Jim Turner

Jim Turner is a reporter for the News Service of Florida.

Jan Derk (Wikimedia Commons)

Using chum to attract sharks in waters used by beachgoers, surfers and divers is closer to being banned in Florida, despite concerns the change will further squeeze out “blue collar” angling.

Those fishing from Florida’s coastlines may soon be barred from the popular practice of using chum to attract sharks near beaches.

Adam Putnam/YouTube

A follow-up report on the handling of the state’s concealed-carry permitting process pointed to a lack of management oversight by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but the agency claims it is addressing the issues.

WMFE

Throughout the summer, politicians heard from Floridians angered by the latest bouts of toxic blue-green algae in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, along with a festering red-tide outbreak on the Gulf Coast.

Tourism Marketing Backed After Hurricane, Red Tide

Oct 31, 2018
Dead fish on the shore of a beach.
Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

The state’s tourism-marketing arm wants to send a message to potential visitors: Hurricane damage and fish-killing red tide don’t cover all of the Sunshine State.

Utilities, State Prepare For Hurricane Strike

Oct 10, 2018
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Gov. Rick Scott and electric utilities say they are poised for a quick response to Hurricane Michael, which officials say could be the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle in decades, causing life-threatening storm surge and putting some areas in the dark for more than a week.

State Sen. Denise Grimsley would immediately order a “full audit” of Florida’s concealed-weapons licensing process, as well as examine the management structure of the program, if she is elected agriculture commissioner.

Florida’s nearshore waters would be off limits to future oil and gas drilling under a measure that is moving closer to appearing before voters in November.

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

Despite U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s declaration last week that Florida wouldn’t be considered as part of a White House offshore oil-drilling proposal, waters near the state’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts may continue to be under review.

Senate President Joe Negron wants water managers to expand their search for land to house a reservoir he has backed to help shift water south from Lake Okeechobee.

In a letter 

A bipartisan group of lawmakers embarked Tuesday on a road that has resulted in a dead end in the past: getting the House and Senate to make texting while driving a “primary” traffic offense in Florida.

White nationalist Richard Spencer brought his “alt-right” movement to the University of Florida Thursday, calling America a “white country,” but his message was drowned out.

TALLAHASSEE — Facing pressure to address drug overdoses across the state, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi rolled out plans Tuesday for a series of workshops and gave support for legislation focused on opioids and drug abuse.

Matti Parkkonen (Wikimedia Commons)

With Florida battling a Zika virus outbreak in Miami, the full impacts of federal and international travel advisories on the state's tourism industry won't be known for months.

WQCS

Fifty-four businesses from seven counties have alerted the state they have suffered some form of economic damage from toxic green algae coating waterways in parts of Florida.

A proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to pack heat while hitting the books on college and university campuses notched it first two successes Wednesday.

The legislation (SB 68 and HB 4001), which won support from criminal-justice committees in the House and Senate, is widely opposed by academic leaders.

Proponents argued that the proposal would make colleges safer, while opponents questioned the need to allow weapons into an already stress-filled atmosphere.