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NATIONAL
February 7, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Tevin Thompson told a rapt audience in a Jacksonville, Fla., courtroom about the fateful night over Thanksgiving break in 2012 when he and three friends were out on the town. They were in a Dodge Durango and had stopped for gum and cigarettes at a convenience store. A Volkswagen carrying Michael Dunn and his girlfriend pulled up close alongside the parked SUV. Dunn, 47 and white, asked the black teenagers in the SUV to turn down the loud music, Thompson, 19, testified Friday. Thompson said he turned down the volume but that fellow passenger Jordan Davis, 17, cursed and asked him to turn the music back up. "It was pretty loud," Thompson said.
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NATIONAL
February 7, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A former Tampa police captain who has been jail since he fatally shot a man after a dispute over texting in a movie theater was denied bond on Friday. Following an acrimonious two-day hearing in Dade City, Fla., Judge Pat Siracusa, ruled that Curtis Reeves, 71, should continue to be held in jail where he has been since the Jan. 13 shooting. Reeves maintains he shot Chad Oulson, 43, in a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla., in self-defense after an argument. "I have been doing this long enough to know whatever I say, there are people in this courtroom who will be unhappy," Siracusa said before handing down his decision.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2014 | By David Zucchino
TAMPA, Fla. - As an Army sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gabriel Brown craved danger. Combat satisfied what he called his "adrenaline addiction. " When he returned home to Florida, nothing in civilian life provided the sense of invincibility that made combat so alluring and vital. The sniper was now a nursing student. There was a hole in his life, but he found a way to fill it: robbing banks. He robbed with a military flair. On Feb. 5, 2013, Brown whipped out a gun and tossed an M83 military smoke grenade during a robbery of a TD Bank branch in Auburndale, Fla., that netted $19,000.
NEWS
February 3, 2014 | By David Lauter
The Republican hoping to preserve his party's hold on a closely contested, vacant congressional seat in Florida took less than a minute in a debate Monday to hit what he hopes will be the winning theme. His Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, wants to "further the agenda of President Obama," Republican David Jolly said in his opening statement. At his earliest opportunity, Jolly returned to the idea, saying he favored repealing the president's healthcare law. The two parties and affiliated groups already have spent millions of dollars on the race in the St. Petersburg-area district and are likely to spend several million more before the March 11 election.
SPORTS
January 31, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
Yasiel Puig moved smoothly among the cooks and bakers of Homeboy Industries, purposefully gliding through the crowded kitchens as if taking that wide turn around first base. He autographed a worker's shirt sleeve directly above her tattoos, adding his own indelible ink. He pulled a plastic hair net over the eyes of another worker, laughing while posing for a photo. He used his giant hands to deftly dunk a roll into a bowl of freshly made guacamole while raving about its delights to two blushing young women.
NATIONAL
January 30, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
One man was shot and another injured in a parking lot fight on Thursday at Eastern Florida State College that forced an hour-long campus lockdown and canceled classes, police said.  Three men, at least one a student, began arguing and fighting in the lot about 1:30 p.m. Apparently acting in self-defense, Landrick Hamiliton, 24, pulled a gun from his car and fired at Amado Contreras, 25, hitting him in the chest, said Officer Yvonne Martinez, Palm...
NEWS
January 30, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Is Eastern Air Lines making a comeback? Miami-based Eastern Air Lines Group announced Wednesday that it had filed papers with the U.S. Department of Transportation as a first step in launching a new air carrier. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Eastern was one of America's historic Big Four carriers in the middle of the last century. The company says it's not affiliated with the former Eastern Air Lines, which operated between 1928 and 1991. But it has its old headquarters  in the airline's former base of operations at Miami International Airport, and its logo looks the same.
NATIONAL
January 28, 2014 | By David Zucchino
For decades, relatives of some boys dispatched to the notorious Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys have struggled to find out what became of them after they went missing amid reports of beatings, torture and sexual assaults at the reform school in Marianna, Fla. On Tuesday, researchers and forensic anthropologists moved a step closer to providing answers. The remains of 55 people have been uncovered on school grounds, University of South Florida researchers announced - five more than previous field work had indicated and 24 more than listed in school records.
SPORTS
January 28, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Florida authorities have dropped a reckless-driving charge against Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, the state attorney's office announced Tuesday. Puig was arrested last month after his Mercedes-Benz was clocked traveling 110 mph in a 70-mph zone, officials said. A video of the arrest, which became public, showed the Florida Highway Patrol officer on the scene becoming incensed when discovering Puig's mother was in the vehicle. However, in speaking with the officer, the state attorney's office said it determined that on the morning of the incident, traffic was “moderate to light,” the weather was clear and the roads were dry. Also, the office said, Puig wasn't observed weaving in and out of traffic or losing control of his vehicle, was sober and had a valid Florida driver's license.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel and Chris O'Brien
NEW YORK - The federal government has arrested one of the biggest names in the bitcoin community in the latest crackdown on digital currencies and their illicit use. Charlie Shrem, chief executive of digital currency exchange BitInstant, stands accused with a Florida man of laundering money through a notorious drug-trafficking website. Shrem is also vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, a nonprofit group aimed at promoting the digital currency. He and codefendant Robert M. Faiella of Cape Coral, Fla., are accused of selling more than $1 million worth of bitcoins to people attempting to buy and sell illegal drugs on the Silk Road website, which the FBI shut down in October.
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