Florida News

Quincy J. Walters

More Than 7000 Acres Burn, Homes Destroyed in Wildfires

Evacuations due to wildfires have been lifted in Lee and Collier Counties. 7000 acres burned in Collier at 30 th Avenue in Golden Gate Estates that was 50% contained as of Sunday afternoon. Three homes were destroyed. The cause of that fire is still under investigation. The News-press reports an arson investigator says a fire in Lehigh Acres, which destroyed 4 homes may have been caused by a cigarette. WGCU’s Quincy Walters spent the weekend keeping up with the changing conditions in Collier.

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Today on Gulf Coast Live @ 1PM

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Yom HaShoah: Commemorating the Jewish Victims of the Holocaust

The atrocities of the Holocaust are the focus of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in late January, but the observation of Yom HaShoah in late April is a date on the Jewish calendar set aside specifically to remember the nearly 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazis and their collaborators.

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National News

North Korea Threatens To Sink U.S. Carrier; China Urges Restraint

North Korea could reduce a U.S. strike force to a sea wreck if it's provoked, the country's propaganda outlets said Monday, adding to tensions on the Korean Peninsula. With the threat of a nuclear test in North Korea looming and another U.S. citizen reportedly detained there, China's President Xi Jinping is urging President Trump to avoid escalating the situation. The two leaders spoke by phone Monday, according to Chinese state media CCTV , which reports that Xi told Trump he "hopes all...

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Latest Headlines from BBC

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones says she’s outraged over the inadequate mental health care services offered at a facility operated by one of Florida’s private prison health care providers. So, she terminated that contract with Wexford Health Sources Wednesday.

Things are looking up for Florida's manatees.

The West Indian manatee has long been considered "endangered"-- a species on life support. But at the end of March, federal officials changed the manatees' status to “threatened,” which means their condition is less critical. In early 2017, officials counted more than 6,000 manatees in Florida’s waters.

Michael Hirsh

Former Punta Gorda Police Officer Lee Coel appealed his termination today. He was fired for his part in the shooting death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton last August during a shoot/don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters.  

U.S. House of Representatives

The Chamber of Southwest Florida hosted U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-FL, Wednesday in Fort Myers. 

Before he spoke, Rooney reflected on earlier interactions with constituents in Florida's 19th Congressional district

Florida Wildlife Officials are putting the possibility of a black bear hunt on hold—at least for the next few years. The decision came during a Wednesday meeting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he appreciates Governor Rick Scott’s support for water storage south of Lake Okeechobee. But he’s concerned about Scott’s request to include $200 million to fix the Herbert Hoover dike. Negron said he doesn’t trust the federal government to reimburse the state for repairs to the federally-operated levee.

The Florida Senate is poised to pass a bill that accommodates ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft by not subjecting them to a medley of laws imposed by local governments.


March Madness is coming back to Tampa, as the Amalie Arena has been selected as a host site for first and second round games in the 2020 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

In addition, the Bay area will welcome 11 Division II championship events in 2020 and 2021. 

Amid calls for his resignation, Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, apologized publicly  Wednesday morning for a tirade at a club that included making derogatory comments about a fellow senator and using a racial slur. 

“I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended,” said Artiles from the Senate floor. 

Apparent negligence by the Punta Gorda Police Department resulted in the shooting death of a senior citizen last August as she volunteered in a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at police headquarters. The officer who fired the shot has been charged with felony manslaughter. He was fired and is appealing his termination this week. The city’s police chief, Tom Lewis, is charged with misdemeanor culpable negligence. He is on paid administrative leave.

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