5 Things to Know in Florida for Feb. 18

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

FORMER OWNER OF MLB STEROID CLINIC SENTENCED

The former owner of a Florida medical clinic who posed as a doctor and illegally supplied steroid injections and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players and even high school athletes was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal prison. Anthony Bosch — who choked back tears in court and said the clinic was a legitimate business gone awry — sought a more lenient term because of his cooperation in the investigation, but U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles refused.

NY TOURISM WEBSITE URGES VISITORS TO GO TO FLORIDA INSTEAD

The tourism office of Ithaca, New York, is waving the white flag on winter and advising visitors to its website to check out the Florida Keys instead. VisitIthaca.com’s home page displays Sunshine State vacation photos and provides links to the website for tourism information about the Florida Keys and Key West. The top of the Ithaca page reads: “That’s it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?” Referring to “this ridiculously stupid winter,” the Ithaca website suggests visiting the Florida Keys this week and returning “when things thaw out.”

FEDS: MAIL SOAKED WITH DRUGS WAS ‘HIT’ WITH FLORIDA INMATES

Postcards arriving at the Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale contained more than artistic cartoon drawings. Federal prosecutors say the postcards were laced with a hallucinogenic drug. They say inmates paid $10 for tiny piece of card, which they put in their mouths to absorb the drug. Two inmates pleaded guilty last week to federal drug charges. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports 56-year-old William Hahne pleaded not guilty to possessing and distributing the drug, which has similar effects as LSD.

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO SAYS NO TO BRINGING IN BOTTLED WATER

For now, visitors to Universal Orlando will have to leave their water bottles at home. The Orlando Sentinel reports that visitors who showed up to the park Monday were not allowed to bring bottled water or other liquids into CityWalk or its theme parks. In an email to the newspaper, spokesman Tom Schroder said the measure is part of a review of park procedures and is not permanent. He declined to say how long the ban would last or to provide other details.

ORLANDO EYE, OTHER ATTRACTIONS TO OPEN IN MAY

The 400-foot observation wheel in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district is opening in May. Merlin Entertainment on Tuesday announced that the Orlando Eye, along with two other attractions, will open to the public on May 4. However, visitors who sign up for the attraction’s newsletter get the chance to ride the wheel a few days before that. The Orlando Eye has 30 air-conditioned capsules that will provide panoramic views of central Florida.

 

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