Florida

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Judge Grants First Gay Divorce in Florida

But the milestone will likely be appealed

(Newser) - A judge in Florida made a little history today by granting the state's first divorce of a gay couple, reports the AP . But because the decision involves two different states and pending appeals, thing get convoluted in the way that only gay-marriage cases can. In today's court hearing,... More »

Cops: Guy Shoplifted ... at 'Shop With a Cop' Event

There were lots of deputies around to see what allegedly happened

(Newser) - Pro tip for would-be thieves: It's probably not a good idea to attempt shoplifting ... during a "Shop with a Cop" event. That's what police say Grant Scott Timm of Lecanto, Fla., did last Wednesday night at the city's Walmart, according to the Citrus County Chronicle . The... More »

18K Tons of Concrete Head for Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

To create largest artificial reef in Western Hemisphere

(Newser) - Workers are planning to dump 18,000 tons of concrete into the Gulf of Mexico—for a good reason. Hurricanes and changing currents have destroyed the reef system in Gulf waters around Florida's Collier County, according to the Community Foundation of Collier County , so the county, along with the... More »

Arkansas Girl, 11, Takes $10K, Hails Cab to Florida

Police catch up with the taxi 500 miles away near Atlanta, and all ends well

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl in Arkansas managed to get about 500 miles from home in pretty easy fashion: She hailed a taxi and asked to go to Florida. Alexis Waller is back home safely now, reports KARK-TV . Authorities say she sneaked out of her home in Bryant in the middle of... More »

Would-Be Carjackers Foiled by Stick Shift

They can't drive manual transmission, run off

(Newser) - Police in Florida say two would-be carjackers almost got away with a vehicle in Ocala but didn't know how to drive a stick shift. The Ocala Star-Banner reports the owner of a 2014 Toyota Corolla told police he was sitting in his car talking on his cell phone when... More »

Sex Offender Wins $3M Florida Jackpot

Registered predator served time for assault on boy, 9

(Newser) - Lottery officials in Florida pulled a photo of the latest jackpot winner from their website after learning that he is a convicted sex offender. Timothy Poole, 43, served time in prison after being accused of sexually battering a 9-year-old boy in 2001 and has been arrested more than 10 other... More »

Lawsuit: Cop Arrested Man for Taking Parking Spot

Florida man says it took years to clear his name

(Newser) - "It's a typical thing: Two people see a spot; two people go for it," a lawyer for Florida man Clausel Pierre says. "But in this case, one of those people was a police officer with the power to arrest." According a lawsuit Pierre filed late... More »

Car Hits Bear, Triggering Fatal Chain Reaction

Collision with bear in Florida Everglades considered 'rare'

(Newser) - It's not uncommon to spot a black bear roaming the Florida Everglades, but it is uncommon to actually hit one on the road. Three people died last night and eight were injured in a three-car wreck in the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation that began when the first car hit... More »

Girl, 17, Accused of Running Prostitution Ring

Alexa Nicole De Armas was arrested on Friday

(Newser) - Florida police say they have uncovered an online prostitution ring that was allegedly run by a 17-year-old girl. Alexa Nicole De Armas was arrested on Friday after police caught wind of the ring; four female students at Sarasota County's Venice High reportedly told their teachers that Alexa and a... More »

Vegan Mom Regains Custody of Baby

She defied doctor who ordered him to hospital

(Newser) - A judge in Florida has allowed a vegan mom who defied a doctor's orders to regain custody of her infant son, reports WFTV . The strange case began in June when police in Casselberry charged Sarah Markham with neglect and took away 2-week-old Caleb. The charges came after a pediatrician... More »

Mom, Daughter Give Birth Same Day, Same Hospital

Heather Penticoff, Destinee Martin found out they were pregnant on same day, too

(Newser) - It was remarkable enough that Heather Penticoff found out she was pregnant the same day her daughter, Destinee Martin, did. Then doctors gave them the same due date—which, as most people know, isn't an exact science. But they did indeed give birth on the same day, both at... More »

Man's Wedding Ring Gets Him Killed

Jason Ferguson of Florida was installing dishwasher when he was electrocuted

(Newser) - A good deed for his in-laws has ended in tragedy for a south Florida man. Jason Ferguson, 33, was installing a new dishwasher at his brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house Thursday when he was electrocuted, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Family members, who were sitting down to eat around 7pm, found... More »

Fight Over Whether Pal Was Dead Turns Criminal

Some people cannot take a joke; others cannot make them

(Newser) - It started when one guy thought it would be funny to tell two friends that a mutual friend was dead, and as the Northwest Florida Daily News reports, it quickly went downhill from there, ending in criminal charges for one Henry Hill Shiver Jr. Seems Shiver took the "news"... More »

Man Finds Body Inside Foreclosed Home He Bought

Neighbors suspected former owner had died inside Cape Coral, Fla., house long ago

(Newser) - Overgrown grass, trash, and an interior that probably needs some TLC are things you'd expect to deal with when purchasing a foreclosed home; a dead body is not. But William Wilson stumbled upon all of these things when he entered his new Cape Coral, Fla., residence on Wednesday after... More »

90-Year-Old in Trouble for Feeding Homeless—Again

'Nice guy' Arnold Abbott says he'll keep dishing out meals

(Newser) - A simple citation couldn't keep Arnold Abbott off the streets of Fort Lauderdale, where he's been feeding the homeless for more than two decades. The 90-year-old man, charged Sunday with violating a new ordinance that clamps down on public feeding of the homeless, dished out meals at a... More »

Quad Amputee 'Person of Interest' in Parents' Murder

Florida police on the hunt for Sean Petrozzino after parents found slain

(Newser) - "I cannot imagine him doing something like this—I don't think he would be able to." That was the reaction of one of Sean Petrozzino's neighbors to the Orlando Sentinel upon hearing that the 30-year-old South Florida man—a quadruple amputee after a bout with bacterial... More »

2 Pastors and Man, 90, Charged for Feeding Homeless

Fort Lauderdale officials say they're simply enforcing public food-sharing law

(Newser) - "Drop that plate right now" was the command hurled at 90-year-old Arnold Abbott on Sunday before he was charged with violating Florida law. His crime: feeding Fort Lauderdale's homeless. Abbott and two pastors, Dwayne Black and Mark Sims, were cited for disobeying a new city ordinance that effectively... More »

Governors: Scott Walker, Rick Scott Win; Wendy Davis Loses

Charlie Crist's comeback falls short

(Newser) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott will not hand his job back to former Gov. Charlie Crist. The Republican Scott fended off the challenge from Republican-turned-Democrat Crist tonight in one of the higher-profile races of the 36 gubernatorial contests on the ballot. Elsewhere, Wisconsin's Scott Walker defeated Mary Burke to keep... More »

Woman Emerges From Coma, Delivers Baby

Jenny Quiles 'improving' after she was hit by a tow truck on Oct. 15

(Newser) - Jenny Quiles was 33 weeks pregnant when she was hit by a tow truck as she crossed the street en route to a doctor's appointment on Oct. 15. Roughly two weeks later, the Florida woman emerged from a coma at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, and on Wednesday, she began... More »

Florida AG: Lesbians Can't Get Divorced

She blocks move to dissolve civil union

(Newser) - Florida's attorney general isn't going to allow same-sex divorce any sooner than she allows same-sex marriage. In a ruling this week, Pam Bondi opposed granting a divorce petition because doing so would have required recognizing the same-sex civil union and declaring the state's marriage laws unconstitutional, reports... More »

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