Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment
DUI TEEN-COUSIN KILLED
Teen faces 20 years in DUI case that killed 16-year-old cousin
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida teen is facing up to 20 years in prison for charges related to the DUI death of his 16-year-old cousin.
Austen J. Goodrich, 19, pleaded no contest on Tuesday to charges from the 2013 crash that include DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious bodily injury and DUI with property damage.
A tentative sentencing is set for August 25.
Commission fines 1 ride-sharing company in Tampa
(Information in the following story is from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission is upholding a previous ruling that the commission can fine the ride-sharing company Lyft for allowing drivers to operate without a county permit.
The Tampa Tribune reports the agency had the right to fine Lyft $200 plus $400 in court fees for violating transportation commission rules. The attorney representing Lyft says the company will appeal the ruling.
The case was the latest skirmish in the ongoing battle between the county and ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber. The county insists the companies get transportation commission permits that include commercial insurance and extra-thorough background checks for all the private drivers that accept Lyft or Uber fares. The county agency has been ticketing Uber and Lyft drivers when they can catch them.
CSX warns it will be hard to hit profit goals for year
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX says faltering demand for coal and crude oil will slow profit growth this year and the railroad plans to lay off roughly 1 percent of its workers to adjust.
Railroad executives said Wednesday that CSX is improving its efficiency and raising prices, but it will be difficult to deliver results near the upper end of their forecast for mid-to-high single-digit earnings per share growth in 2015.
CSX predicted relatively flat third-quarter profit with slower volume and continued weak energy demand.
The Jacksonville, Florida, company this week reported second-quarter profit of $553 million, up from $529 million, last year.
Revenue fell 6 percent to $3.06 billion.
Alachua County considers civil citations for pot possession
(Information in the following story is from: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, http://www.gainesvillesun.com)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Leaders in Alachua County are considering whether to lighten the penalties for marijuana possession.
Commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday to have the county attorney investigate a change that would let officers treat marijuana possession as a civil infraction.
The Gainesville Sun reports Commissioner Lee Pinkoson emphasized that such a change would not decriminalize marijuana. Instead, law enforcement officers would have leeway in giving a compliant, first-time offender a civil citation rather than a criminal one.
Miami-Dade County last month approved a similar proposal which allows officers to give $100 citations or the equivalent community service hours for possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana.
Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell told county leaders in May that misdemeanor marijuana cases rose 23 percent over a one-year period between 2013 and 2014.
OFFICER RUN OVER
Teen accused of running over Orlando police officer
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy faces an attempted second-degree murder charge after police say he attempted to run over an officer during an Orlando traffic stop.
The teen was arrested Tuesday, a day after Officer William Anderson was injured when a four-door sedan struck him.
Anderson remained in the stable condition on Tuesday.
The Orlando Sentinel reports Orlando police released a dashboard video from Anderson's vehicle that shows Anderson stopping his vehicle and rushing toward the car with his gun drawn. Anderson was responding to reports of shots fired.
As Anderson reaches the driver's window, a passenger jumps out the other door. Anderson appears to run in front of the car. That's when the driver accelerates, hitting Anderson.
A bystander used his car to block traffic and protect Anderson.
DISNEY RESORT-CHILD DEATH
Officials: Child found in Disney World resort pool dies
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida say a 3-year-old boy found in a pool at Disney's Art of Animation Resort has died.
Orange County Sheriff's deputies say the boy was found Tuesday evening and was transported to Celebration Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Deputies say the child somehow became separated from his parents at the hotel and was later found in the pool.
Officials say the child and his family were visiting from out of town.
No other details were immediately released.
MARINELAND-NEWBORN DOLPHIN CALF
Marineland Dolphin Adventure welcomes new dolphin calf
MARINELAND, Fla. (AP) — Marineland Dolphin Adventure has a new main attraction.
Casique, one of Marineland's resident bottlenose dolphins, gave birth to the female calf on Sunday and dolphin lovers were already visiting by Tuesday. Officials say mom and daughter are doing well.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports this is the first calf for Casique, who was born at Marineland in April of 2002.
The new calf joins three generations of female dolphins that are descendants of great-grandmother Betty. Betty is more than 40 years old.
Trainers are looking for some important milestones in the coming days, including bonding with the mother, independent nursing and weight gain.
Judge annuls 25-year marriage of US Rep. Alan Grayson
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has annulled the 25-year marriage of the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Alan Grayson and Lolita Grayson.
In his two-page order Tuesday, Judge Bob LeBlanc said the marriage is void since Lolita Grayson was married to another man at the time of her wedding to Alan Grayson in 1990.
The judge dismissed Lolita Grayson's divorce petition but retained jurisdiction on other matters.
The couple had agreed to get the annulment in April after an acrimonious, public legal battle.
In previous court filings, Alan Grayson has asked that his four minor children, ages 10 to 16, live with him. Lolita Grayson has asked for shared parental responsibility and child support.
Divorce court papers say Grayson has a personal wealth of around $30 million.