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AP-US-SLAVE-CEMETERY-FLORIDA

Slave cemetery poses questions for Florida country club

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Archaeologists say more than 40 graves containing the remains of slaves lie under the fairways of a country club in Florida's capital city. Depressions in the grass near the tee of the 7th hole offer tantalizing clues of an old cemetery. Using ground-penetrating radar, the National Park Service confirms that bodies lie beneath the grass. The discovery this month is spawning questions about how to memorialize the souls who lay in eternal rest at the Capital City Country Club. And it's renewing attention to the many thousands of unmarked and forgotten slave cemeteries across the South that forever could be lost.

CHRISTMAS EVE-$2

Florida waitress receives $2,000 tip on Christmas Eve

A Florida waitress who had just depleted her bank account to make a car repair received a $2,000 tip on Christmas Eve from regulars with whom she had shared her financial woes. Lynette Baio said the couple left her a check with the eye-popping amount Tuesday. Baio has worked at the Speggtacular in Clearwater for five years.Last month, Baio spent $2,000 on a car repair, and the topic came up in conversation with the couple a few weeks ago. When they returned for dinner on Christmas Eve, they left the check as a tip.

AMAZON DRIVER-THEFT

Sheriff blasts Amazon for not helping with probe into driver

DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff's office in Florida says it caught an Amazon driver stealing a customer's package but got no help from the company during its investigation. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Thursday in a statement that it had arrested 27-year-old Jose Campos after detectives tracked down the vehicle he was using from homeowners' association video and video from the Davenport, Florida residence where the package was stolen. Detectives had initially contacted Amazon at its logistics center in person, but they were told they needed a subpoena, according to the sheriff's office. The company later apologized.

SOUTH BEACH-MANDATORY COPS

Proposal requires mandatory cop at every South Beach bar

South Beach's signature bars may soon be required to have a mandatory cop after midnight.The Miami Beach City Commission earlier this month unanimously agreed to a proposal requiring every bar along the South Beach corridor to have a police officer after midnight standing guard outside until closing time.The measure requires a second vote in January before it can be passed officially, and some of the language in the proposal may be tweaked. But it has the support of a business group that represents the affected bars.The officers will be primarily tasked with controlling crowds.

DISPATCHERS-KIDNEY DONATION

Dispatcher gives Christmas present to coworker: a kidney

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A dispatcher at a Florida sheriff's office has given her colleague the best Christmas present ever: a new kidney. Amber Savoie, a dispatcher for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, earlier this month donated a kidney to Jesse Mesa, a fellow dispatcher who was diagnosed with Lupus. The autoimmune disease can damage kidneys. After a potential donor dropped out this year, Mesa made a last-ditch effort by sending out an email to the entire Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, asking if someone might consider helping her. Even though Savoie didn't know her colleague well, she volunteered.

DEPUTIES SHOOTING-FLORIDA

Florida deputies shoot person who pointed gun at them

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say Florida deputies responding to a 911 call shot a person who pointed a gun at them.The unidentified person was shot Wednesday by the deputies in Ocala, Florida, according to a statement from the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The deputies were uninjured. The condition of the person who was shot wasn't given.The Marion County Sheriff's Office provided no further details in the statement.

SHOOTING-NIGHTCLUB

8 injured when shots fired outside St. Petersburg nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — St. Petersburg Police say eight people were treated for minor injuries following a hit-and-run and a shooting outside a nightclub. The incident happened early Thursday at Cabana Sands. Officials responded to a hit-and-run call just after midnight, and while investigating, someone fired shots in the parking lot. No victims were found, but officers later learned that eight people took themselves to local hospitals. No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.

AMAZON-FLORIDA

Amazon is opening 5th fulfillment center in Florida

DELTONA, Fla. (AP) — Amazon is opening its fifth fulfillment center in Florida.The company announced Thursday it was opening a distribution hub in Deltona, Florida. Deltona is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach along Interstate 4.The center will need 500 workers, who will earn $15 an hour or more, Amazon said in a statement.Amazon already employs 13,500 workers in Florida at centers in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.The company said it has invested more than $5 billion in Florida through local fulfillment centers and cloud infrastructure, research facilities and compensation to thousands of employees since 2013.

BC-TRUMP

Trumps wish Americans 'Merry Christmas' as they mark holiday

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are wishing Americans a Merry Christmas as they celebrate the holiday with their family in Florida. In a video message recorded at the White House and released Wednesday, the first lady said, “The president and I want to wish each and every American a very merry Christmas." The president added prayers for U.S. servicemembers overseas, and expressed hope for “peace among nations.” The first family is spending the holiday at the president's private club in Palm Beach after attending a music-filled Christmas Eve service at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church.

VENEZUELAN EXILED DANCERS

Miami ballet school a haven for Venezuelan dancing diaspora

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami ballet school and company has built a reputation as a haven for the Venezuelan dancing diaspora. More than 20 dancers of Venezuelan origin were playing various roles on a recent performance of the holiday favorite “The Nutcracker.” Some of these dancers are here seeking asylum after fleeing their crisis-torn nation, which is plagued by shortages of food and medicine. Venezuelans have been drawn to this company because the artistic director is a familiar name in the South American nation. Vladimir Issaev was ballet master at the National Ballet of Caracas from 1987 to 1997 before coming to Florida.