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Miami Dolphins ask state for stadium funding; short on ROI, long on wishful thinking

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Four Florida sports teams have come to Tallahassee with the hope of leaving with state money to renovate and improve facilities, a process where the first step is scheduled to begin at month’s end. Each applicant – Daytona International Speedway, the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars – is jostling for a slice of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity pie, in the form of cash from the Sports Development Program. No one wants to go home empty-handed;…

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Florida pro sports teams make another push for state money

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Several of Florida’s professional sports teams are trying again to win state money from the Florida Legislature. State officials said Monday that they had received requests to spend money on the stadiums used by the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The state has also received a funding request from Daytona International Speedway. It will be up to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to rank the requests and then submit them to the Legislature for…

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NASCAR fans defend, display Confederate flags at Daytona

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Steven Rebenstorf has numerous flags flying atop his canopy tent inside Daytona International Speedway. The Confederate flag is front and center. It’s been like that for years. And the 57-year-old Rebenstorf has no plans to take it down — not even if NASCAR decides to ban the embattled flag from its racetracks. “They’d have to come and get it,” Rebenstorf said Saturday, pointing out that his American flag purposely flies a few inches higher than the rest. Rebenstorf and others…

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GOP using July 4 events as national ‘day of action’ for ground game

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July 4 may mean a day off for most Americans, but not so for National Republicans. In a campaign memo, the Republican National Committee announced it is using the holiday as the “next phase in its ground game strategy” – with a series of events happening at the earliest time in several election cycles. On Saturday, the GOP will host voter registration events all over Florida, most notably a NASCAR-themed push at Daytona International Speedway, as well as RNC volunteer…

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‘Sunshine State’ or not, Florida badly behind on solar power

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17Residents of the Sunshine State are finding that harnessing Florida’s abundant solar power is no simple task. With its bounty of sunny days, Florida ranks third in the nation in rooftop solar energy potential but 13th in the amount of solar energy generated, according to industry estimates. The industry views Florida as a sleeping giant that could rival California in solar potential, but renewable energy experts say the state lags behind because old laws favor utilities over private enterprise. “The…

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Obama’s proposed budget would bar tax-exempt bonds to finance stadiums

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Florida lawmakers last year approved a plan to set aside $7 million in sales-tax dollars to help pay for building or renovating sports stadiums. But last month the Joint Legislative Budget Commission punted on the decision on whether or not to fund the four stadium projects that were before them — EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Daytona International Speedway, Sun Life Stadium in Miami-Dade County and an Orlando soccer stadium. The issue of whether to give tax breaks to millionaires for such…

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