Nicholas Eckhart

Florida Church Raising Money To Revive Dead Mall

Due to changes in demographics and shopping habits, the American landscape is littered with dead malls. The Ponce de Leon Mall in St. Augustine, Florida, has closed the mall common areas and only its anchors with their own entrances have stayed open. One of those spaces is rented to a non-denominational church. Now the mall’s owner has offered the church the opportunity to buy the entire mall, and they’re raising money to make the down payment. [More]

Ben Schumin

Walmart Trying To Cut Back On Calls To Cops By Offering Small-Time Shoplifters Chance To Reform

Police who work near any large retail store are probably all too familiar with responding to calls for shoppers caught trying to make off with a pack of socks or a pilfered Pepsi. A test program at Walmart aims to reduce these nuisance calls by giving small-time shoplifters a second chance. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Feds Shut Down Florida-Based Debt-Relief Robocall Scammers

A federal court has issued a restraining order against a network of Florida-based robocallers who bilked more than $15.6 million from victims through the use of auto-dialed, prerecorded scam calls pitching bogus credit card rate reduction under the generic guise “Bank Card Services” or “Credit Assistance Program.” [More]

(Alan Rappa)

Analysis: Police Visit Walmart Stores Four Times More Often Than Target

If you’re an avid consumer of national news, there’s a specific picture that comes to mind when you see the words “Walmart in Florida.” It probably involves people racing store-owned mobility scooters down the aisles while shoplifting iced teas. A recent Tampa Bay Times analysis of police visits to Walmart stores shows that this picture is a slight exaggeration, but not far off: in the four counties surrounding the bay, police head to a Walmart somewhere in the area an average of two times every hour. [More]

Comcast Charges Family For Porn Rentals Made After They Canceled Service

Comcast Charges Family For Porn Rentals Made After They Canceled Service

You know those hacky crime novels and movies where a suspect is locked up because everyone is convinced he’s the killer — only to later be vindicated when the murders continue while the suspect is behind bars? This story is like that, but with porn instead of dead bodies. [More]


Florida Implements Law Protecting Consumers From Surprise Medical Bills

Florida is now the second state behind New York to shield consumers from expensive surprise medical bills, as Governor Rick Scott today signed into law legislation that would protect patients from balance-billing in both emergency and non-emergency hospital situations.  [More]


Comcast Tells Florida Customers They’ll Be Losing Channels; Won’t Say Which Ones

Comcast giveth (by accident) and Comcast taketh away (via form letter with no pertinent information). The cable giant is telling some Florida customers that they will soon be losing channels they weren’t supposed to get, but isn’t telling them which ones. [More]

Brad Clinesmith

New Frontier Customers Get Bad First Impression After Verizon Sale And Switchover

Back in February, Frontier Communications and Verizon announced a massive deal where Verizon sold broadband, cable TV, and voice markets in California, Texas, and Florida to Frontier. Millions of customers came along with the sale, and they were supposed to be switched from Verizon to Frontier on April 1. Considering how well the switch went, that wasn’t a good date to choose. [More]

Tambako the Jaguar

Court Agrees With Florida: Skim Milk Is “Imitation Milk Product” Unless You Add Vitamins

Last year, we told you of a long-running dispute over a Florida state law that says skim milk must be categorized as “imitation milk product” unless the dairy adds vitamins to the final product. This week, a federal court finally chimed in on the matter, upholding the state regulation. [More]


DNC Chair Backs Pro-Payday Loan Bill; Thinks 300% Interest Is A Consumer Protection

You currently can’t get Republican and Democratic lawmakers to agree on a lunch order, let alone jointly support legislation. But one controversial piece of legislation is not only garnering support from both sides of the aisle, it’s also got the Chair of the Democratic National Committee pushing for legislation that would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability to regulate predatory lending. [More]

The teenager opened up a clinic in this building in West Palm Beach, FL.

Teen Arrested For Passing Himself Off As A Doctor, Opening Clinic

In a combination of Doogie Howser, MD and Catch Me If You Can, a Florida teenager has been arrested for not merely posing as a medical doctor, but for going so far as to open up his own clinic, complete with a website. [More]

Police Investigating Death During Walmart Shoplifting Incident

Police Investigating Death During Walmart Shoplifting Incident

Early on Sunday morning, a 62-year-old man piled DVDs worth $380.74 in a shopping cart at a Florida Walmart and headed for the door. When he couldn’t produce a receipt for the greeter, he ran out the door, and employees followed him. He collapsed and was resuscitated, but died in the hospital 12 hours later. [More]

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Last spring, a woman wearing a full-skirted dress walked into a RadioShack store in Florida and used the garment to conceal electronics with a retail value of more than $1,100. That was no one-time crime of opportunity, it turns out: people who appear to be the same woman and her male companion were spotted on camera again at the same store, though the items this time were lower value. [More]

(photo: Palm Beach County Fire & Rescue)

3 Shoppers Hurt After Party City Shelves Fall Like Dominoes

It’s something you see in movies all the time — something bumps the shelves in a store and down they go in series, like huge dominoes. Luckily, it doesn’t happen in real life because the outcome could be deadly. [More]

Ringling Bros. Elephants Being Granted Early Retirement

Ringling Bros. Elephants Being Granted Early Retirement

Last March, Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said they would be retiring all of their elephants by 2018. But today, Feld announced that all the elephants will be done with their circus careers this spring. [More]


Court Says Tattooing Is Protected Speech, Mocks City For Misrepresenting “Margaritaville” Lyrics

The city of Key West, FL, has an ordinance restricting tattoo parlors in its popular Historic District, meaning anyone who wants to open a tattoo shop on the island has to do so in a designated commercial zone. But a federal appeals court has ruled that the city’s rules are too restrictive of tattoo artists’ right to free expression. It also chided Key West for not understanding the lyrics to a Jimmy Buffett song. [More]

SeaWorld Visitors Stuck On Sky Tower Ride For Over 3 Hours

SeaWorld Visitors Stuck On Sky Tower Ride For Over 3 Hours

Some visitors to SeaWorld in Orlando experienced an amusement park nightmare yesterday as the ride they were on became stuck a few hundred feet in the air. The Sky Tower was on its way back to the ground, carrying about 50 passengers, when the emergency brake malfunctioned and the pod would no longer descend. [More]

All of the lower-priced areas circled in red also just happen to be markets where Google Fiber already exists or is planning to build out in the near future.

AT&T Expands High-Speed Fiber Network, Still Overcharges In Areas Without Competition

Remember how AT&T made its grand case for the DirecTV merger? All that revenue from the 20-plus million DirecTV subscribers would help AT&T build out a high-speed broadband network that competes with the local cable monopolies. And so far that’s been true with the continued expansion of AT&T’s GigaPower service… except when those established cable monopolies don’t match GigaPower’s top speeds, customers are still paying top dollar. [More]