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BC-FL--Florida News Digest, FL

February 16, 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. Jennifer Kay is on the desk and can be reached at jnkay@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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

CAR--NASCAR-DAYTONA-THE FIGHT

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ Thanks to a new television deal, a massive snowstorm and a spectacular ending that included an infield brawl, the 1979 Daytona 500 was instrumental in broadening NASCAR’s southern roots. Forty years later, it still resonates as one of the most important days in NASCAR history. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 3 a.m. With: CAR--AP Was There-1979 Brawl and CAR--AP Was There-1979 Daytona 500.

IN BRIEF:

FIREFIGHTER- COCA TEA _ A Florida firefighter fired for a positive drug test got his job back after arguing the cocaine in his system was from a tea made with coca leaves.

VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS _ The U.S. Air Force has begun flying tons of aid to a Colombian town on the Venezuelan border as part of an effort meant to undermine socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

CAREGIVER ARRESTED _ A Florida facility for people with disabilities has suspended its CEO amid an investigation into a resident’s pregnancy.

FLORIDA-METEOR _ Experts say a fireball streaking across the night sky over central Florida this week was a large meteor.

MIAMI-HOMELESS PROTECTIONS _ A federal judge has abolished a consent decree that prevented Miami police from arresting homeless people for loitering, sleeping on sidewalks, or urinating in public.

STOLEN POLICE GUNS _ Authorities say a Florida police employee sold department-owned guns and other equipment to a pawn shop.

OFFICER-ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE _ Authorities say a Florida police officer’s gun accidentally fired outside a school.

ROAD WORKERS INJURED _ Authorities say three road construction workers have been injured on a Florida highway.

PRESIDENTIAL DESCENDANTS _ Descendants of four former United States presidents are in Key West to speak about their famous forbears during a forum at the Harry S. Truman Little White House, Florida’s only presidential museum.

IN SPORTS:

HKN--CANADIENS-LIGHTNING

TAMPA, Fla. _ The Tampa Bay Lightning aim for their fifth straight win, hosting the Montreal Candiens, who’ve lost two straight. By Erik Erlendsson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.

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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