Florida Man Reported as Record Breaker for Catching 805-Pound Shark Actually Broke the Rules by Eating It

via YouTube
If you've ever been to the Panhandle, it was probably during spring break. That's the one week per year in which Pensacola and Panama City become tourist hot spots. After the college hordes leave, those cities are again discarded and forgotten by out-of-towners like so many Natty Ice cans on soft, sugar-sand beaches. But weeks after that holiday ended, Joey Polk managed to bring yet another round of glory and international attention to the Gulf Coast.

The Milton resident nabbed an 805-pound mako earlier this month, threw it in the back of a pickup, and fed an entire village -- a feat that made headlines from the Huffington Post to the U.K.'s Daily Mail. If only he had thrown it back. After all, world records tend to last a little longer than barbecues.

See also: Hammerhead Shark Takes Boynton Beach Man for a Two-Hour Ride

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Broward Woman and Service Dog Unfairly Kicked Off WestJet Flight, Lawsuit Says

Triple Tri via wikimedia commons
Public nuisance?
Face it: The glam days of air travel are dead and buried. Now, it's $50 for that carry-on, $6.75 for water from the cart -- plus tax -- though attitude from overworked flight attendants is gratis.

According to a lawsuit filed in South Florida, one air carrier went overkill with the crummy service on a flight out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. A sick lady and her dog were treated poorly, and the entire plane had to turn around on the tarmac and return to the gate.

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Palm Beach County Woman Holds Exotic Parrot Hostage, Lawsuit Says

John B├Ąckstrand via Wikimedia Commons
Exotic birds -- apparently -- are big business. Collectors are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for top-line animals, even getting involved in overseas business deals with strangers to land the right Polly.

But even in this seemingly wholesome hobby, deals can go bad. According to a lawsuit filed recently in Palm Beach County court, the arrangements between a local woman and an English gentleman for a blue-yellow nape Amazon parrot went south, leaving the expensive animal hostage.

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Florida Senators Want to Tell You Which Movies and TV Shows Are "Family-Friendly"

Just like every other state not ending in "-alifornia," Florida is scrambling to scoop up Hollywood business. Seeking tax breaks, television and movie crews over the past decade have decamped SoCal for elsewhere, in turn shoveling money and prestige into local economies. Florida already has used nearly $300 million in tax credits to fish for productions like Magic Mike and Burn Notice. But now, with rival states pitching woo with their own deals, we have to up the ante.

So a proposal is churning through the Legislature to add another $300 million in tax credits for film production. It's a good move on the part of the government, sure.

But this isn't any group of politicians. This is the Florida Legislature -- a body that can't even change a proverbial light bulb without injecting culture-war politics into the mix. So instead of just passing a bill that is pro-entertainment business, your elected representatives want to attract "family-friendly" entertainment.

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Next Season of American Horror Story Will Be Set in Jupiter, Florida!

Well, it took long enough, but television's beloved and terrifying anthology, American Horror Story, is finally heading to the place that invented the very idea of American horror: Florida.

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George Zimmerman Signs Autographs at Florida Gun Show

George Zimmerman squeezed out the rest of what remains in his 15 minutes of relevancy over the weekend when he showed up to a Florida gun show to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

Zimmerman and his dog were special guests at the New Orlando Gun Show at the Arms Room store on Saturday.

The gun show had originally been slated to be held at a bigger venue -- the Majestic banquet hall -- but was forced to move to the gun store after the venue canceled the show late last week.

Apparently people complained to the Majestic that they didn't like the idea of a guy who once killed an unarmed black kid and got away with it appearing at a gun show in their town, or some such thing.

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Florida Bill That Would Arm School Employees to Go Before Senate Panel

Republican state senator in Florida Alan Hays is just a vessel of amazing ideas. The man who once filed legislation to keep public buses from stopping on streets because one time he got stuck in traffic behind one and who once called Sharia law a "dreadful disease" that needed vaccination, and who is fighting a battle to get all that Muslim stuff out of school textbooks to make room for Christianity has yet another winning idea up his sleeve.

Hays is now sponsoring a bill that would allow school employees to carry guns.

On Monday, Florida's Senate Criminal Justice Committee is going to be getting together to discuss whether having people walking around with guns in schools is a good idea.

See also: Florida State Senator Says We Need to "Vaccinate" Against Sharia

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Meagan Simmons, "Hot Convict," Suing Website Over Mug Shot Photo

GUILTY! Of stealing your heart
Meagan Simmons' attractive mugshot made her a sort of internet sensation for a while. That is to say, people thought she was totally hot and decided to make her face a meme.

She didn't mind it so much. She even bragged about it.

But now that a background check website has decided to use her image for some of their promotional use, Simmons has decided to sue them.

She is, of course, looking for monetary compensation.

See also: Mug-Shot Websites: Are They Extortion?

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Best Florida News Bloopers

God bless our local TV newscasters. They hustle day in and day out to bring you all the locally relevant information that you need to know. They tell you what the weather is going to be, where the latest car-jacking took place, and how much the watermelon that won the biggest fruit award at the county fair weighed.

But in between these journalistic moments there are inevitably gaffes, and, like NASCAR crashes, they are always the most entertaining part. Here are some of the best Florida news bloopers we could find.

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Florida Businesses Say They'll Still Accept Bitcoin, Despite Mt. Gox Crisis

Bitcoin is a nascent digital currency that people both love and fear. It can be easily transferred around the world but subverts established banks and monetary institutions. (We explained it here recently.)

Proponents say Bitcoin can empower poor people in developing countries who don't have access to banks and capital. Detractors say it makes drug deals and money laundering easier because no government can control it. Recently, the currency had been gaining steam as retailers -- including Overstock.com -- began to accept it in lieu of U.S. dollars.

See Also:
- The Five Weirdest Things I Learned at the North American Bitcoin Conference

Yesterday, however, the currency suffered a big blow because Mt. Gox, one of the major exchanges on which it was traded, was reportedly hacked, lost 744,408 of its users' bitcoins (worth nearly $367 million), and folded. Mt. Gox bought and sold bitcoin and held it for people in their accounts, or "digital wallets."

The event showed that bitcoin wealth can evaporate in an instant. Speculation grew that potential bitcoin users would be scared away. Some said the currency was doomed.

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