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Florida: 5 Things To Know For August 8

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

FLORIDA LAWMAKERS START REDISTRICTING SESSION

Florida lawmakers are kicking off a special session to draw a new map for the state’s 27 congressional districts. The session started at noon on Thursday and could run for nine days although there are signs that the Republican-controlled Legislature could wrap it up sooner.

FORECASTERS EXPECT SLOWER ATLANTIC STORM SEASON

Federal forecasters say the Atlantic hurricane season will be even quieter than predicted, thanks to atmospheric and oceanic conditions suppressing storm formation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration still expects three to six hurricanes to form during the six-month season that peaks between mid-August and mid-October. Officials dropped the number of named storms to between seven and 12 in an updated hurricane season forecast issued Thursday.

FLORIDA CONSUMER SPENDING HIGHER THAN PRE-RECESSION

Three years after the Great Recession officially ended, consumer spending by Floridians had surpassed the pre-recession high, but Florida lagged slightly behind the rest of the nation in spending growth. State-level figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show that per capita consumer spending in 2012 grew 3.1 percent over the previous year in Florida.

NATIONAL PARK NEAR MIAMI MAY BAN FISH HARVESTS

Commercial fishing in national parks has spawned a new debate, as federal officials seek to ban the practice in Biscayne National Park offshore from suburban Miami. Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom says the maritime park, which is 95 percent underwater, has been over-fished for a long time. Officials say cutting off commercial fishing will help improve the numbers and sizes of fish swimming through the park.

PORT ST. LUCIE WOMAN CHARGED IN NJ FOR SON’S 1990s SALAYING

A Florida woman was arrested in the death of her 5-year-old son, who was reported missing from a carnival in New Jersey in 1991, but authorities are not saying what led them to file charges. Michelle Lodzinski, 47, was arrested Wednesday in Jensen Beach, Florida. The Port St. Lucie resident was held on $2 million bail and it was not yet known whether she had a lawyer or would agree to return to New Jersey. The boy had disappeared at a carnival in Sayreville, New Jersey, in May 1991.

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