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  • Confederate Controversy 1, July6, 2015
    Monday was supposed to be a joyous celebration of the new class of Florida Veterans inducted into the state’s Veterans Hall of Fame.  But as Matt Galka tells us, a wild scene erupted because of a Confederate Veteran supporter. David McCallister with the Sons of Confederate Veterans group was outraged Monday. He’s pushed for Confederate […]
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  • Punching Video leads to charges against FSU Quarterback De’Andre Johnson 1, July6, 2015
    Surveillance video released by the office of State Attorney Willie Meggs appears to show freshman FSU quarterback De’Andre Johnson punching a woman at the bar Yanni’s. Johnson was charged with battery after the video was seen by the State Attorney. He has been suspended from the team indefinitely.
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  • Cracking Down on Johns to reduce Prostitution Demand 1, July6, 2015
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    Each year thousands of prehistoric Gulf Sturgeon enter the Suwanee and six other rivers in Florida. The fish are know to jump, and have hurt two people, neither seriously, so far this year. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, state officials are warning July fourth boaters to be on the lookout. The Suwanee River. Quiet. Peaceful. […]
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  • Executions Back on Track after High Court Ruling 1, June29, 2015
    The US Supreme Court has ruled that the drug midazolam is acceptable for use in lethal injections. Four Oklahoma convicts had challenged the drugs use, and Florida courts stopped executions here pending the outcome. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the ruling is now likely to open the door to dozens of executions in Florida. The […]
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  • Juice Gets the Budget Squeeze 1, June29, 2015
    Florida’s budget takes effect Wednesday and among the vetoes – a tourism staple. As Matt Galka tells us, money requested to serve free Florida orange and grapefruit juice at welcome centers got the ax. “Welcome to Florida would you like some juice.” That phrase has greeted tourists stopping by Florida welcome centers near the state […]
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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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