State officials want consistency in the warning flags flown at beaches to tell swimmers about conditions.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hopes that by March swimmers everywhere will know that single red means rough waters, double red means "stay away," yellow means light surf, green means calm water and purple warns of marine pests such as jellyfish.
"We don't want there to be any confusion," DEP spokeswoman Kathalyn Gaither said.
The state will not mandate the new system but is encouraging it by distributing free flags.
The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association has been pushing for the uniform flag system.
Deputy who pawned gun to pay gaming debts fired
FORT LAUDERDALE _ A Broward County detention deputy was fired after an investigation showed she pawned her service revolver to help cover gambling debts, officials said.
An investigation revealed that Tracey Schuler also pawned another deputy's weapon and at least 46 other items over a six-year period.
The investigation grew out of a February 2003 complaint by an inmate that some personal property was stolen.
A month later, when county officials asked Schuler to surrender her badge, weapon and county identification, she acknowledged that the gun was at a pawnshop.
Man indicted in murders
of parents in east Manatee
BRADENTON _ A Manatee County grand jury indicted Blaine Ross on two counts of first-degree murder Thursday in the beating deaths of his parents.
Investigators say Ross, 21, confessed Jan. 9 to using an aluminum baseball bat to kill his parents, Richard and Kathleen Ross, on Jan. 6 in their east Manatee home as a result of a dispute over money. Two days before she was killed, Kathleen Ross cut off her son's access to a $107,000 inheritance account.
Prosecutors have not said whether they intend to seek the death penalty for Ross, who is scheduled to enter a plea Feb. 6.
Fugitive in Bible study slaying found in California
SAN DIEGO _ A man accused of walking into a Florida church last year and shooting a pastor to death during Bible study was arrested Thursday in San Diego.
After police got a tip, Aaron Anderson, 64, was arrested near a downtown homeless shelter.
Anderson was wanted in the Nov. 4 shooting of Benjamin Mobley, 65, in the End Time Tabernacle Church in Fort Pierce. Witnesses said Anderson walked into the Bible study attended by more than a dozen adults and children, accused the pastor of taking his wife, the assistant pastor, and shot him in the chest.
Toddler who shot himself
with father's gun dies
MIAMI _ A toddler who shot himself in the head with his father's gun died, officials said.
Travis Jenkins Jr., 3, was removed from life support Wednesday after doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital determined the boy was brain-dead.
The toddler found the gun in the center console of his father's rental car on Monday. The father, Travis Jenkins Sr., 26, was outside the vehicle at the time, talking to a family friend a few feet away.
_ Wire and Bradenton Herald reports