5 Things to Know in Florida for Oct. 15

DEFENSE ARGUES FAMU HAZING DEATH WAS A ‘CONTEST’

Defense attorneys for four Florida A&M University band members say the 2011 death of drum major Robert Champion was a competition. On Tuesday they told an Orlando judge that Florida’s anti-hazing law is so vague that what happened to Champion wasn’t hazing, but part of a contest. They asked Tuesday for a hearing challenging the anti-hazing law. The hearing will take place a week before the scheduled Oct. 27 trial.

FLORIDA AG WANTS HIGH COURT RULING ON GAY MARRIAGE

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has repeatedly called it her duty to defend the state’s ban on gay marriage, now wants the state’s highest court to decide whether the constitutional amendment is legal. Her office filed a request late Monday with the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami that asks the court to immediately send two consolidated cases to the Florida Supreme Court for a decision. In both cases, judges declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. This marks a turnabout for Bondi, who this summer opposed a similar suggestion. The move also could speed up the timing of final decision.

DREAM BEACH HOUSE BUILT ON WRONG LOT

A Missouri couple is living a nightmare six months after building a dream vacation home in Florida. It’s on the wrong lot. The custom home sits on the Atlantic Ocean near Palm Coast. The couple has hired a lawyer and the builder is trying to negotiate a settlement.

UF NARROWS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO 2

The University of Florida has narrowed its presidential search down to two candidates. The school’s search committee on Tuesday selected Cornell University Provost W. Kent Fuchs and New York University Provost David McLaughlin as its final choices to become UF’s 12th president. One of the two will replace Bernie Machen, who will retire at the end of the year.

STOLEN CRISCO TRUCK FOUND

A stolen truck loaded with 36,000 pounds of Crisco has been recovered Hialeah. But there’s no word on what happened to the vegetable shortening that was heading to a Publix distribution center when it was stolen in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

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