- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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

JURORS HEAR MORE WITNESS TESTIMONY IN DAY 3 OF FAMU HAZING TRIAL

Another former band member says she recalls seeing two of three defendants charged with manslaughter in the death of a FAMU drum major hitting him during a hazing ritual the night he died. April Tarpley testified Wednesday, the third day of the trail for the case’s final three defendants, that she saw both Benjamin McNamee and Darryl Cearnel strike 26-year-old Robert Champion at different times aboard a parked bus after a football game in November 2011. Champion, of Decatur, Georgia, collapsed and died shortly after a ritual known as “Crossing Bus C,” which included him being punched, kicked, and hit with band instruments.

ACQUITTED FLORIDA MAYOR ASKS APPEALS COURT FOR JOB BACK

A South Florida mayor acquitted of federal corruption charges was suspended but never permanently removed from his post and should be restored to serve out his term, his attorney told a state appeals court Wednesday. The 3rd District Court of Appeal heard arguments in the case of Michael Pizzi against the city of Miami Lakes. A circuit judge in March ruled that Pizzi should get his old job back with back pay and benefits, but the city appealed. Pizzi was suspended from office by Gov. Rick Scott after his August 2013 arrest in an FBI corruption sting involving questionable city grants. Wayne Slaton subsequently won a special election to fill out Pizzi’s term as mayor through November 2016, but Pizzi sought to return after a jury found him not guilty last August.

AT EVERGLADES, OBAMA WARNS OF DAMAGE FROM CLIMATE NEGLECT

President Barack Obama says the Florida Everglades illustrate the dangers posed by climate change and said the warming of the planet cannot be denied. He says rising sea levels threaten South Florida aquifers and calls on Congress to provide money for a land and water protection fund. He says action on climate change can no longer be delayed and can be addressed with political will. Obama spoke after touring the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park.

BILL TIGHTENING UTILITIES REGULATION CLEARS STATE HOUSE

The panel that sets electric rates in Florida would face tighter regulations under a bill that passed the Florida House. The bill would set a 12-year term limit for members of the Florida Public Service Commission, who are appointed by the governor, and require them to take ethics training. The bill passed Wednesday would also limit service deposits power companies can require and prohibit them from changing billing cycles to push customers into higher rate categories.

FLORIDA COULD REVAMP HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

High school sports in Florida could be totally revamped under a sweeping bill passed by the Florida House. The House voted 86-29 for a bill that backers say would help students wanting to compete in high school sports. A similar bill is moving in the Florida Senate. But critics say the legislation would essentially open the door for schools to recruit student athletes to switch schools. They say the bill is being pushed by legislators upset with the governing body that oversees high school athletics.

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