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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

December 18, 2018

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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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



TALLAHASSEE _ Calling her suspension “malicious” and politically-motivated, a former Florida elections official is asking a federal judge to reinstate her after she was removed from office by Gov. Rick Scott. Embattled Broward elections supervisor Brenda Snipes filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Scott and Senate President Bill Galvano, who are both Republicans. Snipes is a Democrat who worked in one of the state’s Democratic strongholds. By Gary Fineout. SENT: 552 words with AP Photos.


UNDATED _ President Donald Trump’s school safety commission on Tuesday called for a rollback of an Obama-era policy that was meant to curb racial disparities in school discipline but that critics say left schools afraid to take action against potentially dangerous students. The panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, made the recommendation in a report that lays out dozens of suggestions to improve safety in America’s schools. Trump created the commission in March following a Parkland, Florida, school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members. By Collin Binkley. SENT: 640 words with AP Photos.



FORT LAUDERDALE _ The police response to the Florida high school massacre was delayed because school officials rewound a school surveillance video, making officers think the gunman was still in the building, a new report shows. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports documents show then-Marjory Stoneman Douglas assistant principal Jeff Morford and security officer Kelvin Greenleaf began viewing a livestream from inside the three-story freshman building minutes after the Feb. 14 shooting stopped.


WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump launched the Pentagon’s new Space Command Tuesday, an effort to better organize and advance the military’s vast operations in space that could cost as much as $800 million over the next five years. Trump signed a one-page memorandum Tuesday authorizing the Defense Department to create the new command. Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vice President Mike Pence said, “a new era of American national security in space begins today.” By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 773 words with AP Photos.

APOLLO 8 at 50

CAPE CANAVERAL _ NASA’s first flight to the moon is marking its 50th anniversary. On Dec. 21st, 1968, three men flew to the moon for the first time in human history. Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders orbited the moon on Christmas Eve, reading from the Book of Genesis. By Marcia Dunn. UPCOMING: 500 words with AP Photos and AP Video.


COLD CASE-SEX ASSAULT _ A man has been convicted of sexually assaulting four women in a northern Virginia apartment more than 20 years ago.

RED TIDE _ After months of widespread red tide infestation along Florida’s coast, the noxious algae bloom is giving much of the state a break.

SHOT WALKING TO SCHOOL _ A Florida sheriff says a 15-year-old high school student was fatally shot while walking to school.

HURRICANE MICHAEL-CLEANUP _ Officials in Florida’s Panhandle have agreed to take out a $50 million loan to help pay for Hurricane Michael-related bills until federal reimbursements are received.

EARNS-DARDEN RESTAURANTS _ Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $115.6 million.

BICYCLIST KILLED _ Police in South Florida say a motorist hit a 14-year-old boy on a bicycle and left him to die.

MARIJUANA-FAST FOOD _ Police in Florida say a 23-year-old man went through a McDonald’s drive-thru and tried to pay for his order with a bag of marijuana.

PRISON GUARDS-ASSAULT _ Authorities say two Florida prison guards assaulted and intimidated several young inmates at the facility where they worked.

BOMB THREAT-SCHOOL _ Authorities say a Florida school was evacuated following a bomb threat, but nothing suspicious was found.

POLICE VEHICLES SHOT _ Police in Florida say they’re trying to find whoever shot and damaged several unoccupied agency vehicles over the weekend.

ROGER STONE-DEFAMATION LAWSUIT _ Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone has settled a $100 million lawsuit accusing him of publishing lies on the far-right InfoWars website.



BOCA RATON _ UAB seeks the first bowl win in school history, and Northern Illinois tries to end a streak of five consecutive bowl losses when the teams meet in the Boca Raton Bowl. By Harvey Fialkov. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game scheduled to begin 7 p.m.


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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