Gov. Scott and GE: Jobs, incentives and investments in Scott’s oil & gas partnerships

Gov. Rick Scott with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and GE representatives on Friday

By Dan Christensen
When Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that GE Oil & Gas would open a $50 million manufacturing facility in Jacksonville he talked about how it would create 500 new jobs for Florida. Not mentioned in the hoopla: how another division of General Electric has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly traded oil and natural gas partnerships in which Scott had a financial interest.

9/11 victims: Saudi Arabia’s ‘lavish sponsorship’ of al Qaeda made attacks possible


By Dan Christensen
As defense attorneys tried again last week to get Saudi Arabia dropped from a massive federal lawsuit accusing it of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, lawyers for those who survived, and relatives of the dead, filed a sweeping new statement of the evidence they are marshaling for trial.

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More judges may have violated rules by working with company overseeing public health funds

By Dan Christensen
Two more South Florida judges may have violated ethics rules by serving on the board of a private company that controls public health care spending.

Those Miami-Dade judges sit on the board of a nonprofit corporation that is paid by the Department of Children and Families to administer tens of millions of behavioral healthcare dollars.

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The other crucial civil rights case the Supreme Court will be ruling on

By Suevon Lee
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear two cases challenging state and federal laws which prevent the legal union between same-sex couples.

But it’s not the only significant civil rights case the Court has decided to take up this term.

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How Cellphone Companies Have Resisted Rules for Disasters

By Cora Currier
In a natural disaster or other emergency, one of the first things you’re likely to reach for is your cellphone. Landlines are disappearing. More than 30 percent of American households now rely exclusively on cellphones. Despite that, cell carriers have successfully pushed back against rules on what they have to do in a disaster.

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Fight over the huge estate of a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll dance party host twists through Broward court

By Karla Bowsher
Before he built Fort Lauderdale-based Grant Communications, the late Milt Grant hosted a popular 1950s television show for teenagers with guests like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Harry Belafonte. Today, his heirs are fighting in Broward Circuit Court over a fortune worth as much as $58 million.

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Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

By Elizabeth Royte
Food and Environment Reporting Network
In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking.

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Despite “No Involvement” pledge, Butterworth got the kind of private deal he backed as DCF boss

By Dan Christensen
When Bob Butterworth filed a bid last winter on a $44.8 million-a-year Department of Children and Families private management contract he signed a “Statement of No Involvement.” By signing the statement, the former Florida Attorney General certified that neither he nor anyone else at the non-profit Broward Behavioral Health Coalition was involved in developing the DCF program for the project his company was bidding on.

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Generals no longer retire to Vermont — they lobby for contractors in Washington

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Center for Public Integrity
“What can you do with a general, when he stops being a general?” crooned Bing Crosby in the 1954 movie “White Christmas.” “Who’s got a job for a general when he stops being a general?” Alas, the answer, 58 years later, is now clear.

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Broward IG says Hallandale made “immense” gaffe in overseeing $12.7 million in city bonds

By William Gjebre
Initial findings by Broward’s Inspector General of mismanagement at Hallandale Beach City Hall have led officials to revise plans for a $12.7 million bond issue, according to city and county records obtained by

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Hallandale Beach made hush-hush settlement with a top manager over lucrative pension plan

By William Gjebre
Hallandale Beach taxpayers quietly coughed up nearly $500,000 in 2009 to settle a complaint by a ranking city official that his bosses had failed to include him in a generous management retirement plan for top city leaders.

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