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Florida News Digest

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Good afternoon! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Florida. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Miami bureau at 305-594-5825 or miami@ap.org. Ian Mader is the news editor and can be reached at imader@ap.org. Tamara Lush is on the desk and can be reached at tlush@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.



WASHINGTON — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is committing at least $100 million to help Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the crucial battleground state of Florida. Bloomberg’s spending reflects Democrats’ concerns about the tight race in a state that’s a priority for President Donald Trump. A victory for Biden in Florida would significantly complicate Trump’s path to reaching the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure a second term. The billionaire Bloomberg launched his own campaign for the Democratic nomination late last year amid worries about the strength of Biden’s campaign. Bloomberg dropped out in March and endorsed Biden. By Julie Pace and Alexandra Jaffe, 499 words, AP Photos, SENT


ST. PETERSBURG — Tropical Storm Sally is threatening the Gulf Coast with dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall and strong winds. Two tropical depressions and two other disturbances were also at sea or in the Gulf. Meanwhile, residents of Bermuda are urged by forecasters to prepare to protect life and property ahead of Hurricane Paulette. By Tamara Lush, 500 words, 3 p.m


ST. PETERSBURG — A veteran Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy has died from coronavirus, the third officer in that county to die of the virus. All three worked in the agency’s corrections department. According to the Palm Beach Post, Angela Chavers was 44 and is survived by her son and niece. She worked in the sheriff’s corrections division in inmate management. On April 4, deputy Jose Diaz-Ayala became the first deputy in Palm Beach County to die from the coronavirus. He also worked in corrections. Deputy Maurice Ford died on Aug. 28. Ford, who had been hospitalized since June, worked in the West Detention Center in Belle Glade and had been with the sheriff’s office since 2006. 178 words, SENT


LAKE BUENA VISTA — A small number of protesters carrying signs and shouting into megaphones blocked at least two buses chartered by the NBA from briefly from entering the Walt Disney World campus on Saturday night, with the group saying it wanted LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and other top players to take notice. The group blocked charter buses carrying members of the news media and some NBA staff, but no players or team personnel. Among their chants: “Black Lives Matter” and “LeBron can you help us?” Some also carried signs with messages such as “Russell Stand With Us.” By Tim Reynolds, 421 words, AP Photos, SENT


TAMPA — From the deck of her parents’ boat in Tampa Bay, GiGi Lucas grew up watching orange sherbet sunsets and the nautical wonders of the ocean. Lucas always loved being in the water, but it wasn’t until she was 35 that she discovered the true beauty of learning to surf in it. “I was at a friend’s wedding in Costa Rica and everybody went zip-lining,” she said. “I went surfing. I never considered surfing as an option when I was a kid. I decided in my 20s that I wanted to learn how to surf before I turned 40. The wedding in Costa Rica was the perfect opportunity.” Three years later, Lucas — a woman of color — created the 501c3 nonprofit, SurfearNEGRA, and has collaborated with Jacksonville neighbor Brianna Kilcullen’s company, Anact, on a venture to help introduce Black girls to the sport, break stigmas and stereotypes, and “diversify the lineup.” Tampa Bay Times, 1244 words, SENT


FORT LAUDERDALE — It has been months since we all locked ourselves in our homes to escape the coronavirus, but it has become clear that we’ve learned a new way to live and work. Recently released sales tax data reveals the extent to which we were forced to change — as consumers and as workers — after the economy shut down last spring. Restaurants, the lifeblood of South Florida’s hospitality industry, watched business plummet after dining rooms were forced to close. Bars, clothing stores, salons, bakeries and other businesses were deemed off limits to walk-in customers. Many of those businesses have since reopened, with changes, but the data from the Florida Department of Revenue also shows that we actually spent more money in some surprising places. Sun Sentinel, AP Photos, 2012 words, SENT


SAGGY PANTS BAN — After 13 years, a South Florida city has overturned a ban on “saggy pants” — bottoms that reveal the wearer’s underwear.

DISPATCHER SAVES TWO LIVES — A 21-year-old dispatcher for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office helped save two lives in the span of an hour during a recent 12-hour shift.

FELONY GUN CHARGES-JACKSONVILLE — A state attorney in North Florida is now requiring her prosecutors to seek longer prison sentences for felons arrested for illegally carrying guns.



LAKE BUENA VISTA — When the NBA was shut down for a few months because of the coronavirus pandemic, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was in a gym all the time. Given the way he’s played since the season resumed, the Heat probably could have suspected he used his downtime wisely. No rookie in these playoffs is averaging more points, 3-pointers, assists and minutes per game than Herro. And the baby-faced 20-year-old who starred for the Kentucky Wildcats will make his Eastern Conference finals debut when Miami opens its series against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. By Tim Reynolds, 834 words, AP Photos, SENT.


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