Florida: 5 Things To Know For March 26

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

RESEARCHERS PLAN $3M STUDY OF FLORIDA’S SPRINGS

Two University of Florida institutes and the St. Johns River Water Management District are starting a three-year $3 million study of the impact of pollutants on Florida’s springs. St. Johns district chief scientist Ed Lowe says researchers hope to identify the areas that are the major sources of nitrates and other pollutants in the springs. The study will focus on Silver Springs in Ocala and Wekiva Springs in Apopka.

TAMPA POLICE CHIEF TO STAY ON AFTER RETIREMENT

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor will remain the city’s top cop for at least one year after her retirement in May. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Tuesday that reduced crime in the city was a major factor in his decision to retain Castor. Castor, who has a mandatory retirement date approaching May 6, is in the city’s deferred retirement option plan, which allows her to continue working while drawing her pension.

MAN GETS 11 YEARS FOR FATAL PUNCH

A man who fatally punched the manager a southwest Florida restaurant has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Authorities say 20-year-old Juan De Dios Rodriguez and two friends ate at the New Dynasty Chinese Buffet in July but then left without paying their $35 bill. The manager, 51-year-old Taian “Andrew” Tian chased after the group, but Rodriguez punched Tian, causing him to fall in the parking lot and strike his head.

MYSTERY PROJECT MAY GET MILLIONS FROM FLORIDA

Florida will award nearly $21 million to a mystery economic development project planned at the Melbourne International Airport. A state legislative panel Tuesday approved a request by Gov. Rick Scott to spend the money for “Project Magellan.” Documents show that the company receiving the money is promising to spend up to $500 million between now and 2020.

BECKHAM MAKES PITCH FOR SOCCER AT FLORIDA CAPITOL

Soccer star David Beckham is making a pitch for his Miami soccer franchise to top Florida politicians. Beckham on Tuesday made a whirlwind visit to the state Capitol where he met with Gov. Rick Scott, as well as top legislative leaders. He said that “no promises” were made by anyone to him. Instead, Beckham said that leaders have told him they support his plan to bring a Major League Soccer expansion team to Miami.

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