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Marco Rubio looks for his place in Trump’s Republican Party

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — After flaming out in the GOP presidential primary — and enduring rival Donald Trump’s taunts along the way — Sen. Marco Rubio is entering his next act in politics. The once-rising star used to be criticized for being in too much of a hurry, but now he’s hunkered down in[…]

Health department investigating unvaccinated child with measles

TAMPA — Florida health officials are investigating a case of measles from a child they say was not vaccinated. The Department of Health in Pinellas County said Monday it’s working to identify and notify others who may have been exposed. Measles is a virus that is easily spread by air droplets when infected persons breathe,[…]

Firefighters repair man’s roof damaged by Hurricane Irma

ORLANDO — A firefighter installing free smoke detectors in a Florida neighborhood noticed the roof on a 70-year-old man’s home was still heavily damaged from Hurricane Irma. So Felix Marquez called about a dozen off-duty and retired Orlando firefighters to help. Marquez and another firefighter spent about $3,500 buy the supplies. The Orlando Sentinel reports[…]

Devastating toxic algae bloom plagues Florida’s Gulf Coast, killing off sea life

LONGBOAT KEY — Tons of dead fish. A smell so awful you gag with one inhale. Empty beaches, empty roads, empty restaurants. A toxic algae bloom has overrun Florida’s southern Gulf Coast this summer, devastating sea life and driving people from the water. “I’ve never seen it this bad,” said 31-year-old Heather Lamb of Venice.[…]

NASA spacecraft rockets toward sun

CAPE CANAVERAL — A NASA spacecraft zoomed toward the sun Sunday on an unprecedented quest to get closer to our star than anything ever sent before. As soon as this fall, the Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the wispy edges of the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, that was visible during last August’s[…]

Workers find prehistoric bone in southwest Florida

CAPE CORAL — Construction workers in southwest Florida uncovered a mammoth or mastodon bone that could be 2 million years old. The News-Press in Fort Myers reports that workers found the upper arm bone earlier this summer while digging for a utility extension. The Florida Museum of Natural History said the bone doesn’t have enough[…]

Legislature candidate accused of lying about her education

SARASOTA — A candidate for the Florida Legislature is being accused of lying about graduating from college and using a fake diploma. Miami University in Ohio told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that Florida House candidate Melissa Howard attended the school but never graduated. The school also says the diploma she produced doesn’t match those issued in[…]

Florida girl dies after being struck by stray bullet

JACKSONVILLE — A 7-year-old Florida girl died when she was shot in the head by a stray bullet while sitting in a car with her family. Jacksonville police say Heydi Rivas Villanueva was sitting in a car with her father and a sibling Saturday night in a strip mall parking lot, awaiting her mother to[…]

University reschedules graduation ceremony after threat

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic University officials say they’re rescheduling a graduation ceremony that was canceled because of a threatening note left in a bathroom. A Wednesday news release from the school says out-of-state and international students are being invited to a special ceremony this week, while another ceremony will be scheduled for others next[…]

Man killed by commuter train

ORLANDO — Authorities say a man was killed by a commuter train in Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the SunRail train hit the man Wednesday afternoon. Florida Department of Transportation officials say traffic in the area was delayed for hours, and 110 passengers on the train were moved by bus. The Orange County Sheriff’s[…]