- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

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

EX-FAMU BAND MEMBER GETS 1 YEAR IN HAZING DEATH

A former Florida A&M; band member has become the first person to be sentenced to jail time for his role in the hazing death of a drum major. Jessie Baskin was sentenced Friday to 51 weeks in the county jail, five years of probation and 300 hours of community service for participating in the beating death of 26-year-old Robert Champion in November 2011. Champion of Decatur, Ga., died during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel.

STATE HOUSE KEEPS PUSHING MAJOR VOUCHER EXPANSION

Republicans in the Florida House are pushing ahead with a plan to expand a state-backed program that helps low-income children attend private schools. Last week the issue appeared dead when the Senate sponsor withdrew his bill. But on Friday, a House committee voted along party lines for a revamped version.

UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS UNCHANGED

Florida’s unemployment rate isn’t dropping like it once did. But it’s holding steady. In February, the jobless rate was at 6.2 percent, which is the same rate reported in January and December. The state gained 33,000 jobs in February as well.

FLORIDA OFFICIAL GETS 30 MONTHS IN BRIBERY CASE

An official who oversaw thousands of roadway lights in Miami-Dade County has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for taking bribes from a lighting contractor. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday that 50-year-old George Brown must also forfeit $13,000. He pleaded guilty in January to the bribery count. Brown has until May 13 to surrender to the United States Bureau of Prisons.

4 DEAD IN PLANT CITY CRASH

State troopers say four people died in a head-on crash in Plant City. The collision happened early Friday morning on State Road 60 when a man lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median and hit a car carrying three people. No one involved in the crash wore a seatbelt.