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Proposal calls for slavery memorial at Capitol

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After the idea died in the Senate during the 2017 legislative session, a House Democrat is renewing a proposal to establish a Florida slavery memorial at the state Capitol.

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Chad Poppell quits as head of DMS

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Another one bites the dust: Chad Poppell has resigned as Secretary of the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. His resignation will be effective on March 31, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Thursday evening. Poppell has been head of DMS since 2014.  “Chad Poppell has done an outstanding job and I want to thank him for his hard work to improve efficiency and foster innovation in state government,” Scott said in a statement. “Under his leadership, Florida has remained…

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Construction at Capitol continues underground

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Work on the grounds of the Florida Capitol and its underground parking garages continues after the Senate garage was closed last May. It was shut down when its primary support girder showed signs of stress after years of water intrusion.  “The next milestone for the Senate garage is structural repair as we work to restore that main girder,” said Maggie Mickler, spokeswoman for the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. The repair work, started last month, is…

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Kionne McGhee files House bill for a Florida Slavery Memorial

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State Rep. Kionne McGhee is calling for a proposed memorial in Florida to honor victims of slavery. The Miami Democrat filed HB 27, which, if passed, would instruct the Department of Management Services to build a Florida Slavery Memorial on the Capitol Complex grounds beginning July 1, 2017. According to the language of the bill: “It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the American…

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No joy: Festivus pole will be absent from Capitol this year

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An all-black “Festivus” pole will not be appearing in the Capitol rotunda this holiday season, according to a Department of Management Services spokeswoman. Maggie Mickler said Friday that South Florida-based activist Chaz Stevens emailed the department Thursday evening. He said “he will not be traveling to Tallahassee” to install the display. The department oversees state property and approves proposed holiday displays in the Capitol. Stevens said in a statement that unexpected family health issues prevented him from bringing the pole to Tallahassee this year. “And truthfully, with [Donald] Trump‘s…

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Approved: Black “Festivus” pole will be placed in Capitol

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The state has OK’d a politically charged “Festivus” pole for display in the Capitol this holiday season. The Department of Management Services, which oversees state property, cleared the pole to have a place in the plaza-level rotunda, spokeswoman Maggie Mickler said Thursday. The all black, six-foot-tall pole “will contain the names of all unarmed black men killed by police in 2016,” according to the application from South Florida activist and former blogger Chaz Stevens. Stevens now runs the Religious Liberty Project, which plans to put a…

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Capitol holiday display would pay homage to police shooting victims

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A South Florida activist and former blogger has again filed to erect a “Festivus” pole in the state Capitol this year as a holiday display. But this year’s pole has a politically charged twist, according to Chaz Stevens‘ application to the state. “The all black, six-foot-tall Festivus-inspired pole will contain the names of all unarmed black men killed by police in 2016,” Stevens wrote. The application has not yet been acted on by the Department of Management Services, which oversees state property. For the last few years,…

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