True the Vote Files Lawsuit in Florida

By KURT HYDE -- True the Vote announced the filing of a lawsuit for public access to election records in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. In a prepared statement available on the organization’s website, True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht explained steps that have been taken by True the Vote volunteers to audit the results of the controversial contest between then-incumbent Congressman Allen West and challenger Patrick Murphy. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce, Florida, is based in part on Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, commonly known as the Motor Voter Act. The complaint filed with the court says: Under Section 8 of the NVRA, election officials “shall maintain for at least 2 years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the … [Read more...]

Commission OKs conflict-resolution proceedings with Brevard school district

By DAVE BERMAN, Florida Today -- Brevard County commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to start conflict-resolution proceedings with the school district in an attempt to halt the closing of three local schools. Commissioners felt the Brevard School Board did not follow proper procedures in deciding to close three schools: Clearlake Middle, Gardendale Elementary and South Lake Elementary. The commission earlier fell one vote short of authorizing county legal staff file a lawsuit asking a judge to approve an injunction that would halt the closing process. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130219/NEWS01/130219009/Brevard-commissioners-OK-lawsuit-keep-schools-from-closing … [Read more...]

New lawsuit alleges Carnival Triumph was ‘floating hell’

By PAUL BRINKMAN, South Florida Business Journal -- Just one day after the Carnival Triumphfinally landed, Texas resident Cassie Terry filed suit in federal court in Miami. The suit alleges negligence, misrepresentation, breach of contract and fraud on the part of Carnival Cruise Lines. “Plaintiff feared for her life and safety, under constant threat of contracting serious illness by the raw sewage filling the Vessel, and suffering actual or some bodily injury,” the lawsuit states. http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/2013/02/new-lawsuit-alleges-carnival-triumph.html … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Coastal Florida Sparrow and Lizard Threatened by Sea-level Rise

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s failure to protect the MacGillivray’s seaside sparrow and the Florida Keys mole skink under the Endangered Species Act. Both species are severely threatened by sea-level rise: The sparrow depends on marshes that are threatened by rising seas, while the mole skink is found only on Florida’s low-lying keys, at risk of inundation. Driven by climate change, sea-level rise of three feet to six feet in Florida is highly likely within this century. “Help can’t come too soon for the seaside sparrow, Florida Keys mole skink or many other plants and animals on our vulnerable coasts,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Center attorney based in … [Read more...]

Florida receives Medicaid waiver

By JAMES CALL -- The federal government has approved a long-term care waiver for the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Program.  Patients, mainly nursing home residents but some who still live in their homes, will be enrolled in private health-maintenance organizations or other types of managed-care programs. Gov. Rick Scott lobbied U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the waiver last month on a trip to Washington. Scott says Florida's plan to overhaul how Medicaid services are delivered will lower costs. “The additional flexibility provided through this waiver helps improve our system,” said Scott in a news release Monday. “And HHS approval allows us to begin implementing changes to our current Medicaid program.” Read more: http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=31403297 … [Read more...]