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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

February 12, 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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-PHOTO

PARKLAND _ It’s an image that has become emblematic of the Parkland school massacre: two terrified moms outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, one of them a tall, weeping blonde with the black smudge of Ash Wednesday on her forehead, the other a petite redhead crying in despair on her shoulder. By Kelli Kennedy. SENT: 815 words with AP Photos, AP Video.

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS-DISPUTE

ORLANDO _ A South Florida lawmaker is accusing a fellow Democratic legislator of bullying her at a meeting of party leaders, but the other lawmaker says the exchange is being mischaracterized. By Mike Schneider. UPCOMING: 300 words.

MEDICARE-BILLION DOLLAR FRAUD

MIAMI _ A Florida health care executive used bribery, kickbacks and false paperwork in a $1 billion effort to fleece Medicare and Medicaid, one of the biggest such cases in U.S. history, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday. But an attorney for 50-year-old Philip Esformes told jurors as trial began in Miami that he was no criminal but a driven businessman who legitimately operated more than 20 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida. By Curt Anderson. SENT: 540 words. UPCOMING 600 words.

IN BRIEF:

ZOO-MONKEY STOLEN _ Police in Florida are on the lookout for a little monkey that was stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo. Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter announced Tuesday that 12-year-old Kali, a rare Goeldi’s monkey, was taken from her enclosure on Monday.

FATAL HIT-AND-RUN _ Court records in Florida say a man accused of driving 50 mph (80 kph) over the speed limit in a 2017 fatal hit-and-run crash has pleaded guilty.

1998 RAPE-DNA-ARREST_ Authorities say DNA linked to a Florida rape more than 20 years ago has led to a man being arrested and extradited from San Francisco.

MICROCAP SECURITIES-FRAUD _ The seventh and final defendant has been convicted in what federal prosecutors in Texas call a $40 million securities scam.

FLORIDA-SEA TURTLE NESTING _ Wildlife officials have updated their tally of sea turtle nests documented on Florida beaches in 2018.

LAVENDER DOE IDENTIFIED _ Authorities in East Texas have identified a 21-year-old Florida woman as the person previously known as Lavender Doe after her body was found in 2006.

BILL NELSON-DOCUMENTS _ A collection of papers and other historical material spanning the 46-year career of former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been sent to the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries.

FIREFIGHTERS FIRED-NOOSE _ Four fired Miami firefighters are charged with criminal mischief for their roles in drawing penises on another firefighter’s family photos.

ARMY-NIGHT TRAINING ACCIDENT _ Authorities say three U.S. Army soldiers were injured in a night training accident at Homestead Air Reserve Base near Miami.

REAL ESTATE EXECUTIVE’S DEATH _ The boyfriend of a South Florida real estate executive who was found dead from an overdose has been arrested on charges of grand theft and organized fraud.

HOT TUB DEATH _ Authorities say a man has been found dead in the hot tub of a Florida home.

FATAL HOME INVASION _ A Florida man convicted in a fatal home invasion has avoided a life sentence after prosecutors and detectives recommended leniency at his sentencing hearing.

PIRATES-GARTH BROOKS _ Garth Brooks has come out of baseball retirement. The country music legend will spend just over a week participating in spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, reporting Monday with the pitchers and catchers.

IN SPORTS:

CAR--NASCAR-SPORTS BETTING

DAYTONA BEACH _ NASCAR has put a ban in place on drivers gambling on races, not that it was really a problem. But the rest of the fan base? NASCAR is all in and hopes an interest in legalized betting in a growing number of states can stir interest in the sport. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 950 words, photos.

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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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