- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

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

EXILES DIVIDED ON PLANS TO THAW US-CUBA RELATIONS

News of a historic thaw in Cuban-American relations led many to expect mass protests from the anti-Castro exile community in Miami. But outrage in the city has been decidedly muted and demonstrations have turned out few opponents to President Barack Obama’s plan to re-establish diplomatic ties with the communist island. A handful of protests popped up Wednesday, with people waving signs criticizing Obama. But elsewhere, the news brought praise and even applause among Cuban-Americans who said it is time for a new approach after decades of failed efforts to isolate the island’s leaders.

DRUG SUPPLIER PLEADS GUILTY IN MLB DOPING CASE

A man who admitted working as a black market chemist at a garage lab in his suburban home pleaded guilty Thursday to being the main supplier of banned performance-enhancing substances in Major League Baseball’s most recent steroid scandal. Paulo Berejuk, a 51-year-old Brazilian citizen with permanent U.S. residency, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone. Investigators said Berejuk was the key source of the substance for Anthony Bosch, who ran the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic that provided steroids to MLB players and other athletes.



NUMBER OF TOP-RATED HIGH SCHOOLS FALLS

The number of top rated high schools in Florida is dropping. Grades released Thursday by the Florida Department of Education showed that the number of A-graded schools dropped from 49 percent last year to 36 percent this year. The number of schools given a B did edge up slightly from 33 percent to 35 percent.

ANONYMOUS DONOR DROPS NEARLY $10,000 IN RED KETTLES

Someone filled the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles with nearly $10,000 in crisp $100 bills folded in the exact same way. The donation came Tuesday and was spread among the kettles from Viera to Cocoa Beach. Florida Today reports Salvation Army officials believe the money came from a single source. The amounts ranged from $500 to $1,000 per kettle.

CAR HITS, KILLS 2 CROSSING ROAD IN DEERFIELD BEACH

Broward Sheriff’s deputies say a man and woman died after being hit by a car as they crossed North Ocean Drive in Deerfield Beach. The crash happened Wednesday night. Deputies say 85-year-old Philip Kendall and 80-year-old Francine Freedman had just moved into their beachside neighborhood a few days earlier.

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