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Blake Dowling: WikiLeaks, cherry blossoms and pandemics

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WikiLeaks is at it again. They are dropping new information (unverified) on the web about the Engineering Development Group. Who are they? They are the CIA, specifically its elite hacking unit. Not too cool for national security potentially but good to know if you care about your digital privacy, or if you are an enemy of the state with something to hide. If you have never checked out the site, it is very interesting. The part that grabbed me was…

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