There is still a lot of work to do, but the Florida Attorney General says the "pill pipeline" between her state and Kentucky has been significantly reduced thanks to tougher regulations and the launch of a prescription monitoring program. Pam Bondi spoke in Lexington Thursday at a conference on prescription drug abuse. "We've been going around the state training law enforcement in what to look for in these drug cases, and you wouldn't believe the number of doctors and nurses who are showing up to our training sessions. So there are so many responsible doctors and dentists who want to know what to look for and want to do the right thing.
Some of the Department of Agriculture’s unaccounted for state property has turned up, including equipment issued to former commissioner Richie Farmer. It was previously reported that nearly $500,000 worth of state property was either missing or unaccounted for. This was partly blamed on poor record keeping by the department, but certain records showed Farmer still had several pieces of equipment, including laptop computers and GPS units.
New Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made industrial hemp his first legislative priority. Comer, a Republican, has enlisted the help of two Democratic representatives and one Democratic senator to file a bill to legalize the crop in each chamber. A former state representative himself, Comer says many myths about industrial hemp are starting to fade, and farmers are looking to it as a replacement for tobacco, which is waning.
While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.
(POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: This story takes place in London, Ontario.] Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Londoners hoping to avoid jury duty ought not to walk too close to the courthouse. A frustrated judge there recently exercised a little-known power: sending police into the street to rustle up jurors.
Saturday is South Carolina's Republican presidential primary. It's also the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's famous Citizens United decision.
That's the case that allows corporations to explicitly support or attack specific candidates. The day will be marked with attack ads — and protests.
The Republican presidential race has covered just three states so far. And superPACs linked to candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spent a total of $20 million. They're feeding voters a heavy diet of negativity.