Florida: 5 Things To Know For January 8

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

5-YEAR-OLD GIRL DIES AFTER BEING THROWN OFF BRIDGE

St. Petersburg police say a 5-year-old girl has died after being thrown from a bridge into Tampa Bay and a suspect believed to be her father is in custody. Public information officer Yolanda Fernandez told The Associated Press rescuers who found the girl tried to resuscitate her. She was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead at 2:44 a.m. Thursday.

FLORIDA TO GET $5.6 MILLION IN KICKBACK SETTLEMENT

Florida is going to receive $5.6 million from DaVita HealthCare Partners as part of a national settlement. Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the settlement on Wednesday. Bondi said the settlement resolves allegations that DaVita paid illegal kickbacks to in order to get patients sent to its dialysis clinics. The referrals caused false claims to be submitted to the state’s Medicaid health care program.

PUBLIC URGED TO SOUND OFF ABOUT CONSERVATION MEASURE

State legislators say they want to hear from the public about how to put in a place a newly passed conservation amendment. Voters in November overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1. It requires the state to earmark billions of tax dollars for a host of environmental protection projects. But there are questions being raised about what type of projects should be eligible for the money.

COLD WEATHER EXPECTED TO SWEEP ACROSS FLORIDA

Bundle up, Florida. It’s going to be cold. The National Weather Service says early Thursday morning will be chilly due to a strong cold front blasting down the peninsula. There’s a freeze warning for Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties, and a hard freeze warning for Levy County. Further south, low temperatures in the 30s to lower 40s are expected.

FLORIDIANS RALLY TO EXPAND MEDICAID TO NEARLY 1 MILLION

Patients and health advocates will rally across Florida to urge Gov. Rick Scott and lawmakers to expand Medicaid to nearly 1 million residents. Thursday’s rally is slated to take place in Miami, Tallahassee, Tampa and Orlando and will include a coalition of nearly 100 organizations. They want lawmakers to accept roughly $50 billion from the federal government over the next decade to offer health coverage to residents who are too poor to qualify for tax credits in the marketplace, yet earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.