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Panhandle

Democratic leaders touring Panhandle

in 2017/Top Headlines by

​Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel and President Sally Boynton Brown are taking a two-day tour of the Panhandle to “energize the Democratic base and spread the party’s message of economic growth and opportunity to all corners of the state,” they said in a Wednesday news release.  “I ran for party chair to build permanent progressive infrastructure throughout the state and elect Democrats at every level of office,” Bittel said. “The Florida Panhandle provides a unique opportunity for us to show the…

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FWCC judicial beat down in ‘deer dog’ case

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Remember the “deer dog” case? This is the one where several families were having their lives disrupted because a group of hunters in the Panhandle was allowing hounds-in-pursuit-of-deer to trample across private property. It’s a quirky case. The Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (BWMA) is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) and, for historical reasons, several landowners live within its borders. These landowners have what are known as “outparcels” and some are as large as 65 acres.…

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U.S. House district in Florida Panhandle likely to flip to GOP

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Recent redistricting makes the U.S. House seat from the eastern part of Florida’s Panhandle one of the few nationally that are likely to flip from Democrat to Republican this year. Democratic incumbent Gwen Graham cited the redrawn 2nd Congressional District’s heavy Republican presence in saying she won’t seek a second term. A physician, a former government lawyer and a former prosecutor are vying for the GOP nomination in the Aug. 30 primary. The Democratic primary is between former Florida assistant…

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Florida may change Pledge of Allegiance school law

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Florida may soon change how it handles the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. A House panel on Wednesday approved a bill that would change how families are notified of their right to skip the daily pledge. The measure is now headed to the full House. Students are required to recite the pledge unless a parent asks in writing for a child to be excused. A parent of a child at a Panhandle school told the school district it was…

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George Gainer jumps in for 2016, setting up primary clash against Matt Gaetz

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Bay County Commissioner George Gainer made his 2016 Tallahassee intentions formal on Tuesday. The Northwest Florida pol filed the necessary paperwork to seek the state Senate seat currently held by term-limited former Senate President Don Gaetz. The move sets up what could be a momentous Republican primary battle there, as third-term state Rep. Matt Gaetz is also seeking the seat held by his father since 2006. Gainer’s filing also sets up a proxy battle for the Senate presidency between state Sen. Joe…

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Matt Gaetz comes out swinging with new digital ad in Senate race

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State Rep. Matt Gaetz unveiled a new ad Tuesday in his race to succeed his father, state Sen. Don Gaetz, in the Florida Senate aimed at seizing the “true conservative” label in what may be a testy Republican primary. The new one-minute spot, entitled “Fighting Obamacare,” was unveiled in an email message to supporters Tuesday morning in response to news that Bay County Commissioner George Gainer — reportedly recruited to run by state Sen. Jack Latvala — will challenge him in SD 1. “Today,…

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Gulf Coast scallop season’s here

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Regulations and harvest areas have been set for the Florida Gulf Coast’s June 27 to Sept. 24 bay scallop season. Two gallons of whole bay scallops in their shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat per person is permitted for harvesting throughout the Gulf Coast’s four open harvest zones: St. Joseph Bay, St. Marks, Steinhatchee, and Homosassa. Collectively, these four harvest zones connect and run up from the Pasco-Hernando County line, just north of Tampa, to the west bank…

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