Boing Boing 

Florida Man crowned winner of 2015 Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest

In this Saturday, July 25, 2015 photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Charlie Boice beams after winning the 2015 "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. Boice finally won the contest after 15 attempts, beating out 121 other entrants following two preliminary rounds, semi-finals and two final rounds. The competition was a facet of the subtropical island's annual Hemingway Days festival that ends Sunday, July 26. Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)


Charlie Boice beams after winning the 2015 "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

A man in Florida with a bangin' white beard won this year's "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. It was the contender's 15th try at the highly coveted title.

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Two Florida bros rescue a stranded hammerhead shark

Warning: Not recommended. If you see stranded marine life, call your local fish and wildlife authority, or ask a marine biologist.

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Florida mom abandons 3 kids in Waffle House to go drinking at nearby bar

“Waffle Nights,” Ahmed Hashim, Flickr.


“Waffle Nights,” Ahmed Hashim, on Flickr.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Florida mom Rhiannon Gentry abandoned three children at a 24-hour Waffle House, so that she could go booze it up at the classily-named bar Wild Wings Cafe across the street.

Two of the children were 12, one was 11. Police were summoned to the Waffle House after other diners began complaining that they could hear children crying in the parking lot. A Waffle House waitress told cops that Ms. Gentry left her kids alone for an hour and a half, with money to order food and beverages. When the kids realized they didn’t have enough money to pay for their meal and mom was nowhere to be found, they started crying. Gentry didn't return to check on them.

The Augusta, Georgia Waffle House location where this sad story went down has great reviews, and looks like a great place to sit down and enjoy a meal with your kids. Or, you know, abandon them to go drinking.

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From the Augusta Chronicle:

Gentry, 38, of Dade City, Fla., returned to Waffle House and found police with the children. Gentry told police she left the children to go to Wild Wings to pay for drinks she had had earlier. She said she had not been gone long.

Two of the chidren were Ms. Gentry's, and the other belonged to a woman she'd met earlier at a nearby hotel: "The mother told police she met Gentry and her children earlier that day at the hotel pool and had allowed her daughter to go eat with the children, but was not aware they would be unsupervised."

Georgia police arrested Gentry. She is charged with three accounts of deprivation of a minor.

A quick google reveals that this isn't her first time at the boozy rodeo. Alcohol is a hell of a drug, and hopefully she finds her way to some help.

[source: Augusta Chronicle]

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Florida toll collector fired for paying tolls for drivers who didn't have money

[UPDATE: The real story is more nuanced than reported by Time.] Vladislav (Sam) Samsonov, 77, worked as a toll collector in Boca Grande, Florida. When the Bridge Authority found out that he occasionally paid toll charges for drivers who didn't have the cash, they fired him.

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Florida man dislikes sea turtles, shoots a volunteer protecting their nest

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A 72-year-old Marine veteran who volunteered to protect a sea turtle nest got beaten and shot in the butt for his troubles. Turtle-hater Michael Q. McAuliffe was arrested.

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They're tearing down the Adventurer's Club


The best original attraction in Walt Disney World, an interactive theater that combined live actors, live-puppeteered animatronic elements, gag bar-stools, and booze, is finally being razed.

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Florida HS Principal and student interrupted smoking pot, making out. Arrest follows.

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"Police say a married Florida principal was caught in a car with a student and marijuana – and her shirt was unbuttoned."

Jeb Bush sold patronage and favors to his top political donors

The AP analysis of Bush's 275,000 FOIA'ed emails show that "donations" to his campaign were really more like "purchases."

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Snowbirds' guide to avoiding corrupt cops on I-75

My parents just got back from a road-trip from Toronto to Florida, and used Dave Hunter's venerable Along Interstate-75 to find food and lodgings, pass the hours, and beat the speed-traps and civil forfeiture nightmares of America's great roadways.

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Carl Hiaasen's "Skink No Surrender"

Carl Hiaasen's novels are treasures of hilarity, violence, comeuppance and ardent love for Florida wilderness. The very best of them feature "Skink," a wild man of the woods with a fantastic history and a twisted sense of justice. With Skink No Surrender, Hiaasen brings his greatest character to a new generation by transforming the violent, profane anti-hero into the star of a young adult novel.Read the rest

Don't drive with marijuana plants sticking out your window

20-year-old Justin Goodloe and 19-year-old Allen Thomas were charged with manufacturing of marijuana after a cop spotted the plant in Clearwater, Fla. [WTSP]

Ocala, FL criminalizes sagging pants

If you're on city property and your pants hang more than 2" below your "natural waistline," you face a $500 fine, and for repeat offenders, jail.

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Fla principal broke rules by cancelling summer read of Little Brother


You'll remember that my publisher sent 200 copies of Little Brother to Booker T Washington High School after the principal canceled the summer One Book/One School reading program because he was opposed to the book's "anti-authoritarian" message.

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Carl Hiaasen's BAD MONKEY, now in paperback!

Carl Hiaasen's amazing comic novel, Bad Monkey, is now out in paperback; I reviewed it last year in hardcover:

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Pensacola newspaper editorial board condemns censorship of Little Brother

An unsigned editorial in the Pensacola News Journal decries the decision of a local high-school teacher to cancel the school's One School/One Book summer reading program to stop students from reading my novel Little Brother. They point out that the principal violated school procedures when he took it upon himself to unilaterally cancel the assignment, and that this is both inappropriate as an educational matter and from the perspective of free speech and free inquiry. It's a great editorial, and it rightly emphasizes the bravery of English department head Mary Kate Griffith, who has fought valiantly over this issue.

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National anti-censorship orgs protest cancellation of Little Brother summer reading program


Last week's news that the principal of Pensacola, FL's Booker T Washington High School had cancelled its One School/One Book summer reading program rather than have his students read my novel Little Brother has alarmed several national anti-censorship organizations, led by the National Coalition Against Censorship. Their open letter to the principal of BTWHS, signed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the American Booksellers Federation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, and PEN American Center, discusses the legal and moral duty of educators to put challenging material in front of their students.

I'm immensely grateful to these organizations and especially the NCAC for their support, and I really hope that the principal reconsiders his decision and that I can have a chance to discuss the admittedly challenging themes and scenes in Little Brother with his students in the fall.

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Why I'm sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL

The principal of Booker T Washington High in Pensacola FL cancelled the school's One School/One Book summer reading program rather than letting all the kids go through with the previously approved assignment to read Little Brother, the bestselling young adult novel by Cory Doctorow. With Cory and Tor Books' help, the teachers are fighting back.Read the rest