State, nation and world news Jan. 12, 2011

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Around the State

Rick Scott Considers Destination Casinos for Economy Boost

Gov. Rick Scott said Jan. 6 he was open to putting Las Vegas-style casino resorts in Florida even though he claimed he was against revenue dollars coming from gaming while he was on the campaign trail.

The change in Scott’s policy could have roots in the effort to give the job market and the economy a much-needed boost.

Last November, Scott had an introductory meeting with Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire. He has said he is willing to invest as much as $3 billion in a project in Miami.

“This is going to be a transformation in state policy,” said Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, a Fort Lauderdale Republican. “I’m not a supporter of the expansion of gambling, but that train left the station, and what we need to do is harness it, create an infrastructure to control it properly and create a better model.”

Bogdanoff said, however, that it is likely that Legislature will require voters to give local approval before any of the casinos can be built.

The proposal that could bring “destination casinos” to Miami Beach, Tampa, and as many as three other locations could be heard in the Florida Senate as early as last week.

Around the Nation

Georgetown University Student Seriously Injured after Fall from Building

Police are investigating an incident at Georgetown University in which a student fell five stories from a building early Jan 11.

Student Michelle Konkoly, 18, of Eagleville, Penn., reportedly fell from a fifth floor window after opening a window because she was hot.

Her roommate reported that Konkoly had been drinking at an off-campus location. At the time Konkoly fell from the window, she was alone in the room.

Konkoly was transported to George Washington University and was last reported to be in serious condition. She suffered extensive internal injuries,  as well as broken ankles, legs and back.

Around the World

Nine killed, dozens injured in Australian floods

At least nine people were killed and dozens of others remained missing after flash floods inundated Queensland State this week.

Seventy-five percent of Queensland State has been declared a disaster area due to the continuing uncertain weather conditions.

As of Jan. 11, 59 people remained missing in Toowoomba, which is about 100 miles from Brisbane, Australia.

In Toowoomba on Monday, the land was already saturated before 6 more inches of rain fell in 30 minutes. As a result, Lockyer Creek overflowed its banks and a wave of water swept through the town, carrying away cars, trees, buildings and dozens of people.