Breaking News from Punta Gorda FL

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Charlotte County Sheriff's cracking down on "hook ups" at Flatwood Environmental Park

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla -- Flatwood Environmental Park, located in Charlotte County, is getting a reputation of being a “hook up spot,” rather than a park you use for hiking and biking. Police say this is one of the parks men will meet up to ask for sexual favors.


Deputies keeping watch at a Punta Gorda park known for sexual encounters

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on a park known more as a "hookup hotspot" than for its nature trails. Since September, three people have been arrested for lewd behavior at Charlotte Flatwoods Environmental Park. CCSO confirmed they've also received several


Port Charlotte man found guilty of killing motorcyclist in 2017 crash

A Port Charlotte man has been found guilty of a crash that killed a motorcyclist in February 2017. Florida Highway Patrol shared on social media Stephen Wertman Lawrence, 63, was found guilty of vehicular homicide Thursday for intentionally hitting Aaron Wesley, 43, of Port Charlotte.


Block Party overtakes Punta Gorda again

Downtown Punta Gorda will belong to the Punta Gorda Block Party again on April 27, when the popular street festival takes over Marion Avenue, the city’s main street. Hundreds of thousands of revelers over the past 30-plus years have attended the biggest and best street festival in Southwest Florida


2 Florida middle school girls accused of plotting to murder students on 'hit list'

Two middle school girls in Avon Park, Florida, allegedly plotted to kill other students they had placed on a "hit list." The two students were taken into custody at Avon Park Middle School at the end of the day Wednesday, the Highlands County School Board said. A teacher had informed law enforcement


Florida man hides drugs in his butt crack

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A Port Charlotte man was arrested Wednesday after deputies found drugs in his car. That wasn't the only place he has drugs, though. TOP STORY: Woman hospitalized after car hits Banana Republic at Coconut Point.


Could pickleball be bad for your health?

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Is pickleball noise a hazard to your health?. Neighbors that live near the pickleball courts in Punta Gorda have talked about their anxiety and stress, due to the noise.


Punta Gorda Airport's business is soaring

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - It's the third fastest-growing airport in the country, and it's right here in Southwest Florida. Although its size may be misleading, Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) has an economic impact of more than $1 billion.


Punta Gorda grandma duped by call claiming grandson was in DUI crash

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - A Punta Gorda grandmother is out $22,000 after deputies said the 83-year-old woman received a call that her grandson was involved in a serious car crash last Wednesday in New York.


North Port man on trial for sexually abusing foster child found dead

NORTH PORT, Fla. - A foster parent currently on trial for sexually abusing one of his foster children has been found dead in his home, according to North Port police. Gilberto Rios has been in court all week, but didn't show up this morning.


Florida Inmate Dies Shortly Before Expected Release

Authorities say an inmate at a Florida jail died shortly before his expected release. The Naples Daily News reports that 31-year-old Timothy Kusma was supposed to be released April 11 after pleading no contest to a drug possession charge. But the Collier County Sheriff's Office says he suffered a me


Severe weather threat for northwest Florida

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - Severe weather is possible in the panhandle late Thursday night and Friday morning. The SPC has place most the panhandle in an enhanced risk for severe weather. The main threat with this storm system will be strong wind gusts up to 50 mph, but an isolated tornado or


Florida Grandma Uses Her Softball Skills To Bash Half-Naked Burglar's Head With Bat

A would-be burglar is in jail in Florida, with a gash on his head, after a 65-year-old slugger named Clarese Gainey whacked him on the dome with a baseball bat when he tried to break into her car early Sunday morning. WMC Action News 5 had the story:


14,000 pounds of marijuana, 3,660 pounds of cocaine offloaded in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded marijuana and cocaine with an estimated street value of $62.5 million dollars at Florida's Port Everglades on Thursday morning.


Severe weather to arrive on Friday in Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Severe weather is coming to Central Florida on Friday. Fox 35 meteorologist Jayme King says to expect big weather changes on Friday afternoon and evening, as Central Florida has been outlined for severe weather risk.


Great White Shark Weighing More Than 1,600 Pounds Spotted Off Florida Coast

Researchers say they have spotted Miss Costa, a 1,668-pound female great white shark, swimming in the Gulf Coast waters earlier this week. On Monday, the massive great white shark “pinged” near the Big Bend vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico at 10:34 a.m., OCEARCH, a global great white shark research or


South Florida "Cold Front" to Bring Bone-Chilling Temps in the High 70s

Elsewhere in the country, people haven't touched a bathing suit or exposed their toes to sunlight in months. But April in Florida is different. The fourth month of the year signals a few things: the official end of spring break, a mass exodus of snowbirds, and the return of the dreaded swamp ass.


‘He’s got a machete!’ Cops drive right into a Florida road rage

Florida drivers got to see a disturbing case of road rage this week. According to a police report from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, two detectives in an unmarked car were driving toward Englewood, south of Sarasota, in slow moving traffic. Suddenly, they came upon four men outside their ca


Punta Gorda Police seeks to implement pre-arrest diversion program

The Punta Gorda Police Department is seeking approval to launch a pre-arrest diversion program, to educate first time offenders. The Punta Gorda City Council would need to approve a Memorandum of Understanding to move forward with the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program (APAD).


Is it you? Lottery ticket worth $6 million bought in South Florida

There have been some big lottery winners in South Florida recently, but someone who purchased a ticket here for Wednesday night’s Florida Lotto drawing hit the jackpot — literally.