Flu-Fighting Facts

(NAPS)—The flu is nothing to sneeze at. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses annually since 2010. The best way to stay out of such statistics, the CDC says, is for everyone who is eligible and at least 6 months old to get a flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available.

To help, all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations have the vaccine available seven days a week with no appointment needed.

Study Shows

That may be just as well, since the annual survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy [1], found that two-thirds of those surveyed get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year, a 5 percent increase from last year. [Read more…]

Gov. Scott: Florida Awarded More Than $50 Million to Fight National Opioid Crisis

Grant to Aid Communities as they Continue to Provide Treatment, Support Services

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to begin utilizing a new federal grant to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, reduce opioid-related deaths and equip professionals with the necessary tools to combat the national opioid epidemic in Florida. DCF applied for and received more than $50 million from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to continue providing treatment and recovery support services for individuals seeking help for opioid use. This funding is in addition to $65 million that is already being used to combat opioid use and addiction. The Governor’s existing executive order enables DCF to immediately begin drawing down and distributing these funds. [Read more…]

Junior’s Smokehouse Processing Plant Recalls Beef Jerky Products due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

Class II Recall 083-2018

Health Risk: Low

Sep 21, 2018

Congressional and Public Affairs
Autumn Canaday
(202) 720-9113
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018 – Junior’s Smokehouse Processing Plant, an El Campo, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 690 pounds of ready-to-eat teriyaki beef jerky products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically pieces of hard metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat teriyaki beef jerky items were produced on Aug. 9, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 4 oz. plastic pouches of “BUC-EE’S HILL COUNTRY BRAND TERIYAKI BEEF JERKY, MADE IN TEXAS FROM SOLID STRIPS OF BEEF, READY TO EAT,” labeled with BEST BY 08-09-2019, and a lot code of 220-272.

[Read more…]

The State of Florida Has Taken Action on Red Tide:

Florida Fish and Wildlife

FWC and DEP have provided an additional nearly $2.2 million to Mote Marine Laboratory for the initiation of its field testing of a specialized clay focused on quelling red tide and expansion of its Ozone Treatment System which takes water containing the algae that causes red tide and filters it, returning clean water back to areas impacted by this naturally-occurring algae.

Governor Scott sent a letter to FWC urging the Commission to take the following action on red tide:

Create the Florida Center for Red Tide Research, a new resource for local communities impacted by red tide;

Re-establish the Florida Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force; and

Request an increase of funding for red tide research during the upcoming 2019 Florida Legislative Session.

At Governor Scott’s direction, FWC has partnered with world-renowned experts and scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida and DEP to focus on using a form of specialized clay to quell the effects of red tide. See the announcement https://www.flgov.com/2018/09/19/gov-scott-fwc-launches-innovative-partnership-with-world-renowned-scientists-to-combat-red-tide/ [Read more…]

Gov. Scott: Nearly $2.2 Million Investment to Expand Mote Marine Laboratory Ozone Systems, Clay Testing Combatting Red Tide

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the State of Florida will direct a $2,178,000 investment to test innovative technologies to mitigate the effects of red tide utilizing specialized clay field experiments and other innovative approaches for controlling and mitigating the impacts of red tide including expansion of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Ozone Treatment System. Mote Marine Laboratory has continuously and successfully tested the Ozone systems in both their tanks at the Mote Marine Laboratory aquarium in Sarasota and most recently in canals in Boca Grande. These systems have proven to successfully clean water, ridding it of the algae that causes red tide. Three additional mitigation technologies are also in development at Mote Marine Laboratory. Last week, Governor Scott announced a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and world-renowned experts and scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida (USF) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to focus on using a form of specialized clay to quell the effects of red tide. Red tide is naturally-occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. For more information on red tide in Florida, go to http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/faq/. [Read more…]

Gov. Scott Appoints Two to Commission on Ethics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of William Meggs and Garrett Richter to the Commission on Ethics.

Meggs, 75, of Tallahassee is a former State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. Meggs also served as Leon County Deputy with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and has served as President of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning September 27, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019.

Richter, 68, of Naples is the President and Chief Executive Officer of First Florida Integrity Bank. He is a former State Representative and Senate President Pro Tempore and served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections. Richter served both in the United States Army and United States Air Force Reserve and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning September 27, 2018, and ending June 30, 2020.

The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

Attorney General Bondi’s Weekly Briefing

September 21, 2018

No matter how big or small the target is, identity theft is a devastating crime that can leave individuals and families with heavy financial hardships. Understandably, victims can experience high levels of anxiety and emotional distress for months and even years trying to clear their names.

This week, my Office of Statewide Prosecution successfully prosecuted a Palm Beach County man on two counts of public assistance fraud and two counts of identity theft. The defendant stole names, social security numbers and dates of birth from hundreds of victims.

Michelson Janvier used this information to apply for Food Stamp benefits, otherwise known as SNAP/EBT benefits through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Janvier physically obtained EBT cards in the victims’ names, using them to make purchases at numerous South Florida retailers and even trafficked in food stamps at a market in Hialeah. Assistant Statewide Prosecutors Jonathan Bridges and Patricia Abdi prosecuted this case. [Read more…]

Serious Business

Friends, some very serious questions will be answered by you this November and never have the prospects for Florida’s future been in more stark contrast as we are looking at two very different visions in the Governor’s race. Ron DeSantis (R) represents a solid free enterprise, strong Florida and strong America plan, based on close alignment with our President’s worldview. It is a path of protecting core American values of faith, family, freedom and opportunity. This path has led to unprecedented economic stability, job growth, low unemployment, government financial stability (Florida is currently #1), lowest violent crime rate in 47 years, and significant investments in making capital welcome. In polarizing contrast, the Tallahassee Mayor Gillum is a far left socialist democrat who is openly proposing higher taxes, more central control of government, and is closely aligned with George Soros and his post-America globalist worldview. [Read more…]

Heroin Trafficker Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution today announced the conviction and sentencing of Willie Marion Jenkins, a St. Petersburg heroin trafficker. OSP prosecuted the case and a Pinellas County jury found Jenkins guilty of trafficking illegal drugs and conspiracy to traffic illegal drugs. The Honorable Frank Quesada imposed a 25-year state prison sentence on the defendant. Jenkins’ conviction follows guilty pleas from four criminal associates.

In September 2014, authorities arrested Jenkins, along with associate Mary Hampton, following a several months-long investigation into the heroin distribution by Jenkins’ network of drug dealers in South St. Petersburg. The Drug Enforcement Administration and St. Petersburg Police Department conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. During the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately four ounces of heroin and one firearm. [Read more…]

Florida Information Protection Act

Under the Florida Information Protection Act, Florida residents are supposed to be notified if they are a victim of a data breach within 30 days. Given how expansive and complex our use of cyber platforms have become, we must take every precaution to protect the personal information of Floridians, and frankly all Americans, from being exposed and used against them.

This week, I along with 49 other attorneys general and the District of Columbia, reached a major settlement with the ride-sharing transportation company, Uber, after they allegedly failed to report a 2016 breach of their drivers’ personal information.

While it appears that no sensitive information was dispersed, Uber did not alert its drivers or report the incident until a year later. People with compromised information need to be alerted immediately so they can take steps and guard against identity theft and potential financial losses.

I am proud to say that Florida was one of the first states to launch this investigation that led to this $148 million settlement. I hope this settlement will send a strong message that quicker reporting of massive data breaches is essential. [Read more…]