AP-FL--Florida News Digest, FL
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 email@example.com. Ian Mader is the news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. David Fischer is on the desk and can be reached at email@example.com. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.
PANAMA CITY — Gaining fury with every passing hour, Hurricane Michael closed in Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle with potentially catastrophic winds of 150 mph, the most powerful storm on record ever to menace the stretch of fishing towns, military bases and spring-break beaches. With more than 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast warned to evacuate, the hurricane’s leading edge began lashing the white-sand shoreline with tropical storm-force winds, rain and rising seas before daybreak, hours before Michael’s center was expected to blow ashore. By Jay Reeves and Brendan Farrington. SENT: 933 words with AP Photos, AP Video. UPCOMING: 950 words with AP Photos, AP Video.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
TALLAHASSEE — The pending fury and likely devastation of Hurricane Michael is upending the upcoming election in the battleground state of Florida and one of the beneficiaries could be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. While Gov. Rick Scott has been ever present in a series of natural disasters the last three years, the Democratic nominee for governor has been blanketing the national airwaves the last few days. This has given him substantial exposure less than a month before the Nov. 6 showdown against Republican Ron DeSantis whose campaign is hitting the airwaves with negative ads even as the storm bears down. By Gary Fineout. UPCOMING, 700 words.
HALLOWEEN HORROR-BECOMING A WITCH
ORLANDO — “Scare-actor” Laura Law once frightened a patron so badly at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights that the woman peed in her pants. Graceful and mild-mannered, the 31-year-old actress didn’t come across as someone who could have such an effect when she arrived recently for her transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West for the 28th-year of Universal Orlando’s celebration of all-things-horror. Law has been a “scare-actor” for five years. By Mike Schneider. 825 words. AP Photos. AP Video.
— With BC-US_Halloween Horror-Stranger Things.
SANFORD — George Zimmerman’s attorney says the former neighborhood watch volunteer will plead no contest to resolve misdemeanor charges accusing him of stalking a private investigator working for a documentary filmmaker. By Mike Schneider. 350 words.
TROPICAL WEATHER-NEW YORK — New York state is dispatching National Guard personnel and aircraft to Florida and Mississippi to assist with the response to Hurricane Michael.
BOOKS-COLSON WHITEHEAD — Colson Whitehead’s next novel after “The Underground Railroad” is another look at the country’s tragic past. Whitehead’s “The Nickel” is set in a brutal reform school in early 1960s Florida, Doubleday announced Wednesday.
SCHOOL BOARD-FACEBOOK POSTS — Residents of a Florida county denounced comments by a school board member who said actor Bill Cosby should be freed after being convicted of sexual assault.
SHOPPING CENTER SHOOTING-FLORIDA — Authorities say two people are dead and two more have been wounded in a shooting at a shopping center in Florida.
UNDERAGE SEX STING — Authorities in Florida say they’ve arrested 13 men as part of underage sex sting operation.
SCHOOL SHOOTING THREAT — Authorities say several Florida schools were placed on lockdown after an “intellectually disabled” teen threatened shootings.
FLIGHT DELAYED-SUPPORT SQUIRREL — Police had to remove a woman who brought an “emotional support squirrel” on a Frontier Airlines flight headed from Orlando, Florida, to Cleveland.
MIAMI — There was no need for introductions when the Miami Heat got to work this season. It’s the same team as last year. By Tim Reynolds.
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The AP, Miami