- Associated Press - Friday, August 15, 2014

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday.

FLORIDA’S NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS REMAIN STEADY

The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in July amid signs that Florida’s economy continues a slow, but steady recovery from the depths of the Great Recession. New numbers released Friday show that the jobless rate was 6.2 percent last month. That’s the same as it was in June and the same rate it has been for much of the year. The state’s unemployment rate matches the U.S. rate. Florida also lost 1,600 jobs in July after leading the nation in job growth the previous month. The state has added more than 208,000 jobs in the last year.

FLORIDA: HOLD 2015 SPECIAL ELECTION FOR CONGRESS

Florida’s top election official is recommending that the state hold special elections for Congress next year, even though that may violate federal law. Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Friday filed a proposed special election schedule. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis asked for the schedule at the same time that he ordered state legislators to draw up a new congressional map. The Legislature adopted a new map earlier this week.

FLORIDA TEEN JAILED IN ATTACK ON AUTISTIC BOY

A Florida teen is jailed on a child abuse charge after authorities say he beat up an autistic teen in an attack caught on video. Police say the 16-year-old victim was at a party Aug. 8 when he was told to go outside and fight someone. When he refused, authorities say 18-year-old Andrew Wheeler was called and allegedly began beating him. Police arrested Wheeler after reviewing a video circulating online.

MAN KILLED DURING ROBBERY AT JACKSONVILLE HOME

Police say a robbery turned fatal inside a Jacksonville home when the would-be victim shot the intruder. The homeowners told Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers that they were just waking up when they heard someone coming in their back door Friday morning.

ARREST MADE IN DEATH OF 9-YEAR-OLD GIRL

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the death and sexual battery of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found in Tampa Bay. Temple Terrace police said Friday that Granville Ritchie faces first-degree murder charges. Ritchie is accused of killing Felecia Williams. The girl was at the apartment of a family friend in May when she went missing. Ritchie was arrested shortly after the girl’s disappearance on an unrelated drug charge. Officials allege he raped and strangled the girl then stuffed her body into a suitcase.

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