Florida

Read recent news stories and current events about Florida on Newser.com

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Fla. Student Uses Curly Hair as Stand-In for 'Gay' in Grad Speech

Zander Moricz is the youngest public plaintiff in suit against the law

(Newser) - The senior class president at Pine View School in Florida's Sarasota County, who also happens to be the youngest public plaintiff suing over the state's so-called "Don't Say Gay" law, was told that if he referenced the law in his commencement speech , he'd be cut...

Deputies Rescue Boy From Burning Home

Two Florida deputies say they were only doing their job

(Newser) - Sheriff’s deputies in Hillsborough County, Florida, rescued a 9-year-old boy from a burning home in the nick of time last Thursday night. Per the Washington Post, deputies Alexander Maldonado and Kevin Reich could see and feel the flames a block away. As they approached the one-story house, neighbors said,...

First, 'Loud Noises on Their Lanai.' Then, a Surprise Visitor

Alligator breaks through screen, takes dip in family's pool in Charlotte County, Fla.

(Newser) - May is National Water Safety Month, and Florida's Charlotte County Sheriff's Office has its own tip to contribute. "Always check your pool before diving in!" it noted in a Tuesday Facebook post , along with photos showing why it was issuing such a warning. Authorities report that...

His Offer to Pay Off Women's Debt Was Too Good to Be True

Brian Wedgeworth pleads guilty to scamming women of more than $1M

(Newser) - A single surgeon who went to Harvard Medical School and was looking for love. Brian Wedgeworth sounded like a catch. The Florida man was anything but. Wedgeworth, 46, on Thursday pleaded guilty in Tallahassee's federal court to wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering and could...

Man 'Cooked Alive' After Police Tased Him at a Gas Pump

Deputy involved has now been charged

(Newser) - Update: The Florida deputy accused of accidentally setting a motorcycle rider on fire when he tased him at a Florida gas station in February has been charged with culpable negligence, a misdemeanor, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The biker, too, is being charged with reckless driving, fleeing law enforcement and resisting...

District Probes 'Shameful Incident' at Middle School

6 middle school students used giant letters to spell out racial slur

(Newser) - Six Florida middle school students who used large letters to spell out a racial slur can expect the "appropriate disciplinary consequences," the district says. The Martin County School District launched an investigation after a photo appeared on social media of the male students standing outside Hidden Oaks Middle...

Delay in Trial of Woman Accused of Being 'Killer Clown'

Lawyers for Sheila Keen-Warren say they need more time

(Newser) - The details of the crime are perverse: Marlene Warren opened the door to her Wellington, Fla., home in 1990 to be greeted by a person dressed as a clown, holding carnations and balloons, including one that read, "You're the greatest." The clown shot Warren in the face...

Florida Bans 'Picketing and Protesting' Outside Homes

Ban takes effect Oct. 1

(Newser) - Think you might stage a demonstration outside someone's private residence in Florida later this year? Think again. The state's governor on Monday signed a bill that will ban "picketing and protesting" outside a home when it takes effect Oct. 1, CBS News reports. “Sending unruly mobs...

Passenger Explains His Lifesaving Landing

'I knew if I didn't react, that we would die,' Darren Harrison tells 'Today' show

(Newser) - It was an incredible story: A passenger with zero flying experience safely landed the small plane he was in after the pilot had a medical emergency. Now, 39-year-old Darren Harrison tells Today about the experience, and how he managed to stay calm. "It was a life or death situation,...

Small Plane Crashes Into SUV in Florida

Five injured near Miami, and there's an unconfirmed report of one death

(Newser) - A small plane with three people aboard crashed Saturday on a bridge near Miami, striking an SUV with three occupants, the FAA says. Two people aboard the plane were taken to a trauma center and three people with non-life threatening injuries were taken to a hospital, according to Miami-Dade Fire...

Marriage Proposal Ends in 2 Arrests, $25K in Fines

Celebratory balloons were subsequently popped, fell in ocean off Miami

(Newser) - A marriage proposal and subsequent celebration aboard a yacht in Miami has been overshadowed by the arrest of two people and more than $25,000 in fines for others involved. Their alleged crime: dumping balloons. A bystander recorded video showing dozens of balloons decorating a yacht docked at Bayshore Landing...

The Car Started Rolling. Then Came the Good Samaritans

Florida woman OK after she suffered medical emergency in busy Boynton Beach intersection

(Newser) - A Florida woman who suffered a medical emergency last week while behind the wheel is safe, thanks to a bunch of Good Samaritans who jumped out of their own vehicles to help her. WPBF reports the incident took place May 5 at a busy intersection in Boynton Beach, and the...

Miracle in Florida: 'I Have No Idea How to Fly the Airplane'

Man with no piloting experience safely lands Cessna after pilot is incapacitated

(Newser) - A man got a crash course in flying an airplane this week, luckily minus the crashing. A passenger in a single-engine Cessna 208 was forced to land the plane at Palm Beach International Airport on Tuesday afternoon after the pilot had an apparent medical emergency on the way back from...

School Orders Cover-Up of Yearbook Protest Photos

Florida students walked out in March to protest 'Don't Say Gay' law

(Newser) - Yearbooks at a central Florida high school won't be distributed until images of students holding rainbow flags and a "love is love" sign while protesting the state's so-called "Don't Say Gay" law can be covered up with stickers. District officials said they don't want...

Florida Sheriff's Video Reveals Shark-Infested Waters

Sheriff's office warns swimmers to be safe

(Newser) - A video taken from the skies above Florida's Gulf Coast makes it clear just how many sharks might be lurking during an excursion to the beach. "A day in the water is a fun way to beat our Florida heat, but it's important to be aware of...

Population Influx Shifts Florida Toward GOP

Its days as a swing state could be numbered

(Newser) - In 2018, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican US Sen. Rick Scott were elected in Florida with margins so narrow that both races went to recounts. But Florida's days as a battleground state could be numbered, the Hill reports. The state's population is growing rapidly, and many of...

Florida Deputy on Beach Patrol Runs Over Sunbathing Woman

Woman's injuries were not life-threatening

(Newser) - A woman sunbathing on St. Pete Beach in Pinellas County, Florida, Wednesday afternoon was run over by a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy on beach patrol. The deputy was driving one of the sheriff's office SUVs on the beach and had stopped and was talking to pedestrians when he...

Florida Introduces 24-Hour Alligator Hunting

Previous rule limited hunt to 5pm to 10am

(Newser) - From Aug. 15 to Nov. 1, Florida residents will be allowed to hunt alligators 24/7. New Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission guidelines have extended hunting hours during alligators season to 24 hours a day, giving hunters with permits seven extra hours of daylight, the Miami Herald reports. Under previous...

Florida Man Arrested After Triple Murder, Amber Alert

Terrell Lewis was arrested after an alert citizen spotted his vehicle

(Newser) - After an Amber Alert was issued in Florida, an 8-year-old boy was found safe—and his father was charged with three murders. Terrell Lewis, 37, is being held without bond in Jacksonville, WESH reports. Early Friday, neighbors in an apartment complex near Jacksonville University reported fighting and a loud noise....

Disney District Says Florida's Move Might Be Illegal

1967 law that created district says it can't be dissolved before bondholders are paid

(Newser) - Florida's government has passed a law repealing the self-governing district Disney has had in the state for 55 years—but since the two-page law fails to address some very complicated issues, the Reedy Creek Improvement District says business will continue as usual for now. Reedy Creek has told investors...

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