JUSTICES ADMONISH GOV SCOTT FOR VETOING REIMBURSEMENT TO HOMEOWNERS WHO LOST TREES
Florida Gov. Rick Scott had the legal authority to veto money to pay residents for healthy citrus trees that the state cut down in an effort to eradicate citrus canker, but some state Supreme Court justices admonished him Thursday for doing so. The court threw out a petition filed by Broward and Lee County residents attempting to overturn Scott’s veto of a budget item the Legislature approved to compensate them for their lost trees.
ANTI DEATH PENALTY PROSECUTOR, FLORIDA’S FIRST BLACK STATE ATTORNEY PULLED OVER IN TRAFFIC STOP
There was nothing unusual about a June 19 traffic stop in Orlando — except the driver happened to be Florida’s first African-American state attorney who also happens to be in a legal fight with the governor over the death penalty. State Attorney Aramis Ayala says she sees the incident as a point of dialogue with the police chief as she seeks a constructive relationship between police and the community.
FAMILY OF MISSING TEEN FISHERMAN MAY BE ABLE TO SUE FRIEND’S MOM
A federal judge has opened the door for the family of a Florida teenager to sue his friend’s mother after the boys never returned from a fishing trip off Florida’s Atlantic. U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas on Monday lifted an injunction that kept Pamela and Philip Cohen from suing Carly Black in state court. She owned the 19-foot (6-meter) boat her son Austin Stephanos was in when he left Jupiter Inlet on July 24, 2015, with the Cohens’ son Perry. Both were 14.
DOZENS FROM FLORIDA ARRESTED IN NATIONAL OPIOD SCAM BUST
More than 400 people have been charged with taking part in health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in false billing. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called Thursday’s collective action the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history” and said it indicates that some doctors, nurses and pharmacists “have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.”
FLORIDA SUSPECT FALLS THROUGH APARTMENT CEILING TRYING TO ESCAPE POLICE
Winter Haven Police officers knocked on an apartment after being led there by a K9 who was tracking 32-year-old Demario Webster for an outstanding warrant. A woman who answered the door said he was not inside, but police said he had crawled into her attic and into the attic space above three other apartments. A neighbor alerted police a few minutes later that Webster had fallen through the ceiling into their shower.