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  • November Gun Sales Increase 1, November30, 2015
    Florida’s love affair with guns remains strong, with Black Friday sales setting a record for the weekend. Black Friday is seen as the kickoff for what has become a gun buying season and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, 2015 is no exception. The number of people seeking background checks for gun purchases this past weekend […]
    Mike Vasilinda
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    5 growers across Florida are gearing up for the first legal marijuana in the states history. The five licenses were awarded yesterday, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, it will still be the middle of next year before patients see the first products. Lifelong nurseryman George Hackney was awarded one of five licenses to grow […]
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  • AAA says Be Safe, Not Sorry 1, November24, 2015
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  • Rick Scott Proposes 79.3 Billion State Budget with Potentially Higher Property Taxes 1, November23, 2015
    Governor Rick Scott is proposing a record state spending plan that cuts taxes by a billion dollars and boosts education spending. But as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the increase in school spending is coming from local property taxes, not state coffers. Governor Rick Scott chose a Jacksonville small company as the back drop for his […]
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  • Fantasy Sports Rules 1, November20, 2015
    Mounting legal issues have daily fantasy sports websites like draftkings and fanduel fighting legal battles in states like New York and Massachusetts, but as Matt Galka tells us, Florida legislators are scrambling to keep it legal here. Nevada says its gambling. New York says they can’t operate in the their state.  But daily fantasy sports […]
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  • FSU One Year Later: A Quiet Anniversary 1, November20, 2015
    Today marks the one year anniversary of a shooting on the campus of Florida State University. Three students were injured. One critically. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the university wasn’t taking any chances today. Two marked police vehicles were prominent outside Strozier Library. When asked, University officials said it was to give students peace of […]
    Mike Vasilinda
  • FSU One Year Later: Paralyzed Victim Still Recovering 1, November20, 2015
    Just after midnight tonight (Thur)marks the one year anniversary of an on campus shooting. 22 year old FSU engineering student Ronny Ahmed was paralyzed from the waist down last November. As Mike Vasilinda tells us the  now wheelchair bound student hasn’t let his injuries keep him from moving forward. Ronny Ahmed was pulling an all […]
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  • Guns on Campus Bill Clears Final House Committee 1, November19, 2015
    Friday marks one year since a gunman opened fire at Florida State’s library, and lawmakers are using the chaotic scene as a jumping off point for controversial legislation. As Matt Galka tells us, the bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses continued to move through one legislative chamber. There’s no lack of passion on […]
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  • FSU One Year Later: Victims Still Trying to Heal 1, November18, 2015
    Friday marks the one year anniversary of the shooting at the FSU Strozier library that injured three. Today, Mike Vasilinda has the story of how two people who could have died next to each other that day last year are handling the fact they survived. Nathan Scott can still be found sitting behind the same […]
    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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