Judge rules early voting can be reduced
A federal judge in Jacksonville refused to halt Florida’s plan to cut the number of early voting days from 14 days to eight days. Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled Monday there was not enough proof to show that the change approved last year by the Florida Legislature would harm black Americans’ right to vote. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown along with the Duval County Democratic Party and a civil rights group, challenged the law this summer in federal court. Their lawsuit contended the change was discriminatory because blacks voted early in higher percentages, especially during the 2008 election in which President Barack Obama carried Florida. [Source: AP]
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Citizens Property Insurance Corp continued its aggressive push to cut policies, announcing Monday that thousands more Florida homeowners will have to choose whether to stay with the state-run insurer of last resort. In all, Citizens could lose some 300,000 policies — or a fifth of its nearly 1.47 million policies — by the end of the year if homeowners agree to switch to one of the privately held insurance companies. That would exceed the number of policies removed in the last three years combined. Already this year, more than 234,000 policies either have been removed or were recently approved to be acquired by four in-state insurers. The latest: Owners of 60,000 policies also will be asked to make the choice. [Source: Sun-Sentinel]
Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Orlando missiles unit has corralled a one-year Army contract worth $111 million to perform high-level maintenance and logistics work on the Apache helicopter's Arrowhead weapons-targeting and navigation system. Including three one-year options, the deal could be worth $375 million through December 2015. With nearly 4,000 employees on Sand Lake Road, Lockheed Missiles is the company's largest operation in Florida. Terms of the new contract call for Lockheed to provide advanced mission-readiness, reliability and maintenance work for the system, while reducing operation and support costs. [Source: Sentinel]
State Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, abruptly resigned his seat in the Florida House on Monday following reports that he was a client at a brothel. Horner was a favorite to win a third term in District 42 in Osceola and Polk counties. His name surfaced during the investigation of alleged brothel owner, Mark David Risner, who faces racketeering and prostitution charges and is accused of running a prostitution ring out of his Orange County home. Horner shut down his campaign website shortly after his name was publicized but is not charged with a crime. [Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Robot plane to spy on hurricanes [USA Today]
For the first time, NASA has sent a robot plane — called a “Global Hawk” — this month from the East Coast to study hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.
› Lincoln Theatre’s retail conversion is a dazzling Deco drama [Herald]
When the New World Symphony moved out of its longtime home at Miami Beach’s Lincoln Theatre last year, some fans despaired over what would become of the splendid Art Deco building, one of the undisputed architectural gems of South Beach if not all of Florida. It turns out they had nothing to worry about.
› Floridians who lost home to foreclosure to get claims notice [Post]
Tens of thousands of Florida borrowers who have lost their home to foreclosure are about to get a packet in the mail that may mean they are eligible for a piece of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement.
Opinion › Gov. Scott's email in-box not for the timid [Times/Herald]
Rick Scott doesn't have time to read all the email he gets, and it's probably just as well. His in-box overflows with raw emotion on all sides. But this is progress. This is the "Project Sunburst" we've been expecting all along.
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› GOP says Scott not involved in drive to oust justices [Herald-Tribune]
Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said Monday that GOP Gov. Rick Scott had nothing to do with the party’s drive to oust three justices from the state Supreme Court.
› South Florida hotels fare better this August than last [Sun-Sentinel]
South Florida hotels are faring better because of two main factors, experts say: an improving U.S. economy and a surge in international visitors, especially from South America.
› Port of Tampa prepares to unveil new railroad line to boost cargo, ethanol markets [Tampa Bay Times]
The port is nearing completion of the $11 million Tampa Gateway Rail Terminal, a 2-mile rail loop that will speed the unloading of ethanol-bearing trains and cargo-bearing ships.
› Entrepreneurial spirit grows at FSU [Tallahassee Democrat]
As Florida State strives to establish itself as an entrepreneurial university, taking one of its “big ideas’ for fundraising and converting it into reality, the music school of all places is ground zero away from the College of Business.