New material has been posted to the Supreme Court website in:
Follow the links at: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org.
Governor Jeb Bush released the following statement today on the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to not hear McCall vs. Scott.
“Today’s ruling marks a monumental moment in the lives of the more than 90,000 students who are able to receive a quality education through Florida’s Tax-Credit Scholarship program.
“The Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the case is also a powerful reminder to entrenched special interests that when policymakers work hand-in-hand with Florida’s families, students win.
“It is my hope that opponents of Florida’s efforts to help our most vulnerable students will stop impeding successful reforms and join us in ensuring all students have access to excellent educational options.”
State Senator Frank Artiles and State Representative Bryan Avila filed SB-226 to continue to strengthen property owners’ rights and continue to promote efficiency and integrity in the Value Adjustment Board Process.
“After successfully passing legislation last Session to improve the efficiency of the Value Adjustment Board, I wish to continue my work to make sure we have the most efficient process in place” said Representative Avila.
The bill seeks to increase from $500 to $5000 of value the longstanding property tax exemption for widows, widowers, blind or totally disabled persons. It would also allow Property Appraisers to waive penalties and interest on homestead exemption and senior exemption liens only when good cause is shown in circumstances where there was no intent to illegally avoid the payment of taxes. Another great component of the bill is that it would empower condominium owners to affirmatively decide whether they want to appeal their assessment to the Value Adjustment Board.
Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, undoubtedly the greatest male student-athlete produced by the legendary athletic program at Florida A&M University (FAMU), will be among the 29 historically Black college and university (HBCU) gridiron greats honored in February by the National Football League (NFL) during the Super Bowl LI festivities in Houston, Texas.
In December 2016, the NFL joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia to kick off an enhanced partnership initiative titled, “Strength of HBCUs: Impacting Pro Football Since 1948.” The goal of the partnership is to honor the history and impact of HBCUs and their players and increase career opportunities for students and athletic administrators at these institutions.
The NFL announced that its celebration of the influence of HBCUs and their players will continue at this year’s Super Bowl, where it will honor the 29 Pro Football Hall of Fame players who attended HBCUs, culminating with an on-field, pregame ceremony featuring the Hall of Famers at NRG Stadium on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Hayes was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 2009, seven years after his death in September of 2002, at the age of 59. The legendary two-sport Rattler was credited by many with revolutionizing the game of professional football with his world-class sprinter’s speed. In addition to a successful career with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and a stint with the San Francisco 49ers, Hayes was an Olympic gold medalist, and earned the nicknames, “Bullet Bob” and “World’s Fastest Human.”
FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., expressed the University’s appreciation for the NFL’s commitment to HBCUs, and for the unique way it will honor one of the institution’s most beloved sons.
“I commend the NFL for honoring Bob Hayes along with the other well-deserving HBCU greats,” Robinson said. “I look forward to representing FAMU and Rattler sports at one of the world’s most widely viewed athletic events.”
He added, “The University has worked with the NFL on several previous occasions, including our Marching ‘100’s’ performance at Super Bowl XLI with the late music legend, Prince. We look forward to a growing and fruitful relationship with one of the most influential brands in the world.”
In a recent statement, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said, “the HBCU influence on the NFL goes beyond the evolution of the game and reaches deep into the very fabric of football.”
“Our partnership with the HBCUs is an important initiative which celebrates the tremendous legacy fostered by these institutions that continue to contribute a standard of excellence and character for our game,” Vincent said.
As one of Pensacola’s largest full-service salons, 10th Avenue Hair Designs is accustomed to making its residents feel beautiful. This family and community minded salon, however, recently turned its attention to making itself more beautifully energy efficient, thereby earning the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Triple E Award—for Energy Efficiency Efforts for the month of January.
“Due to equipment use, such as washing machines, blow dryers, pedicure chairs, and other equipment, salons and spas can consume a lot of energy on a daily basis,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “The PSC is pleased that 10th Avenue Hair Designs has worked on improving its energy use, which not only saves the salon energy but hopefully saves its customers money too.”
“Salons are one of the most energy intensive small businesses, and this energy consumption also brings a financial burden with it,” said Dale Moore, salon owner. “While we can’t completely, eliminate energy and water consumption in our operations, we can reduce our consumption, which is what we’ve done to become a more eco-friendly salon.”
With the help of Gulf Power, 10th Avenue Hair Designs had two Integrated Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) installed replacing two existing gas water heaters in the attic. HPWHs use the ambient surrounding air to collect and gather heat and transfer it to heat water. Since HPWHs cannot operate in the conventional attic because of the extreme temperatures, the hair salon also decided to foam seal the attic, making the upgrade ideal. The new heat pump water heaters are 3.4 times more efficient compared to any conventional gas or electric heater.
“We worked with 10th Avenue Hair Designs—with more than 30 years serving the Gulf Coast—to improve energy efficiency and cut costs,” said Jeff Rogers, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and Gulf Power continues to offer Energy Checkups to help local businesses learn about energy efficiency and cut costs.”
Covering the state’s five major geographic areas, each month the PSC presents its Triple E Award to a local business that has accomplished superior energy efficiency. Look for past PSC Triple E Award recipients under Hot Topics on the PSC’s homepage, www.floridapsc.com. The PSC encourages cost-effective conservation and renewable energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels and defer the need for new generating capacity through the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
About 10th Avenue Hair Designs
Dale and Sheila Moore, owners of 10th Avenue Hair Designs are committed to making sure your visit is perfect. They’re constantly striving to provide the best products and services to the Pensacola area. For more information, visit the website: http://10thavenuehair.com/, or call 850-433-5207.
For more information about Gulf Power’s Energy Checkup and other energy efficient programs, visit MyGulfPower.com or call 1-877-655-4001.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.
The Imperiled Species Management Plan rule changes are now in effect, including changes in listing status for many species. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the groundbreaking plan in an effort to achieve conservation success with dozens of imperiled species throughout the state. The plan outlines the steps to conserve 57 species along with the broader vision of restoring habitats essential to the long-term survival of multiple fish and wildlife species.
“Florida is charting an ambitious new path for wildlife conservation success on a statewide scale,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “Seeing a roseate spoonbill wading in shallow waters, a black skimmer resting on the beach or a Big Cypress fox squirrel sitting in a pine tree is an essential part of the Florida experience. This innovative plan is designed to keep imperiled species like these around for many generations to come.”
Nine rules were revised in support of the ISMP, focusing on changes to listing status, adding authorizations in a management plan or Commission-approved guidelines, preventing possession of species coming off the list, and accomplishing overall rule cleanup and clarification. Among the nine rules, one rule affecting inactive nests of non-listed birds is still pending.
Under the rule change that updates species’ listing status:
Important things to know about the Imperiled Species Management Plan:
Learn more about the plan at MyFWC.com/Imperiled.
The International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research, known as ICAMR, announced Tuesday that it will officially do business as BRIDG, an acronym that captures the central mission of the innovative technology collective – “Bridging the Innovation Development Gap.”
Leaders say the new name better stands for what they do – connecting researchers and industry to accelerate the development of emerging technologies.
Since it launched in 2014, the consortium has provided a platform for advanced manufacturing development to “bridge the gap” between advanced research at Florida’s universities or industry innovators and cost-competitive manufacturing of new products tied to connected devices and the Internet of Things.
Its partners now range from a Belgium-based leading international hub in nano-electronics and digital technology to a home-grown photonics and smart sensor developer.
“We’re entering a new phase of this project that will transform Osceola County and Florida’s economy, giving us a competitive advantage over advanced, nano-scale manufacturing centers around the globe, and our new identity reflects that,” said Chester Kennedy, CEO for BRIDG.
In addition to a new name for the consortium, Osceola County has renamed the 500-acre, master planned site where the consortium is headquartered from the Osceola Tech Farm to NeoCity.
Osceola County leaders say the name signals a new horizon for the region’s high-tech economy, and the site will be more than a traditional research park with its community connections and surrounding natural landscape.
In March, BRIDG will open its new design center at NeoCity, across from Osceola Heritage Park. The 109,000-square-foot facility will be one of the most advanced fabrication labs in the world and offer partners and others the opportunity to share equipment and conduct research needed to profitably access the next-generation sensor economy.
The design center and consortium are led by Osceola County, the University of Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (known as The Corridor), and are poised to change the region’s technology industry.
“Tonight was a glimpse of things to come. It’s here, and it’s real. It is the future of nano-technology research and development. The global high-tech spotlight is shining on us as we change the face of Florida’s economy – putting us at the forefront of the next generation of nano-scale, micro-electronics,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “None of this would have been possible without unanimous support of this Osceola County Commission, which has had the vision and foresight to make the commitment to fund this journey.”
The project has garnered widespread support.
State lawmakers approved $15 million toward the project last spring, and, in a major announcement in July, Belgian nanotechnology firm imec announced its partnership and plans to build its research and development design center at NeoCity, in collaboration with BRIDG. The company’s new U.S. headquarters will focus on photonics and high-speed electronics integrated circuits.
“With our local and global partners, we will create new solutions and economies of scale to transform the smart sensor industry, while diversifying the economy to lift our community,” said Dale Whittaker, UCF Provost and Executive Vice President. “That’s what happens when you bring together the best minds from the research labs and manufacturing centers with future-focused government leaders.”
Other major partners include Harris Corporation, Argonne National Laboratories, Kissimmee-based Photon-X, Florida International University, University of South Florida and University of Florida among others.
“This project is another demonstration of the power of partnerships, as almost from the start people and organizations have raised their hands and opened their wallets – even before being asked – to join the founders in a venture we all know will create jobs and amazing new technology,” said Randy Berridge, president of The Corridor.
To access new logos for BRIDG and NeoCity, along with photos, please visit: https://goo.gl/ub52Bf
BRIDG is an industry-led consortium for advanced sensors, optics and photonics and other advanced manufacturing devices, focusing on the development of innovative manufacturable processes, materials and equipment for next-generation smart sensors and other future high-tech products. Supported by Osceola County, the University of Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, BRIDG facilitates the connection between innovation and industry and “bridges” the innovation development gap that makes commercialization possible. BRIDG is initially targeting the mega-growth technologies that will lead to over 50 billion smart sensors and imagers predicted by 2020, transforming the way humans interact with the world every day. Learn more at http://GoBRIDG.com.
About Osceola County
Osceola County is a fast-growing, dynamic and innovative community. While we honor the history and traditions passed down from our pioneer ranching families, we are focused on a vision to be the center of research and manufacturing innovation for “smart sensors” that will supercharge the regional economy as the leader in what will be a $154 billion industry by 2020. As part of the Orlando Metropolitan Area, we proudly host approximately 7 million annual overnight guests who enjoy easy access to Central Florida’s world-famous theme parks and Osceola County’s unique sights and unmatched hospitality.
The University of Central Florida, one of the largest universities in the nation with more than 64,000 students, uses the power of scale and the pursuit of excellence to make a better future for our students and society. Described by The Washington Post as demolishing “the popular belief that exclusivity is a virtue in higher education” and credited by Politico with creating a “seamless pipeline of social mobility,” UCF is recognized as one of the best values in higher education. UCF aligns its teaching, research and service with the needs of the community and beyond, offering more than 200 degree programs at more than a dozen locations, including its main campus in Orlando. Faculty and students are creating innovations in areas as diverse as simulation and training, optics and lasers, hospitality management, video game design, business, education and health care to solve local and global problems. For more information, visit www.ucf.edu.
About The Florida High Tech Corridor Council
The Florida High Tech Corridor Council is an economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF). The mission of The Corridor is to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship. A partnership involving more than 25 local and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), 14 state colleges and 12 CareerSource boards, The Corridor is co-chaired by the presidents of UCF, USF and UF. The Corridor includes the presidents of two state colleges, the president of the Florida Institute of Technology and representatives of high tech industry. The unique partnership has resulted in a strategic approach to high tech economic development that supports matching funds research, marketing, workforce development and entrepreneurship leveraging governmental, EDO and corporate budgets on a regional rather than local basis. For more information, visit www.floridahightech.com.
Following the capture of Markeith Loyd by the Orlando Police Department tonight, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement:
Governor Rick Scott said, “I want to thank the Orlando Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their unrelenting focus to find the person responsible for multiple deaths, including two honorable law enforcement heroes, Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Deborah Clayton and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman Lewis. Local, state and federal law enforcement have been working around the clock to capture the suspect to ensure no other innocent people were harmed and he will now be held to the fullest extent of the law. It is sickening that anyone would commit senseless violence against our brave first responders. Ann and I continue to pray for the families of the fallen heroes and hope today’s news provides some relief.”
Today, Senator Debbie Mayfield filed Senate Bill 386 to create a high speed passenger rail safety act. Representatives MaryLynn Magar, Gayle Harrell and Erin Grall also filed a house companion. Brent Hanlon, chair of Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida issued the following statement.
“On behalf of the members of Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida and concerned residents in the Treasure Coast region, we thank and applaud Sen. Mayfield and Reps. Magar, Harrell and Grall for filing legislation to protect our safety and well-being. The thoughtful measure specifically addresses Florida’s current unacceptable lack of any law or regulation governing high speed rail safety.
“What many Floridians do not realize is that All Aboard Florida (AAF) plans to send up to 32 high-speed passenger trains barreling through our small communities each day, negatively affecting thousands of school children, first responders, pedestrians and residents. As if that’s not enough, they also plan to add additional freight trains that may carry hazardous materials, increasing the risk for something to go wrong. And to top it all off, AAF wants us to pay for the cost of maintaining the upgrades necessary to protect ourselves from these dangerous trains. This important legislation will ensure that AAF is solely responsible for the cost of upgrading and installing the appropriate safety measures desperately needed at high-speed rail crossings, protecting not only the safety and well-being of Treasure Coast residents, but our pocketbooks as well.
“Sen. Mayfield and Reps. Magar, Harrell and Grall fully understand the negative impact the AAF project would have on our communities if allowed to move forward as planned, and have taken commendable action today to not only put sensible state wide and not project specific regulations in place to enhance public safety, but to alleviate the financial burden that would have been placed squarely on the backs of our local governments as well.”
CARE FL is a coalition created by a group of concerned community leaders, organizations and neighbors in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Our group continues to grow. We share a common goal: Protecting the safety, welfare and way of life for the families, businesses and retirees who live in and around our communities. To learn more about CARE FL’s concerns, visit www.saveourfl.com and follow us on Twitter @CARE_FL or like us on Facebook.