Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
GOVERNOR’S CLAIM OF FEWER CHILD ABUSE DEATHS QUESTIONED
Republican Gov. Rick Scott repeatedly tells voters that abused and neglected children are safer under his leadership than when his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist was governor. But an Associated Press examination of that claim shows that campaign claim may be an exaggeration. Scott says deaths among children who have come to the DCF’s attention have plummeted from 97 in 2009 to 36 last year. Child welfare experts say any drop is attributed to the way the agency responds to abuse reports and changes to what is considered a death caused by neglect or abuse. The result artificially reduces the number of child deaths compared to Crist’s 2007-11 term.
UF PICKS CORNELL PROVOST FUCHS AS NEXT PRESIDENT
The University of Florida has chosen Cornell University’s provost to be its 12th president. W. Kent Fuchs was chosen by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday after a three-day process of meetings and interviews. He will replace Bernie Machen, who is retiring at the end of the year. This presidential search process began in March. It was the second attempt to replace Machen, who initially said he would retire in 2013. He decided to stay put just days before a successor was chosen.
YOUNG SISTERS DROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA CANAL
A South Florida family is mourning the deaths of two young sisters found dead in a canal behind their home. Police say the girls were found Tuesday night several hours after they went missing while playing outside their home in Margate. The girls — ages 2 and 4 — were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead. It’s the second double fatality in a South Florida waterway this week. On Sunday night a 59-year-old woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter were found dead in a lake in nearby Miramar hours after going to feed ducks.
PANHANDLE TEEN ACCUSED OF STABBING FATHER
Authorities say a teenager is accused of stabbing his father during an argument at their Panama City Beach home. Police say 18-year-old Jared Gay he armed himself with a knife when he heard his father come home on Monday night. They say an argument began because the teen had left his father stranded at a local business. When 45-year-old Bryant Gay saw the knife, he armed himself with a “slapjack” but was stabbed twice in the chest. Bryant Gay, a Florida Highway Patrol officer, is recovering.
FLU, COLDS FORCE TAMPA SCHOOL TO CLOSE
A severe bout of cold and flu has caused one Tampa school to close for the rest of the week. Officials at Cambridge Christian School made the announcement Tuesday after about 25 percent of the 250 students in grades 9 through 12 were absent with illnesses. The school’s chairman of the board Greg Froelich says officials decided to “err on the side of caution.” Students in pre-K through eighth grade are not affected because they attend classes in a separate building.