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Category: Florida News

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Mother fatally shot by neighbor after dispute over playing children, sheriff says

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida mother was fatally shot through a door outside a neighbor’s home after what officials characterized on Monday as a 2 1/2-year feud over playing children. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said at a news conference Monday that deputies responding to a trespassing call at an Ocala home on Friday night found Ajike Owens suffering from gunshot wounds. The 35-year-old mother of four was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died. Ocala is about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Orlando. “I wish our shooter would have called us instead of taking actions into her own...

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Dev Shah wins National Spelling Bee, going out on top after up-and-down spelling career

By BEN NUCKOLS (Associated Press) OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Soft-spoken but brimming with confidence, Dev Shah asked precise questions about obscure Greek roots, rushed through his second-to-last word and rolled to the Scripps National Spelling Bee title Thursday night. Dev, a 14-year-old from Largo, Florida, had his spelling career interrupted by the pandemic, then didn’t make it out of his regional bee last year. He got through his highly competitive regional this year for a third and final try at the national title, and he ended up holding the trophy over his head as confetti fell. His winning...

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DeSantis kicks off presidential campaign in Iowa, vows to ‘fight back’ against Trump

By STEVE PEOPLES, HANNAH FINGERHUT and THOMAS BEAUMONT (Associated Press) CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stepped into Iowa on Tuesday for the first time as a Republican presidential candidate and stepped up to Donald Trump, vowing to “fight back” against the former president as the GOP’s 2024 campaign enters a new phase. Until now, the 44-year-old Republican governor whose slogan is “Never Back Down” had largely avoided any direct confrontation with Trump, his chief Republican rival, who has in turn unleashed a torrent of fierce attacks against DeSantis for much of the year. DeSantis...

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Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son ‘dispose of a body’

By MEAD GRUVER (Associated Press) CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if needed because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note shared publicly for the first time this week by attorneys for Petito’s parents. The handwritten note by Roberta Laundrie that says “burn after reading” on the envelope was released after a Florida judge ruled on Wednesday that the letter could be used as evidence in a lawsuit. The Petitos sued Brian Laundrie’s parents, accusing them of knowing that their...

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Proud Boys’ Tarrio guilty of Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, LINDSAY WHITEHURST and ALANNA DURKIN RICHER (Associated Press) WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three other members of the far-right extremist group were convicted Thursday of a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in a desperate bid to keep Donald Trump in power after the Republican lost the 2020 presidential election. A jury in Washington, D.C., found Tarrio and three lieutenants guilty of seditious conspiracy after hearing from dozens of witnesses over more than three months in one of the most serious cases brought in the stunning attack that...

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County Commission votes on GL Homes swap

A controversial land swap that would enable the development of 1,000 luxury homes in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve received initial support from the Board of Commissioners Wednesday night. The 5-2 vote was a major victory for GL Homes, one of the leading residential developers in Palm Beach County. It also signals a major change to the Ag Reserve, which county voters overwhelmingly agreed in 1999 to keep mostly rural. The approval now goes to the state for review and will come back to the commission Aug. 30 for final adoption. “We are pleased the Palm Beach County Commission saw merit...

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