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State of Florida: Employees expecting raise

Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc. On Wednesday, June 14, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law which will give state workers their first state-wide raise in over a decade. All employees who earn more than $40,000 a year will receive a $1,000 raise, and those making less than $40,000 a year will see a $1,400 raise. The raises take effect on Saturday, July 1, which marks the beginning of the State of Florida’s fiscal year. Additionally, most state law enforcement officers will receive a five percent raise, most correctional…

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Bad Boys: Crime Drops in Madison County

Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc. The 2016 Annual Uniform Crime Report, which contains index crimes “known to, and reported by, law enforcement agencies for 2016,” was recently released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Index crimes include violent offenses (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) and property offenses (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft). It reports that overall crime in Madison County decreased from 2015 to 2016. However, the clearance rate dropped as well, from 48.1 percent to 39.1 percent. Typically, an offense is “cleared” when either an…

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County Commission: Land use change denied

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc. During the regular meeting of the Madison County Board of County Commissioners, on Wednesday, June 14, the Commissioners had a public hearing on a Small Scale Land Use Amendment from residential to commercial. The discussion stemmed from a desire on the part of a local resident, Ben Jones, to open a real estate office on US Hwy. 90. The property is currently zoned as residential. If the zoning were changed to commercial, that would open the area for other commercial businesses to open in the…

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Education: Gov. Scott signs controversial bill

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc. In a move that surprised very few at the end of the day, Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law House Bill (HB) 7069. This bill caused a great deal of controversy during the legislative session, primarily due to an expected expansion of charter schools within the state. “There’s a lot of concern with this bill. It’s one of the most comprehensive and, in my opinion, one of the most devastating bills this state has passed in years,” said Sen. Bill Montford in an article…

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