7 CHARGED WITH FILING FALSE OIL SPILL CLAIMS
Federal prosecutors are charging seven people with mail fraud and false claims related to the BP oil spill. U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh announced that five of those charged had been employees at a Pensacola Beach restaurant during the time of the 2010 oil spill. Prosecutors allege they asked for compensation from the claims fund set up by BP but inflated the amount of their lost income.
CORAL SPAWNING AT MARINE SANCTUARY
Divers in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have become subsea voyeurs of sorts, witnessing an annual reproductive phenomenon on coral reefs. Coral spawning occurs in August and September a few days after the full moon. Several dive shops in the Keys coordinate nighttime excursions to witness what many describe as an upside-down underwater snowstorm.
STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL IN FLORIDA TO SIGN SECURITY DEAL
A top U.S. State Department official is traveling to South Florida to sign an agreement with Miami port officials on security and related issues in the Caribbean region. The official is assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield. The agreement being signed Wednesday is aimed at ensuring cooperation to combat such problems as crime, corruption and drug trafficking.
DCF KICKS OFF 3 DAY SUMMIT IN ORLANDO
State child welfare officials, foster parents and judges are gathering in Orlando this week. The Department of Children and Families annual summit starts Wednesday and will last three days. Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will kick-off the event. She stepped in after Secretary David Wilkins abruptly resigned last month amid a spike in child deaths and escalating fights with the private contractors that oversee foster care.
USF WINS FEDERAL GRANT FOR DOZIER RESEARCH
The National Institute of Justice has awarded University of South Florida researchers a $423,000 grant to help with the investigation of missing and unidentified children who died under unexplained circumstances and were buried in unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla. The grant was announced Wednesday morning.