Florida manatee deaths could reach record high
MIAMI (AP) — The number of manatee deaths caused by watercraft could hit an all-time high in Florida this year.
From the beginning of this year through June 21, 81 manatees have been killed...
2 dead, other 2 arrested after Florida home invasion
SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two men have been killed after they invaded a Florida home to steal marijuana and guns and were shot by the homeowner. Two other men were arrested and are...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A confessed hit man for a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to life in prison in Florida for killing two men over a drug debt.
Sinkhole shuts down parts of I-75 in Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Parts of busy Interstate 75 have been shut down in Florida after a sinkhole opened up.
The southbound lanes were shut down just in time for rush hour traffic Friday....
OCKLAWAHA, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities say a man claiming to be paranoid killed his mother and their dog and then set their home on fire.
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two men from Italy crashed their motorcycles on a Florida highway and were fatally run over by a semitrailer.
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A confessed hit man for a Mexican drug cartel faces the death penalty in Florida for killing two men over a drug debt.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports Jose Manuel Martinez...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Officials say 50 homes have been evacuated as a 750-acre (300-hectare) wildfire burns in a Florida national park.
Marion County Fire Rescue posted on Facebook that the...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A detention deputy is accused of stealing an inmate's $250 Nike sneakers.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Frank Rudders was booked...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida mother is accused of threatening to shoot up an elementary school after her son was suspended from riding the bus for fighting.
Man guilty of manslaughter in fatal shooting
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting another man during a fight.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that jurors found Robert Bavle guilty...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida death row inmate will likely stay on death row after a jury unanimously recommended execution for a 2011 slaying.
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Some residents are demanding the resignation of the mayor of a central Florida city after he supported a proclamation declaring a day later this month as "Confederate Memorial...
Deputy, nurse disciplined in Florida inmate death
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A deputy and a jail nurse have been disciplined after a Florida inmate overdosed on heroin and fentanyl.
Lorraine Gardner died in September after authorities say an inmate...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for threatening several U.S. Congress members.
Court records show that 36-year-old Richard Mel Phillips was...
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A man convicted of firing a gun in a Florida veterans clinic has been sentenced to 17 years and three months in federal prison.
Woman gets 15 years for fatal DUI crash
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for fatally striking a pedestrian with her car while she was high on drugs.
Florida’s thoroughbred breeding industry still struggling
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Data shows that Florida's thoroughbred breeding industry still has not recovered from the recession a decade ago.
According to annual statistics compiled by the Jockey...
Hurricane Michael caused $50M in damage at Florida prisons
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Officials say 20 state correctional facilities across 15 counties suffered about $50 million in damage from Hurricane Michael.
Authorities: Man killed in crash while fleeing police in SUV
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man was killed in a crash while trying to flee from police in a stolen SUV.
An Ocala police statement says 50-year-old Evan Ian Smith died Thursday night after flipping the vehicle on Interstate 75.
Police say the SUV was reported stolen Thursday morning. The owner says Smith helped him move the vehicle last week and believed Smith kept the key.
Child killed, 5 others injured in multi-vehicle crash
SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a child was killed and five other people were injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Florida.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that the crash occurred Friday afternoon near Silver Springs.
WWII-era grenade in car’s trunk prompts Taco Bell evacuation
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — When a World War II-era hand grenade came to a Taco Bell in central Florida, everyone else had to leave.
In Facebook posts, Ocala Police said a treasure hunter found the grenade while magnet fishing Saturday in Ocklawaha. Magnet fishing is a form of treasure hunting that uses magnets to retrieve items from bodies of water.
7 people accused of using Florida teen as sex slave
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Seven people have been arrested in a human trafficking case in Florida involving a 15-year-old boy who investigators say was used as a sex slave.
News outlets quote St. Petersburg police Maj. Mark Hensley as saying that six men and a woman have been arrested. He says the men introduced the boy to sadomasochism.
Former official: Pollution notice delayed due to election
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida health department official claims that because of the election there was a delay in notifying residents of a central Florida community that their well water was polluted.
Florida police officer saves 2 overdose victims in a week
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Twice in a week a Florida police officer has saved the lives of overdose victims.
On Wednesday, Ocala police Officer Alyssa Garcia was called to an apartment where a 33-year-old woman had collapsed. Garcia gave the woman a dose of Narcan, which is used to treat suspected opioid overdose victims.
6 ex-employees at Florida State Fire College file lawsuit
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Six former employees of the Florida State Fire College have sued manufacturers of firefighting suppressants used at the training facility, saying they caused cancer or other diseases.
Jailer resigns after inmate boyfriend sells gun for $60
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Marion County Sheriff's officials say a jail guard allowed her boyfriend to sell her firearm for $60.
According to an internal affairs report, former Marion County jail inmate Dustyn Purser sold Deputy Kelly Robert's agency-issued gun to a mechanic. Robert was a guard at the jail at the time.
The report says the alleged couple bought the gun back a week later. Investigators said Kelly also pawned her agency-issued flashlight for $35.
No injuries reported in Florida school bus, SUV crash
SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say no injuries were reported when a Florida school bus driver backed into an SUV after apparently missing a turn.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that the crash occurred Wednesday in Summerfield.
Police: Man who shot woman at Walmart dies at hospital
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of fatally shooting a woman in a north Florida Walmart has died at a hospital two days after shooting himself.
Ocala police say 54-year-old man David Johnson died Monday evening.
Officials say Johnson shot 30-year-old Carli Cronin in an apparent domestic dispute Saturday in the garden section of an Ocala Walmart. Authorities say Cronin, who was shot multiple times, screamed for help, and employees called 911 and attempted to intervene.
Police: Man shot woman at Walmart, later turned gun on self
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A 54-year-old man suspected of the fatal weekend shooting of a woman in a Walmart store in north Florida has been hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Ocala police said in a Facebook post, that David Johnson shot Carli Cronin, 30, in an apparent domestic dispute on Saturday in the garden section of a Walmart in that city.
Police: Man fatally shoots woman at Florida Walmart
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting a woman in a north Florida Walmart store on Saturday afternoon is hospitalized due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound and is not expected to survive his injuries, police said.
In a Facebook post Saturday night, Ocala police identified the suspect as David Johnson, 54, and the victim as Carli Cronin, 30.
The Latest: Walmart shooting suspect not expected to survive
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal shooting at a Florida Walmart store (all times local):
Florida police say they do not expect the suspect in a fatal Walmart shooting to survive.
Man faces up to 5 years for threatening Congress members
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has pleaded guilty to threatening members of the U.S. Congress.
Court documents show that 36-year-old Richard Phillips has pleaded guilty in Ocala federal court to one count of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. He faces up to five years in prison.
GOP Rep. Ted Yoho elected to fourth term in Florida’s 3rd US House District; includes Gainesville, Ocala
MIAMI (AP) — GOP Rep. Ted Yoho elected to fourth term in Florida's 3rd US House District; includes Gainesville, Ocala.
Florida man sentenced for plot to bomb Target stores
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who plotted to blow up Target stores along the East Coast has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.
Authorities said Mark Charles Barnett of Ocala thought the explosions would cause the company's stock to plunge, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares.
Man gets 40 years for plotting bombs in Target stores
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for planning to place bombs on the shelves of Target stores in an attempt to drive the company's stock price down.
A federal judge in Ocala sentenced 50-year-old Mark Barnett on Wednesday. He was convicted in July of attempted arson and other charges.
School board member defends Cosby, criticizes ‘whores’
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida school board member is under fire for Facebook posts saying men are being destroyed by "whores" and defending Bill Cosby, who was recently convicted of rape.
Angered residents demanded Marion County board member Nancy Stacy resign during Tuesday's meeting. That came a day after she posted, "Tired of WHORES destroying men! Set Bill Cosby free, says 'Mama Bear' with sons!"
Fla. school board member under fire for sexual assault posts
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Residents of a Florida county denounced comments by a school board member who said actor Bill Cosby should be freed after being convicted of sexual assault.
Residents at a school board meeting in Marion County, Florida on Tuesday held up signs of school board member Nancy Stacy's Facebook posts, which included a comment about how she was tired of men being destroyed by "whores."
Man gets life sentence for killing wife, unborn child
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his pregnant wife and unborn child.
The Ocala-Star Banner reports that 48-year-old Vincent LaSara Terry was sentenced Monday. He was convicted in August of two counts of second-degree murder.
Man killed by van while walking daughter to bus stop
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man was struck and killed by a vehicle while walking his daughter to her school bus stop.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that 38-year-old Jeffrey Todd Kimberlin died shortly after arriving at an Ocala hospital Friday morning.
Prison guard accused of trading drugs for sex with inmate
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a trainee guard at a Florida prison had sex with an inmate in exchange for drugs.
The Ocala Star-Banner reports that 26-year-old Nicholas Seaborn Jefferson was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of sexual misconduct.
Dog killed, 2 residents injured in Florida house fire
SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Crews say a dog has died and two people were injured in a fire in Florida.
Marion County Fire Rescue officials said in a Facebook post that they got a call early Monday from a home in Silver Springs, which is near Ocala. Dispatchers heard someone yelling "to get out of the house" because it was on fire.
Christmas mystery solved after Florida inmate confesses
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities have solved a 25-year-old missing person case after a convicted inmate admitted to murdering the North Florida woman.
Sherry Yon Petersen was reported missing by her daughter after she failed to show up for dinner on Christmas Day and could not be reached. Petersen, who was 42 years old in 1992, has never been found.
Police: 2 arrested at drug house with drive-thru window
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested two people who were running a drug business out of a mobile home with its own walk-up and drive-thru window.
An Ocala police news release says 20-year-old McKenzee Dobbs and 32-year-old William Parrish Jr. were arrested last week following several overdoses connected to the house. Both face multiple charges related to the possession and sale of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.
Man convicted of killing wife, unborn child
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been convicted of killing his pregnant wife and unborn child.
The Ocala-Star Banner reports that 48-year-old Vincent LaSara Terry was found guilty Thursday of two counts of second-degree murder. He faces life in prison at a Oct. 1 sentencing.
Police: Student with stolen gun arrested at Florida school
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a student with a stolen gun and ammunition has been arrested at a Florida high school.
News outlets report the West Port High School 10th-grader was arrested Wednesday. An Ocala Police Department release says the 16-year-old boy was arrested on charges including possession of a firearm on school grounds and possession of a stolen firearm.