MIAMI — The Florida Power & Light Company must pay a $25 million penalty for a massive outage that left nearly one million homes and businesses without power last year.
The agreement with FPL, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation was announced Thursday. The company agreed to pay $10 million to the U.S. Treasury and $10 million to NERC.
Boy, 2, dies after mother runs over him with car
HERNANDO — Authorities say a 2-year-old Citrus County boy has died after his mother accidentally ran over him as she was backing out of the family driveway.
Authorities say the child’s mother was on her way to work when the accident happened at the home in Hernando.
Tampa cigar maker working on longest ever stogie
TAMPA — A Tampa cigar maker hopes to set a new Guinness World Record by rolling a stogie 180 feet long.
Longtime cigar maker Wally Reyes started Thursday and will finish the nearly block-long smoke during the city’s Cigar Heritage Festival Nov. 21.
Reyes says he and his wife, Margarita, are building the cigar in 18 sections — each 10 feet long.
Former chamber president jailed on fraud charge
STARKE — The former president of the Northeast Regional Florida Chamber of Commerce has been arrested for stealing almost $20,000 from his employer.
Fifty-seven-year-old Ron Lilly of Keystone Heights was charged Wednesday with fraudulently obtaining property under $20,000. He was freed from the Bradford County Jail Thursday on $15,000 bond.
Jacksonville police trying to identify remains
JACKSONVILLE — About a dozen Jacksonville police detectives and forensic investigators are continuing the painstaking task of searching for clues that will lead to the identity of skeletal remains.
A skull was found Wednesday in the woods on the far western side of Jacksonville near Baldwin by a crew spraying vegetation.
Developer pleads not guilty in wife’s death
ORLANDO — A prominent southeast developer charged with second-degree murder in his wife’s shooting death has entered a plea of not guilty.
J. Robert Ward entered the plea Thursday during a bond hearing. His attorney is asking that the 61-year-old developer be released on bail since he doesn’t have a prior criminal record.
Ward is a self-made millionaire who in recent years had suffered crushing financial troubles. The shooting took place in the couple’s multimillion dollar home in Isleworth, one of Orlando’s most prosperous neighborhoods.
Miami teacher avoids prison in hot sauce case
MIAMI — A former Miami teacher was sentenced to 2 years probation and 100 hours of community service for allegedly giving an autistic student soda spiked with hot sauce.
A Miami-Dade County judge withheld adjudication Wednesday on the child abuse charge against 60-year-old Sylvia Tagle.
Appeals court chastises judge over compassion
MIAMI — A Florida appeals court has chastised a judge for granting extensions in a foreclosure case for compassionate reasons.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled last week that Circuit Judge Valerie Manno Schurr could not grant extensions solely on grounds of benevolence or compassion. Schurr had given a Miami couple an extra month to sell their house.
— Associated Press