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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

March 5, 2019

Good morning! 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. Freida Frisaro is on the desk and can be reached at ffrisaro@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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

XGR-FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

TALLAHASSEE _ The Florida Legislature is convening in Tallahassee for its annual 60-day lawmaking session with new presiding officers, a new governor and only one requirement: pass a state budget to fund the government. Legislators gather Tuesday to open the session but have already been meeting in committees for weeks on issues ranging from smokeable medical marijuana to enhanced environmental protections to broadened vouchers for students to attend private schools at taxpayer expense. By Curt Anderson. UPCOMING: 600 words.

STATE of the STATE

TALLAHASSEE _ Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will give his first State of the State address in a speech that’s expected to focus on economic issues, the environment, education, public safety and government accountability. By Brendan Farrington. UPCOMING: 600 words following 11:30 a.m. speech.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-SUPERINTENDENT

FORT LAUDERDALE _ A Florida school board is set to decide whether to fire its superintendent over the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. The Broward County school board is scheduled to vote on Tuesday whether to dismiss Superintendent Robert Runcie. The measure is being pushed by member Lori Alhadeff, who was elected to the board last year after her daughter and 16 others were killed at the school. By Terry Spencer. UPCOMING: 500 words following debate scheduled for 11:15 a.m.

FBI CORRUPTION

WASHINGTON _ Aiming to crack down on money laundering and bribes to overseas governments, the FBI is stepping up its efforts to root out foreign corruption with a new squad of agents based in Miami. The squad will focus its efforts not only on Miami but also in South America, a continent that has been home to some of the Justice Department’s most significant international corruption prosecutions of the last several years. The Miami squad joins three others based in the FBI’s largest field offices — Washington, New York and Los Angeles. By Michael Balsamo and Eric Turner. SENT: 859 words with AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

CARNIVAL VENDORS KILLED _ One of several people charged in the deaths of a couple at a Kansas county fair last year has pleaded guilty. The Great Bend Tribune reports 54-year-old Michael Fowler Jr., of Sarasota, Florida, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of theft.

PUPPY HOARDING _ Animal shelters from around Georgia were called in to help authorities rescue 630 dogs from a home in Valdosta.

HURRICANE IRMA-FRAUD _ A Florida woman has been sentenced to one year and three months in prison for lying on an application seeking disaster relief benefits following Hurricane Irma.

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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