Latest Florida News

California seeks lessons from Florida for fire evacuations

Apr. 25, 2019 8:35 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — With Hurricane Michael strengthening as it took aim at Florida's Panhandle, Mark Bowen and his employees watched the live footage through tears. They weren't looking at increasingly dire storm forecasts last October. They were watching cameras trained on rural Bay County's three main...

Trump administration reevaluating offshore drilling plans

Apr. 25, 2019 7:45 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Thursday it is reevaluating its controversial plan to sharply expand offshore drilling as it responds to a court ruling that blocked oil and gas development off Alaska and parts of the Atlantic. Governors and lawmakers from both Republican- and Democratic-led...

Hemp could join oranges as a Florida ag product

Apr. 25, 2019 6:18 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Hemp could join oranges, strawberries and tomatoes as a top Florida crop under a bill unanimously passed by the Senate. The bill passed Tuesday with glowing praise from senators who want to help an agriculture industry that's taken a lot of hits in recent years. It would create a...

Florida House bill allows guns in religious institutions

Apr. 25, 2019 6:09 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Guns would be allowed in Florida religious institutions, including religious schools, under legislation passed by the state House. The measure was approved Thursday on a 79-35 vote, moving on to the Senate where a similar bill is pending. The House bill would permit a church,...

Ex-officer sentenced to 25 years in black motorist's killing

Apr. 25, 2019 6:06 PM EDT

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida police officer received a 25-year prison sentence Thursday for the fatal on-duty shooting of a black musician whose SUV had broken down after a late-night concert. Fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja was the first Florida law enforcement agent in...

Florida lawmakers disagree on funding state's tourism agency

Apr. 25, 2019 5:48 PM EDT

THE EVERGLADES, Fla. (AP) — On a balmy Monday morning, Elina Llamas sat in the second row of an airboat as it powered through the largest tropical wilderness in the United States. The 38-year-old from Chicago was packed into the boat with her mother, brother and about a dozen other tourists. If it weren't...

Florida Senate passes bill to ban texting while driving

Apr. 25, 2019 5:41 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Texting while driving would become a primary traffic offense along with talking on a handheld cellphone in school and construction zones under a bill passed by the Florida Senate. The Senate's 33-5 vote on Thursday made changes to a House bill passed two days earlier. The bill now...

Florida House passes expansion of craft distillery rules

Apr. 25, 2019 5:27 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House has passed a bill expanding rules that govern craft distilleries, including raising limits on the amount of product produced each year and permitting product to be shipped out of state. The vote was 71-41 Thursday in favor of the bill, which moves on to the...

Florida Senate OKs red tide research bill

Apr. 25, 2019 5:10 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill aimed at controlling and alleviating red tide blooms was unanimously passed by the Florida Senate. The bill passed Thursday would provide $3 million a year for the next six years to research red tide. The research would be a partnership between the state Fish and Wildlife...

Jaguars pick up 5th-year option on star cornerback Ramsey

Apr. 25, 2019 4:50 PM EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have exercised the fifth-year option in cornerback Jalen Ramsey's rookie contract. The team made the announcement Thursday, about five hours before the start of the NFL draft and nearly two months after general manager Dave Caldwell said the option would...