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Tri-Rail’s half-billion dollar, single-proposal deal raises questions

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On Friday, the South Florida Regional Transit Authority will consider awarding a deal to run the state’s largest public commuter railroad, Tri-Rail — worth up to $511 million — after tossing all competing bids, including some asking far less money. The SFRTA’s board of trustees is being asked Friday to award Tri-Rail’s operations and maintenance contract, which could be good for as long as 10 years with extensions, to the only qualified proposer left, Herzog Transit Services Inc., of Texas, after the…

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Court blocks Rick Scott from picking judge

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Gov. Rick Scott won’t be able to appoint a new judge for the Palm Beach County court, the Florida Supreme Court decided Friday. The unanimous decision means Palm Beach voters get to pick a replacement for outgoing County Judge Laura Johnson. She resigned to run for a circuit judgeship. The court relied on its previous decisions to rule that state law “is an exception to the Governor’s (constitutional) power of appointment in the context of judicial vacancies.” Normally, state constitutions trump state statutes. The law in…

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