NEWS ABOUT: Florida

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Wife Dies After Accusing Hubby of Gay Encounter

Michael Doster is a suspect, says sheriff's office

(Newser) - Michael Doster is suspected of killing his wife after a gay-sex rendezvous at a Florida nude beach—but so far no witnesses have stepped forward in the case, Gawker reports. According to an affidavit, Doster's wife Pamela caught him giving a man oral sex last weekend at a nude... More »

Chikungunya Virus Moves Into US

Florida sees first locally-acquired cases

(Newser) - It's official: Chikungunya has come to the US. In the likely event you haven't heard of it, Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease that causes severe (though only occasionally fatal) fevers, joint pain, and swelling, Health Day explains. There are no treatments for it save rest and painkillers. It'... More »

Florida Court Clears Way for Gay Marriage in Keys

Overturns ban, applies only to Monroe County

(Newser) - A judge in the Florida Keys overturned the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage today after a legal challenge by gay couples said it effectively made them second-class citizens. The ruling by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia applies only to Monroe County, which primarily consists of the Keys, and... More »

Endangered Florida Habitat Getting a Walmart

Dwindling rockland is home to many rare species

(Newser) - A South Florida forest that's home to a trove of endangered and almost-endangered plant and animal species, including the bald eagle, indigo snake, and Florida bonneted bat, is about to be invaded by a far less rare creature: Walmart. The University of Miami this month sold 88 acres of... More »

Cops: Foster Mom Left Toddler in Hot Car

Monique Williams was arrested yesterday after incident at Florida Publix

(Newser) - The wave of kids-in-hot-cars stories continues: A Florida foster mom was arrested on child neglect charges after police say she left a 15-month-old in a hot car for 20 minutes yesterday while she shopped. An employee of Apopka's Publix grocery store saw the boy in the car, with the... More »

Judge Scraps GOP-Drawn Florida Map

Calls it a 'mockery' of amendments requiring non-political districting

(Newser) - Republicans "made a mockery" of recent Florida constitutional amendments requiring lawmakers to draw fair political districts, a state judge ruled yesterday, ordering that two particularly egregious districts be redrawn—and with them, probably all districts that touch them. "Republican political consultants or operatives did, in fact, conspire to... More »

Hackers Turn Construction Sign Into Obscene Message

Florida drivers exposed to latest meme

(Newser) - The construction sign on Boyette Road in Ruskin, Fla., was supposed to alert motorists about lanes being closed. Instead, reports WFTS-TV , its lights spelled out an obscene phrase that we'll list only by acronym: FHRITP. (Click the link to see the sign in full, or almost full.) For... More »

Amateur Sleuths: We Found Old War Fort

US soldiers used Fort Harrell in the second Seminole War

(Newser) - Three amateur explorers have uncovered what they say are the remains of an old US Army fort in South Florida—a find harking back to the time of Andrew Jackson and the removal of Native Americans to lands beyond the Mississippi River. Shawn Beightol, a Miami-Dade school teacher, says a... More »

Sheriff's Workers Smash Hard Drive for New Sheriff

Good news is ... new lawman has fewer emails to read?

(Newser) - Here's a treat for an incoming sheriff: The outgoing staff apparently pulverized the last sheriff's hard drive and left behind none of his files. Not only that, there was blood on the drive's remains. An outgoing sergeant at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Florida told Internal... More »

Man's Whole Body Pulled Through Wood Chipper

It's not clear how worker fell in while landscaping

(Newser) - It was, as a witness pointed out, like a scene from a movie, and "horrifying": A landscape worker died yesterday afternoon in Davie, Fla., when he fell into a wood chipper; his entire body was pulled through. "I look outside and I see some piles of blood,"... More »

Couple Falls Overboard, Treads Water for 14 Hours

Sean McGovern, Melissa Morris ultimately rescued

(Newser) - On Saturday morning, four fishermen saw birds hovering over the waters seven miles off the Hallandale Beach shore in Broward County, Florida. Usually, their presence signals fish in the water. But not this time. Instead of fish, the men—two of them off-duty sheriff’s detectives and one a firefighter/paramedic—... More »

Cops: Mom Brands Kids, Promises Ice Cream

Kayla Oxenham, 23, denies charges of child abuse

(Newser) - A Florida mom has been charged with child abuse after she allegedly branded her children so she could identify them as her kids. Kayla Oxenham, 23, allegedly used a lighter to heat up a stick then burned her 5- and 7-year-old daughters on the arm while noting she "forgot... More »

Florida Executes Killer

John Ruthell Henry is third US execution in 24 hours

(Newser) - Florida has executed a man who fatally stabbed his wife and her young son in 1985—the third US execution in less than 24 hours since Oklahoma's botched procedure in April . The governor's office says John Ruthell Henry was pronounced dead at 7:43pm after a lethal injection.... More »

In 1st Since Botched Death, 3 Inmates Set for Execution

Inmates in Florida, Georgia, Missouri slated to die in next day

(Newser) - Nine executions nationwide have been stayed in the seven weeks since Clayton Lockett died in a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma, but three convicted killers are scheduled to die in the next day or so. All three states planning lethal injections—Florida, Georgia, and Missouri—refuse to say where they... More »

Man Shoots Son 4 Times, Flees on Father's Day

Florida teen intervened in parental fight, with horrific results

(Newser) - Police say a Florida teen stopped his parents from fighting on Father's Day and was shot four times for his efforts, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Eugene Blackwell Jr., 18, a star weightlifter, separated his mom from the elder Blackwell, 45, and got her out of the house. Then... More »

Cops: 450-Pound Man Stashed Pot in Stomach Fat

Florida man was too big to wear seat belt

(Newser) - A Florida man's cunning plan to smuggle drugs in his ample stomach fat was foiled because he was too big to fasten his seat belt. Police say that after 450-pound suspect Christopher Mitchell—whose aliases include "Fat Boy" and "Biggie"—appeared nervous during a traffic stop,... More »

Mom Helps Teen Who Killed Daughter Avoid Prison

Ady Guzman-DeJesus to tour schools with Jordyn Howe

(Newser) - It was a scene Florida Judge Ellen Sue Venzer "could have never imagined" after 20 years in a courtroom: a mother embracing her daughter's killer. But that's what she witnessed on Tuesday during sentencing for 16-year-old Jordyn Howe, who pleaded guilty to the accidental shooting of Lourdes... More »

America's Most Stressed States Are...

Unemployment helps put Florida top

(Newser) - Florida is the most stressed-out state in the lower 48 and that has nothing to do with pythons , shark attacks , or drug-dealing mayors , according to a new study. Real-estate blog Movoto used factors including commuting times, housing prices, and lack of health insurance to arrive at its findings. It ranked... More »

Biblical Story of Abraham Cited in Murder

'God never told me to stop,' suspect's note reads

(Newser) - A Florida woman is facing murder charges in a slaying that she suggested was partially motivated by the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, authorities say. Kimberly Lucas, 40, allegedly killed her ex-partner's 2-year-old daughter, and then unsuccessfully tried to kill both the girl's 10-year-old brother and herself,... More »

This 46-Year-Old Woman's Baby Set a Record

Belinda Slaughter gave birth via IVF, using her own fresh eggs

(Newser) - A 46-year-old Florida woman became a new mom to a healthy baby boy last year via IVF—and though it's not unheard of for a woman to deliver a baby at her age, what's medically remarkable is that Belinda Slaughter didn't use frozen or donated embryos, but... More »

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