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Florida: 5 Things To Know For Mar 19

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

FLORIDA RUNAWAY LAWYER TO BE SENTENCED FOR FRAUD

A former South Florida attorney who went missing for months is facing prison time after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges for stealing money from clients. Timothy McCabe of Lake Worth faces a maximum possible prison sentence of more than 12 years at a hearing Wednesday in West Palm Beach. McCabe pleaded guilty in October to five fraud charges involving more than $6 million and 73 victims.

FUNERAL TO BE HELD FOR FORMER FLORIDA GOV. ASKEW

A funeral will be held for former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who was known as a progressive leader during a time of great social change. Wednesday’s funeral will be attended by Gov. Rick Scott, former Florida governors and other dignitaries. Askew died Thursday at 85. He served as governor from 1971 through 1978, a time when the Vietnam War was ending and women and minorities were fighting for equality.

REPORT: PROGRESS, CHALLENGES ON RACE TO THE TOP

The U.S. Department of Education says Florida is showing progress in implementing a $700 million Race to the Top grant designed to spur student improvement and lift low-performing schools, but the state is still facing a number of challenges. A department report released Wednesday finds the state is on track in meeting graduation rate and college enrollment targets.

GOV. RICK SCOTT PICKS FLORIDA TO WIN TITLE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is sticking with the state’s only team competing in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Scott released his tournament bracket Tuesday afternoon, and he has the No. 1-seeded Florida Gators winning it all. The governor also picked Florida State to defeat Auburn in the BCS football championship game.

MAN GETS 45 YEARS FOR KILLING FATHER

A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for killing his father and setting his house on fire. As part of a deal with Pasco County prosecutors, 25-year-old Baron Vercruysse pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and arson. He previously faced a first-degree murder charge and possible death sentence. Firefighters responded to the burning Holiday home on New Year’s Eve 2012. Inside, they found the body of 52-year-old Rene Dominique Vercruysse.

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