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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

January 4, 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. Mike Schneider is on the desk and can be reached at mschneider@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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

FATAL CRASH-INTERSTATE FIRE-FLORIDA

FORT LAUDERDALE _ The church van headed south - packed with children, an hour to go before reaching Walt Disney World after a 700-mile trip from Louisiana. A semitruck rumbled nearby. In Interstate 75′s northbound lanes Thursday afternoon near Gainesville, another semi and a car smashed into each other, the Florida Highway Patrol says. The velocity and weight of that now out-of-control semi burst through the metal guardrail, taking the car with it. The two semis, the van, and the car slammed into each other, diesel fuel leaked and the mass erupted in a fireball. A fifth car, unable to avoid the chaos, sped through, possibly hitting victims ejected from the vehicles, the highway patrol said. Five of the children, ranging from about 8 to teenagers - from a church in Marksville, Louisiana - and the two truck drivers died. At least eight others were injured, some seriously. By Terry Spencer and Freida Frisaro. SENT: 561 words with AP Photos, AP Video.

With:

FATAL CRASH-INTERSTATE FIRE-FLORIDA-THE LATEST

FLORIDA SCHOOLS-LAWSUIT

TALLAHASSEE _ A sharply divided Florida Supreme Court rejects a lawsuit claiming the state’s schools don’t meet standards set in Florida’s constitution. By Brendan Farrington. UPCOMINNG: 350 words.

IN BRIEF:

HEIRLOOM THEFT _ It took thieves just 30 minutes to break into a Florida home and empty a safe of rings, earrings, medallions and other heirlooms worth $250,000. Surveillance video released by Hollywood police shows an image of a suspect ringing the doorbell and waiting on the porch of the South Florida home. Police believe at least two other accomplices were involved in the break-in on Dec. 15.

TRIPLE HOMICIDE-FLORIDA _ Police have arrested a man caught with a car stolen from a Florida home where a couple and their son were found dead. Their daughter -- the man’s wife -- remains missing. Police in Tarpon Springs, Florida, identified the suspect on Friday as 25-year-old Shelby John Nealy.

NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING-FLORIDA _ A former police officer suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after responding to the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub has been granted his pension.

WELL POLLUTION-DELAYED NOTIFICATION _ A former Florida health department official claims that because of the election there was a delay in notifying residents of a central Florida community that their well water was polluted.

FATAL CRASH-ARREST _ Authorities in Passaic County have arrested a Florida man in connection with a multi-vehicle crash that killed a pedestrian.

SICK PASSENGERS _ Health officials say testing shows the water at Cleveland’s airport is safe after six passengers became ill on a Frontier Airlines flight to Florida earlier this week. The city of Cleveland says results that came back Thursday show no concerns with the airport’s drinking fountains and its water supply.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA _ A sheriff’s deputy has been placed on restricted duty following the release of a statewide commission’s report on the handling of last year’s mass shooting at a Florida high school.

MISSING WOMAN KILLED _ Police say a woman who vanished months ago in a Miami suburb is now feared dead. Stephanie Ray Clemons was last seen in May outside her home but authorities now say the missing-person case has become a murder investigation. They said her husband a person of interest.

IN SPORTS:

FBN-DOLPHINS COACHING SEARCH

MIAMI _ The Miami Dolphins have begun their search for a coach who’s ready to lose this year. New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, the first candidate to interview for the Dolphins’ job, met with them Friday. Owner Stephen Ross is seeking a replacement for Adam Gase, and wants to rebuild after a 7-9 season. By Steven Wine. SENT: 425 wrds.

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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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