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The Associated Press

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.

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

Backers of a medical marijuana constitutional amendment in Florida announced Wednesday evening that they have collected enough signatures to make the 2014 ballot.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United for Care, sent out an email to supporters that organizers have collected more than 1.1 million signatures.

“This is an enormous achievement,” Pollara wrote.

Organizers have until Feb. 1 to gather 683,189 voter signatures. So far election supervisors have certified nearly 458,000 signatures.

Bay News 9

A longtime aide to Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young clinched the Republican nomination Tuesday for a special election to fill the House seat of the late lawmaker.

Riding a wave of anger over the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law, David Jolly bested State Rep. Kathleen Peters and retired Marine Brig. Gen. Mark Bircher, capturing 44 percent of the vote in a district that encompasses nearly all of Pinellas County on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Jolly will face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election.

Brendan Fitterer / AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times

Chad Oulson was described by friends as a man who loved dirt bikes and his baby daughter. Curtis Reeves was a retired Tampa police officer with numerous commendations who liked riding his motorcycle with his wife.

The men's lives collided in a Wesley Chapel movie theater altercation that left Oulson dead and Reeves in jail. Oulson was texting his daughter's daycare, friends said, and Reeves got angry. Authorities said Reeves shot and killed Oulson with a handgun after the men exchanged words Monday.

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday tapped a former legislator and Miami-Dade politician as lieutenant governor and his running mate for 2014.

Ending a guessing game that stretched on for nearly 10 months, Scott named Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera to the post. He starts the job Feb. 3.

Scott defended the time it took to finally settle on a lieutenant governor, saying that "what I worked on was trying to build a team."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will fill the long-vacant post of lieutenant governor with a former state legislator and ally of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, according to several people with knowledge of the posting.

Scott is expected to announce the appointment of Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera in Miami today.

Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Scott, refused to confirm the selection of Lopez-Cantera. Lopez-Cantera did not respond to a text message and telephone call requesting comment.

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball’s key witness in its case against Alex Rodriguez said he designed and administered an elaborate doping program for the 14-time All-Star starting in 2010. 

Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis, said in a “60 Minutes” interview aired on CBS on Sunday night that Rodriguez paid him $12,000 per month to provide him with an assortment of banned drugs that included testosterone and human growth hormone.

Steve Cannon / Associated Press

The attorney for a woman who accused star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault said Thursday that she intends to sue the school, the Tallahassee Police Department and the player himself.

Patricia Carroll said she plans to file a notice to sue the police department early next week. Under Florida law, anyone filing a lawsuit against a government agency must file court paperwork six months prior to the suit itself.

FSU, the Tallahassee Police Department and an attorney for Winston couldn't immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Associated Press File Photo

A memoir by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist defends his evolution from a Republican to Democrat, while taking swipes at such rivals as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott.

“The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became A Democrat” is scheduled for early February release. It was co-written by Crist and Ellis Henican.

Florida A&M University is selecting a Cornell University vice president to lead the school following a tumultuous period in the school history.

FAMU's Board of Trustees on Thursday selected Elmira Mangum for the job. But the vote came after FAMU's own alumni association and others pleaded with board members to consider interim president Larry Robinson for the job.

FREEPORT  — In this rural part of the Panhandle, Christopher Mitchell finds few takers when he delivers his message about the importance of exploring insurance options under the federal health overhaul. 

Florida Dept. of Corrections

The South Miami-Dade farmhand who raped, murdered and dismembered 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce nearly two decades ago will be executed on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m., the governor's office said.

Juan Carlos Chavez was convicted of the 1995 murder that shocked Florida and led to the passage of a law that allows the state to indefinitely detain sexual predators.

Chavez, 46, will be executed by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Starke, Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday.

Associated Press

The family of a 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery is encountering difficulty in obtaining two surgeries that she needs to undergo before she can be safely transferred to a long-term care facility. Now, they're receiving help from a foundation started by Terri Schiavo's family.

A lawyer for Children's Hospital Oakland said that it is unwilling to allow an outside doctor to fit Jahi McMath with the breathing and feeding tubes that the family has requested.

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