TIME Bizarre

Florida Man Arrested for Killing 5 Alligators for Super Bowl Meal

Volusia County Sheriff's Office Richard Nixie

The gators were each about five-feet long

The Florida Gators didn’t make the Super Bowl, but that didn’t stop one man from trying pay homage to the team with his game day dinner.

Richard Nixie of DeBary, Florida, skipped buffalo wings and nacho dip in favor of gator, illegally killing five small alligators and cutting off their tails to cook, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The gators were each about five-feet long, according to the Associated Press, and Nixie admitted to trapping them.

Police arrested Nixie, 30, on Sunday for possession and taking alligators without a proper tag, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He was released from county jail on a $500 bond and is due back in court March 3.

“No one should have possession of a Florida alligator unless they are a state nuisance alligator trapper,” Greg Workman, a spokesman for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Sentinel. “It’s not just a free-for-all.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME animals

Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Could Be Released in Florida

Jason Garcia
Wilfredo Lee—AP Jason Garcia, a field inspector with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, tests a sprayer that could be used in the future to spray pesticides to control mosquitos in Key West, Fla., on Oct. 4, 2012

"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease"

Scientists could release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in an attempt to kill off insects that spread the diseases dengue and chikungunya — if their proposal wins regulatory approval.

The male mosquitoes, created by British biotech firm Oxitec, are engineered to keep their partners from producing offspring when they mate in the wild, the Sun Sentinel reports. The number of mosquitoes capable of spreading the diseases would be reduced if enough wild mosquitoes mate with the genetically modified population.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, told the Sun Sentinel.

Despite the benefits of reducing incidences of dengue and chikungunya, two viral diseases that cause a number of uncomfortable conditions, many are wary about releasing genetically modified organisms into the wild. More than 130,000 people have signed a Change.org petition opposing the release of the mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

[Sun Sentinel]

TIME Crime

Kentucky’s ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Teens Will Face Charges in Their Home State

Missing Teens Crime Spree
Tammy Martin—AP In this December 2014 file photo provided by Tammy Martin, her son Dalton Hayes poses with his girlfriend Cheyenne Phillips at his family's home in Leitchfield, Ky. Kentucky authorities say two teenage sweethearts suspected in a crime spree of stolen vehicles and pilfered checks across the South have been apprehended in in Panama City Beach, Fla., on Jan. 18, 2015

They're being booked for burglary and trespassing related offenses

After a two-week-long crime spree, Dalton Hayes, 18, and his 13-year-old girlfriend, Cheyenne Phillips, will be returning home to Kentucky to face multiple charges.

Hayes, who was captured in Florida, relinquished his right to an extradition hearing and will be charged with burglary, criminal trespassing and custodial interference, according to NBC News.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said Phillips will be charged with similar crimes “but she’ll be treated differently than Dalton because he’s an adult.”

The couple is suspected of stealing three cars during a two-week crime spree that covered multiple states and drew media comparisons to the infamous 1930s criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde. On Facebook, the Grayson County Sheriff’s office distanced themselves from the comparison, however.

Hayes’ mother, Tammy Martin, said she doesn’t know what went through her son’s mind but was happy he was found.

“The first thing I’m going to do when I see him is hug him and tell him I love him, and then I might smack him,” she said.

[NBC News]

TIME Crime

Florida Cops Used Mugshots of Black Men for Target Practice

Someone recognized her brother among the bullet-riddled mugshots

A Florida woman discovered North Miami Beach Police had been using images of black men for target practice after recognizing her brother’s mug shot at a shooting range.

Sgt. Valerie Deant, a musician with the Florida Army National Guard’s 13th Army Band, arrived at a shooting range with her fellow soldiers just after police snipers had been practicing on the same range last month. Deant was shocked to see her brother’s photograph among the mug shots of black men apparently used as target practice by the police. Woody Deant was arrested in 2000 in connection with a deadly drag race when he was just 18 years old.

“I was like why is my brother being used for target practice?” Deant told NBC Miami on Friday. “There were like gunshots there.”

“Nobody expects to come across their family member as a target at a shooting range,” Andell Brown, an attorney for the Deant family, told TIME. “She was concerned about why he was there, and what that meant for his safety.”

Captain Jack Young, who oversees the shooting range, confirmed that the targets are selected by whoever is renting the range. Police chief J. Scott Dennis told NBC that the decision to use mugshots of black men was ill-considered, but that no rules had been broken. He said his department includes minority police officers, and said the use of actual photographs for target practice is very common. Requests for further comment from Dennis were not immediately returned.

“These young men are literally being used for target practice,” Brown said. “And if those in the leadership don’t see anything wrong with that practice, then we have a very serious issue.” Brown said that the family is weighing their legal options.

Woody Deant, who spent four years in prison after his arrest, told NBC he was disturbed at his sister’s discovery. “Now I’m being used as a target?” he said. “I’m not even living that life according to how they portrayed me as. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a career man. I work 9-to-5.”

“The picture actually has like bullet holes,” he said.

TIME Crime

Father Throws His 5-Year-Old Daughter Off a Bridge

This image provided by the Pinellas County Jail shows a booking photo of John Nicholas Jonchuck Jr.
AP—AP This image provided by the Pinellas County Jail shows a booking photo of John Nicholas Jonchuck Jr.

The 25 year-old faces a first-degree murder charge for killing his daughter

A Florida father charged with hurling his 5-year-old daughter from a Tampa Bay bridge just after midnight Thursday had filed a domestic violence injunction against the girl’s mother last month, police revealed. That request was declined.

A motive for the heinous act, however, wasn’t immediately clear after the suspect — 25-year-old John Jonchuck Jr. — refused to talk after his arrest, St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway said at a news conference Thursday morning.

Jonchuck, who had custody of his daughter, had been sitting in his Chrysler PT Cruiser at the top of the Dick Misener Bridge moments after speeding…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Read next: Search For Charlie Hebdo Suspects Narrows to Rural Area

TIME Bizarre

Couple Spent 2 Days Trapped in a Closet That Wasn’t Actually Locked

They called 911 saying they were trapped

We all struggle with locks sometimes, but usually the struggle ends before 48 hours have passed. A Florida couple called 911 on Tuesday saying they’d been chased into a closet on the campus of Daytona State College and had been locked in for two days. But when the police arrived on the scene, the door was not locked.

Police discovered human feces in the closet, as well as copper scouring pads that the Orlando Sentinel reports are sometimes used as crack-smoking paraphernalia. No drugs were found.

John Arwood, 31, and Amber Campbell, 25, were charged with trespassing. It is not the first brush with law enforcement for either person.

A police officer tested the door by entering the closet and closing it behind him. It did not lock.

[Orlando Sentinel]

Read next: Florida Woman Slaps 72-Year-Old Who Denied Her Facebook Request

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME States

Florida Surpasses New York to Become 3rd Most Populous State

USA Florida Miami South Beach Spring Break Crowded Beach
Robert Clare—Getty Images

And North Dakota is the fastest-growing one

Florida has overtaken New York as the third most populous state in the country.

The Sunshine State added 293,000 new residents between July 1, 2013 and July 1 of this year, according to the U.S. Census bureau, reaching a total population of 19.9 million. New York added only 51,000 people during the same period, amounting to a total of 19.7 million.

North Dakota saw the fastest growth at an increase of 2.16%, while the overall U.S. population increased 0.75% to 318.9 million. California and Texas remain the first and second most populous states, with 38.8 million and 26.95 million, respectively.

TIME Crime

Florida Cops Suspected of Deleting Internal Files Won’t Face Charges

Policeman
Luiz Felipe Castro—Getty Images

Accused of deleting computer records for officers who were under investigation by Internal Affairs

Two Florida cops suspected of deleting internal police department reports involving themselves or their friends won’t face criminal charges.

Hollywood Assistant Police Chief Ken Haberland and Maj. Norris Redding were accused of deleting computer records for officers who were under investigation by the police department’s Internal Affairs division, the Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

The records, deleted in December 2010 and January 2011, were meant to be kept public in accordance with state law. The officers apparently only deleted the electronic records but failed to get rid of the physical copies.

The two officers have admitted to violating state law and will have to pay a $500 civil fine, as well as to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for the investigation into their actions.

The two officers, initially relieved of duty with pay, won’t return to the Hollywood police department until an internal investigation is completed.

[Sun Sentinel]

TIME Soccer

David Beckham Is Confident He Can Establish a Miami Soccer Team

David Beckham poses on the red carpet as he attends the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 in London on Nov. 30, 2014.
Justin Tallis—AFP/Getty Images David Beckham poses on the red carpet as he attends the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 in London on Nov. 30, 2014.

But local politicians have already rejected two proposed stadium venues

David Beckham remains confident that he can bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to Miami, in spite of the rejection of two proposed waterfront stadium venues by local government leaders.

MLS commissioner Don Garber suggested that the former England and L.A. Galaxy star choose a new city for his team but Beckham’s representatives have ruled that out, according to Sky Sports.

“Miami is still David’s number one choice and it will happen,” said a spokesman for investment group Miami Beckham United. “The fans and the people of Miami are behind us and we hope to announce some positive and exciting news soon.”

Beckham’s efforts to set up his club in the city are part of the planned MLS expansion to 20 teams.

[Sky Sports]

TIME

See What Vintage Miami Was Like

Brenda Ann Kenneally's portraits of Miami's eccentric past speak of the city's economic and racial divisions

When Brenda Ann Kenneally started working as a photographer in Miami in the late 1980s, it was a very different place: there was no sign of the now famous murals in the old warehouse district of Wynwood, rents were easier on the pocket and much of the now-booming Design District was lined with semi-abandoned buildings.

It was there that she got her start photographing Florida locals on the streets and in their homes. Over a seven-year period, she produced striking, even challenging, shots that spoke of the city’s economic and racial divisions. And while the pictures, she says, may not have been her most technically proficient, they captured the “soul” of the place. Later, Kenneally moved to Bushwick, New York and began photographing on the streets there too. It would be these images that would bring her to national attention for chronicling life before societal shifts gripped parts of the New York neighborhood.

On a return trip to the Sunshine State, though, she soon discovered that pretty much the same thing was happening to her old stomping ground. The dreaded “g-word,” as she calls it, gentrification, had taken over Miami. And today, she feels her old work has become ever more relevant.

“The change is huge. I actually wound up having a photo show of my pictures from Bushwick in one of the warehouses I used to live in,” Kenneally says. “It had been turned into a gallery. The area [I lived in] is now called Midtown and there’s a PetSmart.”

Miami has been undoubtedly transformed by the presence of Art Basel, the annual art fair held in the city since 2002. Indeed, the festival’s effect on the city is often likened to the economic transformation of Bilbao, Spain spurred by the opening of the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Now, Kenneally — working with Giselle Devera, a former owner of Gallery I/D, and production assistant Sean MacDonald — has produced the installation Vintage Miami Photographs, 1939-2003. The aim? To remind locals what Miami used to be like and to let visitors see the history of the streets they walk down. To achieve this, she spent months collecting photographs of the city spanning the years 1930 to 2003 — often featuring locals in areas such as Overtown and Downtown Miami — and she will now project them onto the sides of buildings at the Grub Stake Good Works Thrift store, the Lotus House Shelter and the Downtown Art House during the four-day long festival.

“I thought it would be a statement without beating people over the head,” she says. “It’s undeniable that as these neighborhoods change some of the people don’t fit and they disappear. You know how they say ‘when you photograph someone you take a piece of their soul?’ [In a sense] these souls are sort of in my care now. My mission is to say that the life that is on any street at any time is vital.”

“It’s always good to know who walked on the ground before we got here,” Kenneally adds. “I want to document the souls [that] these neighborhoods were built upon. The history of them is really important.”

Brenda Ann Kenneally is a photographer based in New York.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox.

Paul Moakley, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise.

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