Articles by Jason Dearen and Martha Mendoza

AP National Writer

FEMA: 25% of Florida Keys Homes Destroyed by Irma

With 25 percent of the homes in the Florida Keys feared destroyed, emergency workers Tuesday rushed to find Hurricane Irma’s victims – dead or alive – and deliver food and water to the stricken island chain. As crews labored to …

Irma Topples Two Construction Cranes Atop Miami High-Rises

Two cranes atop high-rise buildings under construction collapsed Sunday in downtown Miami amid strong winds from Hurricane Irma. The cranes were among two dozen such heavyweight hazards looming over the city skyline as the monster storm powered across the state. …

Company Behind Giant Florida Sinkhole Hopes it Will be Plugged by Spring

A massive sinkhole at a fertilizer plant should be plugged by spring, months after contaminated water and waste began flowing into Florida’s main drinking water aquifer, the company said Friday. In an email to The Associated Press, Mosaic spokeswoman Callie …

El Faro ‘Black Box’ Recovered

Search crews have retrieved the ‘black box” from the wreckage of the freighter El Faro that sank in 15,000-feet of water near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin last year, officials said Tuesday. Using a remotely operated vehicle in the pitch …

Family of Man on Sunken Freighter Files $100M Lawsuit in Florida

The family of a sailor aboard the cargo ship that sunk in roiling seas whipped up by Hurricane Joaquin filed a $100 million lawsuit Wednesday against the vessel’s owner and captain. Willie Gary, a Jacksonville, Florida attorney representing the family …

Environmental Groups Concerned Over Renewed Oil Hunt in Florida

Renewed hunts for oil in sensitive Florida ecosystems have environmental groups raising questions about the state’s regulation of the oil and gas industry. A Miami company, Kanter Real Estate LLC, has submitted a permit application to drill an exploratory oil …

Florida ‘House of Horrors’ Dentist Surrenders License

A Florida children’s dentist accused of running a “house of horrors” that included performing surgical procedures without anesthetic has agreed to stop practicing dentistry. Dr. Howard Schneider of Jacksonville faces multiple lawsuits and his office has been picketed in recent …

Group Requests Investigation Into Whether Florida Banned Climate-Change Terms

Did Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration ban state environmental scientists from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in their work? Scott says no, but some former employees say supervisors forbade them from using the terms – a striking …

Infamous Florida ‘Speed Trap’ Town Accused of Profiting from Tickets

The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it’s no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph …

California Farmers Hire Dowsers to Find Water

With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools – usually copper sticks or wooden …