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1. Being legally naked at nude beaches OK’d by committee

A Florida lawmaker wants to make clear that it’s OK to be naked at a nude beach.

While it is illegal to expose one’s sexual organs in public, many areas permit “clothing optional” beaches and the state has at least 34 nude resorts.

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But there are cases where people have been arrested and charged for being nude at a nude beach.

Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Miami, wants to make sure folks who enjoy Florida beaches au naturel aren’t arrested and charged under the same set of laws as, say, child molestation.

“That’s ‘no bueno,’ as we say in Miami,” said Pizzo, about something “that is already legal and allowed by numerous communities across Florida.”

His bill (SB 850) would expressly allow being “naked in public ... including, but not limited to, clothing-

optional beaches.”

“A mother breastfeeding her baby does not, under any circumstances, violate” the law, it adds.

2. 8 convicted of $5.2 million fraud at South Florida casino

Four former South Florida casino employees and their wives have been convicted of stealing $5.2 million from the business over several years.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami announced Tuesday that Michel Aleu, Lester Lavin, Yohander Jorrin Melhen and Leonardo Betancourt have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal funds in excess of $1,000 from Miccosukee Gaming, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Their respective wives, Maria Del Pilar Aleu, Yusmary Shirley Duran, Anisleydi Vergel Hermida, and Milagros Marile Acosta Torres, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses. All eight await sentencing.

The couples used the stolen funds to buy homes, investment properties, vehicles, boats, vacations and Florida Prepaid College Plans for their children.

3. Sea level rise accelerating, report warns

The rate of sea level rise along much of the U.S. coastline continues to accelerate, according to a new report.

The report’s key message “is a clear trend toward acceleration in rates of sea-level rise at 25 of our 32 tide-gauge stations,” Virginia Institute of Marine Science professor emeritus John Boon said in a statement. “Acceleration can be a game changer in terms of impacts and planning, so we really need to pay heed to these patterns.”

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Boon and other researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science released the report Monday.

Sea level rise acceleration was highest along the Gulf Coast, where Grand Island, Louisiana, saw a nearly 8 millimeter yearly increase, double the global average, according to the report. Galveston and Rockport in Texas also had significant increases.

The report includes 51 years of water level observations, from January 1969 through December 2019.

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