What's Happening Now In Florida
Published July 20th, 2013
Fla. Protesters Upset With Verdict Staying Put
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Protesters demanding changes to Florida's self-defense laws are still refusing to leave the Capitol.
Those upset with the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman say they will not end their protest until Gov. Rick Scott calls a special session to take up the state's "stand your ground" law.
Protest leaders met Thursday with Scott, but the governor told them he supported the law and would not call a special session.
When the doors to the Capitol were locked on Friday roughly 85 people gathered in the rotunda. The group brought in board games, pillows, blankets and food in anticipation of being there for the entire weekend.
A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the agency had decided to allow the protesters to remain in the Capitol.
FIU Apologizes For Beach Showering Incident
MIAMI (AP) - FIU coach Ron Turner is apologizing for the conduct of some players who used a public outdoor shower after a beach workout Friday and disrobed in public.
The incident took place on Crandon Park Beach in Key Biscayne, Fla., about 20 miles east of FIU's main campus. Miami-Dade police say they were called to investigate reports that a group of players were unclothed in view of other beachgoers.
No charges were filed, and police say none are expected. Turner says some players rinsed off at the public showers "and a few of them made a poor decision and changed their clothes in public."
The team was at the beach for a cookout commemorating the end of preseason conditioning. The school's investigation will continue.
NASCAR Suspends Use of Aerial Camera Systems
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASCAR suspended the use of aerial camera systems Friday, nearly two months after a Fox Sports cable snapped and injured fans and damaged some cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ten people were injured during the Coca-Cola 600 when part of the drive rope landed in the grandstand. Three people were taken to hospitals, and were checked out and released soon after.
Fox successfully used the CATCAM system at the Daytona 500 and the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte. ESPN.com said Friday that the network had planned to use the Batcam system next weekend for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis and the Aug. 11 race at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Fla. Court to Decide Whether to Halt Execution
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A stay of execution for a former escort service owner has been lifted, but the case is now headed to the Florida Supreme Court.
A Bradford County judge ruled this week that Marshall Lee Gore was sane and could be executed.
Gore had been scheduled to die earlier this month by lethal injection. But a judge halted Gore's execution to consider whether Gore is mentally ill.
Gore's lawyer - who says his client is insane - immediately appealed the latest decision. The Florida Supreme Court gave attorneys for Gore and the state until Aug. 7 to file motions.
Gore was convicted in the 1988 slaying of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer. In addition to Novick, Gore also was sentenced to death for the 1988 slaying of Susan Roark.
Miami Faces SEC Charges Over Bonds
MIAMI (AP) - The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the city of Miami and its former budget director with securities fraud.
The agency filed the civil complaint Friday in federal court.
An SEC investigation found that Michael Boudreaux made false and misleading statements and omissions about certain transfers in three 2009 bond offerings totaling $153.5 million. Similar misleading information was included in the city's fiscal year 2007 and 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, which are distributed to bond investors.
The SEC says Boudreaux orchestrated the transfers from the city's capital improvement fund to its general fund in order to mask increasing deficits in the general fund. The complaint also says the city violated an SEC cease-and-desist order from 2003 based on similar misconduct.
Requests seeking comment from the city of Miami and Boudreaux's attorney weren't immediately returned.
Judge Delays 2nd Phase of Trial Over BP Oil Spill
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has ordered a two-week delay of the second phase of a trial over BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Friday moved the start of the second phase from Sept. 16 to Sept. 30 to give the parties in the litigation more time to prepare.
Testimony for the trial's first phase ended in April. It was intended to identify the causes of the blowout of BP's Macondo well and assign fault to the companies involved.
The second phase is designed to determine how much crude spilled into the Gulf and examine BP's efforts to stop the flow of oil.
Barring a settlement, Barbier could decide how much more money BP and its contractors owe for the deadly disaster.
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