Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Legislature illegally drew the state’s congressional districts to primarily benefit the Republican Party, a judge has ruled, and has ordered them redrawn.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said in a 41-page ruling released late Thursday that legislators relied on GOP political operatives who worked in secret to craft the final political maps adopted in 2012. In doing so Lewis rejected arguments from top legislative leaders that they had done nothing wrong during the process.
The ruling is not expected to disrupt this year’s elections because the Legislature is expected to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. But ultimately the changes could affect the political careers of Florida’s congressional delegation, which is currently dominated by Republicans.
Quake hits Japan near site of 2011 tsunami
Tokyo – A strong earthquake hit Japan’s northern coast today near the nuclear power plant crippled in the 2011 tsunami. At least one person was injured and a small tsunami was triggered, but no damage was reported.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck 6 miles below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 120 miles southwest of the epicenter.
An 8-inch tsunami reached the coast of Ishinomaki Ayukawa and Ofunato about 50 minutes after the quake. Smaller waves were observed at several other locations along the coast, but changes to the shoreline were not visible on television footage aired by public broadcaster NHK.
Fukushima Dai-ichi – the plant devastated in the 2011 disaster – and two other nuclear power plants, along with other nuclear facilities along the coast, found no abnormalities, and their reactors and fuel storage pools were being cooled safely, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Suspected heroin users at Chuck E. Cheese
Costa Mesa, Calif. – Two men were arrested on suspicion of smoking heroin inside a Chuck E. Cheese bathroom in Costa Mesa, California, earlier this week.
Police arrested Colin Zborowski, 28, and Daniel Lubach, 27, Tuesday night after another patron called police and reported that two men may be inside the restroom doing drugs, according to Costa Mesa police.
When officers arrived, they found Zborowski and Lubach inside a stall smoking, officials said.
The pair were “a couple of knuckleheads,” who, for some reason, chose to meet with their heroin dealer at Chuck E. Cheese and opted to smoke it in the restaurant’s bathroom, said Sgt. Patrick Wessel.