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National Guard, Scott back bill allowing concealed weapons without permit during emergency

A measure backed by the National Rifle Association that would allow people to conceal a firearm without a license during an emergency now has the open support of Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida National Guard but is still on hold in the Senate.

St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes on Tuesday for the second time delayed a vote on his bill (SB 296), now seemingly stalled in the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee.

“Clearly we’re going to continue to work with law enforcement and the agencies involved to come up with a better product,” Brandes said.

The committee may hold up to two more meetings before the session ends, Chairman Thad Altman, R-Melbourne said.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said Tuesday, “I’m not interested in bringing law enforcement on board. This is about law-abiding people being able to protect themselves in a time of emergency. It is not about the convenience of law enforcement.”

Scott and the National Guard this week came out in support of the plan after Hammer took issue with objections to the bill expressed by the chief lawyer for the Florida Department of Military Affairs. The agency is overseen by Scott, who is seeking re-election this year.

Hammer said she questioned the governor’s aides about comments made by Capt. Terrence Gorman, general counsel for the military agency, at an earlier meeting.

Allowing people who have not had the required training to carry firearms during stress-filled times like evacuations can create a potentially “tricky” situation, Gorman told the panel March 19. “When people aren’t thinking clearly … they probably shouldn’t have a weapon shoved in the back of their pants,” Gorman said.

After Gorman’s testimony, Sen. Charlie Dean, an Inverness Republican and former Citrus County sheriff, said he would no longer support the measure.

But in the wake of Hammer’s visit and at the request of Scott’s staff, the head of the Florida National Guard, Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, sent Altman a letter saying the Guard backs the bill.

“Capt. Terrence Gorman is not authorized to speak for the Department of Military Affairs on legislative issues,” Titshaw wrote on March 20. “Department of Military Affairs supports Senate Bill 296.”

Titshaw said Tuesday that Gorman was only providing information last week.

“As the questioning proceeded, the perception could have been that he was in opposition of the bill,” Titshaw added.

Scott’s office confirmed that Titshaw was asked to write the letter and that the governor supports the bill.

“Our office took action to correct an inaccurate representation of this administration’s policy during a Senate committee meeting,” Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in an email on Tuesday.

Brandes’ bill is slated for another committee stop before reaching the Senate floor for a full vote.

The House companion (HB 209) by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, is scheduled for a vote by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the bill’s final stop before it reaches the floor.

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  •   It’s almost go time. Sure, you have a turkey and all the fixins’ to fix, family to visit with and football to watch, but you also have sales to attend, deals to get and shopping to get over with. With holiday shopping barking at the door like a pack of wolves, here's a quick guide to the best deals, store hours, ads and shopping apps.  Good luck! Below is a list of store opening times for Thanksgiving: Bass Pro Shops – 8 a.m. Bealls Florida – 6 p.m. Belk – 4 p.m. Bergner’s – 11 a.m. Best Buy – 5 p.m. Big Lots - 7 a.m. Bon-Ton – 11 a.m. Boston Store – 11 a.m. Cabela’s – 8 a.m.  Carson’s – 11 a.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods – 6 p.m.  Dollar General – 7 a.m. Elder-Beerman – 11 a.m.  Five Below – 6 p.m.  Fred’s Pharmacy – 9 a.m. GameStop – 4 p.m. Herberger’s – 11 a.m. JCPenney – 2 p.m. Kohl’s – 5 p.m.  Kmart – 6 a.m. Macy’s – 5 p.m.  Meijer – 6 a.m. Michaels – 6 p.m. (Opens at 5 p.m. for Rewards members) Rite Aid – Hours Vary by Location (most stores open) Sears – 6 p.m.  Shopko – 4 p.m.  Stage Stores – 2 p.m. Target – 6 p.m.  Toys R Us – 5 p.m. Walgreens – Varies by Location Walmart – 6 p.m. (for Black Friday deals) Younker’s – 11 a.m. See the complete list of Thanksgiving openings/hours here. Below is a list of the store opening times for Black Friday: Babies R Us - 8 a.m. Bass Pro Shops - 5 a.m.   Belk - 6 a.m.  Best Buy - 8 a.m. Big Lots - 6 a.m. BJ's Wholesale Club - 7 a.m. Cabela's - 5 a.m. Costco - 9 a.m. Dick's Sporting Goods - 5 a.m. Guitar Center - 6 a.m. Hobby Lobby - 8 a.m. Home Depot 6 a.m. JCPenney - Thanksgiving 2 p.m. through Black Friday Kmart - 6 a.m. Kohl's - Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to Black Friday 1 p.m.  Lowe's - 6 a.m. Macy's - 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meijer - 6 a.m. Michaels - 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Office Depot & OfficeMax - 7:45 a.m. PetSmart - 7 a.m. Sam's Club - 7 a.m. Sears - 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Staples - 7 a.m. Target - 6 a.m. Toys R Us - Thanksgiving 5 p.m. to Black Friday 11 p.m. Walmart - Thanksgiving 6 p.m. overnight into Black Friday See the complete list of Black Friday 2017 hours here. Check out the ads Here is a list of some 'leaked' Black Friday ads from national retailers. (Click on the store name to see the Black Friday ad) Amazon.com Belk Best Buy Big Lots CVS JCPenney Kmart Kohls Macy's Michael's Old Navy Sam's Club Sears Stein Mart Target Walmart Black Friday best bets on TVs, laptops and tablets, electronics, smartphones and gaming Black Friday television deals From Amazon: Samsung UN65MU8000 65-inch 4K smart TV (2017 Model) for $1,297.99 (usually $2,199.99) From Amazon: Sony 70-inch 4K smart LED TV (2017 Model) for $1,199.99 (usually $1,498) From Best Buy: Samsung 65-inch 4K smart TV for $749.99 (usually $1,099.99) – Doorbuster From Best Buy: Samsung 50-inch 4K smart TV for $399.99 (usually $699.99) – Doorbuster From Best Buy: Samsung 65-inch 4K HDR smart TV for $1,297.99 (usually $1,499.99) From Best Buy: Sharp 60-inch 4K smart TV for $549.99 (usually $799.99) From Best Buy: Insignia 50-inch 4K smart TV with Roku for $349.99 (usually $449.99) From NewEgg: Samsung 50-inch 4K HDR smart TV for $424.99 (usually $547.99) From Sam’s Club: Vizio XLED Smartcast 65-inch Class 4K UHD HDR Home Theater Display for $598 From Target: Sharpe 55-inch 4K Smart UHD TV for $249.99 – Doorbuster  From Walmart: Sharp 55-inch Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV for $298 Black Friday laptop deals From Best Buy: Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB SSD, Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM) for $899  From Best Buy: Lenovo Yoga 710 (15.6-inch touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for $599.99  From Staples: HP Pavilion desktop PC (Intel Core i5 Processor, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $369.99  From Staples: Dell 15.6-inch laptop (Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD) for $419.99  From Costco: Dell XPS 13 QHD+ Touchscreen Laptop for $1,299.99 From HP: HP Envy x360 15-inch Laptop for $669.99 (usually $869.99) at HP From Dell: Inspiron 13 7000 Touch for $799.99  Doorbuster starting on 11/24 at 1 p.m. ET From Dell: Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 for $549.99 Doorbuster starting on 11/24 at 8 p.m. ET From NewEgg: Asus ROG G752VS (17.3-inch 1080p display with Nvidia G-Sync, 2.90 GHz seventh-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, 512 GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU) for $1,779  From B&H: Apple 15.4-Inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Late 2016, Silver) for $1,799  From B&H: Apple 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K Display (Mid 2017) for $1,179   Black Friday tablet deals From ebay: Apple iPad Pro 12.9' 128GB 4G+WIFI for $649.99  From Toys R Us: Nabi Barbie Kids Tablets for $39.99 From Sam’s Club: Samsung Galaxy 7.0' Tab E Lite for $69.86 From Amazon: Amazon Fire HD 10 for $99.99 From NewEgg: Refurbished Apple iPad 4 with 9.7' Retina Display for $149.99 From Staples: Samsung Galaxy Tab A-10.1” for $179.99'  Black Friday electronics deals From Walmart: Google Home Mini for $29 (plus a coupon worth up to $25 off your next Walmart order when linking your account to Google Express) From the Google Store: Google Home for $79 From the Google Store: Google Chromecast for $25  From Target: Google Wifi (three pack) for $249  From Best Buy: Google Chromecast Ultra for $54  Black Friday smartphone deals From Best Buy: Moto G Plus (5th Gen) 4G LTE with Motorola for $225 From Best Buy: Samsung Galaxy J7 4G LTE with Verizon for $100 From Target: iPhone SE for $100  From Target: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus free with a $250 gift card with purchase  From T-Mobile: Buy one, get one free on the iPhone 8  From Sprint: Lease a Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S8 Active, or Note 8 for 50 percent off From Motorola: Buy a Moto Z2 Play for $400  From Samsung: Buy a Galaxy S8 or Note 8, get a free Gear 360 Black Friday gaming deals From Best Buy: Madden 18 Xbox One S 500 GB bundle for $230, and as a bonus, you'll receive a free Xbox One controller.  From Microsoft: Xbox One S price for $189 From Walmart: PS4 for $199, and $39 DualShock 4 controllers From GameStop: Nintendo Switch for $300 From Costco: 1 TB PlayStation 4 bundle with Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII for $290 From Walmart: Call of Duty: WWII for $43; Grand Theft Auto V for $29; Just Dance 2018 for $29  Apps for shopping Finding the best deals can be exhausting, but, as for most things in life nowadays, there’s an app for that. Actually a few of them. Here are a few suggestions that may help you with gift buying throughout the holiday season. Christmas Gift Planner in iTunes (called Christmas List in Android Market) You can see what you are spending in real time. It allows you to keeps lists of gifts purchased, the ones you are still looking for and whether the gift is wrapped. Gifts HD2 for iTunes and Android You can create lists, set budgets mark things off as you buy them, and add ideas as you go. It also allows you to comparison shop, which is great for Black Friday. No More Socks As with the other apps, No More Socks is a list-making and shopping app. In addition to searching retail sites, the app can also do a general Google search for products. Chameleon Chameleon will find the best price for an item and coupons if they are available. Chameleon works at more than 3,000 locations across the country. RedLaser RedLaser allows you to scan barcodes to find the best price, online or locally. PriceBlink A browser add-on, PriceBlink lets you know when there's a better price for a product you are shopping for online. Camel Camel Camel CamelCamelCamel is a site that tracks Amazon prices. It notifies you when the price drops on an item you've added to your Amazon shopping list.
  • UPDATE 11/23/17 5:40 PM: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new information to release. ORIGINAL STORY: A missing child alert has been issued for 15-year-old Logan Mott out of Neptune Beach.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Jacksonville Police believe Logan is in the company of his grandmother, 53-year-old Kristina French.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says firearms are missing from a home they are associated with. Our partners at Action News Jax spoke with Logan’s mother who says the home that had the firearms looked like it had been ransacked.  The two are believed to traveling in a 2015 silver Dodge Dart with Florida tag D-L-L-T-4-2.  JSO says with the firearms missing, you should not approach them if you see them. You are asked to call 911. This is a developing story, check back for more updates. 
  • The Clay County Sheriff's Office is assisting, after a deadly plane crash on Camp Blanding property.  A sheriff's office spokesperson tells WOKV, they received a call from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority about a possible plane in distress Thursday afternoon. They had apparently lost contact with this plane, with the last known coordinates leading them to the area of Camp Blanding, where the crashed plane was found.  Clay County deputies say the plane involved was a private, single-engine aircraft.  The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the crash and has released the following statement: “A Mooney MO20 aircraft went down at Camp Blanding in Clay County, FL at about 3:15 pm today. Only the pilot was on board, local authorities will release the name and condition, the FAA will release the aircraft registration after that. The FAA will investigate, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.” We're told the FAA will be taking over the investigation.
  • As we move on from Thanksgiving and look ahead to Christmas, St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is offering a unique service to make this holiday season extra special for your kids. The county is hosting 'Phone Calls from Santa' for kids 8-year-old or younger, or for those who still believe.  In order to get a call, parents need to register kids by December 2nd, by downloading a registration form the county website HERE and then faxing it to (904) 209-0321 or emailing it to jjbratovich@sjcfl.us. The form allows the call to be personalized as possible for your specific child.  We're told Santa will make his phone calls from between 6:00 and 7:30 pm, nightly, from December 5th through December 7th.  For more information, call (904) 209-0386.
  • On every Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to take some time and think about what you and your family are thankful for in 2017 – but at the same time, we may as well try to figure how Turkey Day is playing in political circles as well. In terms of political news, reporters on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are currently going through an almost never-ending avalanche of stories, erupting daily (or even hourly) in what seems to be a high rate of speed in this new social media atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few things on this Thanksgiving 2017: 1. Roy Moore – Roy Moore might be thankful for a lot right now, mainly a number of men in high profile positions in the Congress and the news media who have been ensnared in the recent swarm of news about sex. The latest person to hit the news – and take the focus off of Moore – is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who had a nude photo of himself leaked on to social media by a woman he was once in a relationship with, which some say might be ‘revenge porn.’ No matter what the details might be of how this occurred, the Barton story is a reminder of the perfect piece of advice that my father gave as he dropped me off at the U.S. Capitol on my first day of work in 1980, when he told me that ‘They call it the House of Representatives for a reason” – members of Congress are no different from our neighbors and friends. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make bad choices along the way. Roy Moore is thankful for Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, Charlie Rose, and many others. Their stories keep Moore out of the headlines. So the count for today if I'm not mistaken is two more accusers against Al Franken, one more against John Conyers and a picture of Joe Barton's genitalia splashed across the Internet — Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 23, 2017 2. President Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump may be most thankful for political opponents like Hillary Clinton, who continues to be a Trump punching bag on Twitter. While many Inside the Beltway cringe at “Crooked Hillary” tweets, those missives continue to delight the President’s legions of fans, as it helps to keep the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee in the news. (While Mr. Trump is probably also thankful for sports figures like Lavar Ball, Steph Curry, Richard Sherman, and others, I’ll stick to the political arena.) Over the last year, this President has proven himself to be very adept at verbally smacking people on Twitter – whether you think it’s right or wrong for Mr. Trump to be doing that isn’t the point. The longer that President Trump can keep Hillary Clinton in the news, the better for him, and maybe the better for the Republican Party. Donald Trump is thankful that Hillary Clinton is still around. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017 3. Tax lawyers and accountants. – Yes, Republicans say their tax reform plan will make the tax code simpler to deal with, and for some individuals, it would be easier to file your taxes under the plans envisioned in the House and Senate. But before you think that it’s going to change everything, a simple review of Congressional tax plans shows there will be plenty of work for people who need to explain the intricacies of the tax code, like tax lawyers and accountants. You don’t have to go very far into the GOP bills to feel confused about what’s being changed. Tax lawyers and accountants are thankful for the GOP tax reform bill. There will still be plenty of business for them, even if that bill becomes law. 4. Federal workers. All the talk for years from Republicans has been about making deep cuts in the budget of various federal agencies. On the campaign trail, President Trump promised much the same. But this first year of a combination of a GOP House & Senate, and the Trump Administration, produced almost nothing in terms of spending cuts and budget savings. Last week, the White House proposed $44 billion in (generic) budget savings to offset disaster aid for recent hurricanes – except it would come between 2025 and 2027, when Mr. Trump would be long gone from the White House. So, as they enjoy a big turkey dinner, federal workers can say ‘thanks’ that the Republican Congress and the President, as they really haven’t been able to wield a budget axe on the Executive Branch. Mr. Trump said before Thanksgiving that he would push for budget cuts in the next year. On Thanksgiving, President Trump visited a Coast Guard facility in Florida. Back in April, Mr. Trump wanted to cut over a billion from the Coast Guard budget. That didn’t make it through the Congress. Pres Trump to reporters 'Admin. Dept. heads will work next on spending cuts, welfare reform ('very shortly aftr taxes') & infrastructure' — AWPS NEWS llc (@AWPSNews) November 20, 2017 5. Politics at Thanksgiving. A year ago, the recent election of Donald Trump was a prime topic for many families, as a lot of Democratic voters were struggling to come to terms with President Trump’s election. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and it’s possible that a lot of those same people are still somewhat aggravated about the way things have gone in political circles after Mr. Trump’s first 10 months in office. And that leads me to believe that some of you will have a few things to say at the dinner table about President Trump, good and bad. Some will be saying “thanks” for the President – others, not so much. But it isn’t hard to argue over whether you should talk about politics at the table, eh? If you’re a republican having thanksgiving dinner with your democrat family, as you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, I highly encourage you to say “the electoral college.” — Lord Single Malt (@Singlemaltfiend) November 22, 2017 My advice: Don't print anything out. Don't bring a chart to dinner. At Thanksgiving tell weird stories about when you were a kid to the kids and funny stories about loved ones no longer with us. Politics aren't that important. — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 23, 2017

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