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The Associated Press

Bob Mack / Associated Press

The parents of slain teen Jordan Davis said Wednesday they will join the parents of slaying victim Trayvon Martin and the widow of a man shot to death in a Florida movie theater to talk with legislators in Tallahassee about the state's so-called stand your ground law.

Ron Davis and Lucia McBath said they plan to visit Tallahassee on March 10 for a rally to protest the law.

Florida Dept. of Corrections

A drug trafficker who placed a pipe bomb in a gift-wrapped microwave oven in a plot to kill two potential murder witnesses was executed Wednesday for the 1992 death of a Florida highway trooper who became the unintended victim.

Paul Augustus Howell, 48, was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. following a lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Stark, the office of Gov. Rick Scott said in an email.

Howell was condemned for the killing of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jimmy Fulford on Feb. 1, 1992, when the package exploded during a traffic stop.

Florida Dept. of Corrections

The death of Florida Highway Trooper Jimmy Fulford saved others, giving some comfort to his family as the execution of the man convicted of killing him approaches.

Fulford died in February 1992 along Interstate 10 in Jefferson County when a booby-trapped package exploded during a routine traffic stop.

Mark Wilson / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott, weighed down by lackluster poll numbers and a Republican Legislature intent on pursuing its own contentious reforms, appears content to keep it simple as he heads into the 2014 session.

Months before he will ask voters to re-elect him for another term, Scott is choosing to push ahead with a limited agenda that sidesteps ongoing debates on hot-button issues such as expanding Medicaid or opening the door to Las Vegas casinos.

Florida Dept. of Corrections

Police in Coral Springs say they have solved a woman's 1990 slaying, with advances in DNA identification pinning the crime on a man executed in 2011 for other killings.

Detectives say a new DNA test earlier this month conclusively links Oba Chandler to the strangulation death of 20-year-old Ivelisse Berrious Beguerisse, who never made it home after leaving her job at the Sawgrass Mills Mall on Nov. 27, 1990. Her car was found in the mall parking lot with two tires slashed.

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Through rain and wrecks, on Daytona's longest day, this was a drought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was determined to end.

NASCAR's most popular driver won the Daytona 500 on Sunday night for the second time — a decade after his first victory — to snap a 55-race losing streak dating to 2012.

The victory ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s.

The state board that oversees the university system is signing off on the hiring of new presidents for Florida Atlantic University and Florida A&M University.

The Florida Board of Governors on Thursday voted to confirm the hiring of John Kelly as FAU president and Elmira Mangum as FAMU president.

The vote to confirm Kelly and Mangum came after the board spent more than an hour with each new president.

PBS.org

A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase at Miami’s new art museum to protest what he called its favoritism for international rather than local art.

Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday’s incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami. According to a Miami Police Department arrest affidavit, a security guard told officers that Caminero picked up a colored vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. When told to put it down, the security guard said Caminero smashed it on the floor.

Captain Citrus was born in 2011 as a big, fat talking orange wearing a green cape. Now he's being transformed into a buff Marvel Comics superhero who will fight evil alongside the likes of Captain America.

His first mission? Promote the benefits of orange juice in a country where carb-conscious dieters are increasingly turning away from even seemingly healthy beverages that nutritionists have slammed for having too much sugar.

More than a quarter of all Florida high school seniors are earning high enough scores on Advanced Placement tests to earn college credit, a report released Tuesday by the College Board shows.

Twenty seven percent of Florida students graduating in 2013 scored a 3 or higher on an AP test. That passage rate was the fifth highest in the nation and a big jump from the state's performance a decade before.

In 2003, just 15.3 percent of graduating seniors scored at that level on an AP exam.

Tbo.com Photo

The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the driver who went the wrong way down an interstate and killed five people, including himself.

Officials say 28-year-old Daniel Lee Morris was behind the wheel of a Ford Expedition and drove the wrong way down Interstate 275 in Tampa early Sunday morning.

A central Florida sheriff's deputy was fatally shot while responding to a car burglary call near Orlando.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the 34-year-old deputy saw a suspect sitting in a car with a woman late Monday. The suspect started to run and the deputy pursued him. That's when the man fired at the deputy, hitting him.

Brendan Fitterer / AP Photo/Pool, Tampa Bay Times

UPDATE AT 9:30 P.M.

At the end of the hearing, which provided glimpses of the strengths and weaknesses of prosecutors' case, the judge ordered Curtis Reeves held without bail until his trial.

ORIGINAL POST AT 3:39 P.M.

A bail hearing for a retired Tampa police officer who fatally shot a man inside a movie theater during an argument over texting took a dramatic turn Friday: Prosecutors played a grainy video of the shooting and a recording of the defendant’s police interview.

“If I had it to do over again, it would have never happened,” Curtis Reeves told detectives. “But you don’t get do-overs.”

Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13 killing of Chad Oulson, 43.

Brendan Fitterer / AP Photo/Pool, Tampa Bay Times

Family and friends of a retired Tampa police captain accused of fatally shooting a man at a movie theater told a judge Wednesday that the former officer is an honorable, even-tempered man who should be released on bail.

Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. On Wednesday, he formally entered a plea of not guilty.

Bay News 9

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Saturday it is investigating 2,600 cases handled by a Pensacola-based agency chemist after discovering dozens of instances where prescription pain pills that were seized by police and tested as evidence were swapped with over-the-counter pills.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the chemist handled cases involving 80 law enforcement agencies from 35 counties since he was hired in 2006. Most, but not all, of the cases involved testing drug evidence, though it was not immediately clear how many cases might be compromised.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Senate has easily passed a bill to delay premium hikes for years for hundreds of thousands of homeowners who buy flood insurance from the federal government.

Thursday's sweeping 67-32 vote reflects widespread concern about changes enacted two years ago to shore up the program's finances. The changes are in many cases producing unexpected, sky-high insurance rates that are unaffordable for many homeowners in flood-prone areas whose insurance has historically been subsidized by the government and other policyholders.

The bill was muscled through the Senate after angry constituents, the real estate and homebuilder lobbies inundated lawmakers with complaints.

Associated Press photo

Education received top billing when Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford detailed a joint five-point agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

But a rewrite of gambling laws is unlikely this year. Gaetz says gambling isn't a priority despite part of the state's agreement with the Seminole Tribe ending in 2015.

Florida Highway Patrol

Students camped out with teachers in school gyms or on buses and commuters abandoned cars along the highway to seek shelter in churches, fire stations — even grocery stores — after a rare snowstorm left thousands of unaccustomed Southerners frozen in their tracks.

Tuesday’s storm deposited mere inches of snow, barely enough to qualify as a storm up North. And yet it was more than enough to paralyze Deep South cities such as Atlanta and Birmingham, and strand thousands of workers who tried to rush home early only to never make it home at all.

Across the South, residents stocked up on fuel and groceries, schools and offices closed, and road crews were at the ready as a storm moved in Tuesday from the central U.S., threatening to bring snow, ice and subzero temperatures to a region more accustomed to air conditioners and sunscreen than parkas and shovels.

Floridians would get a 15-day sales tax holiday on hurricane preparedness supplies ranging from portable generators to radios this coming June under a proposal outlined Monday by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott, making the announcement at a Miami lumber and hardware store, said the measure would save taxpayers about $20 million and is part of the Republican governor's overall plan to cut taxes by $500 million this year. The tax break would have to be approved by the Legislature.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called for spending more money on the state's public schools, although his latest request is less than half of what he pushed for in 2013.

Scott's pitch for more money also comes amid a tough re-election battle where his political opponents will try to remind voters that the Republican governor called for large cuts to education during his first year in office.

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida measure that would allow the use of medical marijuana has cleared its final hurdle and will be on the November ballot. 

The state Supreme Court on Monday approved the language for the proposed constitutional amendment.

The justices approved the ballot summary 4-3 just three days after a petition drive reached the required number of signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

The medical marijuana petition drive has enough signatures to make the 2014 ballot, and now it's up to the state Supreme Court to give its approval.

The proposed constitutional amendment surpassed the number of needed voter signatures on Friday. The proposed amendment would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for debilitating conditions.

Elections supervisors have certified 710,508 signatures, more than the 683,149 needed to get on the ballot.

Wildlife officials say the death toll is mounting for pilot whales along the southwest Florida coastline.

Boaters discovered 25 dead pilot whales on an island off the Gulf coast Thursday, raising the death toll to 33.

The whales were found on Kice Island, south of Naples and near Marco Island, said Blair Mase, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stranding coordinator. They appeared to have been there for about 24 hours, and are part of a pod first seen on Sunday.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman is releasing a new piece of artwork, this one portraying the special prosecutor who charged him with second-degree murder.

AP Photo/Florida A&M University, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police

The North Carolina attorney general's office is going back to a grand jury in an attempt to indict a Charlotte police officer accused of shooting an unarmed former Florida A&M University football player last year.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday that prosecutors will resubmit the case against officer Randall Kerrick on Monday.

(file photo) / Associated Press

Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana if it makes the 2014 ballot.

www.wftv.com

Eight pilot whales have died in shallow waters off Florida's southwest coast, and six others remain unaccounted for, authorities said Tuesday.

The Coast Guard temporarily closed the area to traffic in the area and ordered boaters to reduce speeds off the shores near Fort Myers as they searched for the other whales. Of the eight deceased whales, veterinarians euthanized four of them.

Andrew West / Associated Press

The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped boat traffic in an area of southwest Florida where a pod of pilot whales stranded.

On Monday, two whales died and two others were euthanized after beaching themselves south of Lover's Key near Fort Myers.

MyFloridaHouse.gov

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is putting a top aide in charge of his re-election.

Scott will announce the appointment of Melissa Sellers as campaign manager. Sellers now works as the governor's communications director.

Scott said he had "full confidence" in Sellers running the campaign.

State Sen. John Thrasher will be named Scott's re-election campaign chairman. Miami health care executive Mike Fernandez and Darlene Jordan will work as finance chairs for Scott. Jordan served as a finance co-chair for Mitt Romney in 2008.

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