Acquittal of Zimmerman is Fla.'s top story

Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 05:28 PM.

7. Scott signed into law a statewide ban on texting while driving, making Florida the 40th state to enact a texting-while-driving ban for all drivers. The law makes it a secondary offense to read or send a text, email or instant message on a smartphone while driving. That means police have to first stop drivers for another offense, such as an illegal turn.

8. A state task force concluded that Florida's so-called stand your ground law shouldn't be amended. The parents of Trayvon Martin had asked the task force to change the 2005 law following the fatal shooting of their son by George Zimmerman. But the task force said in a report that people have a right to feel safe and secure in Florida, and they have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack.

9. Florida's unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in November, the lowest level in over five years. Scott maintains his policies have helped Florida's recovery, but economists say there are other reasons for the decline: People are leaving the labor force or have delayed their job search.

10. Duke Energy canceled plans to build a nuclear plant and repair another in the state's Big Bend area. The country's largest utility cited changes in the energy market — including natural gas prices — and regulatory hurdles at the state and federal level. Despite the scuttled plans, Duke intends to charge its 1.7 million Florida customers a monthly fee to pay for the costs it incurred planning the construction on the plants.

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