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

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By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
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.

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

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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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Amid rising deaths, a warning that heroin epidemic has begun in South Florida

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By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A new report sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has determined that a heroin epidemic is underway in South Florida. “The key issue identified in 2013 is the outbreak of a heroin epidemic in South Florida and particularly in Miami-Dade County,” the report says.

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Senate leaders want special districts covered by state lobbyist registration laws

Senate President Don Gaetz, right, and Sen. Jack Latvala, chairman of the Ethics and Elections Committee

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Key lawmakers in Tallahassee say they will introduce reform legislation this session to require lobbyists at independent special districts to publicly register and disclose who they work for and how much they’re being paid.

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Independent special districts: Where lobbyists ride free and the public is in the dark

Florida's sprawling water management districts spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year, but do not require lobbyists to register. Photo: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Nearly 1,000 special-purpose governments across Florida that raise and spend billions of dollars in public funds every year do not require lobbyists who appear before them to register, pay fees or disclose any information about themselves or their clients.

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Oakland Park commissioners likely to decide soon on controversial psychiatric hospital

The former North Ridge Medical Center Photo: BrowardBulldog.org

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
UPDATE: Jan. 16 — Shot down unanimously by Oakland Park’s planning and zoning board on Monday, a Delray Beach drug rehab operator’s controversial plan to develop a 300-bed psychiatric hospital on the site of the old North Ridge Medical Center is expected to go before the city commission soon for a final decision.

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Patient Harm: When an attorney won’t take your case

Ernie Ciccotelli takes a phone call inside his law office in Norwich, Vt., on Dec. 31, 2013. Ciccotelli suffered complications after he donated a kidney to his brother in January of 2006 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Ciccotelli was unable to find a malpractice attorney to take on his case. Photo: Matthew Healey for ProPublica

By Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce
ProPublica
Ernie Ciccotelli was trying to do a good deed when he donated a kidney to his brother. But within days of the surgery, his incision was oozing green fluid and his guts were rotting.

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The Fix Isn’t In: Why a Safety Device That Can Stop Overdoses by Kids Isn’t Widely Used

Dr. Daniel Budnitz, at his office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Budnitz has campaigned to have flow restrictors -- safety plastic devices fitted into the necks of medicine bottles to slow the release of fluid -- added to all liquid medicines, but so far he’s had limited success. Photo: Bryan Meltz for ProPublica

By T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth
ProPublica
This story was produced in collaboration with Consumer Reports…
Starting in 2007, Dr. Daniel Budnitz, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, began tracking an obscure but unsettling statistic about children’s health.

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Hallandale commissioners approve taking from the city, giving to themselves

Commissioners Anthony Sanders, Bill Julian and Michele Lazarow

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach city commissioners have created a new policy they can use to boost their take home pay by allowing them to pocket up to $10,000 a year in unspent funds from their individual travel accounts.

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9/11 “cover up” could collapse as Saudi Arabia restored to victims’ lawsuit, says Bob Graham

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By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
With an unusual acknowledgment of a mistake in a high-profile case, a federal appeals court in New York City has restored Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by thousands of 9/11 victims, their families and others.

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Broward Commission skips bids, awards 15-year airport food contract to Delaware North

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By William Hladky
BrowardBulldog.org
Bypassing the county’s bidding process, the Broward County Commission earlier this month approved an Aviation Department recommendation to extend for 15 years Delaware North’s grip on food and beverage concessions in terminals three and four at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The deal means Delaware North could remain in place until as long as 2032.

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