HEARING SET FOR REMAINING DEFENDANTS IN FAMU CASE
The remaining six defendants charged in the hazing death of a former Florida A&M drum major are set to appear in court. A status hearing is slated for Friday morning. The six former FAMU band members face manslaughter and hazing charges in the November 2011 death of Robert Champion. Their cases were advanced on the trial docket late last year, but their attorneys continue to discuss possible pleas.
FLORIDA GOVERNOR WANTS TO SPEND MORE TO LURE TOURISTS
Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants a big boost in the money spent on trying to lure tourists to the state. Scott on Friday will announce that he wants state legislators to set aside $100 million for Visit Florida. That's the quasi-public agency responsible for marketing Florida. The current state budget has $63 million for Visit Florida. Lawmakers will consider the request this spring.
PINELLAS SHERIFF TO REMOVE MUG SHOTS FROM WEBSITE
The Pinellas County sheriff says he will take photo mug shots off his website because private companies are copying the photos, posting them on their own sites and then agreeing to take them down only if the person in the photograph pays them. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Thursday that three websites have used the site of the sheriff's office to mine and post photos to their own websites and then charge exorbitantly high fees to remove the images.
KEY WEST LITERARY SEMINAR FEATURES CRIME, MYSTERY
Noted American and international writers are exploring the crime, mystery and literary thriller genres in this island city during the Key West Literary Seminar. Nearly 800 registrants are participating in the 32nd annual seminar, whose first session began Thursday night with an address by mystery writer Sara Paretsky, creator of groundbreaking female investigator V.I. Warshawski.
SUIT SEEKS $250M FROM SEMINOLE TRIBE OVER CONTRACT
An advertising and promotions company has filed a lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages against the Seminole Tribe of Florida in a contract dispute. Mobile Mike Media Group claims in the lawsuit that the tribe contracted with it in 2011 to handle advertising, promotion and events. But Mobile Mike attorney Gary Phillips claims the Seminoles reneged on the deal and instead directed the business to a tribal member.
REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED IN FORT LAUDERDALE RAPE
A registered sex offender has been arrested in the 2012 rape of a woman in Fort Lauderdale, authorities said. Samuel Austin, 42, was arrested Wednesday and charged with sex battery, kidnapping and failure to register as a sex offender, Fort Lauderdale Police said.