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Florida state government

Hundreds of thousands flee Florida coast to escape Matthew’s fury

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Hundreds of thousands of anxious people boarded up their homes and businesses and grabbed a few belongings to flee inland as Hurricane Matthew gained strength and roared toward the Southeast seaboard on Thursday. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said the state, its skies already darkening from early outer rain bands of the life-threatening storm, could be facing its “biggest evacuation ever” as Matthew menaces almost all the state’s Atlantic coast. As people hurried for higher ground, authorities in South Carolina…

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Florida primaries eyed: Representation of few, or the many?

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It took just 14,496 votes to win his closed Democratic primary for one of Florida’s 27 congressional seats. Now Darren Soto is virtually assured of going to Capitol Hill, unlikely to face a strong Republican challenge this November in his safely Democratic district. The state senator snared the votes of just 2 percent of the Orlando area district’s 750,000 residents, beating three other candidates in last month’s closed-party, winner-takes-all primary. Only registered Democrats could cast ballots in Soto’s race and…

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Florida growing friendlier to criminal-justice reform, poll indicates

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Floridians may be rethinking their throw-the-book-at-’em approach to crime, a poll released Monday suggests. The survey by The James Madison Institute and the Charles Koch Institute found that 72 percent of Floridians agreed or strongly agreed it is important to reform criminal justice. Seventy-five percent agreed or strongly agreed the prison population costs the country too much money. And almost two-thirds believed there were too many nonviolent offenders behind bars. “The poll solidified what we’ve come to know — Floridians…

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Donald Trump signed improper charity check supporting Pam Bondi

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Donald Trump‘s signature, an unmistakable if nearly illegible series of bold vertical flourishes, was scrawled on the improper $25,000 check sent from his personal foundation to a political committee supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Charities are barred from engaging in political activities, and the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign has contended for weeks that the 2013 check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation was mistakenly issued following a series of clerical errors. Trump had intended to use personal funds to…

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Autopsies: A third of Pulse nightclub victims shot in head

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More than a third of the 49 patrons killed during the Pulse nightclub massacre were shot in the head, and most of the victims had multiple bullet wounds, according to autopsy reports released this week. Only two victims had traces of soot, gunpowder or stippling, meaning most of the victims were likely more than 3 feet away when they were shot in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The autopsies show that about half of the victims had…

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