(BY MARTHA BRANNIGAN VIA MIAMI HERALD) A federal civil jury awarded Miami-based Lennar Corp. $1 billion in damages against California developer Nicolas Marsch III and his Briarwood Capital LLC for defamation and conspiracy to extort money from the giant homebuilder.
Collecting the award was “doubtful,’’ Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said in a statement. He added: “The true value of the verdict is the validation of our integrity, credibility and transparency, which have always been cornerstones of our foundation. The jury award represents a complete vindication of Lennar’s reputation and good name.”Read more
(By William March VIA Tribune Tribune) Charlie Crist's newly formed campaign for governor hit a bump in the road Tuesday as he announced that recently hired campaign manager Bill Hyers won't be working for the campaign after all.
“It's early. Our campaign structure is still coming together. Bill wanted to stay in New York because it was good for him,” said a statement from Crist, relayed by public relations consultant Kevin Cate, who has worked with the campaign.
The campaign was tight-lipped about the departure, providing no other details or explanation Tuesday, including the reasons for the break or possible replacements.Read more
(By Susannah Bryan VIA Sun Sentinel) Picture tobacco smoke wafting through public playgrounds as children laugh and play.
A contradictory combination? Not in the state of Florida, anti-smoking critics say.
That's because there is no state ban on smoking in parks. And last year, Florida legislators prohibited cities and counties from passing their own bans. State Rep. Katie Edwards wants to change that.Read more
(Ledyard King and Maureen Groppe VIA FLORIDATODAY.COM) Some Floridians will pay twice as much as others for similar insurance plans purchased on the federal HealthCare.gov web site, a USA TODAY/Gannett analysis of federal data shows.It all depends on where someone lives. But Florida is among the states with the widest range of prices on the federal online exchange.Read more
(By Beth Reinhard VIA NATIONAL REVIEW) How many campaigns can one hug squeeze to death?
As the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist paid dearly for putting his arms around President Obama at a town hall touting the Democrats' economic-stimulus plan in February 2009. The governor's chief rival for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, replayed footage of the embrace over and over, savaging Crist's conservative credentials.
Now running as a Democrat for his old job, Crist may find that his continued embrace of an increasingly unpopular president--and his controversial health care law--could thwart him once again.Read more
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen comments on Iran Deal.Read more
Hollywood teacher Luis Espinosa stood quietly in the back of the school cafeteria at Apollo Middle on Monday, expecting just another routine assembly.
Instead, he got a surprise of a lifetime: national recognition and a $25,000 prize.
The 17-year teacher was the recipient of the prestigious Milken Award, given to a select group of about 40 educators across the country each year for their exemplary classroom work.Read more
(By Gary Fineout VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS) A persistent critic of Gov. Rick Scott filed lawsuits on Monday accusing top Florida officials of flouting the state's public records laws by failing to turn over emails and other documents.
The lawsuits contend the Scott administration altered calendars of one top aide, relied on private email accounts and waited more than a year to hand over text messages of another aide.Read more
(ASSOCIATED PRESS VIA TAMPA BAY TRIBUNE) A U.S. congressman from Florida who recently pleaded guilty to cocaine possession is focusing on rehab and will return to work, his aide said Tuesday, despite calls from the state’s top Republican Party officials for him to step down.
On Monday, party chairman Lenny Curry suggested U.S. Rep. Trey Radel from Fort Mayers should resign after his recent conviction in Washington, D.C. The chairman joined a growing number of party leaders in Radel’s own district and Florida’s governor who are calling for his resignation.Read more
(By MAGGIE HABERMAN VIA POLITICO) Jeb Bush swore by his own conservative credentials and said that he’s a “practicing” conservative who would put his record “up against anybody that’s in Congress right now” in a question-and-answer session in New York City Monday night.
Bush also told the crowd at the 92nd St. Y that he hasn’t yet had a family conversation about whether he’ll run for president in 2016. “I have not gotten advice and I have not sought it yet. There’s a time to make a decision and you shouldn’t make it too early. This is not the time for me. This is the time for me to show a little self-restraint.”Read more