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  • Testing Problems Continue into Day 4 1, March5, 2015
    Problems continued for some school districts today as students tried to sign on to take a mandated writing test. Democrats say test security has been compromised and the test is no longer a valid assessment tool. As Education Commissioner Pam Stewart was telling the House Education Committee that test contractor AIR is successfully solving problems. […]
    Mike Vasilinda
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    Florida is one of thirty states that does not require high school students to take a one hour class on CPR, but a Louisiana father who lost his 14 year old son is on a campaign to change that. Jim Cobb lost his 14 year old son to an undiagnosed heart problem but says he […]
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  • Speed Traps and Ticket Quotas 1, March5, 2015
    It’s already against the law for state police to have ticket quotas. Now lawmakers want to prohibit local police and sheriffs from requiring a set number of arrests. State Senator Rob Bradley filed the legislation after two infamous towns in north Florida abolished their police departments when officers came forward and told of being required […]
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  • Fight Looms over Transgender Bathroom Bill 1, March5, 2015
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  • Drug Testing Suit Over 1, March5, 2015
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  • Ban on Pregnant Discrimination Sought 1, March5, 2015
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  • Concealed Carry Approved When Fleeing Storms, Slung Shots too 1, March4, 2015
    If you are unlucky enough to be ordered to evacuate in an emergency, you may soon be able to carry a concealed weapon while you are leaving under legislation approved by a House Committee at the State Capitol today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it was one of two self protection measures to pass. Floridians […]
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  • Civil Citation Bill Squeaks Through Committee 1, March4, 2015
    Legislation requiring every county to issue civil citations to juveniles first arrest for a non violent misdemeanor squeaked through a House committee today over the opposition of law enforcement. First approved in 2010, the citations are optional for police, but seven counties have issued none. The Reverend Bernice Powell Jackson told lawmakers the current […]
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  • Protecting A Woman’s Right 1, March4, 2015
    Several dozen Planned Parenthood volunteers were in the Capitol today protesting legislation that would restrict abortions. One bill would outlaw them altogether, while another requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Elizabeth Lee came to object to legislation requiring a 24 hour waiting period before the procedure can be performed […]
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  • Cabinet Aides Get Testy over Firing Lawsuit 1, March4, 2015
      9 aides to the Governor and Cabinet met today but refused to discuss an upcoming vote changing how agency heads are reviewed or hired and fired. Citing a law suit over the firing of FDLE commissioner Gerald Bailey in December, the aides are party to a law suit alleging they violated the Open meetings […]
    Mike Vasilinda

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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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