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Gainesville Sun

2 Florida papers do an about face on Amendment 2, call for yes on medical pot

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Two Florida daily newspapers opposing the legalization of medical marijuana in 2014 have made an about-face, and are now supporting a “yes” vote on Amendment 2. This week, United for Care, the organization behind Amendment 2, announced the editorial boards of the Florida Times-Union and Ft. Myers News-Press each have penned op-eds in favor of the proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot. In “An improved medical marijuana amendment deserves support,” the Times-Union says the 2016 version is “better crafted,” citing the…

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Personnel note: Gainesville Sun reporter Jeff Schweers joins Tampa Tribune’s Tallahassee bureau

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Award-winning Gainesville Sun education reporter Jeff Schweers is leaving Florida Gator Country to become Tallahassee Bureau reporter for the Tampa Tribune. Schweers, who has been with the Sun since April 2013, will be reporting primarily on higher education from the perspective of the Florida legislature, focusing on public colleges and universities. In 2014, he was recognized as a finalist in the Sunshine State Awards Competition for Environmental/Health/Science beat reporting. During his tenure at the Sun, Schweers reported on a number…

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Personnel note: Arek Sarkissian joins Naples Daily News as Tally Bureau Chief

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Gainesville Sun public safety reporter Arek Sarkissian has been tapped to become Tallahassee bureau chief for the Naples Daily News. Prior to joining the Sun in August 2014, Sarkissian was a legislative reporter for LobbyTools, where he focused on health care and education issues. Before that, he served as a multimedia journalist for the Tallahassee Democrat. “Leaving The Sun is hard,” Sarkissian said about his new role, “but I’m excited to work on a team that loves this state and the…

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University of Florida online program struggles in first year

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Less than 10 percent of the students invited to take part in a new online program at the University of Florida have accepted the offer. But the 256 high school students who’ve enrolled will be guaranteed a spot at the university once they complete two semesters and at least 15 hours of online course work. The Gainesville Sun reports 3,118 students were invited to sign up for the Pathways to Campus Enrollment program after their applications were rejected for regular…

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Senate passes ‘Waldo bill’ banning traffic ticket quotas

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Traffic ticket quotas for law enforcement agencies would be illegal under a bill passed by the Florida Senate. The so-called “Waldo Bill” (SB 264) passed unanimously with no debate Wednesday. It must still pass the House and be approved by the governor to become law. The bill’s nickname comes from the city of Waldo on heavily traveled U.S. 301, once considered one of the nation’s worst speed traps. In 2014, Waldo police officers disclosed a quota system, and the Gainesville…

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