Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes
The news editor is Terry Spencer. The supervisor is David Fischer. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via email to Miami@ap.org; or fax to (305) 594-9265. The AP's general website is http://www.ap.org. The Florida AP's website is http://www.ap.org/Florida/. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida's school districts will be required to review and select textbooks under a bill passed by the Florida Senate. The Senate on Friday voted 21-19 for the bill which was pushed in response to a backlash over national education standards called Common Core. The bill was also inspired by complaints over a high school world history textbook that some said gave too much attention to Islam. School boards currently select textbooks from a list drawn up by the Florida Department of Education. Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said the legislation was needed so that school board members will be accountable to parents and voters. Opponents complained it would cost districts money to review textbooks. Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, said she was worried the bill would lead to censorship. By Gary Fineout. UPCOMING: 500 words.
XGR-CRIMES AGAINST UNBORN
TALLAHASSEE — The House debates a bill that would expand a law that allows for criminal charges if someone causes a fetus to die while committing a crime against the mother. By Brendan Farrington. 500 words expected by 3 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE — The Senate on Friday moved to try to address sliding test scores for nursing school graduates and a glut of poorly performing programs, passing a measure that would require accreditation for all new schools within five years of accepting students. The bill would also allow nurses currently certified by one of the two top accrediting agencies in the U.S. to be exempt from the current biennial continuing education requirement. The measure is a response to legislation passed in 2009 and 2010 that loosened requirements to open nursing education programs. Program operators were allowed to apply through a formulaic application process designed to streamline the process for licensure and opening.By Steve Miller. UPCOMING: 400 words.
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House is expected to pass on Friday a bill that would expand the state's voucher program for low-income children. But it's not clear if the Senate will consider it since it still not include any testing requirements that are a must for Senate President Don Gaetz. By Gary Fineout. UPCOMING: 400 words.
ORLANDO — A man who authorities say drove an SUV that crashed into another vehicle, sending it spinning into a daycare center where a girl was killed and 14 people were injured, was ordered Friday to stay in jail until a judge can determine whether he is a flight risk. Robert Corchado, 28, will be held in jail until at least Monday when a judge will hear arguments on whether he can be released on bail, Circuit Judge Jerry Brewer said during a first appearance hearing. Bail was initially set for $100,000, but a prosecutor told the judge that Corchado was a flight risk and that he should be held without bond. "I have a witness here, a trooper, who can testify that he is a flight risk," prosecutor Austin Price said. "He has it on good authority that this defendant, is planning, once he posts bond, to leave the country." Corchado's public defender, Jon de Armas, asked that the $100,000 bond remain in place. By Mike Schneider. SENT: 487 words, with photos, video.
MIAMI — An associate of former Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera is seeking release on bail while awaiting charges on violating federal campaign finance laws. Federal prosecutors want Ana Alliegro kept in jail until trial because they say she might flee prosecution. By Curt Anderson. 400 words, by 2:30.
POLITICAL PARTY FUNDRAISING
TALLAHASSEE — Millions of dollars have flowed into campaign accounts, including the Republican Party of Florida, this year from the same groups that are trying to get bills passed or killed in the Legislature. Money has come in from sugar growers, gambling companies, utilities and beer distributors. By Gary Fineout. UPCOMING: 500 words.
PENSACOLA — Florida prosecutors will drop some drug cases and more closely scrutinize drug evidence after a former state crime lab analyst was accused of stealing narcotics from evidence bags, replacing them with over-the-counter medicine. State attorneys throughout Florida said it remains unclear how many cases will be dropped because of Joseph Graves' alleged thefts. Evidence seized by 80 law enforcement agencies in 35 of Florida's 67 counties may have been compromised. "This has created a very difficult burden on our entire office. A very significant amount of manpower has been devoted to this," said State Attorney Bill Eddins, who said investigators have reviewed more than 2,600 cases Graves handled since 2006 and have found 53 in Eddins' district where drug evidence appears to have been compromised. By Melissa Nelson-Gabriel. SENT: 457 words.
TAMPA — Eddie, a Belgian Malinois dog, saved the lives of his 13-member patrol unit in 2012 in Afghanistan when he found two IEDs in the dirt while on routine patrol. On Friday, he will retire with full military honors at a ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. By Tamara Lush. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos, video by 1 p.m.
TAX RETURN FRAUD
TOLEDO, Ohio — Laura Hankins knew something was wrong when she filed her daughter's tax return and it was rejected hours later: An identity thief already had sent in a return using the 19-year-old's personal information. "This is the first time in her life she has ever filed income taxes, after earning all of $1,800 stocking products on grocery store shelves," Hankins said. "I did her taxes for her online, but immediately she got the rejection." Thieves have claimed billions of dollars in bogus tax refunds from the IRS by swiping the Social Security numbers and identities of schoolchildren in Florida, prisoners in Pennsylvania, teachers in Washington state and soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By John Seewer. SENT: 873 words with photos.
WEST PALM BEACH — Authorities say a woman who collected more than $300,000 in government assistance has been sentenced to 51 months in prison. During a hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp said the conduct of Gloria Valle-Clas is "about as low as it gets." He also ordered her to $283,359 in restitution. "Conduct like this should incense all Americans," Ryskamp said. "To be ripping off our government — every agency by every means possible." Prosecutors say Valle-Clas and husband Alexander Gonzalez were living the life of luxury on a one-acre, manicured lot in Loxahatchee. They had a swimming pool, a Mercedes, a boat and a greenhouse — all while collecting between $305,000 and $377,000 in food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid benefits. Records show she used two Social Security numbers. The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/1lVluej ) reports Gonzalez played a minor role in the schemes and was sentenced to 364 days in prison. He was also ordered to repay the government $9,999. SENT: 421 words.
SHELL FACTORY-MORTGAGE — A southwest Florida tourist attraction faces possible foreclosure after a lender refused to extend the period to repay its $1.2 million mortgage.
TOXIC TRUCK — A Miami man accused of killing his adoptive 10-year-old daughter wants his separate attempted murder trial moved out of Palm Beach County.
DEPUTIES INJURED — A north Florida man faces DUI and careless driving charges after his car rear-ended a sheriff's patrol car.
DRUG COURTS — A celebration is taking place in Miami for the 25th anniversary of the creation of drug courts that divert people into treatment rather than putting them in prison.
POLITICAL PARTY FUNDRAISING — The Republican Party of Florida continues to raise significantly more money than their counterparts at the Florida Democratic Party.
MIAMI — First place in the Eastern Conference is at stake Friday night, when Indiana visits Miami. The Pacers lead the Heat by a half-game coming into the matchup. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.
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