Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
FLORIDA LAWMAKERS HAVE MONEY TO SPEND OR GIVE BACK
Florida legislators this year aren’t worrying about budget cuts or how to balance the state budget. Instead the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature will spend the next nine weeks trying to figure out how to spend an expected budget surplus of more than $1 billion. Gov. Rick Scott wants legislators to use the surplus to pay for tax and fee cuts of nearly $600 million including a roll back in auto registration fees.
ANOTHER CUBAN 5 SPY RELEASED FROM US PRISON
A second member of the “Cuban Five” spy ring has been released from a U.S. prison after spending more than 15 years behind bars. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said 50-year-old Fernando Gonzalez - known to U.S. authorities by his alias, Ruben Campa - completed his sentence at 4 a.m. local time Thursday at a prison in Safford, Ariz. Gonzalez was turned over immediately to immigration officials.
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MOURNS EX-FOOTBALL PLAYER
The University of Miami is mourning the loss of one of its former football players. Former Hurricanes defensive back Jojo Nicolas died Wednesday after getting into a car crash early Tuesday on a Miami Beach highway. Nicolas played for the Hurricanes from 2007 to 2011, when he graduated. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 2012. In a statement, Miami Athletic Director Blake James said Nicolas “will forever be a part of the U.”
DAYCARE WORKER CHARGED IN CHILD’S DROWNING DEATH
The operator of a Miami daycare has been charged in the death of a toddler who squeezed through a hole in a pool fence and drowned after jumping into the water. Zobeida Gonzalez, who helps run the daycare, was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated manslaughter and child neglect. Three-year-old Jonathan Feliciano fell into the pool Dec. 22.
COUPLE REUNITED WITH UNIQUE RING DROPPED IN GULF
A unique wedding ring lost in the Gulf of Mexico has been found by a southwest Florida treasure hunter. Sarah Whitten-Grigsby and Les Grigsby had matching titanium wedding rings with colored dots around the bands. Les Grigsby’s ring slipped from his hand into the waters off Venice in June. Mark DesErmia found the ring in January about 50 feet from shore and tracked down the couple around Valentine’s Day.