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Florida Department of Agriculture

Small dairy farmer seeks First Amendment protection from state regulators

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Five years ago, the Florida Department of Agriculture turned its regulatory power on a small third-generation dairy farm in the Panhandle’s Calhoun County, population 14,462. The Ocheesee Creamery, as it’s known, was caught being a little too honest. Mary Lou Wesselhoeft, owner, was selling all-natural pasteurized skim milk — whole milk with the cream skimmed off — and labeling it exactly what it was: skim milk. But in a strange twist with First Amendment implications, the state said Wesselhoeft was…

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Florida now ready to test mosquitoes for Zika virus

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Department of Agriculture will begin testing mosquitoes for the Zika virus. Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Tuesday that a department laboratory in Kissimmee is now equipped to test for the virus. The same laboratory is used to test for animal diseases. The department is working with mosquito control districts to distribute traps and train them on how to submit samples. Department spokeswoman Jennifer Meale said testing would begin within two weeks. Florida leads the nation with 102 confirmed cases…

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John Wood says state needs to let go of Nora Mayo Hall

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The state of Florida is sitting on a building it cannot sell, but won’t give it to a local municipality which says it needs it. In his final year in the Florida House due to term limits, Winter Haven Republican Rep. John Wood said he and members of the Polk County delegation will be fighting to get the state to give (or sell at an affordable price) Nora Mayo Hall to the city of Winter Haven. Part of the Florida…

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Largo-based A/C company calls even when you say not to

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

A Largo Air Conditioning company seems to have a bit of a problem following the state’s rules governing “do-not-call” rules. Over the course of two years between, 2012 and 2014. Graham Heating & Air Conditioning has been fined $18,000 stemming from do-not-call violations in five different actions. According to a lawsuit filed by the Florida Department of Agriculture, the company, formally named Cool Air Solutions Inc., hasn’t taken the hint. Lawsuit documents filed by the state agency allege the company…

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