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  • Scientists Challenge Trump to Discuss Climate Change 1, October27, 2016
    The environment and climate change haven’t been a big part of the run-up to the election. But as Matt Galka tells us, a group of scientists from Florida are trying to change that in the final two weeks. Why isn’t climate change part of the national conversation as the country prepares to elect a new […]
    Matt Galka
  • More than Two Million Early Ballots Cast Already 1, October26, 2016
    Florida is on pace for record early voting turnout, and as Matt Galka tells us, both sides say the early numbers are good for their parties. Becky Bush wasn’t going to wait around. She voted early. “I work downtown and it’s convenient,” she said. And to her, this election cycle is “crazy.” So crazy that […]
    Matt Galka
  • Trump train 1, October26, 2016
    Each of Florida’s  five statewide elected Republicans continue to support Donald Trump. But not all of them are jumping whole hog on the Trump Train. Governor Rick Scott was the first statewide elected Republican to jump on the trump train.   He was followed by Pam Bondi, Jeff Atwater, and Adam Putnam. All three supported […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Driver’s license troubles blamed on the move of an aging computer system 1, October26, 2016
    If you are going to be renewing your driver’s license or vehicles tags in the near future, you might want to budget some extra time, just in case, because aging computers at the state agency have become unpredictable. Taking a number at a Tax Collectors officer doesn’t guarantee you speedy service when you are renewing […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Trump Stumps in Tallahassee 1, October26, 2016
    In two weeks we should know who the next president of the United States is, and that means Florida becomes that much more valuable to the candidates. Matt Galka was in Tallahassee for Donald Trump’s rally in the capital…a unique choice for a GOP candidate to head into a perennially Democrat voting county. The trump […]
    Matt Galka
  • Butterfly Magic 1, October24, 2016
    In this time of political strife, questions about secure borders and a wall between the US and Mexico, Mike Vasilinda has a story about a mass migration that won’t give you heartburn. The majestic monarch. Millions are on their way to Mexico. And year after year, one of their favorite resting places is here in […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FDLE, Other Law Enforcement Ramp Up Counterterrorism Efforts 1, October24, 2016
    State leaders want to ramp up counterterrorism efforts, but as Matt Galka tells us, it starts with an old slogan and you. This gas station in Tallahassee doesn’t seem like where state officials would launch counterterrorism efforts. But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement say it’s just the place where […]
    Matt Galka
  • Volunteer Gets Crafty With Hand Painted Yard Signs for Candidate 1, October21, 2016
    In a time of big money campaigns, volunteers in one Florida Congressional race are a real throwback. As Matt Galka tells us, some folks are getting crafty when it comes to yard signs. Meet Herb Shelton. He’s not running for anything so don’t expect to see his name on the ballot. But Shelton has become a […]
    Matt Galka
  • Lawsuit says medical marijuana question not on some ballots 1, October21, 2016
    A lawsuit filed in Southeast Florida alleges that the medical marijuana amendment was left off some mail in ballots.  Attorneys say they aren’t sure if it was a half dozen, ten thousand or a hundred thousand ballots. A quarter million mail ballots have gone out Broward County, 60 thousand have already been returned. At least […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Federal Judge Rules Against Democrats in Registration Case 1, October20, 2016
    Thousands of Floridians took advantage of an extended voter registration deadline in the state, but getting them verified in time to cast a regular early voting ballot may be in doubt. As Matt Galka tells us, Florida Democrats hoped a federal judge could force the state’s hand and not make them cast provisional ballots. Florida […]
    Matt Galka

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    "Fortune befriends the bold."



The 2013 Python Challenge

January 9th, 2013 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Hunters grab your guns. The state is offering cash prizes to whoever bags the most Burmese pythons or kills the longest snake. As Whitney Ray tells us, The 2013 Python Challenge is an effort to help rid the state of the invasive species.

The state has declared war on Burmese Pythons and now it’s enlisting a militia.

On a recruitment video produced by Florida Fish and Wildlife tells the story of how the snakes are destroying the Everglades.

The Burmese Pythons were brought here as pets, but many grew too big and their owners released them into the wild. Now, with no natural predators, the snakes are taking over.

“Obviously they are eating something down in South Florida so we know that they probably are impacting our native wildlife,” said FWC Exotic Species Section Leader Kristen Sommers.

The solution; The 2013 Python Challenge. The state is offering 15-hundred dollars to the hunter who bags the most snakes, and a thousand to the person with the longest python.

But precipitants will have to be onguard, the snakes are huge and one misstep could turn the hunter into the hunted.

“Going out with somebody else is always a good option and making sure you are being cautions when you are out in these wild areas,” said Sommers.

More than 640 people have already signed up. Participants must pay a 25 dollar entrance fee and take a 30 minute online training course.

Despite the precautions, the hunt is already drawing the ire of animal rights groups. Rules are complete with a chart showing how to kill the snakes, X marks the spot where hunters should shoot. But the rules also allow for decapitation.

There’s no exact count on the number of Burmese Pythons in Florida, but experts believe there could be tens of thousands. The challenge is seen as a way to contain the spread of the species. The hunt begins Saturday with a kickoff event in Davie and ends February 16th with an awards ceremony.

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