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Vern Buchanan backing bill to help block synthetic opioids from entering country

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In 2015, Manatee and Sarasota counties had the highest and second-highest number respectively of fentanyl-related deaths per capita in the state, according to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. So it should come as no surprise that Congressman Vern Buchanan is signing on as a co-sponsor for the INTERDICT Act, which aims to stop the flow of fentanyl and other drugs by providing border agents with drug-detecting chemical screening devices at ports of entry and more personnel, including scientists. They will detect…

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Revelers bid adieu to a year of conflicts, celebrity deaths

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

As 2016 draws to a close, revelers around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts and deaths of legendary celebrities. How people are ushering in the new year: AUSTRALIA Sydney sent up a dazzling tribute to 2016’s fallen icons with a New Year’s Eve fireworks display honoring the late singer David Bowie and late actor Gene Wilder, becoming the first major city to bid a bittersweet adieu to a turbulent year.…

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Can we just get 2016 over with, please?

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When the news came on Christmas Day that singer George Michael had died, well … can we get this year completed, please? Just this month alone, we have lost actor Alan Thicke, astronaut/hero John Glenn, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, former Florida Lieutenant Gov. Jim Williams, broadcaster Craig Sager and musician Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer fame. This was after Keith Emerson of the same band died in March. We had to say goodbye this year to former first…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.12.16 – Heroes

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Bob Dylan opted to blow off the Nobel Prize for Literature awards ceremony in Sweden this weekend, instead opting to have Azita Raji, the U.S. Ambassador in Sweden, read a speech that he composed (And no, I had never heard of our ambassador to Sweden until I looked it up this weekend). Among those who care about this prestigious award, there has been some criticism about awarding a songwriter, and not a novelist or poet. The Swedish Academy defended its decision to…

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Vern Buchanan co-sponsoring legislation to toughen screening of overseas shipments of synthetic drugs into coming to U.S.

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan announced Friday he is co-sponsoring legislation to toughen screening of overseas shipments of deadly synthetic drugs coming into the United States. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act will help stem the flow of dangerous drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil by requiring more intensive screening at U.S. Postal Service facilities. Fentanyl and carfentanil are synthetic drugs similar to heroin but more than 50 times more powerful. These drugs are often manufactured in foreign countries like China and mailed into the…

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Mitch Perry Report for 11.11.16 — Whither the EPA?

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Some random thoughts at the end of one of the most epochal weeks in the history of our republic: Yesterday in this space we contemplated some of the first moves the Donald Trump administration might make when he inherits power in January. Lots of focus right now is on the fact that he could kill all of the efforts this nation has made in worldwide pacts on climate change, beginning with the historic agreement signed in Paris earlier this year. “I don’t…

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Mitch Perry Report for 4.25.16 — David Jolly gets his moment in the sun

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After David Jolly announced his proposal earlier this that would ban federal officeholders from fundraising while in office earlier this year, all of his Florida senate opponents on both sides of the aisle dismissed it immediately. Under the Pinellas County congressman’s “Stop Act,” elected federal officials would still be permitted to attend fundraisers and speak to donors. People would still be allowed to contribute to campaigns of their choosing. But under no circumstance would federal officeholders be allowed to personally ask people…

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