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VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Utility Fraud Awareness Day with Tips to Avoid Scams



TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Ashley Moody is recognizing Utility Fraud Awareness Day by issuing tips for Floridians to avoid utility scams. Fraudsters aiming to swindle consumers may pose as representatives of utility companies, and claim immediate payment is needed or the customer’s service will be cut off—or scammers may attempt to obtain personal information from an unsuspecting consumer. Attorney General Moody wants to ensure Floridians don’t fall victim to these schemes.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Utility scammers will prey on the fear of losing an important service such as power or gas in order to elicit an immediate payment. Don’t fall for these imposter scams. If you receive a suspicious message or phone call, do not provide any personal or financial information. Instead, call the utility company directly and check on the status of your account.”

Attorney General Moody suggests Floridians use the following tips to avoid utility scams:

  • Understand that scammers pressure customers to act fast, so do not rush to act on an unsolicited call or email;
  • Verify information given by purported utility representatives by checking the latest bill;
  • Never provide or confirm personal information to a solicitor, whether by phone, in-person or email, purporting to be a utility company representative;
  • Know that utility companies will not demand immediate payment;
  • When in doubt if a call is legitimate, hang up and call the utility company directly using the number listed on the company’s website;
  • Be wary of anyone demanding payment by a reloadable card, gift card or cryptocurrency; and
  • Authenticate the identity of someone posing as a utility representative who comes to the door. Look for company ID and logo, and know whether the visit is expected or not.

Consumers can report utility scams to Attorney General Moody’s office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a complaint at

North Florida News

AIF names 2023 Champions for Business: Senators Kathleen Passidomo, Travis Hutson, Linda Stewart, State Reps. Paul Renner, Tommy Gregory and Tom Fabricio



Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today released its 2023 Voting Records and announced its 2023 Champions for Business award recipients.

AIF’s Voting Records is the definitive legislative scorecard for the business community that tabulates the voting conduct of each member of the Florida Legislature during the 2023 Legislative Session. Scores are based on committee, amendment and floor votes cast on bills that were advocated, promoted or opposed by AIF, with every bill and vote carrying equal weight. By reporting on the 3,747 votes cast by legislators on 42 bills, this publication embodies the most exhaustive and complete record of the Legislature’s collective approach to the concerns of Florida’s employers.

“Each legislative session, AIF works tirelessly, day in and day out, to advocate on behalf of Florida’s business community and ensure lawmakers understand the impact that proposed legislation would have on employers throughout our state,” said AIF President & CEO Brewster Bevis. “We track everything – bills, amendments, votes – and we’re committed to keeping the business community informed of what happens in Tallahassee. That’s why each year for the last 49 years AIF has compiled its Voting Records report, to provide businesses with a thorough review of how lawmakers voted on the issues that matter to them and let them know who their greatest advocates are.”

AIF Vice President of Governmental Affairs Adam Basford added, “Florida’s business community saw some significant victories this legislative session, from transformative tort reform legislation that will help end lawsuit abuse to a comprehensive workforce housing package that will help Floridians live where they work. But not every bill passed will have a positive impact on our state’s job creators, so we will continue to work with our members and legislators to hopefully continue to improve the business landscape in Florida. This is also why AIF’s Voting Records report is so important. It takes a complete look at every relevant bill filed and every vote cast to provide a full picture of where every lawmaker stands on the issues that really matter to the business community.”

AIF recognizes Senator Linda Stewart for her willingness to cross party lines and be the only Democratic Senator to vote for the sweeping tort reform bill. She also sponsored a bill that will significantly cut back on the amount of litigation in the auto glass industry.

AIF’s 2023 Voting Records report is available in full here. The Voting Records Database, which includes over 230,000 votes, more than 2,400 bills, and over 900 legislators from the last nearly 50 years, is available at

Along with its Voting Records report, AIF also names its Champions for Business every year since 2003, which recognizes the elected officials who provided strong leadership in advancing key legislation and has taken risks for their beliefs in the success of Florida’s business community.

“AIF’s Champions for Business went above and beyond this session and took an active role to show their support for the business community in Florida,” said Bevis. “These lawmakers served as our greatest advocates and have worked to defend free enterprise and economic prosperity time and time again. We are proud to call them our champions and are grateful to have them on our side in the Florida Legislature.”

For the 2023 Legislative Session, AIF awarded the following elected leaders with the Champions for Business distinction:

  • Senate President Kathleen Passidomo for her impeccable leadership during the 2023 Legislative Session, including playing an essential part in passing a historic tort reform bill, as well as spearheading efforts to increase access to affordable workforce housing. President Passidomo also worked closely with AIF to promote business-friendly solutions to several bills that pose significant challenges.
  • House Speaker Paul Renner for his bold leadership that helped pass one of the most monumental civil justice reform bills in history that will finally begin to put an end to lawsuit abuse in Florida.
  • House Judiciary Chairman Representative Tommy Gregory for his dedication to reshaping the legal climate in Florida by spearheading the revolutionary tort reform law, HB 837. As the bill sponsor, Chairman Gregory faced fierce opposition from the powerful trial bar, yet, instead of watering down the bill through the committee process, he pushed to provide even stronger protections for businesses who are at risk of frivolous litigation.
  • Senator Travis Hutson for his role in passing the Senate’s tort reform package during the 2023 Legislative Session. Senator Hutson made a concerted effort to work with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the reforms passed were meaningful and had a lasting impact on businesses and consumers.
  • Senator Linda Stewart for her willingness to cross party lines and be the only Democratic Senator to vote for the sweeping tort reform bill. She also sponsored a bill that will significantly cut back on the amount of litigation in the auto glass industry.
  • Representative Tom Fabricio for his stellar work as prime co-sponsor of HB 837 that will help put an end to lawsuit abuse in the Sunshine State. Rep. Fabricio also sponsored HB 761 that clarifies the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act to prevent frivolous litigation when businesses call or text customers for legitimate reasons.

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North Florida News

Commissioner Wilton Simpson Announces 2023 Winners of Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award



TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Today, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced the 2023 winners of the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award: Rocking K Cattle, Island Grove Wine Company, and Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery. The Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award has been presented annually since 1994 and spotlights environmentally innovative growers and ranchers who share a commitment to protecting and preserving Florida’s resources while continuing to produce the world-class agricultural goods we rely on.

“I am proud to recognize these three proud and innovative Florida agriculture operations as the recipients of the 2023 Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “These growers and ranchers exemplify innovation, environmental stewardship, and sustainable practices that are essential for the future of Florida agriculture. Their commitment to preserving Florida’s natural resources while continuing to produce the highest quality agricultural goods is truly praiseworthy.”

Rocking K Cattle, located in Odessa, Florida, stands out for its sustainable cattle ranching and hay production. Kelly Fulford, who operates Rocking K Cattle is a trailblazer in the field, has implemented multiple Best Management Practices from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to safeguard water quality and local wildlife. By employing rotational grazing across seven cross-fence pastures, Kelly provides fresh forage to cattle while allowing the land to recuperate. To prevent erosion, feeding areas and mineral boxes are rotated and placed away from sensitive areas. Using GPS-guided systems, precise nutrient application is based on soil test results. Kelly also diligently preserves the water quality of natural ditches and cypress ponds on her property. Her commitment extends beyond her ranch, as she actively engages in educating the public about sustainable cattle ranching, hay production, and responsible land management. Kelly is a proud recipient of the Farm Bureau CARES award.

Island Grove Wine Company, situated in Hawthorne, Florida, encompasses a blueberry farm, a nursery, and a winery. Originally founded by Ken Patterson, Island Grove Wine Company is currently managed by Jerod Gross and Sarah Aschliman, VP of Marketing, who diligently implement Best Management Practices across their locations in Putnam, Alachua, and DeSoto counties. Sustainability and the production of a safe product are paramount to the Island Grove family. The north Florida operation operates entirely on organic production, utilizing drip soil water conservation techniques, drain tile systems to minimize runoff, organic weed control measures, grass buffers for nutrient filtration, wetland conservation, and wildflower areas to support native pollinators. Notably, Island Grove maximizes its harvest by transforming leftover fruit into wine, effectively achieving zero waste. Island Grove wines can be found in prominent retail chains such as Publix, Target, Whole Foods, and Total Wine across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Island Grove Wine Company is a proud recipient of the Farm Bureau CARES award.

Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, located near Lake Panasoffkee, Florida, specializes in the growth of commercial, retail, and wholesale citrus trees within fully enclosed, inspect-proof greenhouses spanning 90,000 square feet. Owners Nate and Anna Jameson prioritize land sustainability and have implemented eco-friendly measures to reduce water and fertilizer usage through Best Management Practices. Transitioning from overhead to drip irrigation has resulted in a remarkable 60% water savings, reducing water consumption from 24,000 to less than 10,000 gallons per day. Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery also employs coconut coir, a sustainable by-product of coconut oil, as their potting medium due to its sanitation properties and compatibility with a liquid fertigation system. Outside the greenhouses, the nursery has planted pine trees as windbreaks and to create natural habitats for local wildlife. Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery is a proud recipient of the Farm Bureau CARES award.

Visit for more information about the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, including past winners.

For more information about Commissioner Simpson and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

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North Florida News

VIDEO: Attorney General Moody Releases 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide



TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—On the first day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, Attorney General Ashley Moody is releasing the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it is predicting a near-normal season this year, with 12-17 named storms and one to four major hurricane events. While experts do not expect an active season, it only takes one storm to be deadly—and a just-released report suggests as many as one in five Floridians do not plan on preparing for a potential storm strike.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Today marks the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and a new survey claims one in five Floridians do not plan to make preparations for a potential storm strike. This is extremely concerning, especially on the heels of last year’s devastating season that caused tremendous damage and flooding in our state. I want to encourage those Floridians defying the experts to reconsider their strategy and check out our 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide—for tips on how to protect life and property.”

Florida experienced a deadly hurricane season last year. Although Florida saw fewer storms than in previous years, three deadly storms did impact the state, two of the storms’ names are being retired. The guide contains information about major storm events, preparing property for a hurricane strike and avoiding scams that may arise before, during and in the aftermath of a storm.

Here are some important hurricane preparedness tips from the 2023 guide:

  • Know evacuation routes and shelter locations;
  • Stock up on enough food, water and emergency supplies for the entire household for at least seven days;
  • Check that storm-related products are hurricane-proof or impact-proof before purchasing;
  • Verify charities before donating;
  • Beware of unsolicited contractors and extremely low or high prices for quotes; and
  • Report price gouging on the No Scam app.

To access the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide in English, click here.

To access the 2023 Hurricane Preparedness Guide in Spanish, click here.

Floridians can stay informed about serious storm events using the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website, Floridians can monitor a storm’s progression and the latest weather alerts using the NOAA’s Hurricane Center by visiting

In the event of an incoming tropical storm or hurricane, Floridians should look for further guidance from local officials and emergency managers.

Florida’s price gouging laws are designed to protect consumers from becoming victims before, during and after a disaster. Throughout a declared state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell essential commodities or services for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity or service during the 30 days before the emergency declaration.

For more information about price gouging, click here.

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