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Polk County

Restoration of electricity almost complete

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Power was back as of midday Friday for all but 13,735 homes and businesses in Florida, primarily in four counties that were hit hardest by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, according to the state Division of Emergency Management.

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Adam Putnam checks on Polk storm prep

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam returned to his home of Polk County on Thursday, checking on preparations for food, shelter and transportation from the county’s Emergency Operations Center. He also issued warnings to state residents to take action immediately: “Irma is a beast. There is no scenario in which Southeast Florida will escape it. And a slight shift can send it (farther inland). Being inland is not a free pass to this storm.”

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Janet Cruz: Hillsborough school AC issues part of much bigger problem

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With a new school year kicking off this month, parents across Florida logically expected that the state is providing the proper environment necessary for children to achieve their greatest potential. That’s why I was outraged to read last week about students in Hillsborough County who are languishing in sweltering classrooms because the school district simply does not have the resources to fund the proper maintenance of air conditioners in schools.

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

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

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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Polk GOP Commissioner warns Republican incumbents may face strong challenges

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican Legislators could find themselves challenged for election next year … by Republican candidates, Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey, a Lakeland Republican, confirmed Wednesday. In an interview before his address to the Polk Tiger Bay members, Lindsey said what he described as legislators’ attacks on home rule and local government, has many even in the Republican Party talking about trying to remove incumbents in the 2018 elections. “The chatter (across the state) is voluminous,” Lindsey said. “I don’t know if…

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Swan statue stolen by naked man has been found in Florida

in Apolitical by

A large, black-and-white checkered statue of a swan that was stolen in Florida by a naked man was found on Friday. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says the statue was found by a 32-year-old man who was fishing on a pond in Lakeland. The man returned home from fishing Thursday and told his family about the statue. When they saw the news of the stolen statue on TV Friday, they called authorities. Officials say the swan doesn’t appear to be…

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Adam Putnam fundraising panel notches over $800,000 for April

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The political committee of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam posted more than $800,000 in contributions for the month of April, the state’s campaign finance website shows. Florida Grown reported $809,156 in fundraising and $276,479 in expenditures for the month. That brings the committee’s total take since its February 2015 formation to $11.3 million in contributions. It also spent nearly $3.1 million, records show, for a cash-on-hand amount of about $8.2 million. Putnam, the sitting Agriculture Commissioner, announced his candidacy Wednesday…

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