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Florida News

  1. 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)
  2. 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)]
  3. 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]
  4. 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.
  5. 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]
  6. Rate of kids coming into foster care rising in Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — More children are coming into Florida's foster care system after a sweeping child-welfare reform law went into effect 19 months ago, but officials say the state is trying to focus on what's best for kids in difficult situations.

    State Sen. Nancy Detert  says Florida must look out for children.
  7. Gov. Rick Scott wants lawmakers to fund bear-proofing measures

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The state would set aside $230,000 for bear-resistant trash cans and outreach programs to reduce conflicts between humans and bears, as part of Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $79.3 billion budget.

    A black bear cub peeks around a tree.
  8. GOP lawmaker proposes plan to open solar market in Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State Rep. Fred Costello is having his Ormond Beach home fitted with solar panels. He has invested in a company that is seeking a patent on new energy generation technology. He considers himself an energy wonk.

  9. 9 degrees of fun return Tuesday for Gaylord Palms' Ice!


    You can chill out at Ice!, the frosty feature of 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures opening Tuesday at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. This year the chilly walk-through marvel features a theme based on Twas the Night Before Christmas.

    Ice!, with 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures in Kissimmee, also features four ice slides contained within the event and an Alpine Rush snow tubing attraction for an extra charge.
  10. Marco Rubio drew strong student reviews, but skimped on job requirements as FIU professor

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio has brushed off criticism about missing U.S. Senate votes to run for president and careless use of state GOP credit cards and political committees when he was a Florida legislative leader.

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, shown here during a campaign stop last weekend in Des Moines,was paid for teaching at Florida International University from 2009 until April. [GETTY IMAGES]