NEWS ABOUT: Florida

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School Stops Giving Kids Mountain Dew Before Tests

Principal had read it was beneficial

(Newser) - No more pre-test infusion of sugar and caffeine for these kids. A grandmother complained when she learned that children at a Florida elementary school were getting a dose of Mountain Dew before taking standardized tests, Florida Today reports. They received three tablespoons of the soda, along with some trail mix,... More »

Clerk's Good Deed Ends in Cop Chase, Heroin Bust

Driver didn't realize she was being pursued for a good reason

(Newser) - When her cellmate asks, "How'd you get arrested?" Florida's Christina Hines, 30, has good reason to either laugh or cry. As WKMG reports, it all started when she accidentally left a $50 bill behind at a gas station. The clerk ran outside after her but was too... More »

HIV+ Guy Gets Booted From Florida Rec League

Dakota Basinger, 21, diagnosed last week

(Newser) - Last week, a 21-year-old Florida man was diagnosed with HIV. After he posted about it on Facebook, Dakota Basinger was pulled from a local basketball league game on Sunday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. In the second half of a playoff game, a Kissimmee city official called a time out, then... More »

Mayor Who Took Office in 1949 Finally Defeated

93-year-old was Florida's longest-serving mayor

(Newser) - After a nearly unbroken spell in office going back to the Truman administration, Mayor John Land is finally out of office in Apopka, Fla. The 93-year-old was narrowly defeated by a 56-year-old challenger who campaigned on the need for more youthful leadership in the city of 44,000, reports the... More »

Boy 'a Little Upset' After Leg Severed by Train

Florida teen was rushing to make curfew at youth center

(Newser) - A Florida teenager lost part of his leg early this morning rushing to make curfew at a youth center, WJXT Jacksonville reports. Police say Jayson Ahrens, 15, slipped and fell while trying to board a moving train just after midnight, and his leg was severed "slightly above the ankle.... More »

Florida's Most Corrupt City Saves Itself

Hampton moves quickly, legislators abandon plan to disband it

(Newser) - The city dubbed the Sunshine State's "most corrupt" and "too Florida, even for Florida" has avoided the ax: Florida lawmakers have now abandoned their quest to disband the city of Hampton, a municipality with the distinction of having its own mayor resign from jail . The city was... More »

400-Pound Cop Stalked Boys as Teen Girl Online

He persuaded boys to send him sexual images

(Newser) - Teenage boys beware: That girl you're chatting to on Facebook could be a man—it could even be a 400-pound, 6-foot-3 police Florida officer like Sgt. Michael Stavris. Authorities say the officer posed as a teenage girl online, promising teen boys oral sex in return for pictures of their... More »

Police Find Mom Hiding in Bedroom at Teen Party

This after Carolyn Weinand told them she was out of town, unaware of bash

(Newser) - Not that unusual: Cops show up to bust a teen party involving booze, and find someone hiding in a bedroom. Unusual: That person is the home's 56-year-old owner, and mother to the 18-year-old who threw the bash. Police say they arrived at the home in Naples, Fla., just after... More »

Fugitive's Home for 18 Years: Key West Houseboat

Michelle Singleton was living as Catherine Harris

(Newser) - Michelle Singleton had a seemingly enviable life in Key West, Florida—that is, until police knocked on the door of her houseboat on Friday and took her into custody, 18 years after she was convicted of payroll check fraud. Singleton had skipped town in 1996, leaving Kansas City, Mo., before... More »

Military Fugitive Who Escaped in 1977 Caught

James Robert Jones fled Fort Leavenworth, landed in Florida

(Newser) - A convicted murderer who escaped prison and made a new life for himself in Florida is back in custody after 37 years, reports AP . James Robert Jones murdered a fellow Army private and got sentenced to 23 years at the military's maximum security prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas... More »

Mayor of 'Most Corrupt' Town Quits —From Jail

Hampton, Fla., needs leader who doesn't deal Oxy

(Newser) - The Hampton, Fla., needs a new mayor—unless the state decides to dissolve its " most corrupt town ." Barry Layne Moore, mayor of the town of 477 residents, has handed in a one-sentence resignation letter from jail, where he is awaiting trial on charges of selling a single oxycodone... More »

GOP Wins 'Fall Preview' House Race

ObamaCare loomed large in Fla. special election

(Newser) - Republican David Jolly has narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a Tampa-area House district where President Obama's health care overhaul got its first test ahead of November's midterm elections and both sides spent millions auditioning national strategies. With almost 100% of the vote counted, Jolly had 48.5%... More »

Florida Might Eliminate Its 'Most Corrupt Town'

Hampton has more than its fair share of problems, per a recent audit

(Newser) - The small town of Hampton, Fla., has caught the attention of state lawmakers—who want to see it dissolved. That's because it's wildly corrupt, per a 42-page state audit of its books released last month, which CNN reports "reads like a primer on municipal malfeasance." The... More »

Dumbest Thing Ever Said to a Cop During DUI Stop

Michael Moore explained he was trying to 'drive it off'

(Newser) - He was pulled over with glassy eyes, slurred speech, a boozy smell, and he blew well over the legal limit on his BAC test, so 61-year-old Michael Moore probably couldn't say much to help his case. But this? He "told me that his wife told him that he... More »

Mom Spoke of Demons Before Driving Into Ocean

Ebony Wilkerson told police she was fleeing abusive ex-husband

(Newser) - The details surrounding how a pregnant mother managed to plow her minivan into the ocean with three kids on board just got more bizarre: Police say they pulled Ebony Wilkerson over hours before the incident after her sister reported that she was "not all here," NBC News reports.... More »

Woman Who Fired Warning Shot Could Get 60 Years

Marissa Alexander faces triple the original sentence in new trial

(Newser) - Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot that injured no one, could now end up serving 60 years instead. Alexander, 33, was initially convicted in 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; the judge imposed three 20-year-sentences,... More »

Florida City Cites Woman ... for Living Off-Grid

She won't hook up to water or electric, though she did use the sewer system

(Newser) - A Florida woman is in a legal fight with the city of Cape Coral for the right to live without municipal water or electricity—off the grid, as she puts it to WBBH-TV . The city just played a trump card, though: It capped the sewer at the house of 50-something... More »

Teen Wrongly Jailed for Month Over Name Confusion

Florida cops got the wrong Cody Williams on sex-assault charges

(Newser) - A Florida teenager spent 35 days in jail on sex-assault charges because it apparently never occurred to his arresting officers that two people might have the same name, reports the Florida Times-Union . Cody Lee Williams, now 19, was arrested last August and charged as an adult after a young girl... More »

Blind Florida Man Who Killed Buddy Gets His Guns Back

Was exonerated under Stand Your Ground

(Newser) - A blind man in Florida who shot and killed a drinking buddy in March 2012 has been reunited with his guns after winning immunity from prosecution last month under the state's Stand Your Ground law. The judge in Sanford—the city where George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin—on Thursday... More »

Fired for Carrying Gun, Wells Fargo Manager Sues

Ivette Ros says she needed it to protect her employees

(Newser) - Don't get between Ivette Ros and her 9mm, or she'll slap you with a lawsuit. That's what Wells Fargo Bank learned when it fired Ros from her position as manager in the rural city of Oldsmar, Fla., the Tampa Tribune reports. Ros said she liked carrying her... More »

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