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Florida’s next governor may have budget surplus to work with

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s next governor may inherit a small budget surplus during his first year in office. A new budget forecast released Friday by state economists shows the state is expected to bring in enough money in 2019 to meet its needs for public schools and health care programs while leaving $1 billion available for[…]

Authorities investigate 2 rapes on northeast Florida beaches

DAYTONA BEACH — Authorities are investigating two rapes that occurred on northeast Florida beaches. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood has not ruled out if the two attacks were committed by the same suspect. The latest incident was reported early Saturday morning. The previous rape happened about six miles south just[…]

2 dead after twin engine plane crashes in Florida

LAKE WORTH, Florida — Florida authorities say that two people are dead following the crash of a twin engine plane. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said the accident occurred on Sunday morning just south of Palm Beach State College. The college is located in south Palm Beach County in southeast Florida. The sheriff’s office did[…]

Cruz biological mother’s past a factor in school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE — The extensive criminal and drug abuse history of Parkland school suspect Nikolas Cruz’s biological mother could be a key factor in whether he is sentenced to die for the massacre that killed 17 people, legal experts and officials say. The mother, 62-year-old Brenda Woodard, played no role in Cruz’s upbringing after giving[…]

New cases bring measles count to 3 on Gulf Coast

ST. PETERSBURG — Officials say two more cases of measles have been diagnosed in a Florida county where an unvaccinated child came down with the illness earlier this week. The Florida Department of Health said Wednesday the two individuals live in the same household and also weren’t immunized. The first individual lives in a separate[…]

Security marks Parkland students’ return

PARKLAND — Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday returned to a more secure campus as they began their first new school year since a gunman killed 17 people in the freshman building. But some say they still won’t feel safe despite $6.5 million spent on security enhancements, including 18 safety monitors, new classroom[…]

Florida candidate accused of faking diploma drops out

SARASOTA — A Republican candidate for the Florida Legislature who falsely claimed she had a college degree and posted a purported copy of her diploma online dropped out of her race on Tuesday. Melissa Howard told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune it was the right decision to drop out of the race for the Florida House seat.[…]

Author of book on Columbine writing an account of Parkland

NEW YORK — The author of a best-seller about the Columbine school shooting is working on a book about Parkland. Harper announced Tuesday that Dave Cullen’s “Parkland” is scheduled to come out in February, timed to the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. According to Harper, an imprint of[…]

Teen says she was raped at Florida resort

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES — Authorities say a man is accused of following a 14-year-old girl back to her hotel room and raping her at a Florida resort. Authorities in Daytona Beach Shores said Monday that Nelson Hernandez Garcia of Woodstock, Georgia is charged with sexual battery. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that police reviewed surveillance[…]

part of gun range closed after Florida cop seriously hurt

LAKELAND — A Florida police sergeant injured at the department’s gun range has prompted officials to close down a portion of the range for more than a month. The discovery was reported Monday by the Lakeland Ledger . According to a report from Lakeland Police, the officer was attending a class in June when he[…]