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Florida Homeowners To Get $42 Million For Citrus Trees State Destroyed

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Sixteen years after their legal battle began, about 18,000 homeowners in central Florida will be paid more than $42 million collectively by the state of Florida for destroying their citrus trees during an effort to eradicate a harmful citrus disease.

The homeowners in Orange County will receive about $700 per healthy tree destroyed as part of an order issued in state court in Orlando last month.

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A judgment from a 2014 trial assessed the value of each healthy tree as $344, but fees and interests over the years doubled the per-tree payment.

More than 60,000 healthy, uninfected trees were destroyed in Orange County between 2002 and 2006 as part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ efforts to eradicate citrus canker, according to the lawsuit.

While unharmful to humans, a citrus canker can cause the leaves and fruit of citrus trees to drop prematurely and create unappealing lesions on the fruit. The lesions leak bacterial cells that can spread to other trees by wind, rain or contaminated equipment, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had argued that the homeowners’ trees were a public nuisance and didn’t have a value worth compensating.

Under the program, healthy trees that were within 1900 feet (580 meters) of an infected tree were destroyed in an effort to stop the disease’s spread.

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As compensation, the state in the 2000s offered Florida homeowners $100 Walmart gift cards for their first destroyed tree and $55 for each additional tree.

In cases where homeowners resisted, authorities threatened to arrest or obtain warrants to go onto private property and destroy trees.

The Florida Legislature approved payments for the Orange County homeowners last year.

A third-party administrator will distribute the checks and track down homeowners whose addresses are no longer current.

Tens of thousands of homeowners in Broward, Lee, and Palm Beach counties won class-action lawsuits against the state over their destroyed trees, and compensations varied by county. A case in Miami-Dade County is still pending.

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(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

CBSMiami.com Team

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Miami-Dade School Board Narrows Down Search For New Superintendent

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami-Dade School Board met Tuesday for hours to discuss efforts to replace outgoing superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

The list of candidates is down to three ahead of a future meeting that will involve public input.

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“We have identified 3 individuals by names,” said Lubby Navarro, District 7 School Board member.

The board’s vice-chair Dr. Steve Gallon made his recommendation for the next leader.

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“I would like to make a motion to make Dr. Jose Dotres as the new superintendent of schools,” says Dr. Gallon. “I stand in my charge; I am prepared with the three to have a conversation of who checks off all the boxes.”

The other two individuals include Jacob Oliva and Dr. Rafaela Espinal.

Some board members expressed interest in wanting a process where candidates would attend a public meeting soon.

MORE NEWS: Grammy Awards Rescheduled For April 3 in Las Vegas On CBS

“The majority wants a public process and I want a public meeting so my community can hear,” said Navarro.

Austin Carter

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Grammy Awards Rescheduled For April 3 in Las Vegas On CBS

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MIAMI (CBSLA)The 64th annual Grammy Awards will now be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, the Recording Academy has announced.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for Jan. 31 at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles but was postponed due to growing concerns surrounding the Omicron variant.

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Trevor Noah will return as master of ceremonies.

With the Grammy ceremony shifting airdates, the CMT Music Awards will move from its originally scheduled date of Sunday, April 3 to a later date in April.

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Information about the date and location of the awards show will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Once we realized the need to move the GRAMMY Awards to a later date due to current health concerns, we came together quickly with our partners at the Recording Academy and CMT, to strategically reschedule these two incredible music events and utilize the full power of the ViacomCBS ecosystem to promote them,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music, Live Events & Alternative Programming, CBS. “Coming out of an exciting month of college basketball on CBS, we’re thrilled to continue our programming momentum with these two big live events for television in the spring.”

“We are excited to take the GRAMMYs to Las Vegas for the very first time, and to put on a world-class show,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “From the moment we announced the postponement of the original show date, we have been inundated with heartfelt messages of support and solidarity from the artist community. We are humbled by their generosity and grateful for their unwavering commitment to the GRAMMY Awards and the Academy’s mission. We appreciate the leadership CBS has shown during these challenging weeks and the flexibility of the CMTs and others who worked toward this solution.”

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The 2022 Grammy Awards will now broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena from 8:00-11:30 p.m. on CBS Television Network and available live and on demand on Paramount+.

CBSMiami.com Team

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Broward County State Attorney’s Office To Investigate Alleged Corruption By Miami Officials

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has recused herself and her office in the ongoing investigation into corruption claims made by former Mami Police Chief Art Acevedo.

The Broward County State Attorney’s Office will take over over the investigation after Governor Ron DeSantis ordered Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor to take it over.

According to a letter sent to the governor, Fernandez Rundle discovered a conflict of interest, saying that, “a substantial witness to potential wrongdoing is the brother of a senior attorney” in her office.

The investigation was opened when weeks before being fired, Acevedo wrote a memo accusing City of Miami commissioners Joe Carollo, Alex de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes of corruption.

CBSMiami.com Team

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