- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

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

RINGLING BROS CIRCUS PHASING OUT ELEPHANTS

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show’s iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision. Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company, said the decision to end the circus’s century-old tradition of showcasing elephants was difficult and debated at length. Elephants have often been featured on Ringling’s posters over the decades. The decision is being announced Thursday.

POLICE: MOM FORCES BOY TO JUMP FROM 2ND FLOOR WINDOW

A woman wielding a shotgun forced her 7-year-old son to jump out of a second-floor apartment window early Thursday before she jumped as well in an apparent suicide attempt, police said. Spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said Michelle Vail, 32, told the child a serial killer was after them to get him to jump out the window. Vail had called police around 6:30 a.m., telling the dispatcher that her ex-boyfriend was at the door in St. Petersburg and she needed help.

DOG SURVIVES AFTER BEING TIED TO RAILROAD TRACK, SHOT

A dog that was found shot multiple times and tied to the railroad tracks was rescued by Tampa police and is expected to survive. Officers found the dog after responding to reports of shots fired in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood Wednesday evening. They were able to stop oncoming trains and rescue the mixed-breed dog, which was taken to the Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Center in stable condition. The dog was shot twice in the neck and once in the right shoulder, and will likely have her right front leg amputated, authorities said.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO CLEAN, PROTECT FLORIDA’S WATER

The Florida House passed a bill that supporters say will help clean and protect the state’s waterways while planning for increased water demand in the future. The bill passed Thursday on a 106-9 vote. Critics, however, say it doesn’t go far enough to address the state’s water issues. The 94-page bill was the first bill passed by the House during the 90-day session that began Tuesday. It seeks to reduce algae-causing nutrients entering into and flowing out of Lake Okeechobee, as well as Florida’s springs.

SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN FORT LAUDERDALE HOME-SHOWING KILLING

Authorities say they’ve arrested a suspect accused of fatally shooting a man who was looking at a house near Fort Lauderdale with his wife and real estate agent. The Broward Sheriff’s Office reports that 51-year-old Vincent Reniard Stanley was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder. Authorities say Stanley’s getaway driver, 48-year-old Israel Brown, was arrested Monday and charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

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