- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

MIAMI (AP) - Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

NO IMMUNITY IN US CASE FOR HAITIAN POLITICIAN, COUP LEADER

The Miami federal judge ruled Friday that Guy Philippe cannot use his Nov. 20 election to the Haitian Senate to avoid prosecution in the U.S. Philippe was arrested four days before he was to officially take office on Jan. 9. The judge also rejected Philippe’s attempt to get the charges dismissed for several reasons, including claims that he was essentially kidnapped and illegally brought to the U.S.

WILDLIFE AGENCY: VIDEO SHOWED MAN TAKING 2 PANTHERS FROM DEN

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Ken Warren said search warrants were served Thursday at the homes of two Miami men suspected of “numerous” wildlife violations, including interfering with the breeding, feeding or sheltering of Florida panthers. Warren said in a statement Friday that one man was arrested because of items found during the search.

FLORIDA DROPS CHARGES IN CASE THAT SHOOK STATE’S POLITICS

Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis was convicted in 2013 of 103 counts of racketeering, possessing slot machines and other charges and sentenced to six years in prison. But an appeals court last year ruled that Mathis deserved a new trial because his attorneys were not allowed to call certain witnesses.

FLORIDA’S ECONOMY STILL GROWING, BUT BUDGET CUTS STILL LOOM

State officials met Friday to draw up new forecasts to predict how much the state will collect in taxes over the next few years. The forecasts will be used by state legislators to draw up this year’s budget. Economists predict the state’s main budget account will grow by 4.4 percent during the fiscal year that ends in June. Those forecasts estimate growth of nearly 4 percent in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

WOMAN ‘ALMOST CRASHED CAR’ NEAR VENICE WHEN SNAKE SLITHERED FROM VENT

Monica Dorsett says she was in traffic on March 10 when she saw the snake slither out of the vent to the left of her steering wheel. She cut across two lanes and stopped in a parking lot. She says she slammed the door with the snake half in and half out. Her husband then opened the door and the snake fell to the ground. She says he “euthanized” it.

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