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  • Revenge Porn Law Goes on the Books in Florida 1, October2, 2015
    Revenge porn, or the practice of sharing intimate pictures of someone without their permission, now has a penalty attached to it. As Matt Galka tells us, a former Florida State student who was instrumental in the bill’s passing says it’s about time. Former Florida State student Carly Hellstrom had limited options two years ago. She […]
    Matt Galka
  • Conservative Group Challenges Governor Over Planned Parenthood 1, October1, 2015
    A conservative group that had supported the Governor in the past is now on the verge of turning on him over Planned Parenthood.  As Matt Galka tells us, the group is demanding that the Governor defund the program. A Governor ordered investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the state was not enough according to the […]
    Matt Galka
  • Death Results in Diabetes Recognition Training for Police 1, October1, 2015
    The death of a Tampa man in police custody in April 2014 is the genesis of a new law taking effect today. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, from now on, police will be trained to know the difference between intoxication and a diabetic seizure. Arthur Green was stopped for driving erratically. Police though he was […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Money in Marijuana 1, September30, 2015
    Expanding medical marijuana use in Florida is expected to be up to voters again in November of 2016, but as Matt Galka tells us, state economists are talking the potential monetary impact before it gets to that point. Representatives from the Governor’s office and state legislature gathered Wednesday to hear Florida economist’s projections for revenue […]
    Matt Galka
  • Warning Shot Keeps Man in Prison 1, September30, 2015
    When state lawmakers passed a bill allowing warning shots instead of deadly force, they cited the case of a Polk County man, Orville Lee Wollard, who’s serving 20 years for shooting into a wall. Today, Wollard asked to be freed, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, you might be surprised by the decision. After a […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Dozier School for Boys Facing Uncertain Future 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet listened today to pleas to save the former Dozier School for Boys as a monument to the kids that lost their lives there while in state custody.  A two year survey has yielded 51 bodies  buried on the campus, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, a Dozier survivor […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Hospital Cost Containment Rick Scott Style 1, September29, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott wants hospitals to post their prices for procedures and annual financial reports on their web sites. Scott also wants to give consumers a place to complain when they feel they have been charged too much. Today Scott said hospitals want tax payer dollars, then taxpayers should know how they are using the […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Veterans Hall of Fame Nominees 1, September29, 2015
    Former Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell was one of eight names presented to the Governor and Cabinet today for inclusion in the Veteran Hall of Fame 2015 class. Campbell died last year after two decades as sheriff and four decades in law enforcement. Veterans Affairs Director Mike Pendergast says Campbell’s military service  and subsequent work […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • Firefighter Pay Raises 1, September29, 2015
    Imagine putting your life on the line by battling wildfires, but only earning a few bucks more per hour than minimum wage.  As Matt Galka tells us, that’s the story for many state fire fighters, and the state’s Agriculture Commissioner wants to change that. The average Florida teacher makes around $46,000 according to the Department […]
    Matt Galka
  • Plastic Bag Ban Proposed for Coastal Communities 1, September28, 2015
    Paper or plastic? The common grocery store phrase could be a thing of the past. As Matt Galka tells us, some environmentally conscious lawmakers have proposed allowing cities near the water the option to ban plastic bags. You won’t catch Kathleen Turner with a plastic bag. She was on her way into Whole Foods with […]
    Matt Galka

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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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