Florida: 5 Things To Know For July 18th

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

RULING ALLOWS SAME-SEX MARRIAGES FOR FLORIDA KEYS

A judge in the Florida Keys has overturned the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage after a legal challenge by six gay couples said it effectively made them second-class citizens. The ruling was issued Thursday by Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia and applies only to Monroe County, which covers the Keys. The lawsuit contended that the same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2008 violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. The judge says licenses could be issued starting Tuesday.

CHARLIE CRIST SELECTS RUNNING MATE

Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist picked former congressional candidate and Miami-Dade County Democratic Party chairwoman Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate. Former Gov. Crist made the announcement Thursday in Miami. Taddeo-Goldstein was born in Colombia to an American father and Colombian mother and spent the first 17 years of her life in the South American country.

AMERICAN WHO HIJACKED JET TO CUBA GETS 20 YEARS

An American who returned from Cuba decades after hijacking a jetliner to the communist island has been sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison but will be eligible for early release on parole. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore imposed the sentenced Thursday on William Potts Jr. for the 1984 hijacking of the jet en route from New York to Miami. Potts had pleaded guilty to a kidnapping charge.

BOY ACCUSED OF STEALING SECOND SCHOOL BUS

Officials say the 12-year-old boy arrested after stealing a school bus earlier this summer is accused of stealing another bus. The boy was arrested Wednesday after he was stopped for erratic driving in the Florida Panhandle. The boy apparently found a key left hidden in a Parker Elementary School bus after the driver finished his route. He drove to Franklin County, which is west of Panama City. School district officials say he had just been released from juvenile justice after stealing a school bus in Panama City Beach.

MORE THAN 100 SW FLORIDA WORKERS DETAINED OVER FALSE PAPERS

More than 100 workers have been detained by the state’s insurance fraud agency for allegedly working at a local vegetable packing plant using false identities. Immigration activists say Collier County Sheriff’s deputies booked at least 103 workers into the jail by late Wednesday. Most of the workers were presumed to be in the country illegally.

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