US REP. RADEL WILL NOT RESIGN AFTER COKE BUST
Congressman Trey Radel of Florida said he will not resign despite pleading guilty to cocaine possession charges. The freshman Republican made the announcement in his Cape Coral office Thursday, shortly after leaving a rehabilitation center and a month after entering his plea. He told a news conference that alcohol was the root of his problem and he vowed to remain sober.
NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FOR FLORIDA DUE OUT
New unemployment numbers are coming out that could show whether or not Florida's economic recovery is picking up momentum. Florida on Friday will release the state's unemployment figures for the month of November. The state's jobless rate in October was 6.7 percent. Florida in October led the nation in job growth, adding nearly 45,000 jobs.
NEW SOUTH FLORIDA THREAT: INVASIVE ROCK PYTHONS
State biologists are concerned that the aggressive rock python might be the latest invasive species to become established in the Everglades and elsewhere in South Florida. Wildlife officials planned Friday to do a walking survey just west of Miami to see how many of the big snakes might be living there. Florida is already grappling with Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
FDLE: MURDER VICTIM'S BROTHER HELPED KILLER ESCAPE
A man is now charged with helping his brother's killer and another murderer escape from prison with bogus documents. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Thursday that Willie Slater Jr. was part of the scheme that helped Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker walk out of a Panhandle prison using fake release orders. Walker was serving a life sentence for murdering Slater's brother.
FLORIDA LEADS NATION IN CASH REAL ESTATE PURCHASES
Cold hard cash is the payment method of choice for Florida real estate buyers. New figures released Friday show that Florida leads the nation in cash purchases of real estate. Figures from the real estate site RealtyTrac shows that almost two-thirds of real estate purchases in Florida were cash sales in November.
SMALL PLANE CRASH AT TAMPA AIRPORT INJURES PILOT
Police say a small plane crashed at the Tampa airport, seriously injuring the pilot. Tampa police Lt. Richard O'Connor says the single-engine Cessna 210N was coming in for a landing when it crashed just inside the airport's fence around 11:48 p.m. Thursday.