Broward Schools construction program woes cloud vote on $800 million bond issue

Nathalie Lynch-Walsh

By William Gjebre
hree years after a scathing grand jury report about the Broward school district’s construction program, community activists are raising concerns about the management of future construction projects should voters approve an $800 million public schools bond issue in November.

Gov. Scott had stake in pipeline firm whose $3 billion venture he and his appointees backed

Florida's existing and proposed pipeline routes. Gov. Scott invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in companies that own all three. Illustration: NextEra Energy

By Dan Christensen
Shortly after Gov. Rick Scott was elected, a Florida Power & Light executive on his transition team pitched the idea of building a major new natural gas pipeline. Last year, Scott signed bills to speed up permitting for the project and the Public Service Commission approved its construction. Not known at the time: Scott owned a stake in the company that will build the $3 billion pipeline.

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FBI publicly releases a few more pages about Sarasota Saudis; 80,000 pages given to judge

9-11 pentagon

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
The Justice Department late Friday made public four new, heavily censored documents confirming that by 2002 the FBI had found “many connections” between 9/11 terrorist figures and the Florida family of “an allegedly wealthy international businessman” with ties to the Saudi Royal family.

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Lobbyists at water districts must register and disclose under new ethics bill

Florida's water management districts

By Dan Christensen
Lobbyists hired to influence spending and policy at Florida’s five water management districts must register and disclose their clients under ethics reforms unanimously passed by the Legislature last week. If signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, the bill would for the first time apply state lobbying regulations to some special-purpose governments that raise and spend hundreds of millions dollars every year.

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More secret 9/11 documents identified, but FBI has yet to turn them over to judge


By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
Contradicting an earlier assertion made under oath by a senior FBI official, an attorney for the Justice Department said Wednesday that the FBI has identified four more boxes of “classified” 9/11 documents held by its Tampa field office.

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All Aboard Florida: Boon or Boondoggle?


By Ann Henson
A growing number of local and federal government officials want to put the brakes on the proposed passenger train between Miami and Orlando before some say it becomes one big boondoggle placed on the backs of Florida taxpayers. At the core of their concerns are questions about All Board Florida, the private rail project pushing the proposal.

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Meet the banking caucus, Wall Street’s secret weapon in Washington

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald
Center for Public Integrity
The lawmakers were at an impasse. More than two hours into a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee last month, the members were bickering over two versions of a bill designed to ease a new regulation that affected banks, part of the sweeping 2010 overhaul of financial laws known as the Dodd-Frank Act. The dispute? Whether to give banks everything they asked for, or whether to give them even more.

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Too many heroin addicts, too few treatment beds; The runaround in Miami-Dade

Proposed site for addiction treatment facility at NW 23rd Avenue and 54th Street in Miami.

By Francisco Alvarado
As a heroin epidemic builds in South Florida, one drug interventionist is finding it difficult to get Miami-Dade County’s assistance to open a long-term treatment facility.

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FBI’s attempt to water down judicial order denied; 9/11 documents begin to flow to judge


By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
A Fort Lauderdale federal judge Friday gave the FBI another week to produce tens of thousands of pages from its massive 9/11 investigation for his inspection, but forcefully denied government requests that he water down his own previous order requiring disclosure.

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Judge awaits FBI’s Sarasota Saudi documents; Justice Department wants more time


By Michael Pollick
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Relatives of 9/11 victims are eagerly watching the legal struggle over information held by the FBI concerning a Saudi Arabian family in Sarasota with possible ties to terrorists, even as calls in Congress ramp up for more disclosure about how the attackers were funded. Late Thursday, the government asked a Fort Lauderdale federal judge for more time to submit its 9/11 records.

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Broward prosecutors vilify BSO detective who alleged misconduct; ‘Bloody…not improper’


By Dan Christensen
A Broward Sheriff’s homicide detective who reported that Fort Lauderdale police unleashed a dog on a murder suspect who was in custody and no longer a threat should not be believed, according to a memo by local prosecutors closing the case.

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