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Florida News

  1. No one is showing cards yet, but a gambling compromise could be coming

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The ice is melting on Florida's gambling impasse.

    Gamblers play slot machines in the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. Its 2012 expansion made the casino's  the 6th largest in the world.  [EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Legislature tries to turn the tables on judges in redistricting cases

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — In an aggressive attempt to weaken the Fair Districts amendments to the Florida Constitution, a House committee on Wednesday passed legislation to create new hurdles to legal challenges to the maps lawmakers draw.

    Rep. Larry Ahern, R- Seminole, is sponsoring a bill that would make it harder for the courts to challenge maps of districts that lawmakers draw. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Tampa Bay Times
  3. Florida student suspended for treatment of Muslim professor

    College

    WINTER PARK — A student at Rollins College in Florida has been suspended temporarily for his treatment of his Muslim professor. The Christian student says he is the victim of religious discrimination.

  4. Brandon woman charged with threatening Sandy Hook parent a no-show for court hearing

    Nation

    FORT LAUDERDALE — If the woman accused of sending death threats to a Palm Beach County man whose 6-year-old son died in the Sandy Hook school shooting had shown up in court on Wednesday, she probably would have been sentenced to house arrest and probation.

    Lucy Richards leaves the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale last October.  Richards was set to plead guilty to threatening the parent of a boy killed in the 2012 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn. because she thought it was a hoax. A change-of-plea plea hearing was scheduled in Fort Lauderdale federal court Wednesday, but Richards failed to show up. [Paula McMahon | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  5. Florida lawmakers consider new auto insurance system. Here's who wins, loses with changes.

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — Most Florida drivers would see small savings with their auto insurance, but those who carry just the minimum amount of coverage, either by choice or because they can't afford more, would pay much higher rates under two proposals gaining traction in the Legislature.

    Under new plans being considered by state lawmakers, bodily injury coverage could be required of all drivers.
  6. Ex-NFL star Michael Irvin investigated in sex battery case

    Sports

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Police in Florida are investigating sexual battery allegations made by a woman against former NFL star Michael Irvin.

    NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin is interviewed during a media availability at the NFL Network studios in Culver City, Calif., in 2015. Police in Florida confirmed Wednesday that authorities are investigating sexual battery allegations made by a woman against Irvin. He has not been charged with anything. [Associated Press]
  7. FPL's fracking investment bill passes committee despite objections

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A House committee overlooked opposition by residential and commercial utility customers Tuesday and approved a proposal sought by Florida Power & Light to allow the company to expand its rate base by charging customers for investments in natural gas fracking operations in other states.

    Fracking.
  8. Hoodwinked! Lawmaker says prison privatization is scamming Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Numbers don't lie and Florida's private prisons are not saving money as promised, according to an investigation by Rep. David Richardson, a retired forensic auditor.

    Rep. David Richardson, D- Miami Beach, has become a one-man wrecking crew in forcing the state to provide more oversight of its state prisons. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]
  9. Medical marijuana bill moves in Florida House, but draws critics for being too restrictive

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A powerful Florida House Republican said Tuesday he'll consider revising his plan for medical pot after drawing criticism from marijuana supporters.

    The medical marijuana legislation being shepherded by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, includes bans on smoking, vaping edibles. Pictured is vials of medical marijuana oil. [Monica Herndon | Tampa Bay Times]
  10. Parents want daily school recess. The Florida House won't give them that.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida parents seeking more recess time for their children suffered a setback Tuesday, when state lawmakers significantly watered down a proposal that was supposed to require 20 minutes of daily recess for all public elementary students.

    Fifth grade students at John M. Sexton Elementary School, St. Petersburg, participate in field games during a 15 minute recess, each school day. The students also have Physical Education class three times a week at the school. In Miami-Dade County, elementary children are supposed to get it at least two to three days a week, with a few schools testing out the five-day model. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay Times]