Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Colorado deputy: School resource officers will be busier if medical marijuana passes in Florida: A discovery of Colorado students as young as 12 with “substantial amounts of marijuana” in their possession has anti-drug organizations sounding alarm bells and calling it “a canary in a coal mine” for Florida.Cpl. Mike Dillon of the Mesa County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Department confirmed statements he made to Drug Free America Foundation. In a telephone interview Wednesday he told Sunshine State News he caught children not yet in their teens bringing as much as three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana to school, “which is quite a bit of marijuana, especially for a 12-year-old.” Read more.
Bison thrive on Florida ranch: A herd of about 2,400 American bison roams the fields at Three Suns Ranch, gobbling up grass and palmetto leaves, as well as citrus pulp brought in to supplement their diet.On the 5,729-acre ranch east of Punta Gorda, about 60 miles north of Naples, there are no hormone injections or feed lots — staples of the American cattle industry.Rather, 34-year-old Keith Mann and his crew of seven full-time employees are working hard to provide a product that most people wouldn’t associate with Florida: grass-fed, U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected and locally raised bison meat. The herd is comprised of transplants from the western United States and some bison born on the property. Read more.
Ander Crenshaw leads the charge to gut the IRS: From his perch as chairman of the congressional committee that oversees funding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw has become one of the Republicans’ point men in trying to cut the agency’s funding, ensure it never targets political groups again and reduce its role in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. Crenshaw, R-Fla., came out swinging at the IRS Wednesday, unveiling a budget proposal cutting more than $340 million from its last budget. Under the proposal, the IRS would receive $10.95 billion in funding, the lowest amount since 2008 and $1.5 billion less than Obama had proposed. At a committee meeting, Crenshaw took aim at the IRS for targeting tea party groups and mismanaging its funds. Read more.
Win or lose, Miami Heat benefits economy: Who doesn’t love a win? While 1-4 isn’t the desired way to wrap up 2014, win or lose, when the Miami Heat play at the downtown AmericanAirlines Arena, the benefit to the area is huge.The value added of home games is two-fold, especially during high profile events like the NBA Finals. Drawing 40,000 fans per game to the Miami area results in more restaurant, bar and hotel tabs, and broadcasting the Miami skyline on national television is one of the best possible advertisements for the city. Read more.
The new fight to save Florida orange juice: For more than five years, Florida’s citrus industry has fought an expensive and difficult war against the devastating and ongoing effects of greening – the virulent disease that destroys fruit and kills trees. Now the industry is launching a new offensive to save the state’s orange juice from negative publicity, declining consumer demand and ever-increasing competition from trendier varieties of juice such as acai or pomegranate. On June 11, Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) unveiled an aggressive new campaign at a Bonita Springs meeting of the Florida Citrus Commission. FDOC announced a communications program that will include integrated public relations and retail marketing. Read more.
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