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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

January 18, 2019

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Florida. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Miami bureau at 305-594-5825 or miami@ap.org. Ian Mader is the news editor and can be reached at imader@ap.org. David Fischer is on the desk and can be reached at dfischer@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

FLORIDA-GOVERNOR-SUSPENSION

WEST PALM BEACH _ Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is suspending a county elections supervisor who failed to meet deadlines during recounts after last November’s election. DeSantis announced Friday that he is replacing Palm Beach elections supervisor Susan Bucher, a former Democratic state representative who has held the position since 2008. By Terry Spencer and Brendan Farrington. UPCOMING: 500 words.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA

FORT LAUDERDALE _ Lawyers for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz said Friday that his confidential medical records were improperly disclosed to a state investigative panel by someone in the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The attorneys asked Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to hold another hearing on whether the sheriff’s office should be held in contempt of court for providing the records to the state commission investigating the shooting. They say access was limited by Scherer’s court order to only certain authorized investigators and prosecutors in the criminal case. By Curt Anderson. SENT: 439 words with AP Photos.

CLERGY ABUSE-STATE INVESTIGATIONS

PHILADELPHIA _ Newly inaugurated state attorneys general said they plan to continue investigations of clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic church as thousands of victims reach out to state hotlines and online systems to report past abuse. At least 14 attorneys general around the country have confirmed investigations or reviews of clergy abuse in the wake of a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. Six of those offices — New York, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Florida and Delaware — are helmed by newly elected attorneys general, including three of the states reporting the largest numbers of victims contacting them. By Claudia Lauer. SENT: 525 words with AP Photos.

VETERANS-STRAY DOGS

SAN ANTONIO _ Some stray dogs in San Antonio will be getting a life-changing job opportunity — helping veterans. The San Antonio Express-News reports under a new city plan, K9s for Warriors, an organization based in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, will expand to Military City, U.S.A., culling stray dogs from the city’s rescue shelters and training them to become service dogs for veterans. By Dylan McGuinness, San Antonio Express-News. An AP Member Exchange. SENT: 508 words pursuing photos.

IN BRIEF:

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT _ Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 3.3 percent, unchanged from the month before. Figures released by the state Friday show that 335,000 Floridians were jobless in December out of a workforce of nearly 10.3 million.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA _ The Pentagon has identified three of the four Americans killed in a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Syria this week. They are Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, who was based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of Pine Plains, New York, and based at Fort Meade, Maryland; and a civilian, Scott A. Wirtz, from St. Louis.

DISNEY CRUISES-GALVESTON_ Port officials say Galveston can expect to see double the number of Disney cruises sailing from the city on the Gulf of Mexico over the next five years.

FREEZER DEATHS-CHILDREN _ Autopsies showed three young children died of accidental asphyxiation when they became trapped in an unplugged chest-style freezer in their yard in north Florida.

PEPPER SPRAY-SCHOOL _ Authorities say about two dozen people were treated for pepper spray exposure at a Florida high school.

STRIP CLUB-SHOOTING _ Police say a shooting at a notorious strip club in Miami has left one security guard dead and another wounded.

FATAL SHOOTING-ROOMMATE _ A Florida man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting his roommate.

UNDERAGE SEX-ONLINE GAMING _ Authorities say a Florida man had sex with an underage girl he met through the online video game Fortnite.

IN SPORTS:

BKC--FLORIDA’S WOES

GAINESVILLE _ Florida coach Mike White keeps telling his players how good they could be _ if not for the last four minutes of games. The Gators have struggled mightily late in SEC play, leading to the team’s worst start in league play since 1996. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to miami@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support atapcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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The AP, Miami

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