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Ken Reecy named interim head of Florida Housing

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Ken Reecy has been named Interim Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), according to a press release. Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, announced the move on Friday. Reecy currently serves as the agency’s Multifamily Program Director. “Ken has extensive experience and is committed to helping Florida families secure safe, affordable housing in communities all across our state,” Proctor said in a statement. “He has a strong understanding of the unique programs used to meet different…

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Airbnb housing in Florida doubles again in 2016, reaches 1.5 million

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The number of visitors to Florida choosing to stay in private homes through the Airbnb home-sharing app continues to explode and has topped 1.5 million for the 2016 year, the company announced Tuesday. With Florida attracting more than 100 million visitors a year Airbnb still represents a tiny fraction of the market. But it now has captured more than 1 percent of Florida’s visitors, with survey evidence that some of those visitors wouldn’t have come otherwise. And the company discusses…

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Fidel Castro’s death offers opportunity to re-evaluate U.S.-Cuba relations

in 2017 by

The death of Fidel Castro reverberated throughout South Florida this weekend, and one expert said it could lead Cuban Americans to reevaluate their positions on the island. Guillermo Grenier, one of the lead researchers in charge of the FIU Cuba Poll, said the coming weeks and months “will be a time for reevaluation.” Some Cuban Americans, he said, will be faced with deciding whether to double down or take steps to reshape the country. “The diaspora of Cuban Americans ……

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More than just the presidency: 10 down ballot races to watch on Election Day

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Presidential races get all the attention, but it’s the folks down ballot that make the real decisions. In the Sunshine State, there’s no shortage of high intensity — and sometimes high drama — battles for office. And we aren’t talking about the races for state House and Senate. There have been allegations of election fraud in a mayor’s race, dirty tricks in a superintendent battle, and fights over genetically modified mosquitoes. Here are 10 down ballot races and referendums we think you…

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Donald Trump tells backers to ‘watch the polls’ — but signups slow

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Donald Trump regularly warns his crowds to closely watch polling places to prevent Democrats from stealing the election. But his campaign has failed to enlist many to serve as official poll watchers in major population centers, according to spot checks by The Associated Press. In some key regions, Democratic monitors will far outnumber Republicans on Election Day. The Trump team seeks volunteers on his website to “Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election.” But it’s unclear what the…

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Buying political influence in a Florida small town

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Bal Harbour, a small Florida village of under 3,000 residents in Miami-Dade County, is home to Bal Harbour Shops, one of the most upscale and expensive shopping malls in the country. In March, we wrote The Bullying of a Small Town, an examination of the mall’s tactics of intimidation and harassment employed in pursuit of its financial interests. Owned by Whitman Family Development, the Shops is in the lucrative business of luxury retail, attracting shoppers with high-end brands such as…

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It’s my tree, let me be: Woman tries to save leafy abode

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

For a quarter century, Shawnee Chasser has lived in a treehouse not far from downtown Miami. The 65-year-old grandmother who once protested the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons says she hates the oppressive feeling of walls and air conditioning, loves the open breeze and relishes the connection to nature in lush, tropical surroundings. Not long ago, Miami-Dade County code inspectors discovered the treehouse, declared it unfit for human habitation and ordered it torn down. Now Chasser is fighting to keep…

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