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Capital Report: 10-04-2019

At least 90 percent of structures in Panama City were damaged in Hurricane Michael. One year later, city officials are about to resume code enforcement actions. Valerie Crowder reports residential property owners say they’re ready for the city to begin cracking down on neglected lots that pose a health and safety hazard to their neighborhoods…

Last year, after Hurricane Michael wrought havoc in the Panhandle, school officials began raising concerns about an emergent mental health crisis among students. Bay County Superintendent Bill Hussfelt said in the 6 months following the storm, 50 kids had been involuntarily held for mental health treatment through the Baker Act. But Regan McCarthy reports in the first two months of this school year, 50 students have already been institutionally committed. 

Not all of the drama in Tallahassee happens at the Capitol.  For the past week, a suspected murder-for-hire case has been tried across the street at the Leon County Courthouse.  At issue is the 2014 slaying of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel.  On trial are two people, Sigfredo Garcia and Katie Magbanua. They’re charged with being part of a plot to kill Markel.  But the people who have yet to be charged are the Adelson family of South Florida.  Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson and her brother Charlie are widely believed to be behind the killing. Blaise Gainey has been following the action.

Following California’s lead, Florida became the second state to introduce legislation pushing to allow collegiate athletes to profit from their name and likeness. Ryan Dailey spoke with House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, who recently filed a bill to do just that – and it’s got the attention of much of the sports world.

A day-long hemp summit near the Florida Capitol had growers, suppliers, manufacturers and economic development people eagerly anticipating the substantial returns on this potentially profitable crop.  Tom Flanigan spoke with Florida’s Director of Cannabis who will be involved in guiding the enterprise.