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Jeff Atwater wins first round of $1 billion bonds fight with feds

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has scored a preliminary win in his fight against the federal government over U.S. savings bonds he holds as unclaimed property. The U.S. Treasury has agreed to redeem “just over 1,000 bonds, worth a little more than half a million dollars, excluding accrued interest,” Atwater spokeswoman Ashley Carr said Thursday. The total value of all the bonds in question is more than $1 billion. A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In November, Atwater sued the…

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Times Publishing sues City over solicitation ban

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Calling a new ban on street solicitation a violation of its constitutional right to free speech, the Times Publishing Co., the corporate parent of the St. Petersburg Times, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of St. Petersburg. “The right of access to public streets and sidewalks to distribute the news is essential to the exercise of the press’ First Amendment freedoms,” the suit states. “The ordinance prevents the Times from distributing its newspapers in traditional public (areas), thereby violating…

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