TIME Military

All But 2 Bodies Found After U.S. Military Copter Crash

A wheel and pieces of fuselage from an Army Black Hawk helicopter sit along the shoreline of Santa Rosa Sound near Navarre, Fla. on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Devon Ravine—AP A wheel and pieces of fuselage from an Army Black Hawk helicopter sit along the shoreline of Santa Rosa Sound near Navarre, Fla., on March 11, 2015

The chopper was carrying four guardsmen and seven Marines when went it crashed

Search teams on Thursday found the wreckage of a crashed Army Black Hawk helicopter and recovered all but two of the bodies of servicemen killed in the Tuesday accident off the coast of Florida.

According to officials, the Louisiana National Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps were operating a nighttime training exercise when the helicopter, carrying four guardsmen and seven Marines, went down. Media reports say the night was heavy with a thick fog.

Nine bodies have been identified so far.

Another helicopter accompanying the crashed Black Hawk during the training drill returned safely.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is currently under way.

TIME faith

Florida Church That Hosts Naked Paint Parties Loses Tax-Exempt Status

Officials said activities like a slumber party with "the sexiest ladies on the beach" were unbefitting of a church

A church in Panama City, Fla., that hosted naked paint parties and slumber parties with the “sexiest ladies on the beach” has lost its tax-exempt status after authorities were alerted to its activities.

The Life Center: A Spiritual Community has been hosting a daily party schedule called “Amnesia: The Tabernacle” since Feb. 28, the Panama City News Herald reported. The string of parties — including the pyjama-and-lingerie Sunday slumber party and an event called “Wet n Wild” described as “White Water meets Tabernacle PCB with a little twerkin'” — is reportedly sponsored by a company called iDrink, and caters to college students on spring break.

Partygoers must pay $20, a donation that a sign at the front says goes back to the church, to enter a room with walls bearing t-shirts of stick-figures performing oral sex and the words “I hate being sober.”

The property is owned by Markus Bishop, a former pastor of the Faith Christian Family Church, who could not be reached by the News Herald for comment.

“I’ve been in a lot of nightclubs and I’ve been in a lot of churches,” said Panama City Beach police chief Drew Whitman. “That isn’t a church.”

[News Herald]

Read next: 5 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Pope Francis

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TIME climate change

Florida Reportedly Bans Environment Officials From Mentioning Climate Change

Climate Change Impacts South Florida Ecosystems
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Phillip Hughes, an ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, walks through an area of buttonwood trees killed by a saltwater incursion in Big Pine Key, Florida. Hughes says over the past 50 years, as sea levels rise, the Florida Keys upland vegetation has been dying off and replaced by salt-tolerant vegetation

An investigative report claims that global warming and sustainability are also prohibited terms

Underscoring the divisiveness of climate change in American politics, government officials at Florida’s main environment agency have reportedly been asked to refrain from mentioning it.

Officials from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were given an unwritten order not to use the words climate change or global warming in any official communication or reports, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) claimed on Sunday.

“We were told not to use the terms climate change, global warming or sustainability,” Christopher Byrd, an attorney in DEP’s Office of General Counsel from 2008 to 2013, told FCIR in an interview. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Other former DEP employees claimed to FCIR that the unwritten rule was implemented after Rick Scott, who has repeatedly denied climate change is the result of human activity, became governor of Florida in 2011.

The DEP denies that it has a policy on the matter.

Read more at the FCIR.

MONEY Shopping

5 Astounding Things About America’s Biggest Mall Planned in Miami

150306_EM_mall_1
Courtesy of American Dream Mall

There will be hundreds of stores and an indoor ski slope. More surprising is the possibility of sea lion shows, submarine rides, and which group will likely be the most important customer base.

If a proposal first revealed this week in the Miami Herald is approved and actually built, the suburbs of Miami would become home to the largest mall in the U.S. It’s been estimated that the megamall will cost $4 billion to complete, but that’s hardly the only eye-popping factoid attached to the monumental project. Here are a few more:

It’ll occupy a whopping 200 acres. That’s roughly double the acreage of the Mall of America in Minnesota. The Miami megamall, dubbed the American Dream, has been proposed by a Canadian company called Triple Five. The firm also owns and manages the Mall of America, as well as another American Dream, a much-maligned complex near the East Rutherford, N.J., sports venues once known as Xanadu that’s taken more than a decade to develop and still isn’t open; and North America’s largest mall, the 5.3-million-square-foot behemoth with two hotels, a water park, and 800+ stores in West Edmonton, Canada.

The project is supposed to employ tens of thousands. Construction will reportedly require 25,000 workers, and about that many permanent jobs are expected to be needed to keep the complex running as imagined, according to Triple Five. As for the criticism that many of these jobs would be low-paying retail and tourism gigs, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Miami Herald that all jobs are good jobs, though there seems to be some confusion as to how many jobs will actually be created. “Everybody is focused on high-paying jobs,” Gimenez said. “Not everybody is qualified for them. Twenty-thousand jobs are twenty-thousand jobs.”

There will be sea lion shows and submarine rides. Triple Five isn’t in the business of creating mere places to shop. Instead, it develops “tourism retail and entertainment complexes,” and points to a quickie Time.com post as proof that the Mall of America is the country’s “Most Popular Attraction,” drawing some 40 million visitors annually. (Meanwhile, a story from sister publication Travel & Leisure left the Mall of America off its “Most Visited Tourist Attraction” list because it wasn’t deemed culturally or historically significant.)

In any event, Triple Five markets its malls as full-fledged destinations, not simply shopping centers; one particularly ambitious plan envisioned chartered flights heading to Newark, N.J., just so rich folks the world over could visit the American Dream in the swamps of Jersey. Among the over-the-top features in the works for the American Dream Miami are an indoor ski slope, skating rink, water park, amusement park with a roller coaster, Ferris Wheel, live sea lion shows, hotels, condominiums, and submarine rides.

It’ll be neighbors with two other enormous malls. As the Miami New Times pointed out, the proposed American Dream mall is planned to be built in Miami Lakes, at the intersection of the Florida Turnpike and I-75. Given the location and scope, it would likely compete directly with two existing monster malls in greater Miami, the Aventura Mall and Sawgrass Mills—which currently rank, respectively, as the third- and seventh-largest malls in the U.S.

The mall isn’t necessarily aimed at Floridians. Instead, the key demographic that may lead to the American Dream Miami’s success (or failure) is that of wealthy international tourists. Foreign visitors constitute one-third of foot traffic at shopping hubs like the Aventura Mall, according to Miami Today, with an outsized portion coming from Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Canadians and Europeans come in abundance as well, and the foreigners tend to spend far more time and money during their shopping excursions than Americans because 1) they’re rich foreigners; and 2) it’ll likely be a while before they get another opportunity to go on a wild spending spree in America in the future.

Foreign visitors have even begun flocking to South Florida around Thanksgiving, and it’s not for turkey dinners. “More and more South Americans now really understand that because of the great discounts, Black Friday is a terrific time to travel to the U.S. to shop,” a Saw Grass Mills executive explained.

MONEY identity theft

Here Are the Places Where You’re Most Likely to Get Your Identity Stolen

best travel rewards credit card
Robert Hadfield

Watch out in Florida.

Fraud can happen anywhere, but certain places seem to have it worse than others. The Federal Trade Commission recently published its annual report on consumer complaints, and it includes rankings for cities with the most fraud reports, and in a separate list, the most identity theft reports. Did your hometown make the top 10 list?

Florida dominated the identity theft list: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach was No. 1 with 316 identity theft complaints per 100,000 residents. In fact, it was a runaway leader. No. 2 was Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, with just a hair over 200 per 100,000.

Three other Florida locales made the top 10 identity theft complaints list — Tallahassee at No. 4, Naples at No. 5, and Jacksonville at No. 10. It should come as no surprise that Florida was also the No. 1 state for identity theft complaints. And this is no short-term issue. Miami was also No. 1 for ID theft last year; Naples, Tallahassee, Port St. Lucie and Tampa all made the top 10 list in 2013.

Largest Metropolitan Areas for Identity Theft-Related Consumer Complaints

  1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.
  2. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.
  3. St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.
  4. Tallahassee, Fla.
  5. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.
  6. Olympia-Tumwater, Wash.
  7. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.
  8. Pueblo, Colo.
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.
  10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

As for the generic category of “fraud and other” complaints, which excludes identity theft reports, Florida didn’t fare quite as badly. Only Homosassa Springs at No. 2 cracked the top 10, with Jacksonville hitting 11. Who was No. 1? Little Sierra Vista, Ariz., home to Army base Ft. Huachuca, near the Mexico border. It jumped from No. 8 in 2013, and the number of complaints per 100,000 nearly doubled from last year.

Mayor Rick Mueller of Sierra Vista replied “no comment” when asked about the city’s fraud complaint rate.

The “other fraud” top 10 list is much more diverse, hitting all regions of the country.

Largest Metropolitan Areas for Fraud and Other-Related Consumer Complaints

  1. Sierra Vista-Douglas, Ariz.
  2. Homosassa Springs, Fla.
  3. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  4. Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio
  5. Bellingham, Wash.
  6. Santa Fe, N.M.
  7. Dover, Del.
  8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va
  9. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev.
  10. Prescott, Ariz.

This notorious top 10 list is remarkably consistent — nine out of the top 10 cities were in the list last year. The only new entrant was Steubenville, near the West Virginia border, which was ranked 11 in 2013.

While you can’t entirely prevent identity theft from happening to you, you can take measures to reduce your risk. That means it’s all the more important to stay on top of your financial data to look for signs of fraud. Check your financial statements regularly (every day, even) for unauthorized charges or activities, and check your credit reports for fraudulent accounts or other inaccuracies. There are also services that allow you to monitor your credit — doing so can alert you to changes — good and bad. You can get your free credit report summary, updated every month on Credit.com, to watch for problems so you can address them as soon as possible.

More from Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

TIME LGBT

TV Chef Guy Fieri Officiates at 101 Gay Weddings in Florida

Fellow chef Art Smith began planning the mass wedding after Florida lifted its ban on same-sex marriage

The host of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Guy Fieri officiated at a mass wedding ceremony in Miami, Florida on Saturday for 101 same-sex couples.

Celebrity chef and Florida native Art Smith, who has cooked for Oprah Winfrey and former governor Bob Graham, organized the giant wedding on Miami Beach, writes the Associated Press. He summoned some of the country’s top chefs, who were in town for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, to help out.

Smith started planning the event in January, when he heard Florida had lifted a ban on same-sex marriage. He went to Twitter using the hashtag #101gayweddings and invited the first 101 couples to take part in the free wedding.

Smith explains the ‘101 Gay Weddings’ event was inspired by the movie 101 Dalmatians and is a dig at Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has fought against lifting the ban on same-sex marriage.

“We have our own Cruella De Vil, Pam Bondi. She was determined that she was going to prevent equality from coming to Florida,” he said.

After the couples walked down the aisle they were treated to a delectable wedding feast and a seven-tier cake made by Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman.

[AP]

TIME Lottery

The Powerball Jackpot Is Set to Reach $450 Million

A store clerk hands a customer his Powerball ticket at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015
Alan Diaz—AP A store clerk hands a customer his Powerball ticket at a local grocery store in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015

But you're far more likely to play in the NBA than win this haul

The odds of winning the Powerball Grand Prize are 1 in 175,223,510. For this week, however, you can keep believing.

No one claimed Powerball’s estimated $394 million jackpot over the weekend, meaning the prize for the next draw will be around $450 million (or $304.1 million for a cash payout) according to the Powerball website.

That’s $140 million short of the record $590.5 million — won on May 18, 2013 by 84-year-old Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla. — but who’s complaining?

The next draw will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

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]

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