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Florida News

  1. Thousands cheer on insult-throwing Donald Trump at Sarasota rally

    State Roundup


    Thousands of Donald Trump fans packed inside and outside a Sarasota arena Saturday to hear the Republican front-runner rip Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, super PACs, "phonies" in the press corps (especially the New York Times), Obamacare, "weak" generals leading America's military, political correctness, …

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to thousands of people at his campaign rally at Robarts Arena in Sarasota on Saturday afternoon. [ZACK WITTMAN   |   Times]
  2. After a defeat in Houston, the fight for gay rights shifts to Jacksonville

    State Roundup

    JACKSONVILLE — The first major gay rights showdown since Houston's rancorous vote to repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance is shaping up here in Jacksonville, the largest city in the nation whose leaders have never enacted civil rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

    Community members crowd a meeting about the city's Human Rights Ordinance, in Jacksonville on Nov. 17. Gay rights advocates have been aggressively organizing in Jacksonville. Supporters of extending rights were out in force well beforehand and dominated proceedings here because the mayoral panel took questions on a first come, first served basis. [Sarah Beth Glicksteen | New York Times]
  3. Snitch ruins Orlando-area retirement community's penny-ante mahjong game


    ORLANDO — Someone was suspicious of Zelda King and her gang of gambling grandmas.

    Friends, from left, Lee Delnick, 86, Zelda King, 87, and Bernice Wexler Diamond, 89, gather around a mahjong game in the clubhouse at Escondido Condominiums in Altamonte Springs. Police cracked down on gambling at the condos, where elderly women were playing casual, low-stakes games. [Jacob Langston | Orlando Sentinel via TNS]
  4. Both sides make conspiracy accusations in Florida's redistricting fight

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The knock-down fight over the political future of the Florida Senate entered its third round this week as lawyers for the coalition of voting groups accused Republican lawmakers of conspiring again to protect incumbents, while the Legislature's lawyers accused opponents of "operating in the shadows" …

  5. Florida film industry's future in the balance as state tax credits dry up

    State Roundup


    When Live by Night opens in movie theaters in 2017, viewers will be treated to the sights and sounds of Ybor City in the middle of Prohibition.

    From left, Mahat Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Captain Phillips, which was looking to film in northwest Florida, but didn’t.
  6. Talks continue over how to limit — but still expand — gambling in Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The deadline has passed for the Seminole Tribe to complete its negotiations with the state over whether it will be allowed to continue operating lucrative blackjack games at its Hard Rock casinos, but the cards are still on the table.

    The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. (Luis Santana | Times)
  7. Influential Salt Rock chef Tom Pritchard dies after battle with Parkinson's


    ST. PETERSBURG — Chef Tom Pritchard, who lied his way into the food and service industry and rose to become one of the most inventive and influential chefs in Florida, died Wednesday morning at his home in St. Petersburg. He was 74.

    Pritchard poses on the dock behind the Salt Rock Grill. [Times (2009)]
  8. Jury convicts Florida 'Facebook killer' of second-degree murder (w/video)


    MIAMI — A Florida man who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder after failing to convince a jury that he shot her eight times in self-defense.

    Derek Medina, is led out of the courtroom after he was found guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in Miami. Medina, who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook, was convicted after failing to convince a jury that he shot her eight times in self-defense. [Walter Michot | Miami Herald via AP]
  9. Orlando observation wheel offers new Eye Glow ticket to get the party started


    The Orlando Eye has introduced Eye Glow, a new nighttime upgrade of $10 on top of the $20 admission that includes a wine, beer, cider or glass of champagne and access to the new Eye Glow lounge, before boarding the 400-foot observation wheel.

    Tickets are available nightly after 6 p.m. for Orlando Eye’s new Eye Glow lounge.
  10. Florida proposal aims to deter, punish identity thieves using gas pump 'skimmers'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — With the simple swipe of a credit card at a gas station pump, it's become easier for identity thieves to steal customers' information and rack up fraudulent charges in their names.

    Skimming at the gas pump — the theft of a credit card number to make purchases — is on the rise. [Associated Press]