Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Officials look to restore Panama City Beach’s image after raucous, headline-generating spring break
A raucous Spring Break at Panama City Beach that made some unwanted national headlines has officials on the Florida Panhandle looking to restore their community’s image. After a season that included a house party that dissolved into gunfire and a beach gathering that resulted in a videotaped sexual assault, Bay County is negotiating a contract for a new marketing strategy to boost public perception.
Woman injured when jet ski collides with boat
A woman is being treated for injuries after the water scooter she was riding collided with a boat near Monument Island off Miami Beach. The accident occurred Sunday afternoon. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino told the Miami Herald the 30-year-old woman has injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening. She was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
Hillsborough officials using aerial photos to find remodeled homes, reap more property taxes
Hillsborough County officials are using high-definition aerial photographs to crack down on residents who make additions or install swimming pools without permits. The county property appraiser has spotted changes to more than 10,000 properties in the past 10 months, leading to revised property values and $184,000 a year in new taxes. Officials hope to expand the program in the next decade and say it could lead to $7 million in additional tax collections.
Florida woman gets surprise call from President Obama offering Mother’s Day wishes
An Ormond Beach woman got a stunning call at work last week offering early Mother’s Day wishes. “Hi, Patty? Hey, this is Barack Obama,” it began. “No way!” she replied. “Way!” the president responded. Patricia Church said the call came after she had written Obama after she was touched by his words about his own mother, who raised him alone. She is also a single mother of four children.
Jacksonville Zoo celebrates Mother’s Day
Jacksonville Zoo celebrated Mother’s Day with birth of a Western Lowland gorilla. Zoo spokesman Lucas Meers told The Florida Times-Union the baby gorilla was born Saturday night. Both baby and mother Madini are doing well. Officials want the baby and mother to bond so they haven’t gotten close enough to determine the gender. The baby doesn’t yet have a name.