Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Florida Supreme Court puts redistricting case on fast track

tALLAHASSEE

redistricting Senate case on fast track

The Legislature has asked the Florida Supreme Court to throw out a legal challenge to its 2012 redistricting plan for the state Senate. The high court put the case on a fast track Monday, setting tight deadlines for additional filings. Former Justice Raoul Cantero submitted the petition on behalf of the House and Senate on Friday. Cantero argued that only the Supreme Court can decide legislative redistricting cases and that the justices already have done so. He's asking the high court to order a trial judge to dismiss a challenge to the Senate map lodged by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause, National Council of La Raza and several individual plaintiffs. The justices ordered the plaintiffs to respond by Feb. 28 and gave the Legislature until March 5 to reply.

Fort Pierce

Manatee photos lead to arrest

A 21-year-old Fort Pierce man is facing charges of harassing a manatee calf during a visit last month to Taylor Creek in Okeechobee County. The Palm Beach Post reports that Ryan William Waterman was arrested after photos were posted on a Facebook page of him and two young children petting a manatee calf. One shows him lifting the calf partly out of the water and another shows a child sitting on the manatee. State law forbids people to injure, harm, harass, capture or try to capture manatees. In November, authorities arrested Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez for riding a manatee along the coastal waters of Fort De Soto Park.

TALLAHASSEE

Backup plan for replacing FCAT

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett told the State Board of Education on Monday that within a couple of months he'll present a contingency plan in case the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test replacement is sidelined or delayed by problems that have begun to emerge. "That is a risk, which is why I believe it's always good management to have a Plan B," said Bennett, at his first board meeting Monday. The new test is being developed by a 23-state consortium known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges or Careers, or PARCC. The new test is being designed in conjunction with the adoption of Common Core State Standards by Florida and 44 other states. Another consortium known as Smarter Balance is developing an exam geared more toward instructional purposes than accountability such as grading schools and evaluating teacher performance, the focus of PARCC. Florida's goal is to have the new standards and tests fully in place within the next 18 months.

Scratch-Off sets a Lottery record

The Florida Lottery says Scratch-Off ticket sales have set a new record. The Florida Lottery announced Monday that sales for the week ending Feb. 17 exceeded $64.7 million. That breaks last week's record of $63 million, making it the highest single-week Scratch-Off sales achieved in the Lottery's quarter-century.

Times wires

Comments

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Updated: 4 hours ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘giant’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from her...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Shelters offer escape from the cold for those who need it

Shelters offer escape from the cold for those who need it

On warmer nights, Jerry Hardison can sleep for a few hours at the recycling center. He works 11-hour shifts there. He gets off at 2:30 a.m., then waits until the buses start running again.But not Wednesday."Getting out that time of the morning in the...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall f...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Michigan father deported after three decades in community; AIDS crusader Mathlide Kim dies; more in U.S. news

Michigan father deported after three decades in community; AIDS crusader Mathlide Kim dies; more in U.S. news

Michigan This was his home for 30 years, then ICE forced dad from familyWith two immigration agents hovering nearby, Jorge Garcia pulled his wife and their 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son close for a final hug at the Detroit airport. Soon af...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

GIBSONTON — A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on 50 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of promoting a sexual performance by a child.Authorities said they received several tip...
Updated: 8 hours ago

He still has nightmares: Deckhand recalls prior casino boat fire

Cory Byrd said he still has nightmares about the smoke. In them, he is back in the cabin of the Express Shuttle II, scrambling to reach the white rectangle of an open door. The smoke was so thick, he said, you could barely see an outstretched hand. ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

AustraliaWallaby infiltrates Sydney bridgeA wayward wallaby disrupted downtown traffic by bounding across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Tuesday with police in pursuit. The adult male was captured without any apparent serious injury and is expected to b...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

LARGO — For years, county sheriffs in the United States have faced a quandary when asked by federal officials to hold undocumented immigrants in their local jails. They could continue to hold them for up to two days past the time they were legally fr...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Med...
Updated: 10 hours ago