Last Call – A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
President Donald Trump will include Naples on his itinerary as he visits Hurricane Irma-ravaged parts of the Sunshine State on Thursday, his office confirmed Wednesday.
Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the AP that the president will be in southwest Florida, including Collier County, though few additional details were available. More were expected to be released later tonight.
Trump also visited Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey struck both states in late August.
The president focused on Naples “to make sure the troops that he’s put in place are doing their job,” said homeland security adviser Tom Bossert.
“Nearly all of the state was engulfed by the massive hurricane,” the AP reported. “The number of people without power has dropped to 9.5 million – just under half of Florida’s population. Utility officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state.”
“Irma is just the beginning Sandy victims warn Floridians” via Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald
“Rick Scott orders ‘freeze’ on insurance rate hikes” via the News Service of Florida
“The areas hit hardest by Irma are surprising and random” via Aaron Mak of Slate
“Irma’s wrath leaves Florida Keys reeling with onerous recovery ahead” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida
“Did local Indian mounds save Tampa Bay from Irma’s worst? Some say yes” via Colleen Wright of the Tampa Bay Times
“Scientists say damage to Florida’s coral reef has made the state more vulnerable to storm surges” via Chelsea Harvey of The Washington Post
“FPL restarts two nuke units as power restoration continues post-Irma” via Bruce Ritchie of POLITICO Florida
“4 miles, 5 nights: Life on the run from Irma” via Mary Rajkumar of the Associated Press
“These Florida migrant workers earn $350 a week in the fields. Now Irma has destroyed their homes” via Patrick McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times
“Florida also feeling impact of Hurricane Irma with fewer flowers on the way” via Olivia Chandler of CBC News
“How junk food helped us get through Hurricane Irma” via Michelle Stark of the Tampa Bay Times
Quote of the Day
“It’s still too early to know the full extent of the damage to Florida citrus. But after touring groves on foot and by air, it’s clear that our signature crop has suffered serious and devastating losses from Hurricane Irma.” — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, after an aerial tour to survey areas affected by the storm, including citrus groves in Central and Southwest Florida.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early
Editor’s Note — Events and meetings are still touch and go in the wake of Irma. Plan ahead and check with organizers before attending.
The Gulf Coast State College Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m., Robert L. McSpadden Student Union West, Panama City.
The Florida Supreme Court is expected to release weekly opinions at 11 a.m.
Former state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty in April to a charge of failing to file a tax return in 2012. That’s at 11 a.m., in the Wilkie D. Ferguson U.S. Courthouse, 400 North Miami Ave., Miami.
The Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board is scheduled to hold committee meetings, a board meeting and a public hearing on its tentative 2017-2018 budget. Committee meetings start at 2:45 p.m., with the board meeting at 4 p.m. and budget hearing at 5:05 p.m., at district headquarters, 81 Water Management Dr., Havana.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham and Chris King are expected to appear at the Jackson County Democratic Party’s “Blues & Boots BBQ & Dance.” Also expected to attend is Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel.
It’s at 6 p.m., in the National Guard Armory, 3645 U.S. 90 West, Marianna. UPDATE: This event has been postponed until October.