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Florida Panhandle

Rick Scott shifts storm focus to Panhandle

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After spending much of the past month focused on Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott will shift Thursday to the one region of Florida that was largely unscathed from that mammoth storm: The Panhandle.

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Trial set to begin in Florida and Georgia’s fight over water

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Florida and Georgia this week are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court. Arguments are expected to last for weeks, and the result could affect millions of people and major industries in both states. The dispute centers on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The watershed drains nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Florida claims that Atlanta and southwest Georgia farmers are using too much water and…

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Matthew may return later to Florida in ‘funky loop’ dance

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In what might eventually be more a psychological blow than a meteorological one, there’s a decent chance that Hurricane Matthew could loop back full circle for a second, unwelcome visit to South Florida next week. If so, what arrives Tuesday would just be a weakened remnant of the monster storm that’s about to rake the Florida and Georgia coasts, meteorologists say. It’s more akin to rubbing salt in the Sunshine State’s wounds than inflicting further damage, meteorologists say. It would…

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From Key West to Pensacola, Florida’s LGBT attitudes differ

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Florida’s Key West is one of the most gay-friendly places in the country. The Florida Panhandle – many locals call it the Redneck Riviera – is a different story. The massacre of 49 people in a gay nightclub happened between these extremes, forcing many Floridians to reconsider their assumptions about the state’s evolving culture. Key West has a gay police chief, a lesbian county mayor and was the nation’s first city to elect an openly gay mayor. It attracts 450,000…

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Today on Context Florida: Rick Scott’s Starbucks scuffle, dueling videos and Hamlet of the ‘Handle

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Today on Context Florida: Jac VerSteeg confesses he was delighted when he first saw the viral video of a woman berating Gov. Rick Scott and the Gainesville Starbucks. It was better than a movie, he says, because it was something much rarer. It was authentic. It was the underdog venting in real life. Then he found out it was Cara Jennings. When VerSteeg looked at the video again, he recognized Cara, whom he had interviewed several times as an editorial writer…

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Don Gaetz says he won’t pursue U.S. House seat

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Former Senate President Don Gaetz on Tuesday declared he will not seek the Congressional District 1 seat left open by U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller‘s recent decision to retire in 2016. Gaetz put an end to rumors he may try to make the leap to federal office in a memo to supporters Tuesday afternoon. “Gratified as I am by the many offers of support, I will not be a candidate for Congress,” said Gaetz. “It’s awfully nice to know that folks from every community in our region…

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Sleuth finds a lost Spanish settlement in Florida Panhandle

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Amateur archaeologist Tom Garner had time to kill and took a drive along Pensacola Bay in the Florida Panhandle. Spying a newly cleared lot, he poked about, hoping to find artifacts from the city’s rich history dating back centuries to the Spanish explorers. Garner stumbled upon some shards of 16th Spanish pottery. “There it was, artifacts from the 16th century lying on the ground,” said Garner, a history buff whose discovery has made him a celebrity in archaeological circles. Experts…

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