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Ron DeSantis admits GOP faithful are ‘demoralized, depressed and dejected’ at D.C. Republicans

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If Republican primary politics are all about reaching out to the conservative base, then on paper, Jacksonville-area U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis should be a strong contender as the GOP Senate nominee in 2016. The Sunshine State native (who grew up in the quaint Pinellas County town of Dunedin) has only been in elected office for three years, having won a congressional seat in Florida’s 6th District in 2012, but his profile has been growing statewide since he became the first Republican to announce…

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Harvard’s Julio Frenk is new University of Miami president

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Julio Frenk, a former health minister in Mexico and a dean who helped quadruple fundraising at Harvard during his recent tenure there, was tapped Monday as the next president of the University of Miami. The school’s board of trustees unanimously approved Frenk’s selection. He’ll take office Sept. 1, three months after former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala‘s tenure ends. Shalala, who has been president since 2001, succeeded in raising the profile of a school now consistently ranked…

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Miami’s Freedom Tower under water by 2060? Unlikely, scientist says

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Could the Freedom Tower in Miami, where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday announced his bid for president, be underwater by 2060? Before Rubio announced on Monday that he was running for president in 2016, NextGen Climate suggested the building could be underwater by 2060. The political action committee said Florida is on the front line of climate change and called on the Republican senator from Miami to take a stronger stance on climate change. “Florida’s rising sea levels jeopardize the…

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Two colleges, Catholic law school group join fight for Competitive Workforce Act

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A Catholic student group and two colleges are the latest organizations to voice support for the fight for statewide discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Winter Park-based Rollins College joins a coalition of 30 major Florida employers, including the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville, in supporting the Competitive Workforce Act. The act is comprised of House Bill 33 from Republican state Rep. Holly Raschein of Key Largo and Senate Bill 156 from Democratic state Sen. Joe…

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Local girl makes good at upcoming Gasparilla film festival

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There will be plenty of features to screen when the Gasparilla International Film Festival takes place next week, beginning next Tuesday March 24, and going through March 30. 140  in all — 60 features and 70 short films, including Odessa, produced and co-starring  Tampa native Grace Santos, who now resides in Los Angeles. The film is described as being about a desperate mother living in a post-apocalyptic Texas who is forced to make a perilous border crossing to save her child’s…

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A must-read from The New York Times: On the mat, Florida wonders which way is up

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A must-read from this weekend’s New York Times: Ever since the 1920s Florida has been cast as the place people go to escape contemplation, not to indulge in it. But in the past year, from Pensacola to Miami Beach, Floridians have been soul searching. And for good reason. The state’s decades-long binge on real estate has given way to empty homes in rich and poor neighborhoods alike. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished, empty stores are everywhere and even…

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