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FSU to receive largest-ever $100 million gift for new entrepreneurship school

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Christmas came early at Florida State University on Friday, as President John Thrasher nabbed the biggest donation in the school’s 164-year history — $100 million for a new entrepreneurship school to be named after the late billionaire philanthropist Jim Moran. “This is a really big deal,” Thrasher said during a board of trustees conference call. “It’s a great day for Florida State and for our students.” The board approved an exception to the university’s naming policy, which mandates a seven-year…

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Meet Taylor Nix Hatch, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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Friends say Taylor Nix Hatch personifies enthusiasm, which isn’t surprising since she was a cheerleader at Florida State University. The 28-year-old now is director of legislative affairs, or top in-house lobbyist, for the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. Before that, she was the deputy legislative affairs director at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. And before joining the state, Hatch “worked for a private firm where she consulted with a variety of Fortune 500 clients, directly providing counsel on…

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Maria Sachs files amendment to campus carry bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Sen. Maria Sachs has filed an amendment to this year’s “campus carry” legislation that would allow each public college and university to decide whether to allow concealed weapons on campuses. Sachs, a Delray Beach Democrat, submitted the change Monday to the bill (SB 68). The legislation as currently written would delete the current blanket prohibition on concealed weapons being carried into “any college or university facility.” Gun-rights advocates, such as the National Rifle Association, have joined with legislative Republicans to…

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FSU trustees OK pay raise for John Thrasher

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida State University’s board of trustees on Friday approved a new pay package for President John Thrasher that includes a $90,000 bonus. The full board unanimously OK’d a recommendation from the board’s compensation committee. Thrasher, a former state lawmaker and lobbyist, also will get a bump in his base salary from $430,000 to $473,000, which includes a general 2.6 percent raise for faculty members. He has been in charge of the Tallahassee-based university for about 11 months. Thrasher, who once chaired Gov. Rick…

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Florida’s diversity includes loyalties to sports teams

in Sports/Top Headlines by

According to a recent poll, a plurality of Floridians back U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Not his candidacy for president, but his allegiance to the University of Florida Gators. Rubio made headlines when he jokingly categorized Florida State as a fallback school for those not gaining entry into UF. Florida State backers, including President John Thrasher, were quick to respond. The PPP Poll revealed that 23 percent of those responding are loyal to the Gators, while 18 percent identified the Seminoles…

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Donald Trump tells Jeb Bush he didn’t want a Florida casino, but he did

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Jeb Bush said during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate that Donald Trump wanted casino gambling in Florida. Donald Trump said “I did not.” “I promise, if I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” Trump told Bush during the exchange. Bush replied, “No way, man.” But the fact is, Trump wanted it and didn’t get it under the Bush administration, despite donating money to the state Republican Party and Bush. “The bottom line is Donald Trump was interested in casino…

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Jeff Brandes talks solar energy, bipartisanship, and the future of the Republican Party

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

When state Sen. Jeff Brandes spoke with the St. Petersburg Republican Club, he made it clear that he was ready for a bigger role within the Legislature. “Can the Supreme Court justices hold you guys in contempt of court?” asked an individual in attendance, in regards to the Legislature’s continued failure to redraw congressional districts. “Not to my knowledge,” said Brandes, 39, who represents the Senate’s 22nd District, which includes western Hillsborough and southern Pinellas counties. “But if they did, I…

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