State

Fl Attorney General asks court to shut down alleged diploma mill

The action comes after complaints against Ellenwood Academy, LLC for deceptive marketing of illegitimate high school diplomas to consumers in Florida and nationwide. The organization allegedly charges consumers $195 to enroll in a high school program and take an exam but does not employ any faculty

Man electrocuted trying to remove bird from power line

State legislation progressing with bill to provide female inmates with personal hygiene products

Florida city dismantles, relocates Confederate statue

Florida House, Senate release competing state budget plans

  “Florida Man” challenge becomes viral sensation: Have you tried it yet?

  Florida man pleads guilty to mailing bombs to Trump foes

Continued Coverage

Florida has its first LGBTQ consumer advocate

North Florida Man becomes first person to purchase legal whole flower cannabis

Home grown: Florida Senate passes vegetable garden bill

House panel approves school bill allowing arming of teachers

Police: Florida man wrote ‘kill the Jews,’ ‘death’ in Miami Beach

Florida woman charged with manslaughter in boy’s hot-vehicle death

  Sanctuary city ban bill advances in Florida Legislature

A proposal in Florida to connect law enforcement with federal authorities on any matters involving immigration.

  FL: New bill proposes undocumented immigrants to receive driver license

Undocumented immigrants living in Florida could get access to legal driver licenses in the state.

Florida man accused of beating his father to death while out at sea

Prosecutors say on Monday, around 7:45am, a distress call from a commercial fishing vessel requested help for an unconscious man on board with head injuries. The Coast Guard aircrew was told it may be related to a "domestic dispute" as they headed out into the Gulf of Mexico.

  Florida may soon see another private school voucher program

A new school voucher system is working its way up to the Senate for approval. It's called the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program and would allow middle class families the opportunity to place their child in a private school using public school dollars.

  VIDEO | FL: Bill proposed for convicted felons to pay financial obligations before having voting rights restored

Amendment called for felons to “automatically” have voting rights restored, but Florida lawmakers put in limits

Governor DeSantis signs smokable medical pot bill into law

Thrown pancake batter leads to battery charges for Florida man

Fire sprinklers could soon be required for older high rise condos

Florida man finds bright green iguana in toilet, calls 911

Expansion of private school vouchers moving in Florida House

A major expansion of private school vouchers using taxpayer dollars traditionally spent on public schools, a top priority for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, began moving forward Thursday in the Florida House.

DNA leads to arrest 34 years after Navy recruit’s slaying

Detectives investigating the 3-decade-old slaying of a Navy recruit used genealogical research involving DNA to track down and arrest a suspect who was a one-time Navy training classmate of the victim, authorities in Florida said Thursday.

Abortion bill set to go before Florida legislature

After the detection of fetal heartbeats, legislation has filed for a bill at the state capitol that would prevent doctors from performing abortions.

Orlando man accused of forcing California woman into prostitution

A Florida man is accused of inviting a California woman on an all-expenses paid trip to party in Orlando and then forcing her into prostitution.

Florida passes bill to repeal smokable medical marijuana ban

The Florida Legislature met Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' deadline to hand him a bill to repeal the state's ban on smokable medical marijuana when the House passed the legislation Wednesday.

  IMG Director from Palmetto assumes full responsibility for actions in statement regarding college admissions scandal

A Palmetto man is among the nearly 50 people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors say

Bill seeks to stop agencies from suing over records requests

A Florida House committee approved a bill Wednesday that's aimed at preventing government agencies from going to court to try to block the public's constitutionally protected access to government records.

Florida eyes crackdown on emotional support animals

Florida lawmakers are eyeing a crackdown on people who claim their pets are emotional support animals to evade rules and deposits in rental units and condominium developments.

Bill to ban child sex dolls advances in Florida legislature

A Florida bill to ban childlike sex dolls passed its third Senate committee on Wednesday and is headed to the Senate floor.

Ex-commissioner in Florida city gets 5 years for corruption

A former city commissioner in Florida has been sentenced to five years in state prison for a corruption case related to a tiki bar he operated in a strip mall.

Bill would limit Florida school board members to 8 years

Legislation allowing voters to decide whether to limit Florida public school board members to eight years in office began moving forward Tuesday in the state Senate.

House panel advances two gun bills that would loosen rules around guns on school campuses

A House panel Tuesday advanced two gun bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that are reopening a debate about whether people with concealed-weapons licenses should be able to carry guns on school campuses used by churches and store firearms in vehicles on school property.

  Bill approved to notify citizens about sewage spills

Legislation approved by a Florida House panel Tuesday would require customers to be notified by US mail each time raw or partially treated sewage is released or leaks into waterways.

Fire danger could be in Florida’s future following mass debris from last year’s deadly storms

On Tuesday, forestry officials expressed concerns Tuesday that Northwest Florida communities still recovering form a deadly hurricane in October will soon face the threat of massive wildfires and flooding.

  Paramedics could be armed in “High Risk” situations

Armed paramedics would be able to accompany law-enforcement officers during “high-risk” operations, under a proposal that started moving forward Monday in the Senate.

Florida man accused of beating homeless man with stick

A 20-year-old Florida man is accused of beating a homeless man with a stick during an argument over $10.

Florida Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee aims to ban so-called Sanctuary Cities

Legislation set to be heard Tuesday by the Florida Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee aims to ban so-called sanctuary cities in the state.

  Vote expected as soon as summer on making Daylight Saving Time permanent in Florida

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) answers a question from ABC 7 Anchor Ray Collins about Buchanan's bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

Woman dies during scuba diving trip off St. Pete Beach

Authorities say a 54-year-old woman has died while experiencing difficulty during a scuba diving trip off Florida's Gulf Coast.

Florida getting more money for Hurricane Michael victims

Hurricane Micheal victims will soon receive more help under new funding released from President Donald J. Trump.

Florida deputies find missing infant with parents

Deputies in Florida are searching for the parents of a 4-month-old girl who authorities say illegally took their daughter following their release from jail on drug and resisting charges.

Authorities ID passengers killed in Florida plane crash near Lake Okeechobee

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office news release says marine unit deputies and rescue workers recovered the bodies from the plane’s fuselage several hours after the Friday afternoon crash.

  Angry customer at McDonald’s in St. Pete who tried to pull employee over counter sentenced to jail time

A Pinellas County judge also ordered 40-year-old Daniel Willis Taylor to stay away from the restaurant and the workers he attacked in an incident caught on video. Taylor was credited with the 58 days in jail he already served. He also must pay a $1,000 fine.

  New rule to allow fishermen to catch more Red Snapper while in season

Fishermen will be able to lure in even more Red Snapper fish during Florida’s next Red Snapper season.

  Push on for FL to cover costs for certain types of cancer for firefighters

Each pair of boots represents a firefighter who has died from, or is currently battling, cancer. Bills filed in the capitol this year would make firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancers automatically eligible to receive disability or death benefits.

  House bill aimed at strengthening Florida civics education

The measure by Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis of Miami focuses on a civics course Florida middle schoolers must take in order to advance to high school. It was approved by a House Education panel on a unanimous vote Thursday.

  Bill requiring school elective Bible course passes FL House Education panel

Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Jacksonville said the intent was not to teach a specific religion in school but rather to emphasize the Bible's role in history, culture and the founding of the U.S. government.

  Senate repeals pot smoking ban, House to vote next week

With plenty of breathing room before a March 15 deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, House and Senate leaders have neared completion of a measure that would do away with a state ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Senate panel OKs bill on student vouchers, teacher bonuses

A bill that would create a new voucher program allowing more Florida students to attend private schools by tapping into taxpayer money normally used for traditional public schools began moving Wednesday in the state Senate.

Florida could outlaw all forms of distracted driving

Florida could outlaw drivers from putting on makeup, holding a cellphone, reading or performing other distracting activities under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

  Bill would require hotel workers to identify, report human trafficking cases

Trafficking bill makes its way info Florida’s 2019 Legislative session

Florida lawmakers push for industrial hemp program

Florida is taking the first steps to creating an industrial hemp program.

Florida bill would limit awards to $1M for lawsuits involving things like pain and suffering

A Florida House bill is moving forward on limiting lawsuit awards related to pain and suffering to $1 million.

Governor Ron DeSantis set to fill seats on state boards and commissions

Governor Ron DeSantis said this week that he plans to soon start filling seats on state boards and commissions that opened when he rescinded more than 200 appointments made by former Governor Rick Scott.

  Credit card skimming on the rise in Florida and new danger arises: Shimming

The use of the illegal devices, which collect consumers' credit or debit card information, has increased dramatically in recent years. If undetected, each skimmer is capable of collecting data from hundreds of consumers while stealing millions of dollars.

  FL Sheriff: Sisters killed father, committed “perfect murder,” but were caught 4 years later

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tells news outlets it was the "perfect murder," until investigators charged 63-year-old Mary-Beth Tomaselli and 61-year-old Linda Roberts with first-degree murder on Tuesday.

Teacher wins $10K for reading fine print in insurance policy

A Florida travel insurance company has awarded a Georgia high school teacher $10,000 for reading the fine print in a policy she recently purchased.

  What FHP is doing to prevent future hit-and-run crashes

Following the tragic hit-and-run crash that happened along U.S. 41 that left 19-year-old Jackson Kelley severely injured, The Florida Highway Patrol said they are continuing to practice preventative measures to try and stop hit-and-runs from happening in the future.

Police: Man stabs bar patrons after 1 upsets wife with music

Police in Florida say a man stabbed two bar patrons after one of them upset his wife with loud music that was being played.

  Bleeding, suffocating dog found with mouth taped shut; deputies looking for owner

The dog, a male Florida Cur, was found roaming through backyards of homes on the 3200 block of 42nd Street SW in LeHigh Acres. The dog's mouth had been taped shut with red electrical tape.

Florida highway patrol to participate in operation safe DRIVE

Florida drivers get ready for the operation safe DRIVE from Florida Highway Patrol.

Sports betting on table in Florida legislative session

Allowing fans to place bets at professional sports arenas while games are played may sound far-fetched.

  ABC7: Representative Greg Steube with Bill Logan

ABC7′s Bill Logan spoke with representative Greg Steube on Friday.

Florida school district: Gay bunnies’ book needed approval

A Florida school district says a teacher should have asked before reading a picture book about gay bunnies.

Panels calling for end to human trafficking in the Sunshine State

A week after a human trafficking ring bust at a South Florida massage parlor captured the national spotlight, a powerful panel focused on ending trafficking gathered on Friday to figure out new ways to tackle the crime.

VIDEO: Banner plane crashes into building in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan said the plane hit the building between the 16th and 17th floors, then fell to the pool deck.

WATCH: More than 1,500 Charlotte County students work to create lip sync video

Christopher Papa, a member of the executive team who produced the video, said it took four months of planning to put the video together and that it involves 70 lip singers, 45 clubs/organizations, and over 1,500 students.

BILL: Failure to help someone could result in $500 fine in Florida

Failure to provide “reasonable assistance” at the scene of an emergency to a person who is seriously injured could result in a fine of up to 500 dollars, under a bill filed for the 2019 legislative session.

  Man in viral shark dragging video takes plea deal, will serve 9 days in prison

Michael Wenzel, 22, pleaded guilty to two counts of third degree felony aggravated animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of illegal method of taking a shark.

Police: Florida man ends standoff for slice of pizza

Authorities say a Florida man accused of threatening his family ended a four-hour standoff with police after he was promised a slice of pizza.

  Longboat Key officials want the state to look at changing county lines

Longboat Key officials are once again talking about how the town straddles the Manatee-Sarasota County line.

Teen falls through gym roof onto wrestling mat during match

A teenager fell through a skylight at a Florida high school gym and crashed onto a wrestling mat, shocking spectators as wrestlers were competing.

New Institute set to improve school and workplace safety following massive Florida shootings

From Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting in 2017 to last February’s school shooting in Parkland, along with other recent mass shootings at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, the Jacksonville Landing and a bank in Sebring, Florida has dealt with significant gun violence in recent years.

Florida GOP congressman taunts Michael Cohen ahead of public hearing

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., tweeted on Tuesday without offering any evidence that the world is “about to learn a lot” about President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and that Cohen should talk to his wife ahead of his testimony Wednesday.

Dead fish drops from sky in baseball game in Florida

It wasn’t a pop-fly that landed in shallow right field during the eighth inning of a college baseball game. It was a dead fish.

Environmental Secretary appointed by former Governor Scott, approved to stay on Florida Cabinet

With a commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change, Noah Valenstein was approved Tuesday by the Florida Cabinet to remain as the state’s top environmental official.

State moves to reimburse Florida dentists for student loans if they agree to work in underserved areas

The legislation would establish the loan-repayment program at the Florida Department of Health. Loan repayments would be available to dentists who are willing to practice in public health or in areas of the state that lack dental professionals or are medically underserved.

Governor DeSantis gets approval for Statewide Grand Jury on School Safety

School safety has been a major concern since the Stoneman Douglas School Shooting on Feb. 14, 2018.