Ready to pay more? DeSantis signs online sales tax law
Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed into law a plan to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.
COVID-19 hospitalizations top 6,000 in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With steady increases in recent months, more than 6,000 people were hospitalized Monday in Florida with “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19, according to information posted on the state Agency for Health Care Administration website. As of a midday count, 6,081 people were hospitalized, including 1,018 in Miami-Dade County. By comparison, 2,081 people were hospitalized with primary diagnoses of COVID-19 on Oct. 1; 2,371 were hospitalized on Nov. 1; 4,282 were hospitalized on Dec. 1; and 5,514 were hospitalized on Dec. 21, according to information The News Service of Florida has compiled from the agency’s website. The increases in hospitalizations have come as Florida has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. As of Sunday, the state reported 1,271,979 cases since the pandemic started, according to the Florida Department of Health website.
Former neighbors organize vigil for slain Putnam County boys
POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Friends and loved ones gathered Wednesday evening to remember two brothers who were killed last week in their Melrose home. The vigil in honor of Robert Baker, 12, and Tayten Baker, 14, was held in Mulberry in Polk County, where the family lived before recently moving to Putnam County. The vigil was organized by the family’s former neighbors, including Chelsea Coyner. Dozens of former teammates, classmates and neighbors attended the vigil. Mark Wilson Jr., 30, who was identified as the boyfriend of the boys’ aunt, is charged with first-degree murder in the boys’ deaths.
Florida sheriff: $30,000 reward offered in triple homicide
FROSTPROOF, Fla. Authorities in central Florida have offered a $30,000 reward for information that helps solve the killings of three best friends who had gathered last Friday for a night of fishing. In a Facebook post, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the reward was made possible by contributions from Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Sheriffs Association. Tillman arrived at the lake first to meet his friends for night fishing for catfish. The father arrived about 10 minutes later but forget his cellphone in a rush to help his son. By the time help arrived, his son had died.
3 friends slain while preparing to fish at Florida lake
Three friends were slain just moments after gathering together for some night fishing at a lake in central Florida, authorities said Saturday. This is a horrific scene, Judd said at a news conference Saturday near Lake Streety where the bodies were found. Judd said this is what investigators believe happened: Tillman arrived at the lake first to meet his friends for night fishing for catfish. He drove to a nearby convenience store, and the clerk helped him reach authorities, but by the time they arrived, Rollins had died. This is a dirt road, a clay dirt road, way out in the middle of what we call Gods country, on the way to a nice little fishing lake.
Florida motorcycle officer killed in crash
LAKELAND, Fla. – A Florida motorcycle officer was killed in a crash while driving his police-issued Harley-Davidson to work Thursday morning, authorities said. Officer Paul Dunn, 50, died shortly before 6 a.m., according to a post on the with the Lakeland Police Department’s Facebook page. Passing motorists saw the motorcycle and stopped to help Dunn, Judd said. “We have suffered a tragic loss out here this morning,” Garcia said during the news conference. “It’s a tragic loss for the agency and the community as well.
Disney security guard arrives naked to Florida prostitution sting
POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Florida authorities have arrested 124 people in an undercover sting. Investigators were targeting those involved in prostitution, human trafficking and child predators in Polk County. Most were caught arriving for the sex they thought they were promised in an online ad. Including Rodney Davis, a Disney security guard. A pastor and a Universal Studios waiter.