Merritt Island Newswire

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  1. Senate finds compromise on student testingRead the original story w/Photo

    Wednesday Mar 25 | St. Petersburg Times

    A Senate panel tweaked its testing bill Wednesday so that the results of this year's Florida Standards Assessments would not be used to determine whether third-grade students can be promoted to the fourth grade, or high-school students can graduate until an independent review of the exam is conducted. The amendment was intended to be a compromise between Republican lawmakers who have vowed not to retreat on school accountability, and the parents and educators who have asked for a pause while Florida transitions to new academic standards and assessments.

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  2. Voters suggest Amendment 1 funds were supposed to be spent acquiring landRead the original story w/Photo

    Wednesday Mar 25 | St. Petersburg Times

    John Hendershot was one of 4.2 million Floridians who voted for Amendment 1, helping it pass by an overwhelming majority in November. "I was convinced that the purpose was to set aside money primarily for environmental lands acquisition purchases and to preserve and protect environmental lands," said Hendershot, a 61-year-old Tampa psychologist.

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  3. Bill would give more choices to Florida studentsRead the original story w/Photo

    Monday Mar 23 | St. Petersburg Times

    Most parents would not have been able to move their child to a public school in another county. Russell could because she was a teacher in Broward.

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  4. State wrestling: Business as usual for BrandonRead the original story

    Saturday Mar 14 | St. Petersburg Times

    And the records just keep on falling for Brandon, which last season set a record for points in winning yet another state championship. On Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena, the Eagles extended two records by winning their 15th straight title and 26th overall.

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  5. The Buzz: House approves adoption bill on bipartisan voteRead the original story w/Photo

    Wednesday Mar 11 | St. Petersburg Times

    In a show of bipartisanship - although perhaps not unity - the Florida House on Wednesday approved a bill that leaders say is aimed at increasing adoptions in the state through incentives to community-based care agencies and state employees who adopt. "At the end of the day, a bill passed that will help a lot of kids in this state, I think to the tune of over 600 kids that will find potential homes," House Speaker Steve Crisafulli , R-Merritt Island, said after the vote.

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  6. Florida House passes bill to move presidential primaryRead the original story w/Photo

    Wednesday Mar 11 | St. Petersburg Times

    With Republican delegates at risk in the presidential primary, the Florida House voted Wednesday to move the primary election to the third Tuesday in March. If the primary date isn't moved, Florida's 2016 primary under current law would fall on March 1, early enough that the party would be forced to allocate Florida's delegates proportionally.

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  7. Column: Big Sugar weasels out of land dealRead the original story w/Photo

    Monday Mar 9 | St. Petersburg Times

    Check out Steve Crisafulli, the Republican speaker of the Florida House. He comes from a citrus family, once headed the Brevard County Farm Bureau and has his eye on becoming state agricultural commissioner.

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  8. Editorial: Real protection for water up to Florida SenateRead the original story w/Photo

    Friday Mar 6 | St. Petersburg Times

    The water bill that the Florida House rammed through as its first order of business last week was lauded by supporters as a forward-looking, measured approach to managing the state's natural resources. It is no such thing.

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  9. House overwhelmingly passes new water billRead the original story w/Photo

    Thursday Mar 5 | St. Petersburg Times

    Dismissing pleas from environmental groups, the Florida House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed an agricultural industry-backed overhaul of the state's water management and preservation system that could force taxpayers to pick up more costs. HB 7003 makes numerous revisions to the state's oversight of water quality and quantity, including new action plans to protect natural springs that are impaired, an easing of regulations on landowners north of Lake Okeechobee and an expansion of a program that helps landowners near impaired waters to reduce fertilizer-polluted discharge.

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  10. Overhaul of water policy on fast track in Florida HouseRead the original story w/Photo

    Feb 19, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    A bill pushed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to overhaul the state's water management system won bipartisan approval Thursday from the House Appropriations committee. At nearly 100 pages, HB 7003 outlines numerous revisions to the state's management of water quality and quantity that supporters, including House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, say modernizes Florida's water policy to accommodate future growth.

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  11. Region boys soccer: Merritt Island 2, Jesuit 0Read the original story

    Feb 6, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    The Tigers had homefield advantage with a raucous student section as clever as they were loud. They dominated play.

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  12. Rule for medical pot put forward, but reality still far off in FloridaRead the original story w/Photo

    Feb 5, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    As Holley Moseley sat through meetings this week to finalize Florida's limited medical marijuana rules, she kept getting texts from her daughter RayAnn's teacher. It was a particularly difficult day, and RayAnn had spent much of it in epileptic seizures.

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  13. Region girls soccer: Merritt Island 5, Largo 0Read the original story

    Jan 30, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    The Packers gave up a goal two minutes into their match at Marritt Island match but only trailed 1-0 at halftime. But Merritt Island tacked on its second goal 15 minutes into the second half then scored three goals in a five-minute span to put the game away, 5-0.

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  14. Romano: Excuses are running low for Florida lawmakers who won't expand MedicaidRead the original story w/Photo

    Jan 28, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    Indiana's plan to use Medicaid expansion funds was approved by the federal government on Tuesday, bringing the total number of participating states to 28. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, seven more states are working on expansion plans, leaving Florida among a dwindling minority of health care agnostics. States that continue to reject federal funding to provide health care for needy residents are mostly Southern, typically rural and not especially cutting-edge.

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  15. City of Cape Canaveral is trying to rebrand itselfRead the original story w/Photo

    Jan 24, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    This community at the gateway to Port Canaveral - one of the world's busiest cruise ports - wants to define and distinguish itself from other Florida beachside towns. Cape Canaveral already is one of the most recognizable place names on earth, thanks to its connection to the space program.

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  16. Support builds for Medicaid expansion in FloridaRead the original story w/Photo

    Jan 18, 2015 | St. Petersburg Times

    For the past two years, the Republican-dominated Florida House has turned away federal funds intended to expand health care coverage to nearly a million uninsured Floridians. Chief among them: increased pressure from businesses, which could soon face fines for failing to provide health care coverage to employees.

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  17. Five-year plan could govern land- and water-conservation projectsRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 29, 2014 | St. Petersburg Times

    Florida lawmakers might lay out future water- and land-preservation efforts in a five-year plan updated annually, similar to how transportation projects are prioritized. Since voters approved the "Florida Water and Land Legacy" constitutional amendment in November, lawmakers have heard from a growing number of interests about how the money - by some estimates $10 billion over 20 years - should be carved up.

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  18. Port Canaveral has new cruise terminalRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 28, 2014 | St. Petersburg Times

    A two-story, 188,514-square-foot terminal building and accompanying four-story, 1,000-spot garage opened Saturday after a year of construction, and prepared for its first visitor, Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Rocky Johnson, vice president of Ivey's Construction Co.

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  19. Economists project nearly $1 billion surplus for Florida budgetRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 15, 2014 | St. Petersburg Times

    Lower gas prices and rising consumer confidence prompted state economists on Monday to boost revenue estimates for next year's budget by $622 million. The calculations improved the odds that Gov. Rick Scott will deliver on his campaign promise to cut taxes and fees, which lawmakers must approve.

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  20. Column: How legislative committee chairmanships are wonRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 11, 2014 | St. Petersburg Times

    The start of a new legislative session is much like the start of the new school year. Like students anxiously waiting to see which classes they get, which teachers will control their fate and which friends are in each class, legislators and those dependent on them eagerly await the announcement of the committee chairmanships, which committees they will serve on and with whom.

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