Florida

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Slain Navy Chief Petty Officer Had Gotten Protective Order

Andrea Washington had sought help from man who lived with her

(Newser) - A bottle of cognac was waiting for Andrea Washington, along with a friend ready to celebrate Washington's recent pinning as a chief petty officer in the US Navy. That celebration never came: Washington's body was discovered Monday in her Jacksonville, Florida, residence, and while the investigation into her... More »

Prisoner Kills Cellmate in Way That Redefines Cruelty

Larry Mark's killer reportedly flouted his deed by wearing the man's ear

(Newser) - Truly horrific: A Florida prison inmate murdered his cellmate Thursday by strangling him, pulling out his eyes, and strolling into the prison chow hall wearing the guy's ear around his neck—a killing that highlights bigger problems at Columbia Correctional Institution, the Miami Herald reports. Officials have identified the... More »

Traffic Stop Becomes Life-Changing Moment

A man identified only as Kenneth had a unique way to propose marriage

(Newser) - A woman was in for a huge surprise when Miami Beach police pulled her over, the AP reports. She and her boyfriend got out of the car. An officer asked the boyfriend if he had anything to say. And that's when the man, identified as Kenneth, got down on... More »

She Panned Diner's Treatment of Disabled. Next Came 3 Shots

Friend of diner owner accused in Aug. 20 drive-by shooting

(Newser) - "I didn't think anybody was crazy enough to do something like this." So says Florida's Monica Walley, who was at her Orange County home Aug. 20 when a bullet whizzed through a window, missing her father's head by inches. It was one of three fired... More »

Good Samaritan Stops to Help Man Hired to Kill Him: Cops

Carlos Cruz-Echevarria was killed to stop him from testifying, police say

(Newser) - The killing of Carlos Cruz-Echevarria, a 60-year-old Army veteran, seemed random at first. But authorities now say it was all too deliberate. The body of Cruz-Echevarria was found Nov. 11—Veterans Day—near a disabled, stolen car on the side of a Deltona, Fla., road, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He... More »

'We Loved Jordan Deeply': Foster Parents of Slain Boy

They had hoped to adopt the 2-year-old

(Newser) - Jordan Belliveau spent some 15 months with foster parents Sam and Juliet Warren. During that time, Sam Warren told reporters Wednesday, Jordan learned to roll over and crawl, how to walk and talk. "We loved Jordan deeply," he said. Jordan was returned to his birth mother earlier this... More »

Cops: Toddler's Killing Born of Mom's 'Moment of Frustration'

Florida's Charisse Stinson allegedly struck son, prompting seizures

(Newser) - Police searched woods, divers searched ponds, and a sketch of an apparent suspect spread across social media. All this in the 60 hours after Charisse Stinson reported her 2-year-old son missing early Sunday, claiming he'd been taken by a man who offered her a ride before knocking her unconscious.... More »

Florida Gov's Race Just Hit New Racist Low

Anti-Gillum robocall backed by white supremacist group features jungle music, talk of mud huts

(Newser) - Ron DeSantis swears he meant nothing racist by his "monkey this up" comment, but a new robocall in the Florida gubernatorial race definitely did: Set to the background of jungle music and screeching monkeys, the New York Times reports that the minute-long audio clip begins with a man saying,... More »

Florida Man Allegedly Gives Woman 'Wet Willy,' Is Arrested

Joseph Jean Sireci's girlfriend alleges he was acting 'belligerent'

(Newser) - A Florida man's Aug. 15 arrest is now making headlines due to a weirder aspect of it: It allegedly involved a "wet willy." Joseph Jean Sireci was arrested on a battery charge and an arrest affidavit (it's near the bottom) from the St. Lucie County Sheriff'... More »

Uber Driver's Shooting of Man 'Justifiable Homicide'

The deadly confrontation was caught on dash cam

(Newser) - "This is a justifiable homicide all day long." That's the determination of Polk County, Fla., Sheriff Grady Judd in the case of an Uber driver who fatally shot a man early Tuesday morning, CNN reports. Robert Westlake was driving with a passenger on a two-lane road when... More »

He Told Florida Not to 'Monkey This Up.' Here's the Aftermath

Ron DeSantis accused of racism, as rival Democratic Andrew Gillum is black

(Newser) - For the very early part of the morning, the headlines focused on the possibility that Florida could get its first black governor thanks to Tuesday's primary results; for the latter part of Wednesday, they focused on three words Andrew Gillum's Republican opponent had to say. In an interview... More »

Before Shooting, Gunman Was Eliminated in Tournament

But police are not speculating about a motive in Florida killings

(Newser) - Police have identified the shooter at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday as 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore. What they don't know is what prompted Katz to open fire in the "Madden 19" qualifying tournament, fatally shooting two fellow competitors and wounding nine others before killing himself.... More »

Before Shooting at Gaming Tournament, a Chilling Sight

Red laser dot appeared on competitor before gunfire began; 3 dead, including gunman

(Newser) - The details from Sunday's mass shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., have begun to settle: Police say a gunman killed two people and himself during the video game competition within a riverfront entertainment venue called the Jacksonville Landing, reports the New York Times . At least nine others... More »

New Python Hybrid May Spell Future Trouble in Everglades

A DNA study found a genetically mixed species that could lead to a more vigorous invader

(Newser) - A genetic study has found a new and dangerous possibility lurking in the DNA of Florida's invasive pythons. Per the Miami Herald , researchers from the US Geological Survey tested hundreds of the Everglades' already worryingly prolific giant snake species and what they found could mean an even hardier invader... More »

Florida Candidate Dumped by Wells Fargo Over Marijuana

Nikki Fried is a Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner with ties to cannabis

(Newser) - A political candidate in Florida has been dropped as a customer by Wells Fargo for her ties to and support of medical marijuana. Per the Tampa Bay Business Journal , Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried was forced to move her campaign funds to another institution because of this stance.... More »

David Hogg Has Big Plans When He's 25

That's when the 18-year-old intends to be elected to Congress

(Newser) - New York magazine is out with a profile of David Hogg, the high school student who has become a leader of a youth movement for stricter gun laws after the mass shooting at his school in Parkland, Fla. The story follows Hogg on the road as part of a... More »

Unexpected Odor at Tampa Police HQ: 'At Times It's Really Bad'

A ventilation problem is apparently the cause

(Newser) - Recreational marijuana laws are quickly becoming more and more lax in states around the US, but Florida is not one of them. So why does the headquarters of the Tampa Police Department frequently reek of weed? The Tampa Bay Times wanted this question answered, so it went to the source.... More »

It Kills in the Water, Is Like 'Tear Gas' on Land

Florida's algae bloom prompts state of emergency

(Newser) - Under increasing pressure to handle Florida's brutal red tide , a toxic algae bloom killing hordes of marine animals and causing respiratory issues for some people, Gov. Rick Scott made the call. Late Monday, he declared a state of emergency in seven counties along the state's southwestern coast, setting... More »

She Vowed to Stay in the Race. Her 'Diploma' Did Her In

Melissa Howard says she's dropping out of state House of Representatives race

(Newser) - She had vowed to keep fighting for a House seat in Florida, but Melissa Howard says she's now out. "I have come to the realization that the right thing to do for my community is to withdraw from the race," she texted the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Tuesday.... More »

GOP Candidate Vows to Stay in Race After Fake Diploma

Florida's Melissa Howard says the whole thing was a 'mistake'

(Newser) - It wasn't fake news , but a fake diploma: A Florida GOP candidate has admitted she lied about having a degree from Ohio's Miami University, though she says she didn't mean to dupe the public. "It was not my intent to deceive or mislead anyone. I made... More »

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