Florida

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Health Club Mogul Drinking Before Fatal Crash: Cops

Roger Wittenberns, girlfriend were allegedly speeding in matching yellow sports cars

(Newser) - Florida police say a heath club chain mogul and his girlfriend had been drinking when they hopped into matching luxury yellow sports cars shortly before Roger Wittenberns' speeding Lamborghini plowed into an SUV, killing the 82-year-old driver last Wednesday. Wittenberns, 60, and longtime girlfriend, Patty Ann McQuiggin, 61, were allegedly... More »

3 People Bitten by Sharks in One Day at Florida Beach

All are expected to be OK

(Newser) - Three people were bitten by sharks Sunday at Florida's New Smyrna Beach, a place the News-Journal refers to as the "shark bite capital of the world." A 43-year-old male surfer was bitten on his lower leg and ankle and taken to the hospital with "significant lacerations"... More »

'Weirdest Tropical Storm' Forms Over Florida

Meteorologists have never seen this before

(Newser) - Julia, the tropical storm expected to soak Georgia and South Carolina over the next few days, is probably the strangest storm of the year, forecasters say. Julia strengthened from a tropical system into a tropical storm a few miles west of Jacksonville, Fla., around midnight on Tuesday, marking the first... More »

Man Arrested in Connection With Arson at Florida Mosque

The mosque was sometimes attended by Pulse shooter Omar Mateen

(Newser) - Police have arrested a suspect in the fire that left a 100-square-foot hole in the roof of a Florida mosque occasionally attended by Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, WKMG reports. According to Reuters , 32-year-old Joseph Schreiber is believed to be behind Sunday's arson at the Islamic Center of Fort... More »

Mosque Where Orlando Gunman Prayed Goes Up in Flames

Cops say it wasn't an accident

(Newser) - Before Omar Mateen shot up the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people in June, he had been a longtime regular at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, showing up at Friday services for 13 years. That mosque went up in flames early Monday, per the St. Lucie County... More »

Cops: Man Shot Cousin to See if Bulletproof Vest Worked

It didn't, Tampa man discovered

(Newser) - A Florida man is behind bars after becoming the latest person to realize too late that bulletproof vests shouldn't be tested when people are wearing them. Cops say Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, fatally shot his 23-year-old cousin, Joaquin Mendez, in Tampa on Saturday night after Mendez tried on the vest... More »

Firefighter Charged in Young Son's Hot Car Death

Police say there's no evidence father left toddler in car deliberately

(Newser) - There was no evidence that a Tampa-area firefighter deliberately left his toddler son in a hot pickup truck for eight hours, but the circumstances amount to criminal neglect, a sheriff told a Florida newspaper, per the AP . Troy Whitaker, 41, of Palm Harbor, faces an aggravated manslaughter charge in the... More »

84 Pregnant Women in Florida Have Tested Positive for Zika

At least 1 baby has been born with microcephaly

(Newser) - Not only are locally acquired Zika cases on the rise in Florida, but 84 pregnant women have tested positive for the virus in the state, including at least 15 who've already given birth, say health officials. It isn't clear how many of those pregnancies had complications, but doctors... More »

Jeep Fire Blamed on Exploding Phone

'Not the barbecue I wanted on my day off'

(Newser) - One more reason to swap out your Note 7 : Nathan Dornacher says his Jeep Grand Cherokee was totaled in a fire after he left his Samsung smartphone charging in the console, reports Fox 13 . On Facebook , the St. Petersburg, Fla., resident says he opened the vehicle door to grab his... More »

Couple Married 52 Years Match Outfits Every Day

Ed and Fran Gargiula say they match on the inside, too

(Newser) - Late last month, 17-year-old Anthony Gargiula tweeted pictures of his grandparents in carefully coordinated outfits, accompanied by a matter-of-fact caption: "My grandparents have been married for 52 years and they match outfits every day." That tweet has since earned more than 83,000 favorites and 40,000-plus retweets... More »

Cops: Woman Set Fire to Guy's Car, Only It Wasn't Her Ex's

The 19-year-old was caught on surveillance video in Florida

(Newser) - A young woman police have identified through surveillance video as 19-year-old Carmen Chamblee is charged with setting fire to a Honda Civic in Clearwater, Fla., and she says she thought it was her ex-boyfriend's, reports WFTS . It wasn't. Thomas Jennings, the man who owned the vehicle, says he'... More »

Grandma Living in Trees for 25 Years Told to Destroy Home

Miami-Dade County officials says Shawnee Chasser's treehouse is unsafe

(Newser) - For almost a quarter-century, Shawnee Chasser has returned home in the evenings to a house in the trees, the latest one a wooden two-story structure built high above the ground on the Florida property where her late son used to live. But Miami-Dade County officials are now ordering the 65-year-old... More »

Man Makes Wanted Poster His Facebook Pic, Is Arrested

Made it easy to discover Mack Yearwood had outstanding warrants

(Newser) - Most people hate their mugshots even more than the picture on their driver's license, but a Florida man found a wanted poster with his picture on it pleasing enough to put on Facebook—and it helped cops bust him, the Palm Beach Post reports. Stuart police responded to a... More »

First Hurricane Since 2005 Makes Landfall in Florida

Hermine then downgraded to tropical storm

(Newser) - Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida's Big Bend area early Friday as the first hurricane to hit the state in more than a decade. The Category 1 storm hit just east of St. Marks around 1:30am EST with winds around 80 mph, according to the US National Hurricane... More »

Football Star Sees Autistic Kid Eating Alone, Swoops in

Feel all the feels, thanks to FSU's Travis Rudolph

(Newser) - When Leah Paske got a message from a friend Tuesday that said, "Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son," accompanied by a now-viral photo of her son chowing down in his Florida middle school with a young man, her first response was: "Who?" That response soon... More »

Florida's Hurricane Drought Could Soon Be Over

Tropical Storm Hermine expected to be upgraded

(Newser) - Tropical Storm Hermine is surging toward Florida and is expected to make landfall as a hurricane by early Friday, reports USA Today . That means an 11-year streak could be broken: Florida has been hurricane-free since Hurricane Wilma claimed five lives in 2005, though it has seen 10 tropical storms since... More »

Woman Allegedly Murdered Husband by Plugging His Nose

Retired nurse Jan Sochalski accused of killing spouse in his hospital bed

(Newser) - A retired nurse in Florida is accused of killing her husband while he lay in his hospital bed. Staff at Florida Hospital Memorial Center in Daytona Beach tell police they saw Jan Sochalski, 61, lying across the chest of husband Henry Sochalski, 64, and pinching his nose, reports People . He... More »

'Vladimir Putin' Arrested at Florida Publix

He's charged with trespassing

(Newser) - "Vladimir Putin" showed up at a Florida Publix last week and started screaming at employees, police tell WPTV . No, not that Vladimir Putin. Police say a 48-year-old man claiming to have the same name as the Russian leader refused a manager's request to leave the West Palm Beach... More »

In Florida Primaries, Rubio Wins, Grayson Loses

Patrick Murphy will challenge Rubio in November

(Newser) - Florida's high-profile Senate race is set in November: Marco Rubio will defend his seat against challenger Patrick Murphy, a Democratic congressman. Rubio beat millionaire developer Carlos Beruff on Tuesday, the only major GOP candidate to stay in the race after Rubio decided to run for re-election two days before... More »

Stephen Bannon May Be Guilty of Voter Fraud

He was registered to vote at a vacant home in Florida

(Newser) - The Guardian did a little digging and discovered Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump's new campaign CEO , may be guilty of a bit of felony voter fraud. The Atlantic calls this "particularly embarrassing" because Bannon is currently in charge of a presidential campaign that has been warning of voter fraud... More »

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