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Brad Thomas

Court overrules regulators regarding ‘flag drop’ races

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An appellate court on Tuesday unanimously reversed state regulators in favor of a ragtag north Florida horse track looking to become a “first-class (gambling) facility.” The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering last year rejected an administrative law judge’s tossing out of the state’s complaint that Hamilton Downs ran “flag drop” races contrary to its license. But a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the track, which it described as “an L-shaped…

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Matt Gaetz wins appeal for northwest Florida skydiving business

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Congressman Matt Gaetz, also an attorney, has won an appeal that should allow a Walton County couple to continue operating a skydiving business on their 290-acre farm near Paxton. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal issued its unanimous decision Tuesday for James and Melanie Nipper. He “had a distinguished career as a U.S. Army Paratrooper and member of the elite Golden Knights parachute team from 1981-1997;” she “was an Army pilot,” the opinion said. They have since retired from…

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Martin Dyckman: Impose a delay on tummy tucks; they’re more dangerous than abortions

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Any law that invades the privacy and liberties of American citizens should come into court facing a heavy burden of proof. Does it serve a compelling public interest? Is it the most reasonable — that is, the least restrictive — approach? That’s doubly true in Florida, whose state constitution contains an explicit right to privacy. That’s why the Florida Supreme Court did the right thing last week to put a hold on the Legislature’s latest mean-spirited and colossally hypocritical attack…

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