Florida cabinet

Leslie Dougher's twitter account/Allison Tant's twitter account

Florida’s 2014 election cycle ended with disappointment for Democrats and many victories for Republicans.

Florida GOP wins include the gubernatorial race, the Cabinet—particularly the Attorney General’s race—and gaining a supermajority in the Florida House after several Democrats lost some seats.

“Well, obviously we got beat,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “We got beat across the nation. We got beat in Florida.”

She says the party is now looking to move forward to do better in future races.

Aimee Blodgett / USF News

University of South Florida researchers have now identified two more sets of remains of the boys buried on the Panhandle property of the now defunct Dozier School for Boys. While one boy is the first black student identified, another belongs to the family that helped spark renewed interest into finding answers about what happened at the Marianna school surrounded by a history of alleged abuse.

oysters on the half shell
Farrukh Younus via Flickr

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has put restrictions on the Apalachicola Bay oyster harvest this winter, but it’s also mulling plans to ban harvesting altogether if stocks don’t improve.  Government officials are now calling for financial and educational support if the Commission closes the bay.

Citizens Property Insurance

Citizens Property Insurance CEO Barry Gilway is grounded. Gilway got a scolding from members of the Florida cabinet Tuesday who say the state-backed insurance company is spending too much money on overseas travel.

Gilway says he understands the state’s largest property insurer suffers from a damaged reputation. But he says since he came on board he’s turned things around.

Michael Dye / University of South Florida

The recent ID of the first set of remains of a boy buried on the property of the now-closed Dozier School for Boys in Marianna has helped bring one family closer to closure—some 70 years after the death. And, it’s also helping to keep hope alive for other families awaiting similar answers.

“Ordinarily anybody who knows me, knows I’m never at a shortage to talk. But, I have to say that when Erin [Kimmerle] came to visit me and she revealed to me that they had found my brother, I was totally dumbstruck, said Ovell Krell.

Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs

St. Lucie County is one step closer to becoming the next site for Florida’s newest veterans’ nursing home. That’s after several counties lobbied members of a select panel considering the next location to build the state’s seventh VA nursing home.

Silver Springs

Silver Springs, one of Florida's oldest tourist attractions, is going out of business and will become a state park.
 
The north Florida attraction, famed for its glass bottom boats, has been plagued by low attendance and pollution, which has clouded its once-clear waters.
 

The Florida Cabinet has approved a statewide shelter plan in advance of the 2012 hurricane season. Ryan Benk reports officials met today in Marathon for a regular Cabinet meeting.

The plan works as a guide for shelters across the state. It includes retrofitted public facilities, existing schools, and the use of hurricane-resistant new schools. That would create a map of more than 939 thousand spaces around Florida that can be used in case of a major storm. Governor Rick Scott says residents need to remember the importance of hurricane preparedness.

The Florida cabinet has approved the purchase of two lots that are next to an historic property called The Grove.  Regan McCarthy reports officials say the purchase opens up the potential of turning the property into a museum or welcome center.

State officials would pay about 580-thousand dollars for the lots. Right now, The Grove, which is adjacent to the Governor’s mansion, is only accessible by a road that runs by mansion, but Secretary of State Ken Detzner says purchasing the plots would create new avenues for accessing the property.

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