A federal judge awarded $80-million in damages Monday to three Cuban men living in the Tampa Bay area who won a lawsuit claiming they were forced by their own government to work in slave labor conditions at a shipyard on the island of Curacao.
Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King issued the order after a hearing in which the three men - Alberto Justo Rodriguez Licea, Fernandeo Alonso Hernandez and Luis Alberto Casanova Toledo - described mistreatment and harsh working conditions at Curacao Drydock Co. and their passports being confiscated.
The lawsuit filed in 2006 claimed that Cuba's government forced the men and dozens of others to work at the shipyard to satisfy a Cuban debt.
Curacao is a self-governing Dutch island in the lesser Antilles off the coast of Venezuela.
Curacao Drydock fired its attorneys after losing the jurisdictional questions and did not have anyone representing the company at Monday's hearing.
Congressman's wife files for divorce
The wife of a Florida congressman embroiled in an adultery scandal filed for divorce Monday.
Rep. Tim Mahoney admitted last week to having at least two affairs, including with an aide he paid off to keep her quiet about their relationship. His wife, Terry Mahoney, did not comment on seeking the divorce, and her attorney, Karen Steger, said "the petition speaks for itself."
Voters chose Mahoney on a family values platform to replace Mark Foley, a Republican who resigned amid revelations that he sent lurid Internet messages to teenage male pages who worked on Capitol Hill.
UCF student arrested after blast in dorm
Authorities have arrested a University of Central Florida student after an explosion in his dorm room. The student was allegedly trying to melt down a prescription medicine to make a more powerful drug when the explosion occurred.
UCF police spokeswoman Jeannette Emert says 19-year-old Wendell Davis McKee has been charged with first-degree arson, manufacturing a controlled substance within a 1,000 feet of a college and sale or delivery or a controlled substance.
He was booked into the Orange County Jail and is being held on more than $25,000 bond. No one was hurt during the explosion, though there was damage to the room.
Trailer of PlayStations is reported missing
The Melbourne police are looking for a stolen tractor-trailer that was carrying a load of Sony PlayStations.
It was unclear how many of the entertainment systems were stolen.
Melbourne police Sgt. Ray Desmarais said the driver reported the incident just before 8 a.m. Monday.
The driver told officers he stopped in Melbourne on Sunday night and didn't know the truck was stolen until Monday morning.
Woman chooses jail over Waffle House bill
A woman decided to go to jail rather than pay her bill at a Fort Pierce Waffle House restaurant. The total she went to jail over: $7.45.
According to a police report, Maryanne O'Neill, 66, ordered coffee and a sandwich at a Waffle House restaurant on Saturday but refused to pay the bill. The report says an officer asked her to pay or go to jail and she refused.
She is charged with obtaining food or lodging with intent to defraud, a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, she could get up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
Church members burn X-rated movies
Members of a Jacksonville church gathered to burn at least 100 reels of X-rated movies from the '70s and '80s that were discovered recently when the church bought on old drive-in theater.
The 300-member congregation of Christ Church Anglican held a special service Sunday afternoon, which included a ceremonial burning and a "holy hose-down" with water from a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue truck blessed by the priest.
Christ Church purchased the 13-acre drive-in for $1.4-million after the 60-year-old theater closed in May.
The Rev. Mark Eldredge says the church plans to show family movies to the public after some repairs are done.
Eight are injured when prison van crashes
A correctional officer and seven inmates are recovering from injuries, none serious, when a prison van crashed on a Florida Panhandle bridge.
The van was pulling a trailer loaded with gym weights across the U.S. 98 bridge over Apalachicola Bay when it turned over on its left side Monday. The Florida Highway Patrol said the weight of the trailer caused it to bounce and weave, resulting in the accident.