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Students in Florida school district to get free meals

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BROOKSVILLE — Thanks to Hurricane Irma, all students in one Florida school system will qualify for free breakfast and lunch through 2022. The Tampa Bay Times reports the federal Community Eligibility Provision program that offers meal assistance in low-income areas covered 17 of Hernando County’s 25 schools last year. But because the[…]

Stray bullet hits man at Busch Gardens

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TAMPA — Tampa police say a man was injured by celebratory gunfire while visiting Busch Gardens on July Fourth. Authorities say the man was struck by a bullet above the shoulder blade around 10 p.m. Wednesday. WLFA reports the man felt the bullet hit him and his wife saw that he was[…]

Woman found safe after video of fall from moving SUV

TAMPA — Detectives in Florida have found a woman safe after she was seen on a surveillance video falling from a moving SUV, officials said Tuesday. The 21-year-old woman had suffered road rash in the Monday afternoon fall but had not sought medical attention, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office news release said. She told investigators[…]

State employees were lax about weapon’s background checks

TALLAHASSEE — A 2012 internal investigation found that 48 Florida state employees made mistakes in issuing permits for concealed weapons, security guards and other similar licenses — in some cases not even looking at applications, according to records released this week to The Associated Press. The laxity among Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services[…]

Journalists struggle to keep online threats from escalating

TAMPA — After a Florida radio station’s general manager told hosts they didn’t have to put an obnoxious repeat caller on the air a couple of months ago, the man stood on the sidewalk outside and vented his irritation with the station through a bullhorn. Craig Kopp, manager of WMNF-FM in Tampa, said the guy[…]

SpaceX delivers AI robot, ice cream, mice to space station

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CAPE CANAVERAL — The International Space Station got its first robot with artificial intelligence Monday, along with some berries, ice cream and identical brown mice. SpaceX’s capsule reached the station three days after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Station astronaut Ricky Arnold used a large mechanical arm to grab the Dragon capsule[…]

State high court orders removal of sitting judge

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court is ordering the immediate removal of a sitting circuit judge. The high court on Monday issued an order to remove Circuit Judge Scott DuPont from the bench by the end of the business day. DuPont is a judge in the 7th judicial circuit which covers the counties of Flagler,[…]

Scott: No pay during government shutdowns

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott says members of Congress should not get paid during a government shutdown. Scott will announce his backing of this proposal during a campaign stop Tuesday in Naples. The Republican governor will also criticize Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for getting paid during past government shutdowns. Scott’s idea isn’t[…]

Officials: Children being cared for

CUTLER BAY — Two members of Florida’s congressional delegation toured a shelter where unaccompanied minors are being held south of Miami on Monday, and both lawmakers agreed the children are being well cared for by Catholic Charities. Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said during separate news conferences that they disagree[…]

Buzz Aldrin’s ex-manager says she’s been unfairly defamed

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ORLANDO — The former business manager for Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin said Tuesday she’s being unfairly defamed in a lawsuit accusing her along with two of his children of misusing his credit cards and slandering him. Christina Korp also posted a statement on Twitter late Monday blaming people who began to[…]