Eight Places in Florida to Visit on Earth Day Ranked by Outdoorsiness

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia Commons, via Veryhuman
The sun sets over Key Largo, Florida.
Between Passover, Easter, and 4/20, it's been a mad rush of holidays in the past week. First people were getting cabin fever in their parents' houses, subsisting off of matzo and trying to think if the adage about never forgetting how to ride a bike applied to driving a car. Then mass amounts of the population were gorging themselves on chocolate and deviled eggs after being forced into awkward socialization with church members they see but once a year. Finally, after all the claustrophobia and agoraphobia went away, paranoia set in. Take a holiday from the holidays. Put down the hash pipe. Get in your car and enjoy living in one hell of a state. There are options for even the most prissy of you Floridians as well as the most hardened Survivor Man acolytes.

That said, all of these places are awesome. The ranking is all in good fun. Florida has one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the country. It's your duty to enjoy it on Earth Day, or at least before things heat up in May and our mosquito overlords begin their blood-sucking reign of terror once more. You'll regret it if you don't.

See also: Earth Day: Nine Ways Florida Is Screwing Up the Environment

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Earth Day: Nine Ways Florida Is Screwing Up the Environment

Categories: Environment

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Happy Earth Day, Florida! We're all gonna die!

Yes, today is the day we're supposed to be conserving, planting trees, turning off the lights, and collecting all that recycling. But the reality is, things are not looking as green as they should in the Sunshine State.

Florida is a land literally named for all its flowers. But the darker side of things is the reality that Florida's overall environmental state is a mess. How bad is it? So bad that we're turning the Everglades into shopping malls, spewing tons of garbage into the air, and pretty much sinking into the ocean.

So let's all gather 'round and take a gander at nine ways we're completely killing our environment down here!

See also: Eight Places in Florida to Visit on Earth Day Ranked by Outdoorsiness

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DEP Busts Everglades Oil Driller for Fracking, Clams Up, Slammed for Cover-up

Categories: Fire Ant

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Critics of oil company plans to drill in the Everglades saw some of their worst fears realized late last week when the Florida Department of Environmental Protection revealed it had sanctioned Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Co. for unauthorized fracking in Collier County in an area surrounded by the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a major nesting site for wood storks.

The critics' dismay was compounded by the fact that the fracking and sanctions, including a $25,000 fine, date to last December but were not disclosed to public officials and citizens at last month's hearings on the Hughes Co.'s Florida activity.

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Rick Scott's Drug Test for State Workers Appeal Shot Down by U.S. Supreme Court

Categories: Great Scott!

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Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Commons
It looks like Gov. Rick Scott's crusade to randomly drug-test Florida's state workers has finally come to an end after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request for a review of a lower court ruling that the policy was unconstitutional.

Scott's quest to have state workers urinate into a cup for a check began back in May 2011, when he signed into law a bill requiring that Florida's welfare recipients pass a drug test. The court eventually ruled that Scott and the state failed to show that their drug testing plan was so critical as to violate the Fourth Amendment to thousands of Floridians.

The state appealed, but was shot down by a three-judge panel that said the lower court was right to halt the law. That's when Scott turned his sights on state workers.

In March of 2013, Scott's lawyers asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate his executive order to administer drug tests on state workers -- about 85,000 of them.

See also: Rick Scott Asks Court to Please Let Him Drug-Test State Workers

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Pembroke Pines Commissioners Approve Domestic Partnership Benefits

Categories: The Gays

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Photo by Benson Kua via Wikipedia Commons
It looks like Pembroke Pines is joining the likes of Palm Beach and Boca Raton in offering domestic partner benefits for its gay employees.

After an independent firm's cost/benefits numbers were heard, the city's five commissioners unanimously agreed to extend the same benefits to employees in domestic partnerships as those who are married.

See also: Florida's Legally Gay Married Couples Will Now Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes

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Bomb Threat at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach; Students Evacuated From School UPDATE

Categories: Breaking News

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Update: The Delray Beach Police Department has given the all-clear. Students have been let back into the school, and authorities are investigating the threat.

According to the Delray Beach PD, a search of the school with help from Palm Beach Sheriff's Office bomb-sniffing dogs turned up no threat, and students were allowed to return to class.

Original post: Students at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach have been evacuated from the school following a bomb threat, according to the Delray Beach Police Department.

The bomb threat was called in this morning, and numerous police units are on the scene.

Police say the children are safe and are asking parents not to come to the school until they've determined if the threat is real or a hoax, per their Facebook page.

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"Sweetheart Scammer" Allegedly Duped 82-Year-Old Out of Big Bucks

Categories: Crime

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She was 46 to his 82. Perhaps that's why Michelle Nicholas was so appealing to John Deam. After eloping in the Keys, the wealthy older gentleman bought his beau a 2006 Lexus and a $13,000 Rolex. That probably endeared him a little more to her.

Nicholas and Deam might have continued this mutually beneficial relationship, but the sugarbaby eventually lusted after cash rather than mere gifts.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, Nicholas tried to take out a line of credit under her much older beau's name. Now she's facing charges of grand theft and exploiting the elderly. Police say the man easily becomes confused.

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

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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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David Britto: Is Fugitive Ex-Cop Living in Brazil With New Name (and Using Pinterest)?

Categories: Crime

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Facebook
"David Perciano"'s social media photos
In the summer of 2011, Boynton Beach cop David Britto -- a former Marine and 2010 Officer of the Year -- was arrested on charges of possession and conspiring to traffic methamphetamine. Authorities suspected him of running a drug ring with several other men.

But Britto famously cut off an ankle monitor and fled the country before he could be tried. ​His mother, Janiber "Jane" Andrade Vieira, bought him a one-way ticket from Miami to Brasilia, Brazil, then lied to the DEA about it -- a move that eventually netted her a one-year prison sentence.

Little has been written about Britto since he fled, but several online profiles suggest Britto may be living in Brazil, working at a gym, and using Pinterest, all under a new last name.

See also: David Britto's Mother Faces Life in Prison for Allegedly Helping Her Son Escape to Brazil

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Eight Reasons the Broward School Board's Parents' Dress Code Is Idiotic

Categories: School Daze

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Photo by Lan56 via Wikipedia Commons
Last week, the Broward County School Board, led by Dr. Rosalind Osgood, announced that it wants to enforce a dress code for parents.

"We have dads showing up in sagging pants," she said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "It's hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas, or short shorts if they see parents wearing them. Parents need to lead by example."

Osgood wants to hold a forum about the issue in September and address the apparent issue with parents then.

A dress code. For parents.

Here now are eight reasons why this is an idiotic idea and why we parents refuse to comply.


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