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Updated 11:30 p.m.

Fast and furious Hurricane Michael barreled toward the Florida Panhandle late Tuesday night with 125 mph winds and a potentially catastrophic storm surge of 13 feet, giving tens of thousands of people precious little time to board up and get out.

Updated at 2:12 a.m. Tuesday

Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the dangerous storm heading their way.

Marty Balin, a patron of the 1960s “San Francisco Sound” both as founder and lead singer of the Jefferson Airplane and co-owner of the club where the Airplane and other bands performed, has died. He was 76.

Balin died Thursday in Tampa,  on the way to the hospital, spokesman Ryan Romenesko said. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Balin, who underwent emergency heart surgery in 2016, sued a New York hospital earlier this year, saying a tracheotomy he had at the time paralyzed a vocal cord and caused other damage.

Eight boaters were rescued in two separate accidents after their boats overturned along Florida's Gulf Coast.

An Uber driver in Winter Haven claimed self-defense after he fatally shot a man who trailed his car and tried run him off the road, authorities said Wednesday.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Democratic primary for Florida governor Tuesday, pulling off an upset against better funded and better known candidates on his quest to become the state's first black governor.

With the backing of President Donald Trump and more than 100 appearances on Fox News under his belt, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis sailed to victory in Florida's Republican primary for governor Tuesday, defeating a longtime favorite of the GOP establishment with a campaign based largely around the president.

DeSantis beat out Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who had seemingly built up the run for governor his entire adult life after being elected to office as a 22-year-old.

A powerful earthquake shook Venezuela's northeastern coast on Tuesday, forcing residents in the capital to evacuate buildings and interrupting a pro-government rally in support of controversial economic reforms.

An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans had fled the crisis-wracked country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, the United Nations said Tuesday.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that those fleeing — about 7 percent of Venezuela’s 32.8 million people — cite lack of food as the main reason for leaving. U.N. humanitarian officials report that 1.3 million of those who fled were “suffering from malnourishment,” he said.

 Florida Gov. Rick Scott is traveling to Colombia to attend the inauguration of the nation's next president.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abruptly cut short a televised speech and soldiers present broke ranks and scattered after hearing several explosions Saturday in what the government called an attempted attack on the socialist leader.

Thousands of blacktip sharks ordinarily swim languidly off the South Florida coast. But this year the shark count is down substantially and warmer water temperatures may be the reason.

A researcher at Florida Atlantic University says a recent tally he did off Palm Beach County during the sharks' annual migration had a high of only 2,800 blacktip sharks. That's down substantially from the high of more than 12,000 sharks in 2011, according to Florida Atlantic University researcher Stephen Kajiura.

The drop is dramatic, Kajiura said.

The United States has extradited former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to face political espionage and embezzlement charges in his home country.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Monday that it will be for Panamanian courts to determine Martinelli's guilt.

Martinelli had been jailed in Miami since his arrest at his home in June 2017.

The 66-year-old Martinelli was Panama's president from 2009 to 2014. He is accused of embezzlement and illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications.

The Centers for Disease Control reported this month that the number of births in the U.S.

Flanked by sea turtle nests, the vandalized Key West "ghost ship" that mysteriously washed ashore in Melbourne after Hurricane Irma will likely remain beached until at least November.

Because endangered turtles recently laid eggs there, officials in Brevard, on Florida's Atlantic coast, say they'll leave the boat alone for now.

Cuki, the beached 45-foot sailboat won't be removed until nesting season ends on Oct. 31 — at the earliest.

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