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Biggest Florida County to Treat Pot Users Differently

Miami-Dade county is first in state to loosen rules

(Newser) - People caught with small amounts of marijuana can now receive civil citations instead of jail time in Florida's largest county, the first in the state to treat marijuana possession as a non-criminal act. The Miami-Dade County Commission has approved a proposal to let police issue $100 civil citations or... More »

Car Crash Solves 40-Year-Old Mystery 10K Miles Away

Raymond Grady Stansel Jr. disappeared in 1974 right before drug-smuggling trial

(Newser) - When an elderly man in north Queensland, Australia, died in a car crash in May, the local paper ran a story that described an "outpouring of grief" in the town where he ran his crocodile-cruise company for almost 30 years. But as the Tampa Bay Times details in a... More »

These Are America's 10 Sweatiest Cities

Tampa, Miami, Orlando make the top 5

(Newser) - Let's hope Tampa has a steady supply of deodorant. A new survey from the makers of Honeywell Fans has produced a list of the 10 sweatiest cities in the country, based on temperature and humidity levels, population, housing density, wind speed, and more, per a press release . The consensus:... More »

Floridian Is Now 3rd to Die of Seawater Bacteria

But he got the infection in Mississippi

(Newser) - At least three people in Florida have now died from a nasty warm-water bacteria called vibrio vulnificus this year, but the latest case should put people outside of Florida on alert, too. That's because the victim contracted it while on vacation in Mississippi, reports Tampa's Fox 13 . Florida... More »

Snail-Devouring Worm Has Invaded Florida

Invasive New Guinea flatworm will even chase its prey up trees

(Newser) - It's considered one of the " world's worst invasive alien species ," sucks snails into a ravenous mouth located in the middle of its belly, and has now invaded US shores for the first time. "It" is the New Guinea flatworm, and researchers are afraid that now... More »

Boy Bitten in Fla. 'Shark Bite Capital'

NC town eyes shark fishing ban to protect swimmers

(Newser) - Volusia County, Fla., was declared the "shark bite capital of the world" this year by the International Shark Attack File, according to NBC , and it doesn't seem to be in danger of losing the title. A 10-year-old boy was in chest-deep water at Daytona Beach Shores yesterday when... More »

Cops: Guy Tried to Burn House With Bowling Ball Bomb

Which is one way to foil bank from selling it

(Newser) - As the Sun-Sentinel puts it, "it's hard to stand out when it comes to crime in South Florida," but that's exactly what one 21-year-old Loxahatchee resident has allegedly done. Per the AP , Tyler Butler was arrested on charges of arson and using an explosive device after... More »

'Flesh-Eating' Water Bacteria Kills 2 People

Vibrio vulnificus can be vicious if it enters the bloodstream

(Newser) - A bacterium that flourishes in warm, brackish water has killed two people in Florida this year and will likely take more lives—but people can easily lower their chance of infection. Florida health officials say one person picked up the bacterium, known as vibrio vulnificus, via "raw seafood exposure"... More »

Truck Crash's Odd Victim: a Shark

4 sandbar sharks were being transported from Florida to Coney Island

(Newser) - One died, three survived. That was the outcome for four sandbar sharks being hauled from Marathon, Fla., to an aquarium in Coney Island, NY, after the truck they were in crashed during a storm on Interstate 95 yesterday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol tells Florida Today . The semitrailer blew a... More »

Queen of Versailles Stars' Daughter Dead at 18

Victoria Siegel found unresponsive at Fla. home of parents David and Jackie Siegel

(Newser) - Authorities say the 18-year-old daughter of the stars of the documentary Queen of Versailles has died after being found unresponsive at their home near Orlando. Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson says Victoria Siegel was found by deputies at the family's home in Windermere on Saturday afternoon. She... More »

Florida Girl Knocked Out —by a Flying Fish

This is why Florida can't have nice boat rides

(Newser) - Ah, Florida: The sunshine, the sand, the water. The consciousness-stealing crazy large fish flying through the air. As NBC reports, 14-year-old Heavyn Nash was out for a boat ride Sunday with her mom and grandfather on the Suwanee River. But of course, this being Florida , we can't have nice... More »

Toddler Dies in Hot Car as Mom Teaches Kids

Jamie Buckley didn't discover her 18-month-old until school let out

(Newser) - A Florida toddler died after being left in a hot car all day in an elementary school parking lot while her schoolteacher mom taught, reports Panama City's News Herald . Jamie Buckley told police she arrived at work yesterday between 7am and 7:30am and went inside the school, forgetting... More »

Florida Fish Have Babies by 'Virgin Birth'

Smalltooth sawfish stun scientists with offspring

(Newser) - Looks like female sawfish don't need the guys so much anymore. Scientists have discovered seven examples in Florida of virgin-birth offspring by smalltooth sawfish, an endangered species whose members grow up to 25 feet in length and have long snouts studded with teeth, LiveScience reports. Their offspring may provide... More »

2 K-9s Die in Cop's Hot Car

Fla. officer left them behind after midnight shift

(Newser) - Police in Hialeah, Fla., are in mourning for two beloved colleagues who died locked in an officer's car. Jimmy, a 7-year-old bloodhound, and Hector, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, were left in the back of Officer Nelson Enriquez's SUV all day Wednesday after they finished a midnight shift, the... More »

Woman Who Had Sex on Beach Learns Her Fate

Elissa Alvarez gets nowhere near 15 years, Jose Caballero likely won't either

(Newser) - Earlier this month, Jose Caballero and Elissa Alvarez were found guilty of lewd and lascivious exhibition for having sex on Florida's Bradenton Beach—and they faced a pretty stiff maximum sentence for their tangle in the sand: 15 years behind bars. On Wednesday, Alvarez learned her time in jail... More »

Waterspout Sends Kids, Bounce House Flying

3 kids injured

(Newser) - A whirling column of air and water mist known as a waterspout came ashore and uprooted an inflatable bounce house with three children inside it on a South Florida beach yesterday. The children were injured but alert and conscious when they were taken to a hospital, Fort Lauderdale Police spokesman... More »

Naked Guy Gets Trapped on Drawbridge

Florida firefighters nervously watch him for 2 hours

(Newser) - Firefighters in Florida have rescued a naked man trapped on a raised drawbridge. The South Florida Sun Sentinel quotes witnesses as saying the unidentified man was walking across the Florida East Coast Railway railroad bridge in Fort Lauderdale yesterday morning when it began to rise, forcing him to scamper to... More »

Landscaper Jailed After Mowing Down Ducklings

He killed 9 in front of a couple and young son

(Newser) - A Florida landscaper faces prison time after he mowed down a family of ducklings. Jason Falbo, 24, claims it was unintentional, but a couple and their young son who watched the scene unfold aren't buying it, and, so far, neither are police, reports the Palm Beach Post . It happened... More »

Alleged Shooting at Zimmerman Was Self-Defense: Lawyer

Police recover guns from Matthew Apperson and George Zimmerman

(Newser) - After recent reports that Matthew Apperson shot at George Zimmerman near Orlando, Apperson's lawyer says his client did nothing illegal: It was "a good, old-fashioned self-defense case," attorney Mark NeJame says, as the AP reports. He holds that Zimmerman waved a gun at Apperson; he notes that... More »

Success! Rare Conjoined Twins Separated in Fla.

Parents elated 5-month-old Connor and Carter are 'doing very well'

(Newser) - "My word of the day is awesome." That was Bryan Mirabal's reaction to the surgery that successfully separated his conjoined 5-month-old boys last week, per the Florida Times-Union . The 26-year-old and his 24-year-old fiancee Michelle Brantley are celebrating the procedure on their boys, Connor and Carter, which... More »

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