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Hurricanes bypass Florida, but insurance rates rise

Hurricanes bypass Florida, but insurance rates rise

Tampa, Florida -- Six years ago, Florida saw the massive destruction that hurricanes can cause and that made life miserable for many Floridians.

Those storms were quite a shock to people who had moved to Florida and never experienced a Hurricane. Caroline Garland, who moved to the area in 2003, was a prime example. Garland says the first year she moved here was fine, but the second year when the hurricanes hit she said to her husband, what the heck were they doing here. Garland says before moving to Florida she didn't know what hunker down meant.

Burglary Victim Holds Naked Robber at Gunpoint

Burglary Victim Holds Naked Robber at Gunpoint

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A burglary victim turned the tables on the robber, holding the man at gunpoint without his clothes, police said.

Lakeland Police said a neighbor saw a man climb through the window of a home on Baycrest Drive after checking the windows and doors.

The neighbor called the victim's brother, who lives close by, police said.

According to authorities, the brother armed himself, came to the home and found 19-year-old Christopher Mathis hiding in a closet.

The brother told police he wasn't sure if Mathis was armed, so he told him to take off his pants, shoes and jacket until police arrived.

Mathis was charged with burglary to a residence and possession of burglary tools.


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FL Supreme Court upholds evidence exclusion in Lake Wales case

FL Supreme Court upholds evidence exclusion in Lake Wales case

Tallahassee, FL (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court has refused to back off from a prior ruling that excludes evidence obtained by police if they knock on a suspect's door but fail to announce why they are there.

The 4-2 decision Thursday, Dec. 9 came in the case of Kathy Jo Cable who was arrested in 2007 at a motel in Lake Wales.

A Polk County deputy announced who he was when he knocked but failed to say he had a warrant for her arrest for failure to appear on a drug possession charge. Once inside he found methamphetamine that resulted in a drug trafficking charge against Cable.

The high court ruled the methamphetamine had to excluded as evidence, citing a 1964 decision in a similar case.

Reindeer goes missing... in Lakeland

Lakeland, Florida -- Rudolph must have needed a break from guiding Santa's sleigh.

Police received a call Tuesday morning of a reindeer on the run in Lakeland. Officials say animal, whose name is Rudy, escaped from the Nativity scene at the Highland Park Church of the Nazarene located at 4777 Lakeland Highlands Road.

Pictures: Rudy and the church's live Nativity scene
AUDIO: Listen to the 9-1-1 call (mp3)

Church personnel chased after Rudy, and eventually found him hiding under the elf house.

Police say Rudy's owner took the animal home, believing he'd probably just escape from the enclosure again. 

Robber pistol whips store manager during job interview

Winter Haven, Florida -- A man with a gun demanded cash from a store manager as he was conducting an interview with an applicant today, the sheriff's office said.

He got away on foot, but investigators hope surveillance pictures will lead them to him.

Photo Gallery: Dollar General Robbery Suspect

The suspect walked into the manager's office at the Dollar General Store on Recker Highway at mid-afternoon, pointed a gun at the manager and demanded money, the sheriff's office said.

When the manager said there was no money in the office, the gunman pistol whipped him in the head, pointed the gun at a woman who was there for a job interview and threatened to shoot her.

The manager took the man to the front of the store and gave him some money. The suspect then fled.

Forecast: Polk issued Freeze Warning

Forecast: Polk issued Freeze Warning

Polk County, FL - Wind Chill advisory and Freeze Warning have been issued to Polk. You can see the zoom radar for the area here.

A large Canadian high pressure has plummeted south into the eastern U.S. bringing cold air all the way down to Florida. We are waking up to Wind Chill Advisories this morning and Freeze Warnings for tonight and likely tomorrow night. That cold air is blowing in on northwest winds that will stay in the 10-20 mph range through this afternoon. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued until 9 a.m. for Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties as it will feel like 30-35 degrees at times this morning. Skies will be clear and sunny today, but the cold air will only allow us to warm to the mid 50s today when the typical high is 73!

Father and son killed in Lake Wales crash

Lake Wales, Florida -- A father and son were killed, and two other persons were injured, Friday in a two vehicle crash on Buck Moore Road, police said.

William Scott, 87, and his son, William Jr, 61, were both killed. They were passengers in a Suzuki SUV driven by the elder man's wife, Maryan Scott, 65, police said.

Maryan Scott was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, as was John Shydlowski, 82, the driver of the other vehicle, a 1995 Chevy station wagon. Both were seriously injured.