BC-FL--Florida News Digest,1st Ld, FL


Associated Press

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

The news editor is Terry Spencer. The supervisor in Miami 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 e-mail to Miami(at)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.


XGR--PARENTAL TRIGGER: Expected by 4 p.m.



TALLAHASSEE — Medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance premiums — will jump an average 20 percent for Floridian's individual policies under the federal health overhaul, according to a study by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts. Uncertainty over costs associated with the Affordable Care Act has been a major concern among the Florida's GOP-controlled Legislature. Tuesday's study comes as lawmakers are still trying to decide whether they will offer health coverage to an expanded Medicaid population and how they will run the online state health exchange. "The certainty of dramatic increades in premiums is one of the least recognized and discussed aspects of the Affordable Care Act and it's one of the reasons (Senate President Don) Gaetz and I have been so cautious and circumspect in developing our budget," said Sen. Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican, who chaired a committee overseeing implementation of the federal health law. By Kelli Kennedy and Bruce Schreiner.


TALLAHASSEE — The 1st District Court of Appeal will hear argument about legislative privilege in Florida's congressional redistricting case. The Legislature wants the court to recognize a legal privilege for lawmakers and their staff that shields them from having to testify about legislative business. Otherwise, they could be subject to a motion to compel their testimony. Opponents in an ongoing suit still in trial court contend that redrawn congressional district lines are intended to protect incumbent Republicans. By James L. Rosica.


TALLAHASSEE — With a crucial vote looming in the Florida House, rival groups ratcheted up their rhetoric Tuesday on a bill that would give parents a stronger voice in charting turnaround plans for failing schools. By Bruce Schreiner.


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police cannot bring drug-sniffing police dogs onto a suspect's property to look for evidence without first getting a warrant for a search, a decision which may limit how investigators use dogs' sensitive noses to search out drugs, explosives and other items hidden from human sight, sound and smell. The high court split 5-4 on the decision to uphold the Florida Supreme Court's ruling throwing out evidence seized in the search of Joelis Jardines' Miami-area house. That search was based on an alert by Franky the drug dog from outside the closed front door. Justice Antonin Scalia said a person has the Fourth Amendment right to be free from the government's gaze inside their home and in the area surrounding it, which is called the curtilage. By Jesse J. Holland. MOVED.


CAPE CANAVERAL — A privately owned cargo ship left the International Space Station with a full science load Tuesday and aimed for a splashdown in the Pacific. Astronauts released the unmanned SpaceX capsule, named Dragon, from the end of the space station's giant robot arm. The parting occurred 250 miles over the South Pacific and was a poignant moment for the three space station residents, who had helped to snare the Dragon three weeks earlier. "Sad to see the Dragon go," astronaut Thomas Marshburn told Mission Control. "Performed her job beautifully. Heading back to her lair. Wish her all the best for the splashdown today." By Marcia Dunn. With AP Photos. MOVED.


BOCA RATON — A $20,000 watch helped lead police to three suspects in the Jan. 4 killing of a popular Boca Raton bartender. Boca Raton police on Monday announced three arrests in the death of Rafael Rodriguez. He was shot by a suspect during a closing time robbery of Josephine's restaurant, which is owned by his girlfriend, Josephine Tribunella. The suspects took her Chopard watch that night. Rodriguez died a short time later at a hospital. MOVED.


FLORIDA WILDFIRE — Firefighters continue to mop up hot spots in St. Lucie County after lightning caused a 200-acre brush fire that damaged four homes.

FBN--ROGERS-HOTEL THEFT — New York Giants defensive tackle Shaun Rogers had a pair of diamond earrings and gold jewelry stolen from his Miami Beach hotel room.

BI-LO LAYOFFS — Bi-Lo is laying off more than 100 workers at its former corporate headquarters in Mauldin. Spokesman Brian Wright said Monday 130 employees were being laid off starting next month because of the company's merger with Winn-Dixie. Bi-Lo LLC bought the Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocery store chain in 2011 for $560 million. The newly merged company will be based in Florida.

METAL THROUGH WINDSHIELD — A man was injured when a metal cap from a passing truck broke through the windshield of his vehicle and struck the side of his head.

BARN FIRE — An incident report notes that a fire that killed nine horses started in a tack room filled with appliances.

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY TRAIN — Daytona Beach police say a man was struck and killed by a southbound Florida East Coast Railway cargo train.

CHILDREN-SQUALID CONDITIONS — Deputies have arrested the parents of three children who were found living in squalid conditions near Ocala.

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS — State health officials are warning people to be vigilant about mosquito bites after discovering an extremely rare human case of Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation of the brain.

XGR-NEEDLE EXCHANGE — Florida lawmakers have introduced legislation that would legalize syringe and needle exchanges in the state.

SEA TURTLE NESTING — As sea turtles nest on Florida beaches, experts say they are facing some challenges from the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Debby.



CORAL GABLES — Miami coach Jim Larranaga is heading back to Washington, the area where he still has plenty of friends from his stint at George Mason, and the arena where he celebrated going to a Final Four seven years ago. It might be good karma for the Hurricanes this weekend. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.


The AP, Miami