Gulf Coast Live

Courtesy of the FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consume Services

FL Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried

A little over six months ago, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried was sworn into office, taking over a department of nearly 4,000 employees that has regulatory authority over everything from agribusiness to telemarketers to firearm permits and much more. We’ll get an update from Commissioner Fried about her work so far, including efforts on medical marijuana, fostering the growth of a hemp industry in Florida, consumer protection’s for Florida’s LGBTQ community, helping growers recovering from hurricane losses and much more.

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National News

Pentagon Sending 1,000 More U.S. Troops To Middle East

The Defense Department announced it is deploying 1,000 more U.S. troops to the Middle East "for defensive purposes" amid growing tensions with Iran. Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday in a statement that the action, meant to address air, naval, and ground-based threats, comes after "a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces." The Trump administration has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. "The recent...

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Reptile owners and vendors affected by an addition to Florida’s prohibited species list are filing a petition to challenge the decision.

Governor Ron DeSantis was in the Tampa Bay area Monday to hail the state legislature's $10 million investment in computer science teachers across the state of Florida.

During his visit to Ridgecrest Elementary School in Largo, DeSantis said it's the largest one-time funding of these teachers in the nation.

DeSantis Redistributes Election Security Money

5 hours ago

A month after learning Russian hackers breached elections systems in two Florida counties in 2016, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said his administration is focused on identifying “any vulnerabilities” ahead of next year’s elections.

The Republican governor announced he is redistributing $2.3 million in election-security money that went unspent by county elections supervisors last year. The funds are in addition to $2.8 million for elections cybersecurity Florida lawmakers earmarked in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

Last week Haiti saw violent street clashes between police and protesters calling for the ouster of President Jovenel Moïse. Moïse is accused of embezzling a million dollars in public funds earmarked for building new roads in rural Haiti – a case that’s part of a $2 billion embezzlement scandal rocking the western hemisphere’s poorest nation.

Moïse denies the charge. Still, the alleged larceny hits Haiti where it hurts most: its ruined agriculture industry.

More than 600 divers scooped up trash from the ocean floor off a South Florida beach, setting a Guinness World Records milestone for largest underwater cleanup.

Florida Law To Allow Autonomous Cars - When They're Ready

Jun 17, 2019

Self-driving vehicles with no humans on board will be able to operate in Florida — once they're finally ready for prime time — under a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

We now know which Democratic presidential candidates will face off during the upcoming debates in Miami. NBC announced the matchups Friday, which were decided by drawing names in New York City.

State Looks For Ways To Improve Nutrition Program

Jun 17, 2019

The Florida Department of Health is seeking input about how a nutrition program for women, infants and children can be improved and is giving people three weeks to send comments to Tallahassee.

Governor Ron DeSantis today signed off on a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida.  The effort sparked controversy during this legislative session, but its backers say it’s all about following the rule of law.

NOAA: 279 Dolphins Dead On Gulf Coast, Triple Usual Number

Jun 17, 2019

At least 279 dolphins have stranded across much of the U.S. Gulf Coast since Feb. 1, triple the usual number, and about 98 percent of them have died, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

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