Florida: 5 Things To Know For September 5
Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
STATE MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR SCOTT’S PLANS
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been crossing the state this past week, vowing at campaign stops that if he’s re-elected he will enact another $1 billion in tax cuts over the next two years. Scott has said he can enact the tax cuts as well as boost spending on education and pay for new projects to help the environment because the state has a budget surplus. But a new forecast released late Wednesday raises questions about whether or not there will be enough money to do everything Scott, or even rival Charlie Crist, is promising to voters.
FLORIDA DOCTORS WARN OF MEDICAID HMO PROBLEMS
State health officials are declaring victory after transitioning the state’s 3 million Medicaid recipients into private insurance plans, but some doctors and health advocates are warning their offices are filled with confused patients who say they have been cut off from their regular physician. The state sent out a press release this week saying that the Medicaid changes have gone well, but The Associated Press interviewed doctors, parents and health advocates around Florida who said privatization has exacerbated problems first noticed in a five-county pilot program eight years ago.
MOTHER CHARGED IN SON’S DEATH TO RETURN TO NEW JERSEY
A Florida woman arrested in the 1991 death of her 5-year-old son will return to New Jersey to face charges. Forty-six-year-old Michelle Lodzinski waived extradition during a Thursday court appearance in Martin County. Lodzinski was arrested Aug. 7 and charged with murder in the death of her son, Timothy Wiltsey. She had said the boy disappeared at a carnival. But investigators said her story kept changing. His skeletal remains were found in a marshy area of Edison, New Jersey, 11 months later.
ASTEROID WILL ZOOM WITHIN 25,000 MILES OF EARTH
A newly discovered asteroid will buzz Earth this weekend. At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That’s about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It’s also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites. NASA says this latest near-Earth asteroid — called 20214 RC (R-C) — poses no threat to either the home planet or orbiting spacecraft.
POLICE SAY TEENS STOLE SCHOOL BUS, WENT ON JOY RIDE
Authorities say three central Florida teens stole a school bus, picked up other students and went on a joy ride. Police say the teens took the bus Sunday night after finding it parked at Lake Wales High School with the keys inside. They’re charged with grand theft auto and trespassing on school property. The incident was captured on the bus’s video system.