Miami developer hires governor’s pal; Scott, Cabinet green light Watson Island project

Lobbyist William "Billy" Rubin, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
In late March, state emails show, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was poised to pull the plug on a long-delayed, contentious plan to build a resort and mega-yacht marina on Miami’s Watson Island. But developer Flagstone Island Gardens had an ace in the hole. A month earlier, the company hired Fort Lauderdale lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, a longtime personal friend, business associate and political supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott campaign ad touting jobs record stars convicted smuggler

A Rick Scott television ad features the governor shoulder to shoulder with flag-waving smuggler Maikel Duarte-Torres

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
A Cuban-born grocery store owner starring in a Rick Scott Spanish language television campaign ad touting the governor’s job creation record was convicted on human smuggling charges in St. Maarten four years ago. THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED

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Red light camera settlement means windfall for Hallandale Beach

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Thousands of drivers ticketed under Hallandale Beach’s controversial red light camera program are eligible to receive small refunds as part of a lawsuit settlement that lets the city keep most of the $1.2 million in disputed fines it collected.

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Five ex-Deerfield Beach commissioners cleared of wrongdoing about free festival tickets

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
UPDATE: Dec. 16 – Five current and former Deerfield Beach commissioners have been cleared of accusations that they broke state conflict of interest and gift disclosure laws.

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Hallandale Beach ready to buy more land, this time a post office site for about $9 million

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach officials are vying to add another big ticket property to the city’s controversial land bank: a 9.1 acre U.S. Postal Service complex next to city hall at a cost of about $9 million.

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Hallandale Beach’s purchase of ex-congressman Deutsch’s school site comes with hefty repair bill

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach’s controversial decision in July to pay $1.2 million for property owned by a charter school group headed by former Broward Democratic congressman Peter Deutsch keeps getting more costly for the city.

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Upcoming decision on controversial southwest landfill tied to trash bills for the rest of Broward

By Buddy Nevins
BrowardBulldog.org
The smelly, greasy castaways stuffed in containers and put on the curb for collection is garbage to most of us. But to a handful of businesses it is gold.

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Hallandale Beach takes a bath on land deals; properties for redevelopment sit idle for years

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
The Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency has rolled the dice over the past five years by investing $23.5 million in tax dollars in real estate it often had only vague plans for – and like other land speculators the agency finds itself losing big.

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Audit report shows missing records and disarray in Hallandale Beach’s redevelopment agency

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach has failed to properly track city land acquisitions, developer agreements and loans to businesses, according to a draft of an audit obtained by the Broward Bulldog.

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Broward property owners may face flood insurance for the first time under new FEMA map

By Amber Statler-Matthews
BrowardBulldog.org
If Broward County is like the rest of the country, property owners who have never paid for flood insurance will soon be forced to buy the coverage when the Federal Emergency Management Agency unveils its new flood map.

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FBI says again it found no ties between Sarasota Saudis and 9/11 hijackers; won’t release details

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A top Florida FBI agent said Thursday that members of a Saudi family living quietly near Sarasota were questioned after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but no evidence was found that linked them to the hijackers.

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U.S. Rep. Castor calls for investigation of 9/11 Sarasota connection; Graham prods White House

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor Monday called on the House Intelligence Committee to investigate why the FBI did not disclose to Congress information it learned about a Saudi couple living in southwest Florida with ties to the 9/11 hijackers.

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