New law makes it easier for Florida property owners to kick people off the beach: Starting July 1, a new Florida law will restrict local governments from adopting ordinances regarding customary use, which establishes public access to private beaches in spite of owners who may want to block people. In Florida, the "wet sand" area below the mean high water line, toward the sea, is public. The "dry sand" area above belongs to the property owner.
Florida will likely experience another awful hurricane season in 2018: Last week, researchers at Colorado State University released their first report for the 2018 hurricane season, predicting that it will include at least 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, which will pack sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. For some perspective, a typical hurricane season usually has 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major storms. 2017, which was the fifth most active season since these records were first started back in 1851, was 245 percent more active than the average season, says the report. 2018 is predicted to be 135 percent more active.
Federal judge claps back after Florida challenges ruling on felons' voting rights: In a searing clap back of the kind usually reserved for trifling people, U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker struck down a challenge from Gov. Rick Scott's administration against overhauling Florida's controversial voting rights restoration process for former felons. "Rather than comply with the requirements of the United States Constitution, defendants continue to insist they can do whatever they want with hundreds of thousands of Floridians' voting rights and absolutely zero standards," Walker wrote. "They ask this Court to stay its prior orders. ... No."
Florida DNC member takes his wife's advice and resigns after racist remark: Democratic National Committee member John Parker resigned last week after he reportedly referred to African-Americans as "colored people." Parker blamed his Jim Crow-sounding slip of tongue as twisting the phrase "people of color" during a Jan. 22 party meeting at the Burrito Gallery in Jacksonville. Following the colossal fuckup, even Parker's wife – Lisa King, the chairwoman of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee – joined the chorus of people pushing for Parker to resign.
An Orlando resident and former Sinclair employee is being sued by the company for quitting: Last weekend, Sinclair Broadcasting Group garnered criticism for requiring its anchors to read a statement that took a shot at major national media outlets. Many wondered why those employed by the company didn't just quit, but if only it were that easy. Jonathan Beaton, a former reporter at Sinclair station WPEC News 12 in West Palm Beach, quit the station in 2015 and moved back to Orlando. But on Oct. 13, just before the statute of limitations had run out on his contract, the company sued Beaton in Orange County courts, requesting $5,700 in damages and other related costs.