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AP-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

September 5, 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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. — Tropical Storm Gordon never became a hurricane but it was deadly all the same, killing a child by blowing a tree onto a mobile home as it made landfall. The storm later weakened into a depression on Wednesday but remained dangerous, dumping rain, spawning tornadoes and kicking up heavy surf in its wake. The National Hurricane Center said Gordon was weakening on a path into Arkansas after striking the coast at 70 mph, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi. The remnants will likely cause flash flooding across parts of seven states and as far north as Iowa in the coming days. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 845 words, with AP Photos, AP Video.





FORT LADUERDALE — The extensive criminal and drug abuse history of Parkland school suspect Nikolas Cruz’s biological mother could be a key factor in whether he sentenced to die for the massacre that killed 17 people, legal experts and officials say. The mother, 62-year-old Brenda Woodard, played no role in Cruz’s upbringing after giving him up for adoption after he was born. But her past, which included a crack cocaine purchase arrest while she was pregnant with Cruz, will almost certainly be brought up for a jury considering whether he should live or die. By Curt Anderson. SENT: 642 words.


SUNRISE — The Florida commission investigating February’s high school massacre will discuss the role of campus police officers and changes to the state’s mental health laws. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is scheduled Wednesday to make recommendations on how many school resource officers each campus should have based on enrollment and what the officers’ duties should be. They will also make recommendations for changing the state law that governs the involuntary commitment of anyone who is mentally ill and potentially dangerous.  By Terry Spencer. UPCOMING: 700 words.




WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will headline voter registration rallies in Las Vegas and Miami later this month during a week of action to encourage voting for the November elections by a nonpartisan organization she co-chairs, organizers said Wednesday. The former first lady is hosting the Las Vegas event on Sept. 23 and the Miami rally on Sept. 28, said Stephanie Young, communications director for When We All Vote. By Darlene Superville. SENT: 610 words with AP Photos.


UNDATED — Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist, tried to make himself the sideshow — even the center — of a Senate hearing Wednesday on social media and elections. But it was a later hearing, in the House, that was to address his pet cause of a perceived social media bias against conservatives. After the Senate hearing, Jones clashed with Sen. Marco Rubio as the Florida Republican answered reporters’ questions in a hallway. Jones started talking about “Infowars” and heckled Rubio, called the onetime presidential hopeful a “frat boy” and “little punk,” and sounded incredulous that Rubio didn’t know who he was. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Barbara Ortutay.


FUGITIVE LAWYER — A lawyer facing investment fraud charges in Florida has pleaded guilty to fleeing prosecution after he was caught in Mexico.

HOLE UNDER HOME — A large hole has opened between two homes in a gated community in Florida. Pasco County officials said in an email sent Wednesday morning that about half of the hole — which is 40-feet (12-meters) across and 20-feet (6-meters) deep — is under one of the homes in the River Ridge subdivision in New Port Richey.

FATAL FIRE — Firefighters say one person was killed and another injured by a fire at a mobile home in a salvage yard near Tampa. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials said in a news release that crews were called to the fire after 3 a.m. Wednesday.

MISSING TODDLER — Investigators say a Florida mother struck her 2-year-old son in the face, knocking him into a wall hours before she reported him missing. Largo police arrested 21-year-old Charisse Stinson late Tuesday.

INHUMANE PIG SLAUGHTER — The operator of a Florida slaughterhouse has been fined $75,000 for inhumanely killing pigs. Court records show that 53-year-old Victor Gonzalez was sentenced last week.



DAVIE — Ryan Tannehill believes he’s ready, not rusty. The Miami Dolphins quarterback, who missed all of 2017 with a knee injury, completes his comeback Sunday when Miami opens the season against Tennessee. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 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.


The AP, Miami

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