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Fake Or Florida 2015: Floridians Know It's Always Florida

Sammy Mack

This is the time of year that we at WLRN like to think back and remember the stories that we found especially entertaining – the kinds of stories that put Florida on the map through such twitter accounts as @_FloridaMan, @_Flor1daWoman and, of course, Seth Meyers’ Late Night Show Game “Fake or Florida?

It’s part of why we all love living here. You can see 2014’s list and 2013’s list,  so here’s some of WLRN-Miami Herald News Staff’s favorite from 2015.

And, of course, there's more...

Bradenton Beach mayoral race decided by luck of the draw 

Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Imagined Reality (https://flic.kr/p/JJ6aK)
Imagined Reality (https://flic.kr/p/JJ6aK)
Drawing lots to become mayor: only in Florida.

  Who knew gambling would be a required part of a political election? In Bradenton Beach,  “drawing lots” is part of the city’s charter in deciding some elections. Having spent a few years in the Sin City, this story was Morning Edition host Luis Hernandez’s top pick.

2 Said to Be Venezuelan First Lady’s Nephews Charged in Drug Plot 

A story that could easily be from Miami’s Cocaine Cowboy era, WLRN’s America’s Editor Tim Padgett picked this story from Venezuela. Just so you know, 800 kilos is roughly 1,760 pounds; they pled not guilty.

Surfer, bitten by shark, kills shark in revenge

Revenge killing smoked shark dip anyone? It’s on the menu in Allen Engelman’s house. After the 28-year-old got bit in the hand, he took his son out for a little bit of payback. WLRN digital editor Maria Murriel wants to know how Engleman knew it was the same shark.

Monroe Commissioners Ask State To Look Into Monorail

It existed 80 years ago, but the Monroe County Commission is hoping to bring it back: a train to the Keys. It may not such a crazy idea, but Nan Klingener in our Southernmost Bureau points out some clear practical concerns. Either way, it got some people in the Keys feeling like Bart Simpson’s neighbors in Springfield.

Mayor sued for trying to pay $4k fine with pennies

Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Clint Mickel (https://flic.kr/p/628Y1v)
Clint Mickel (https://flic.kr/p/628Y1v)
Paying an ethics fine in pennies and nickels; turns out it doesn't work.

In South Florida ethics fines are like thong bikinis on South Beach - a weak attempt at propriety. But anchor Christine DiMattei picked this story about the Hialeah mayor attempting to pay his fine with 28 buckets of coins. The Ethics and and Public Trust Commission doubled the fine – apparently they’re the only organization that still requires checks.

Key West Museum Wants Your Drinking Tales

Would you ever commit your greatest drinking story to the record? Apparently the Key West Art & Historical Society is hoping you will for their exhibit Bars, Brews & Blues: A History of Carousing in Key West. 

“My best Key West drinking story involves a bunch of French exchange students, the imagined angry ghost of Ernest Hemingway and one police officer. And I’m not sure that I am ready to commit that to record,” said Sammy Mack of her pick.

Florida candidate for U.S. Senate admits to sacrificing goat, drinking its blood 

The Republican and Democratic presidential nomination races have been providing copious amounts of entertainment over the past few months, but WLRN producer Julia Duba points out a lesser known race that might become the stuff of Florida lore. Agustus Sol Invictus is running for Marco Rubio’s seat in the U.S Senate. And admitted this to the Orlando Sentinel:

"I did sacrifice a goat. I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans," he said. "I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness ... Yes, I drank the goat's blood."

A coffee miracle: Hundreds of Café Bustelo cans wash up on Florida beach 

And finally, on the heels of Art Basel where everything becomes art for the week – even, to some, a stabling - hundreds of Cafe Bustelo coffee cans washed up on the beach. But WLRN’s editorial director, who can’t drink a lot of caffeine pointed out the only thing missing from the pallet of the beach was the green of descafeinado.

  Look what washed up on the beach today. Seaweed.... And coffee! #cafebustelo #freecoffee A photo posted by Brook C ✂️ (@brookamanda) on Dec 8, 2015 at 7:53am PST