Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
9½ years after rocketing from Cape Canaveral, New Horizons nears icy world of Pluto
After 3 billion miles and 9½ years of travel, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is zooming toward Pluto, preparing to present the previously unexplored world in all its icy glory. New Horizons is expected to come closest to Pluto on Tuesday morning, promising the biggest planetary unveiling in a quarter-century. The curtain hasn’t been pulled back like this since NASA’s Voyager 2 shed light on Neptune in 1989.
Panhandle authorities probing alleged assault of boy by Buffalo Bills coach
A day after arresting Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said it would be reviewing the case Monday and deciding on the possibility of additional charges. The sheriff’s office arrested Kromer after he allegedly shoved a boy to the ground and punched him in an apparent dispute over use of his beach chairs. The team says it is aware of the arrest and reviewing the facts in the case.
Miami firm braces for battle with environmentalists over plan to drill for oil in Everglades
Kanter Real Estate LLC, a Miami company that owns 20,000 undeveloped acres of the Everglades in southwestern Broward County, has filed applications with the state to drill an exploratory well and assess the feasibility of extracting oil. The news hasn’t set well with environmental advocates, who say drilling would threaten the water supply, destroy wildlife habitat and complicate the restoration of the delicate Everglades ecosystem.
Melbourne police investigating vandalism at black church; 3rd such incident there in recent months
Police are investigating a third report of vandalism at a black church after the latest incident was discovered Sunday at New Shiloh Christian Center in Melbourne. Vandals ransacked the church bistro, flipped over a large vase, pulled down a portrait of the church’s bishop and sprayed fire extinguishers. Earlier this year, vandals targeted the same church and its south Melbourne location, setting fire to a storage room, scrawling a swastika on a wall and spray-painting a noose on a van.
Giant tortoise returns to Jacksonville Zoo and new exhibit built around him
A 411-pound tortoise named Goober has been welcomed back in Jacksonville. The giant Aldabra tortoise first arrived at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 1968, but had been on loan to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford. He was brought back to Jacksonville and introduced at the weekend opening of his new exhibit on the zoo’s Africa boardwalk. Goober is believed to be about 62 years old.