EXECUTIONS UNDER GOV. SCOTT KEEP FAST PACE
Republican Gov. Rick Scott began 2014 the same way he spent much of 2013: signing a death warrant. Scott's first order of business in the new year was to set a date for the execution of Juan Carlos Chavez, convicted of abducting, raping and murdering 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in 1995. Scott oversaw seven executions in 2013.
A LION BRIEFLY ESCAPED FROM TAMPA BAY-AREA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
The 7-year-old female lion escaped from an inner enclosure at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Spring Hill. Authorities set up a perimeter around the property while they tried to determine whether the lion also had escaped through an outer enclosure. The lion was caught and tranquilized within the perimeter, and authorities said it would be returned to a secure cage. An investigation into how the lion got loose is underway.
A SNOWY OWL MAKES A RARE APPEARANCE IN FLORIDA
One of the Arctic birds has been spotted since last week in Little Talbot Island State Park in Duval County. It's only the third-ever sighting of a snowy owl confirmed in Florida. Experts say snowy owls fly farther south when their population spikes or their food source becomes scarce. An invasion of snowy owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
A MIAMI-DADE APPEALS COURT AGREES WITH MAN'S CLAIM OF IMMUNITY UNDER 'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW IN 2008 SHOOTING DEATHS OF TWO MEN
In a decision Thursday, the court ordered that murder charges against Gabriel Mobley be dismissed. Third District Court of Appeals Judge Linda Ann Wells wrote in the 2-1 opinion that Mobley acted reasonably because the slain men were the aggressors even though they were unarmed. The shootings happened after an argument in which one of Mobley's friends was punched. Mobley testified that he thought one man had a weapon and that he was frightened.
FLORIDA SPACE CENTER HOME TO SECRET SPACECRAFT
The Kennedy Space Center is going to be the testing site for a top-secret Air Force space plane. Boeing — the contractor working on the spacecraft — announced Friday that it will be converting a former space shuttle building for the X-37B orbital test vehicle program. An undisclosed number of workers will recover, refurbish and relaunch the 29-foot-long unmanned spacecraft.
$10,000 DIAMOND RING HEIST CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Two women posing as jewelry shoppers switched two fake rings for two real diamond rings worth $10,000 at a downtown Miami store, police said Friday. The Nov. 16 heist at Buchwald Jewelers Inc. inside the Seybold Building at 36 Northeast 1st St. was caught on camera. Watch the video here.