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State House candidate once victim of keg tossing incident by Gators football player

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by Andrew Abramson

Eagle

Dane Eagle, a former travel aide to Gov. Charlie Crist and 2012 candidate for the vacant State House District 74 seat, was once the victim of an unusual crime that received national attention: A half-full keg of beer was tossed at Eagle’s head by University of Florida football player Taurean Charles during a fraternity brawl.

Eagle, a 28-year-old Republican, announced earlier this month that he would seek the seat vacated by Rep. Gary Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral.

Charles

The incident occurred in 2004 when Eagle was 21. Eagle told The Tampa Tribune at the time that he asked a group of Gators football player standing near a beer keg to quit throwing ice at people so the 200 guests at the house party could enjoy a Jell-O wrestling match.

Eagle said he was sucker-punched in the face, and later jumped into the ensuing brawl to help defend his friend, a tenant of the house.

Then came the flying keg, which could have done even more damage had someone not deflected it before it hit Eagle in the face. Eagle, who was already lying on the ground when the keg hit him, was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion, broken nose and required multiple stitches.

“We thought he had died,” a friend of Eagle’s told The Tampa Tribune in 2004. “He was already laid out on the floor.”

At the time, he said he would need reconstructive surgery so he could breathe out of his right nostril. But on Tuesday, Eagle told The Palm Beach Post he never had the surgery.

“I’ve still got a crooked nose I’d love to get fixed one day,” Eagle said. “It builds character. I’m still not breathing out of one nostril too well. But it never really bothers me.”

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House Deepwater Horizon coordinator says no need for special session

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Lawmakers appear to have abandoned their earlier pledge to hold a special session on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in September and instead could possibly wait until the regular session in March.

Rep. Gary Aubuchon, the coordinator of the House’s five Deepwater Horizon oil spill work groups, has until Aug. 31 to give House Speaker Larry Cretul a report on possible legislation to help revive the Florida Panhandle economy or provide tax breaks to residents there. Aubuchon said Tuesday those suggestions probably won’t go to Cretul until sometime during the first week of September.

And although some Panhandle business owners have already shuttered operations and others are on the brink of doing the same because of plummeting revenues during their peak summer tourist season that coincided with the April 20 oil disaster, Aubuchon said early reports from his leaders show there’s no need to rush.

“We are continuing to ask the questions, attend the meetings, gather the data and looking for a productive role the state could play. Whether we begin to play that role in September, or November, or during the regular session is a question yet to be answered,” Aubuchon, R-Cape Coral, said after meeting with Ken Feinberg, the claims czar who will take over BP’s problematic claims system on Monday at 12:01 a.m.

“One of the questions I’m asking each work group coordinator to answer is does anything you are working on now or anticipate working on necessitate the need for a special session? The early feedback I’m getting is no it does not,” Aubuchon said. “But the final conclusion has not been reached. And of course that is a decision that will be made by our presiding officers in the House and Senate.”

Even the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, whose members would probably benefit the most, is ok with holding off on a special session until after November.

Sen. Don Gaetz wants to pass a bill that would allow the FRLA to access up to $5 million of a trust fund comprised of fees paid by restaurant and hotel owners. There’s about $9 million in the trust fund, which is supposed to be earmarked for promotions.

FRLA President Carol Dover said she met with GOP legislative leaders last week.
“Coming into September with the group that are going to be gone or waiting until the organizational session with the group that are going to be bound by what they have passed could be a better way,” Dover said.

Lawmakers met in an aborted special session late in June after being ordered bv Gov. Charlie Crist to take up a constitutional amendment banning offshore drilling. They left in less than two hours without passing anything.

But before the special session even began, Senate President Jeff Atwater asked Cretul, R-Ocala, to consider a special session late in August or in September.

Atwater reiterated that hope yesterday.

The North Palm Beach Republican who is running statewide for chief financial officer believes lawmakers should meet within a month “to provide Floridians the assistance and relief that they need in the wake of this crisis,” Emhof said.

House getting its act together?

Friday, December 4th, 2009 by Dara Kam

Lawmakers in the House are debating the 49-page proposal that would pave the way for a $2.2 billion Central Florida commuter rail system, create a statewide rail authority and keep Tri-Rail rolling.

GOP House leaders – who have been heated critics of President Barack Obama’s stimulus spending – say they’re doing all that to increase Florida’s chances of getting a slice of the $8 billion in federal stimulus funds for high-speed rail projects being doled out in January. The state’s applied for four projects totaling about $3.7 billion.

After 20 years of Tri-Rail’s operating in the red, why the rush to bail out the South Florida commuter line – the state’s only existing one – now?

Because U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said so.

“There’s a commitment at the federal level to get into the passenger rail business like it never has before,” LaHood told SunRail supporters in Orlando in October. “But, the only way it will pay off is if the State Legislature gets its act together.”
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