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Gov. Scott Appoints John Tupps Communications Director

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed John Tupps his communications director, beginning June 5. 
 
In announcing the appointment Thursday, Scott said, “John has demonstrated an incredible commitment to supporting our mission of making Florida the top destination for businesses, families and visitors. He has been a part of my administration since my first year in office and over the past six years, he has worked tirelessly to serve our state. I know John will use this experience and dedication each day to lead my communications efforts as we continue to fight for Florida jobs.”

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Conservative Bruno Portigliatti Will Run for Eric Eisnaugle’s Vacated House Seat

Republican Bruno Portigliatti has announced his candidacy as a Republican for state representative, District 44, following Rep. Eric Eisnaugle’s May 8 appointment to the 5th District Court of Appeals.

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Five to Be Interviewed for FDOT Secretary

The Florida Transportation Commission chose five finalists Thursday to be interviewed for the secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation. Their interviews are set for 1-4 p.m. Thursday, May 11.
 
In order of their scheduled interview times, finalists are --

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Guardians of the Glades: Thanks for Trying, Governor

Guardians of the Glades met with Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday in Riviera Beach, specifically to thank him for his efforts to secure $200 million in state funds to speed up repair of the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

Said Tammy Jackson-Moore of Guardians of the Glades, “We applaud Governor Scott and hope that legislators in Tallahassee will support his efforts to speed up the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

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Budget Deal Reached; Session Will End Monday

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Senate President Joe Negron said Wednesday morning. 

Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said they will extend the legislative session to Monday.

Negron stressed that the extension applies only to the budget and budget-related bills. The extension is needed because House and Senate leaders could not reach agreement on a budget by Tuesday night. Because it didn't, the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” had to extend another work day.

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Legislative Session Will NOT End on Time

Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, confirmed Tuesday evening that lawmakers will not be able to pass a budget before Friday's scheduled end of the legislative session, according to the News Service of Florida.

House and Senate leaders needed to finish a spending plan by Tuesday night because of a constitutionally require 72-hour “cooling off period.” It was not immediately clear whether the session would be extended or whether a special session would be needed, NSF reported. 

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Correction on Nancy Smith's Cary Pigman Column

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department did no special favors for Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, during his March 24 DUI arrest, Sheriff's Information Officer Bryan Beaty said Tuesday.

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SFWMD to Facebook Live Weigh-In of 50th Python Eliminated

If you're interested in the progress of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board's Python Elimination Program, you'll have the chance to see the official weigh-in of the 50th Burmese Python eliminated in real time.

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Serena Williams Is 20 Weeks Pregnant

Palm Beach Gardens' Serena Williams, No. 1 woman professional tennis player in the world, is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

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Former UF and Patriots' Star Tight End Aaron Hernandez Hangs Himself in His Prison Cell

Aaron Hernandez, former star tight end with the University of Florida and New England Patriots, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2015, hanged himself early Wednesday in his prison cell where he was serving a life sentence without chance of parole for a 2015 murder.

According to numerous media outlets, Hernandez was discovered in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., around 3 a.m., the Massachusetts Department of Correction said in a statement.

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