Florida: 5 Things To Know For May 21

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

FLORIDA SENATE PRESIDENT TO TESTIFY DURING TRIAL

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz is scheduled to testify during the third day of a trial looking at whether state legislators broke the law when drawing up new political maps. Gaetz, a Niceville Republican, was in charge of the Senate committee that oversaw redistricting in 2011 and 2012. Voters in 2010 passed the “Fair Districts” amendment that says districts cannot be drawn in a way to favor incumbents or members of a political party.

ADVOCATES WANT MORE FREQUENT FEDERAL WATER BILLS

Environmental advocates hope Everglades restoration won’t have to wait another seven years for a federal water projects bill like the one expected to clear Congress. The House passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act on Tuesday. The Senate could vote on it later this week. The legislation authorizes four Everglades restoration projects, along with 30 other water projects nationwide.

FLORIDA JUDGE WON’T DISMISS BOLIVIA RIGHTS LAWSUIT

A Florida federal judge has refused to dismiss a human rights lawsuit seeking to hold Bolivia’s former president and defense minister liable for military killings of civilians in 2003. U.S. District Judge James Cohn said in Tuesday’s ruling that the Bolivian plaintiffs could pursue claims under the Torture Victim Protection Act. The nine plaintiffs are family members of people killed in the violence over a decade ago.

200 WOOD STORKS IN CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY

Wood storks successfully built 200 nests in a southwest Florida sanctuary the endangered birds had abandoned several years ago. Officials say 300 chicks were born in the nests in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The storks had not nested there since 2009, when they built 1,120 nests and produced 2,570 fledglings.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TEST WIND CHALLENGE DESIGNS

A group of high school students from Miami-Dade County will test their aerodynamic designs in a wind challenge. The teams built models that would improve a building’s aerodynamic performance. The models will be tested Wednesday at Florida International University’s Wall of Wind. Judges will evaluate how each model performs against winds produced by a giant fan capable of simulating a Category 5 hurricane.

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