News Service of Florida

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As sea-turtle nesting season reaches its peak, the number of reptiles laying eggs on Florida beaches continues to trend upward.

But officials say Subtropical Storm Alberto washed away some nests and flooded others across the state this week, which makes it unlikely any of those eggs will survive.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Robbin Trindell said natural occurrences like Alberto make it even more important for residents and guests to help protect turtles.

Wikimedia Commons

The battle over whether Florida patients should be able to smoke medical marijuana continues to flare.

Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr Creative Commons

Groups including the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties plan to back a Volusia County hospital district in a dispute at the state Supreme Court about construction of a new hospital.

The Supreme Court last week approved a request by groups and local governments, including the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida Association of Special Districts, to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Halifax Hospital Medical Center taxing district.

Flickr Creative Commons

With the opioid crisis as a backdrop, Florida physical therapists are promoting their services with a new website and statewide educational campaign in hopes of expanding their footprint in the health-care marketplace.

WellCare

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, a major player in Florida’s Medicaid market, announced a $2.5 billion deal Tuesday that includes buying managed-care plans with hundreds of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries in Michigan and Illinois.

MilitaryMark2007 / Flickr

With a sales-tax “holiday” starting next week, retailers are expecting big spending on disaster-preparedness supplies by Floridians who have fresh memories of Hurricane Irma.

Though describing it as a “close call,” an appeals court Friday upheld a decision by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to turn down approval of new hospice provider in Sarasota County. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday refused to jump into an ongoing legal battle about whether Tampa businessman Joe Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to try to prevent a recurrence of lung cancer.

The Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph order rejecting Redner’s request that it lift a stay imposed by the 1st District Court of Appeal and allow him to grow his own pot.

WMFE

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a Hillsborough County case that deals with how courts should carry out a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

NPR

A Sarasota nursing home has agreed to pay $26,000 in fines and increased licensure fees after the facility failed to notify the daughter of a resident that her mother’s health was deteriorating.

Coaster420

Businesses seeking to enter Florida’s pot industry warned state health officials Thursday of numerous flaws in a proposed rule that would expand the number of medical marijuana operators but could lead to further delays in a process that’s already months overdue.

NPR via Getty Images

Amid requests for the Florida Supreme Court to wade into the issue, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday ruled against a defendant in one in a series of cases about how to carry out a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

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An appeals court Wednesday overturned a ruling that said a state law aimed at cracking down on pain-management clinics was unconstitutional. 

Amy Green/WMFE

Eleven national parks in Florida are threatened by White House proposals to open to oil drilling currently protected parts of the nation’s outer continental shelf and to revise the 2016 Well Control Rule, according to a report released Wednesday by environmental conservation groups. 

More than 15,000 lionfish were recently removed from Florida waters as the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has started a more than three-month effort to remove the invasive species from state waters.

Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to put high-water vehicles in position to respond as the National Hurricane Season monitored a large area of showers that extended from the northwestern Caribbean across Cuba and into the Florida peninsula.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Attorney General Pam Bondi is drawing praise from Republicans seeking to replace her after the term-limited state Cabinet member last week took on opioid manufacturers in court.

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Lawyers for an embattled Broward County nursing home failed to show up Monday for a hearing they requested in a public-records legal tangle with the Florida Department of Health.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

The National Rifle Association is appealing a federal judge’s refusal to keep the identity of a 19-year-old Alachua County woman secret in a challenge to a state law that raised the age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

Lawyers for the state asked the Florida Supreme Court to stay out of a legal battle, at least for now, over whether a lung-cancer patient can grow his own marijuana.

Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner this week asked the high court to step in while the dispute is under appeal.

A Tallahassee judge in April ruled that Redner should be able to grow his own medical marijuana for “juicing.”

Redner and his lawyers maintain that juicing is the best way to prevent his lung cancer, now in remission, from recurring.

Center for American Progress

Premiums for health insurance plans sold on the federal marketplace are expected to increase by nearly 16.9 percent in Florida next year due to changes in the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis released Friday.

Humana.com

After scoring a big victory in a statewide Medicaid managed-care procurement, Humana and Jon Bussey, who served as its regional director of corporate affairs, have parted ways. 

Wikimedia Commons

A regulatory fight between acupuncturists and physical therapists over “dry needling” will be hammered out by a state judge.

Governor's Press Office

Local officials across Florida shouldn’t rely on the federal government to be on the ground everywhere a day or days after the next natural disaster, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday during the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes.

NPR

An additional 10 municipalities have joined a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law that imposes strict penalties on local governments and officials who violate a restriction on regulating guns and ammunition. 

Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Justin Senior is meeting with 12 managed-care companies that filed petitions with the state last week, as he tries to dissuade them from legal fights over the state’s decisions to award five-year Medicaid contracts that could be worth up to $90 billion.

Google Maps

In the latest twist in months of legal battling after Hurricane Irma, an embattled Broward County nursing home has accused the Florida Department of Health of not properly complying with a judge’s order to turn over public records.

MilitaryMark2007 / Flickr

After farmers and ranchers sustained heavy damage in Hurricane Irma, candidates for state agriculture commissioner are offering a variety of approaches to make Florida’s food chain more resilient before future natural disasters.

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Part of a new Florida law touted as a way to end years of disputes over trauma centers is being challenged by a Miami-based hospital.

Amy Green/WMFE

Visit Florida President Ken Lawson and Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, are among scheduled panelists for a Florida congressional delegation hearing Thursday on drilling off the state’s coasts.

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