A lot of weird things happen in Florida. We're here every Friday morning to give you the week's weirdest. This week, that includes police pinning their shooting on someone else, a misguided grandma and the worst television commercial ever.
If you've ever enjoyed the cheesy pleasures of Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, you've surely noted the numerous signs advising guests to keep their hands and arms inside the cars. It seems those are no idle warnings. Pirates of the Caribbean, in fact, is a voracious finger-eating mon ... More >>
It's a twisted Florida version of Romeo and Juliet. Except it's the parents who (almost) ended up dead instead of the young lovers. A 13-year-old girl and her 15-year-old boyfriend near Ocala concocted a plan to kill the girl's parents so the two could be together and it got as far as slashing the ... More >>
Despite its association with Paula Deen, butter is not supposed to cause drama. It's creamy, fatty goodness is supposed to spread love and joy, connecting us like two halves of a dinner roll. So when we hear the cause of two roommates' violent argument, we can't believe that it is butter.
Yesterday, at a rally officially announcing that a Major League Soccer team is coming to Orlando, league Commissioner Don Garber had a bit of bad news for the assembled Orlando fans. "This is the beginning for us in Florida," Garber told the crowd last night. "We hope to have a couple rivals for y ... More >>
George Zimmerman certainly hasn't managed to keep himself on the right side of the law ever since he was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and now he'd heading back to jail. Zimmerman was arrested this afternoon by Seminole County deputies after they received reports of a disturbance.
There's really no doubt that Florida leads the nation -- if not Planet Earth -- in insane crimes. In the past month, we've had an elderly guy showing up pants-less and masturbating at a McDonald's drive-thru, a woman twerking obscenely in front of a school bus full of kids, and the inventor of the W ... More >>
Hey there Florida gun owners. Feeling a little more paranoid than usual these days? Don't trust the government can protect you from potential menaces when you're catching a flight out of Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami? The Transportation Security Administration certainly seems to think you're ... More >>
It was another bucolic summer Sunday afternoon in a quiet suburb north of Orlando: the sun fading gently in the west, a distant thunderstorm rumbling in the distance, and 20-year-old Robin Campbell walking his dog down the block, completely butt-naked. When police came to check out what the nude d ... More >>
Stand Your Ground isn't the only state law set to stir controversy in the George Zimmerman case. The lesser-known Florida Statute 939.06 requires the state to pay all of a defendant's expenses if they're acquitted of all charges. Zimmerman's defense team has been tallying up the cost of expert wit ... More >>
Anyone check the stock price of Stark Industries lately? Because it seems Iron Man has gotten a little desperate. A man dressed in an Iron Man mask is wanted in a Florida bank robbery.
Dumb idea: showing your police pals your Trayvon Martin shooting target -- complete with crosshairs over his heart and a pack of Skittles in the pocket of his hoodie. Dumber idea: letting one colleague take a photo of you with the target to "show his son." A cop in Port Canaveral did both last month ... More >>
Close to 1,000 former Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald staffers descended on One Herald Plaza Wednesday afternoon. Reporters. Advertising executives. Printing-press mechanics. Bookkeepers. Publishers. Janitors. They all came to pay their final respects to the place that has defined journalism in thi ... More >>
Talk about sins of the father. David James Mahn, a 49-year-old from Montverde, Florida, is now charged with 200 counts of child porn possession after his 16-year-old son confided in his youth group leader.
Not only was Rick Scott's zeal for drug testing just about anyone he could laughably bad policy, it's also been quite costly to the state. In the four months a program to drug test welfare recipients was in practice it ended up costing that state just over $118,000. Then it got struck down, and has ... More >>
For Joleen Crisp and her 65-year-old associate Renter Pete Atwood, it's all meth all the time. Police found the duo cooking meth in a Daytona Beach Shores motel just hours before Crisp, 32, was scheduled to appear in court for previous charges on making meth.
The Magic Kingdom is about to get a little bit more magical. For the first time in the Disney park's 41-year history it will sell alcohol to its guests. Now, before you make plans to get blitzed and see how many times you can ride Space Mountain without ralphin', we should let you know that wine and ... More >>
George Zimmerman could find himself out on bail once again, if he can make his new $1 million bond. After being arrested on charges of second-degree murder for the death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, the Sanford, Florida man was released in April on $150,000 bail. That bail was revoked, thou ... More >>
Inside a heavily fortified compound in rural Osceola County, Florida, a well-armed group of white supremacists lead by 39-year-old Marcus Faella held regular paramilitary drills where they pretended to shoot black victims, talked about attacking Orlando's city hall and even discussed obtaining ricin ... More >>
Jacob David Hartley had been a dad for three weeks, but apparently didn't have as much enthusiasm for his newborn son as he did for his Xbox. The 20-year-old Lakeland, Florida, resident stands accused of shaking his son to death after the child started crying while he was in the middle of a video ga ... More >>
It's always nice when we can work a positive story into our WTF Florida category, and yes this story of a woman giving birth on her sixth birthday counts. Don't worry though, she's actually 24. Her birthday is February 29th, AKA Leap Day. Which means both mother and daughter share the special bir ... More >>
A bill that is meant to allow student-led prayers in school, a proposed law that could potentially lead to costly legal battles, is heading to Governor Rick Scott's desk after being passed by the Florida legislature today. Though, the bill itself doesn't mention the word "prayer," and instea ... More >>
Police across Florida are looking for a 19-year-old accused of killing his own grandma as brutally as possible: By stabbing her more than 100 times, beating her in the face with a wrench and even shooting her in the head with a crossbow.Jason Aristotle Smiddie has been on the run since police in ... More >>
A Florida law requires all bicyclists to keep at least one hand on a handlebar while riding their bike at all times, which, of course, prevents show offs from looking totally awesome. Republican Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff may have been unsuccessful in her attempt to bring Las Vegas-style casinos to Flo ... More >>
It's only natural for a parent to feel protective of their children, but 33-year-old Rayshell Lavone Smith of Orlando took it a bit too far. After her middle school-aged daughter got into a Facebook fight with a fellow classmate, Smith jumped into the online fray and threatened to put a gun in th ... More >>
Ritch Workman, the Republican state representative from Melbourne who has already introduced a bill to legalize dwarf tossing, is back with another stunningly stupid and controversial bill. Just eight days after Workman finalized his own divorce, he introduced a new piece of legislation that woul ... More >>
Nathan Sikkenga was charged with child endangerment, but not for taking his son to Disney WorldFlorida has a knack of bringing out the best in people.Take the Sikkenga family from Gillete, Wyoming. In all-American fashion, 31-year-old Nathan Sikkenga had driven his wife and 9-year-old son cross-c ... More >>
Surveillance footage of a SpongeBob robbery at a 7-11 three months ago.In the end, the police found SpongeBob SquarePants not in a pineapple under the sea, but hunkered down in an apartment complex off the Turnpike with three of his convenience store robbing cohorts.Last night, Orlando cops final ... More >>
"A paycheck for sitting in a chair and talking about basketball? Don't mind if I do."Former Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal will be joining the studio team on "NBA on TNT," the popular basketball show also featuring noted Heat hater Charles Barkley, according to unnamed reports in the Orlando&nbs ... More >>
Gov. Rick Scott has seemed to overcome his hesitations about funding Central Florida's SunRail commuter train program and announced his approval of state funding for the program today. Scott's first big decision in office was surprisingly killing a federally funded high-speed train project, a mov ... More >>
News flash: old people still like to bone. Unsurprisingly, as people who came of age in the wild child, free love era of the '60s and early '70s start to near their golden years the rates of new STD infections amongst the old is skyrocketing. In fact, cases of chlamydia and syphilis amongst those ... More >>
Florida's government is apparently "for the corporations, by the corporation." Gov. Rick Scott promised to run Florida like a business, and his fellow Republicans in the legislature are pushing through many "pro-business" reforms.They also happen to be taking in tons of cash from corporations. Fo ... More >>
Michael MillerSanctified: Wenski appears at the feet of Jesus in an Orlando stained glass windowThomas Wenski, the new Archbishop of Miami, is no wallflower. He's a Rush Limbaugh-loving social conservative who thinks using condoms is like playing Russian Roulette. He's also a fierce advocate for ... More >>
If Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, then why has he apparently joined a gang with Jesus? Yes, according to requests for restraining orders filed in Aluchua County John D. Gilliand Obama, Jesus of Nazareth and Tim Tebow have teamed up to constantly harass the man by appearing in odd ... More >>
Penny Hardaway has a lot to be proud of: four times an NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, and the world's most memorable basketball puppet. What he doesn't have, however, is a championship ring. Maybe that's why he wants to come out of retirement and play, once more, for the Heat.
Did you read Sunday's profile of Jeb Bush in the New York Times? Our former governor pulled no punches in bashing the current president. "It's kind of like a kid coming to school saying, 'The dog ate my homework,' " Bush said of the administration's tendency to blame his brother, former ... More >>
The Buena Vista Social Club will play its first American shows in seven years this week, with appearances in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.Like Silvio Rodriguez, the band's likely skipping South Florida for fear of protests from fringe exile groups. The legendary geezers are just the lates ... More >>
Democratic senate rivals Rep. Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene met up for their first debate today hosted by the Palm Beach Post. Meek is the affable, but not exactly superstar, Democratic establishment pick, while Greene is a shady billionaire who plans on winning the election on the strength of hi ... More >>
Billionaire businessman Rick Scott has come out of virtually nowhere to take an astounding double-digit lead in a recent poll against Attorney General Bill McCollum for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. This is thanks mainly to three things: (1) charisma-less career politician McCollum isn't ex ... More >>
Imagine winning half a million dollars from a lottery scratch off game, and then imagine the lottery telling you, "whoops, sorry this is a misprint, too bad." That's what happened to Ann Marie Curcio of Ocala. Her Gold Rush ticket told her she had won $500,000 in 2007. She drove all the way up to ... More >>
It's the weird time of year where for college football fans when spring training is over and the NFL draft is in the history books, yet next season and even meaningful pre-season polls are months away. Which means they look for other things to talk and tweet and blog about, and lately that ... More >>
Jennifer Lopez is a huge Dolphins fan. She pretty much has to be, considering husband Marc Anthony is a minority owner. While promoting her new movie, The Back-up Plan, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night, she made a first-round draft prediction."We have the 12th pick, you know, so ... More >>
Before those two failed Senate runs and his stint as attorney general, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum was a congressman for 20 years. During his freshman term in the House, a young McCollum had a dream. A dream that one day, there would never be a national holiday celebrating the l ... More >>
Restaurants are scaling back plans for expansion. That new carpet for the foyer has been put on hold, and the chipped plates will just have to last another year. So it's nice to see one Florida company planning to open 12 new locations this year: According to today's Orlando Sentinel, Tijuana Flats ... More >>
Tribune Co., the multimedia company that owns The Sun-Sentinel and The Orlando Sentinel officially filed for bankruptcy this morning. From The Wall Street Journal: In recent days, as Chicago-based Tribune continued talks with lenders to restructure its debt, the newspaper-and-television concern hire ... More >>
[ via the Orlando Sentinel The University of Central Florida may not have prevailed on the field against the Miami Hurricanes. But as you can see, they won big time in the obscene-gestures-caught-on-national-TV contest. The best Miami players could muster were some "L-on-the-forehead" loser sign ... More >>
via Dartmouth Perhaps we were a bit hasty this morning in awarding The Herald with the "Pulitzer for coverage of wacky traffic stories that perfectly illustrate the tragicomedy that is life". The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that a tractor-trailer carrying $182,000 in nickels headed for Miami wa ... More >>
Miami's arena footballers need to get something off their chest