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Latest Florida news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified


Sailing man uses trunks to flag down help

Clearwater, Fla. -- Authorities in Florida said a 66-year-old man whose sailboat flipped in the water bared his bottom to use his swim trunks to flag down help.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Candido Dominguez of Clearwater was sailing Sunday afternoon in Old Tampa Bay when he shifted his weight and the 10-to-12-foot boat overturned, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Monday.

Dominguez, who was not wearing a floatation device, initially tried to pull the boat toward shore with a rope, but he let go when he became too tired and swam to the nearby Bayside Bridge, deputies said.

NASA steps in to save baby sea turtles

Washington -- Baby endangered sea turtles, threatened by the gulf oil spill, have been whisked from harm's way to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, authorities said.

Twenty-two young Kemp's ridley sea turtles, raised from eggs rescued from Florida's gulf coast last month, were released into the Atlantic Ocean from a space center beach July 11, SPACE.com reported.

The relocation and release effort is a joint effort of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other state and federal agencies, SPACE.com said.

There are plans to move an estimated 700 nests from the Florida panhandle and Alabama beaches to the space center over the next several months to protect more endangered sea turtles.

Florida's Biltmore Hotel is struggling

Coral Gables, Fla. -- The historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla., is $2.3 million behind on its rent, but not likely to be closed, city officials said.

"It would be a disaster of great proportions," said Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

The 84-year old hotel has been owned by the city and managed by Seaway Corp. since 1992 after a previous owner went bankrupt. No rent has been paid since April 2009, the newspaper said.

Seaway has a plan to begin paying the city in 2011, at which point it will be $4 million behind on its rent. But the city is reluctant to close the grand hotel that is on the historic register and has sheltered kings, queens and presidents.

MLB: Florida 1, Washington 0

Miami -- Alex Sanabia and four relievers combined for an eight-hit shutout and the Florida Marlins edged Washington 1-0 Sunday.

Sanabia (1-1) hurled the first 5 1/3 innings, yielding four hits, walking two and striking out five.

Brian Sanches, Jose Veras and Clay Hensley together tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames and Leo Nunzez hung on to record his 22nd save despite allowing a pair of hits in the ninth inning.

Gaby Sanchez drove in the game's only run with a fifth-inning double, giving the Marlins a win in the rubber match of a three-game series in Miami.

Nationals starter Craig Stammen (2-4) pitched well in defeat, yielding one run on six hits over six innings.

Fraud couple convicted in John Stamos extortion plot

Actor John Stamos has won his legal battle against a fraud Michigan couple, who tried to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.

Tire tracks lead to stolen motorbike

Port Richey, Fla. -- Authorities in Florida said a man followed tire tracks and the smell of gasoline to his stolen Fatboy mini chopper motorbike at a neighbor's house.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Corey Hilton of Port Richey discovered the $1,200 motorbike was missing from his backyard at about 7 a.m. and followed tire tracks to the home of neighbor Christopher Burns, 26, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

Hilton told deputies he followed the strong scent of gasoline to Burns' guest room, where he discovered the bike hidden under a pile of clothes. Hilton said he reclaimed the motorbike and called deputies, who arrested Burns at his home.

Fla. man indicted in $880M Ponzi scheme

Newark, N.J. -- A Florida man was indicted Wednesday in an alleged $880 million Ponzi scheme tied to a phantom grocery distribution business, authorities in New Jersey said.

Nevin Shapiro, 41, of Miami Beach, Fla., the former owner and chief executive officer of Capitol Investments USA Inc., is accused of soliciting hundreds of millions of dollars from people in New Jersey and elsewhere who thought they were investing in his wholesale grocery distribution enterprise, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a release.

Magic ink Richardson

Orlando, Fla. -- Quentin Richardson is staying in Florida but switching cities, going to Orlando from Miami.

The Orlando Magic said Tuesday they have signed the 30-year-old swingman. They didn't say how much they'll be paying him.

Richardson averaged 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 76 games last season for the Miami Heat. He shot 43 percent from the field and hit nearly 40 percent of his 3-point tries.

"Quentin is a solid perimeter defender and brings an element of toughness," said Magic General Manager Otis Smith. "At the same time, he also is a tremendous shooter from long range, which fits our style of play very well."

Yankees’ Boss George Steinbrenner dies of heart attack

George Michael Steinbrenner, the famous “Boss” of New York Yankees, died of a heart attack on Tuesday morning in Tampa, Florida. He was 80.

Ortiz bests Ramirez in Home Run Derby

Anaheim, Calif. -- David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox won Monday's 2010 Home Run Derby, outslugging Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, 11-5 in the final round.

The contest is held annually the day before the All-Star Game. This year's contest at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., saw the Red Sox designated hitter blast eight homers in the first round and 13 more in Round 2 before launching 11 in the final frame.

Ortiz, who took part in the Home Run Derby from 2004-06, became the first Red Sox player to win the competition. The victory spotlighted a comeback by "Big Papi," whose slow start this season had some believing his career was over.

Since then, however, he has rebounded to hit 18 homers at the All-Star break.