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Time running out for people looking to flee Irma

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Roads became clogged and fuel supplies strained as more than 1 million people were told to find shelter inland, upstate or in neighboring states in advance of massive Hurricane Irma, which will blanket most of Florida this weekend.

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House bill takes aim at stadium projects

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A Miami-Dade County Republican will again try to pass legislation that would prohibit sports franchises from being able to build or renovate stadiums on publicly owned land.

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Lawmaker ties insurance changes with lower rates

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The chairwoman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee said Wednesday that customers of Citizens Property Insurance should receive rate reductions as the state-backed insurer takes steps to curb claims for water-damage repairs. Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores said during a hearing on proposed Citizens rate increases that South Florida policyholders are frustrated and have “lost trust” in the insurer.

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Miami judge: New stand-your-ground law is unconstitutional

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A judge ruled Monday that Florida’s lawmakers overstepped their authority in updating the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. In ruling the law unconstitutional, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch said Monday that the changes should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court instead of by the Legislature. The Miami Herald reports that the 14-page order is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law. Critics have said the law makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and…

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Airbnb says county agreements should lead it to equal 2016 tax payments in first six months

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Vacation home-rental marketing giant Airbnb said Tuesday its expanding list of tax agreements and its growing business should lead it to equal last year’s total sales and tourist tax payments just in the first six months of 2017. The company announced that its five-month totals in sales and tourist taxes paid to the state and individual counties surpassed $18 million through June 1, so it expects to clear $20 million by July 1. Last year the company’s combined total for…

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Florida officials: Aggressive efforts to stop Zika continue

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Florida officials say they’re continuing aggressive efforts to stop the spread of the Zika virus. Gov. Rick Scott met Monday with Miami-Dade County officials to discuss Zika preparedness ahead of Florida’s rainy season, when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Officials said fewer travel-related cases are being reported in Florida so far this year, compared with last spring. Officials also said state labs and Miami-Dade mosquito control operations added staff since last year’s Zika outbreak. Counseling also is available for families affected…

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Village of Bal Harbour keeps residents in the dark

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Residents of Bal Harbour, one of the smallest municipalities in Miami-Dade County, continue to fight against the aggressive expansion efforts of the seaside town’s namesake shopping center, Bal Harbour Shops. We first discussed the mall’s expansion plans — and the tactics of harassment and bullying it has employed to push them through — in a March 2016 piece entitled The Bullying of a Small Town. In October, we detailed the last-ditch effort by the shopping center’s wealthy owners to remove…

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