Southwest Florida’s Top 10 political stories of 2021

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Environmental disasters.  Fights over political lines. So much anger over masks. Southwest Florida saw its share of controversies and moments in the headlines. It saw a cast of colorful political figures grow in number and of powerful players elevated in prestige, potentially laying the groundwork for more news-making opportunities in the midterm cycle. But for now, a look back proves breathtaking enough. Here’s some of the most important moments in 2021 in Southwest Florida.

  1. Piney Point nearly collapses

A breach in a decades-old reservoir filled with industrial wastewater forced the April 3 evacuation of hundreds of Manatee County homes and eventually the pumping of 215 million gallons of untreated discharge directly into Tampa Bay. The environmental calamity prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency and rush to the site, where three wastewater gypsum stacks…

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