Monday, July 8, 2024

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Article Icon 1Hackers Snarl Funerals and Weddings in Florida

A hacker group caused Florida state officials to shut down the Florida Department of Health’s certification system on Wednesday, putting those who need marriage, birth, or death certificates on hold.

The RansomHub ransomware group claims to have gained access to a large amount of potentially sensitive data on Floridians, which it is now holding ransom for an undisclosed amount of money. 

The state calls it a “potential cyber incident,” and funeral homes and wedding venues across the state have had to delay services. The state does not offer a timeline for how long the system may be down.

The hackers posted that they’ll release 100 gigabytes of department data unless the state pays. 

Article Icon 1Florida Healthcare Workers Charged in Fraud Scheme

The Department of Justice filed charges last week against nine Florida healthcare workers for their alleged involvement in a national healthcare fraud scheme against the elderly and disabled.

The suspects are accused of defrauding programs that resulted in the seizure of over $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

The arrests are part of a larger, two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in healthcare fraud and opioid abuse schemes of over $2.75 billion.

Article Icon 1State Boasts 6 of the 10 Cleanest Lakes in U.S. 

A new study ranks Lake Louise in Lake County as the cleanest lake in the nation.

Six Florida lakes were among the top 10, including Bear Gully Lake in Seminole County, which ranked third. Two other Seminole Couny lakes made the top 10: Amory Lake and Sylvan Lake. You can see the list here.

Researchers examined eight factors that indicate a lake’s cleanliness level, including dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and lead levels.

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Around Florida
South Florida

 Doral: Former President Donald Trump will rally supporters in South Florida on Tuesday in one of his final campaign appearances before this month’s Republican National Convention. (More)

Fort Lauderdale: Officials announced Friday that former City Manager Gregorio Chavarria engaged in lying and misconduct by not living in the city during his term as city manager. The matter now goes to the Broward State Attorney’s Office. (More)

Central Florida

Sarasota: Police paid tribute last week to a retired K-9 named Bronson, who died. He served the force for seven years and was deployed 450 times. (Video)

Lake County: Local animal shelters have suspended cat operations due to a highly contagious feline parvovirus outbreak. (See Details)

North Florida

St. Augustine: The Florida Supreme Court revoked former Mayor Joseph Lester Boles Jr.’s law license last week, citing misconduct. Boles is unable to practice law in Florida for five years. (See Details)

New Smyrna Beach: Two men were bitten by sharks this past holiday weekend in “The Shark Bite Capital of the World.” Both attacks happened in shallow water and injured their feet. (More)

Port Orange: Members of VFW Post 3282 got an unexpected Zoom call from former President Donald Trump as part of their Fourth of July festivities on Thursday. (See Photo)

The Panhandle

Tallahassee ranked 22nd for “most educated area” out of 150 cities in the U.S., according to a study released last week from WalletHub. The Lakeland metro area ranked the lowest in Florida at 139. (See List)

Fort Walton Beach: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement last week announced the arrest of 19 alleged drug traffickers as part of the state’s S.A.F.E. program, which stands for State Assistance for Fentanyl Eradication. (More)

Texas Sports

➤ Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner has agreed to a five-year $224 million maximum rookie contract extension. The deal could be worth as much as $269 million through incentives. (More)

Bam Adebayo has officially signed his three-year $166 million contract extension with the Miami Heat that was initially reported on June 26th. (More)

Dane Meyers hit a 420-foot home run to put the Miami Marlins ahead 4-3 against the White Sox in the 7th inning. The score held there, ending the Marlins five-game losing streak. (See Video)

Yesterday’s results: MLB | WNBA | MLS | NWSLPGA | Wimbledon | NASCAR | Tour de France

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The Business Of Texas

NASA is constructing two new bridges to Merritt Island-based Kennedy Space Center while accommodating more than 12,000 commuters. The structures will allow larger and heavier payloads needed for modern spacecraft. (Video)

 Boca Raton-based Milestone Group closed its latest multifamily acquisition last week, buying a 488-unit complex in Delray Beach for $111.6 million. (More)

Ferrovial Vertiports is exploring locations in South Florida for eVTOL aircraft landing sites with charter flight start-up UrbanLink Air Mobility. Miami-based UrbanLink plans to operate six-passenger vertical take-off aircraft to connect Florida locations starting in the summer of 2026. (More)

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Et Cetera

A trapper captured a 17-foot Burmese python last week in the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area near Fort Lauderdale. (See Video)

The Florida Forest Service launched an online portal last week where the public can buy tree seedlings to help meet the state’s reforestation needs. (Buy Them Here)

Florida SuperCon 2024 is happening July 12-14 in Miami. The annual event brings to life cartoons, anime, cosplay, and fantasy for the 20,000 attendees. (Buy Tickets)

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The Polling Station

At what temperature do you set your air conditioner during the day?

  1. 69 degrees or lower
  2. 70-72 degrees
  3. 73-75 degrees
  4. 76-78 degrees
  5. Above 79 degrees

Thursday’s Results:

Which patriotic song do you like best?

    1. The Star Spangled Banner: 36.6%
    2. God Bless the USA: 28%
    3. America the Beautiful: 24.8%
    4. My Country ‘Tis of Thee: 10.6%
Texas Trivia

Which is the oldest professional sports team in Florida?

Show me the answer

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