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With no legislative action, Confederate statue remains in U.S. Capitol

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The General abides. With lawmakers taking no action this year, a bronze statue of a Confederate general representing Florida shall remain indefinitely in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Two competing bills died this Legislative Session. One called for a likeness of educator and civil-rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune to replace the statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. Another proposed a statue of environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, author of “The Everglades: River of Grass,” to take Smith’s place. “Next year, we expect movement in the House…

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Perry Thurston, others want Confederate statue issue resolved

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Former and current black lawmakers took to the Old Capitol steps Thursday to call for a likeness of educator and civil-rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune to replace a statue of a Confederate general now in the U.S. Capitol. Led by Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, and surrounded by alumni members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the group called for passage of Thurston’s bill (SCR 1360) that would formally approve Dr. Bethune to replace Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith in the Capitol’s National…

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Tallahassee Democrat updates ‘Capital Team’ logo to reflect, you know, the Florida Capitol

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In what can be described as a step in the right direction, the folks at Gannett unveiled its new and improved “Capital Team” logo. And this time, they get the geography right. To recap, the USA TODAY network is assembling “seven journalists, one mission,” with a group of veteran reporters taken from the Tallahassee Democrat, Naples Daily News and Treasure Coast Newspapers – including Jeff Burlew, James Call, Bill Cotterell, Alexandra Glorioso, Isadora Rangel, Arek Sarkissian and Jeff Schweers –…

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On Inauguration Day, ‘House of Cards’ announces May return

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

“House of Cards” will return in May for a fifth season. The show’s Twitter account posted a video on Inauguration Day featuring an upside-down U.S. flag in front of the U.S. Capitol. The video ends with the date May 30. An upside-down flag is a signal of distress. The show stars Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife, first lady Claire Underwood. The upcoming season will be the first under new co-showrunners Melissa James Gibson…

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Many Floridians of note deserve U.S. Capitol honor

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida had been a state for less than a century when it came time to honor famous citizens with two statues at the U.S. Capitol, and there were few plausible candidates. Dr. John Gorrie, the physician who invented mechanical refrigeration – imagine modern Florida without it – was an outstanding choice. But from today’s perspective, Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith is a head-scratcher. Let 2016 be the year the Legislature finally retires him. Smith’s historical distinction was to command Rebel…

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Florida man who flew gyrocopter onto lawn of U.S. Capitol to enter plea

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A Florida man who piloted his one-person aircraft through some of the nation’s most restricted airspace before landing on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is expected to formally enter a guilty plea in the case. Douglas Hughes said earlier this month that he had agreed to a deal in which he would plead guilty to a felony, operating a gyrocopter without a license. He is expected to formally enter the plea during a federal court hearing Friday in Washington.…

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Florida House panel OKs bill to remove Confederate statue

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida may replace the statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol. A Florida House panel on Wednesday endorsed a bill calling for removal of the bronze statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith from the Capitol where every state is allowed to have two statues. The bill sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz would start the process of selecting a sculptor and the name of a prominent Floridian citizen to replace Smith. The Florida Legislature would have…

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