National Black News Channel makes debut
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The nation's only black news network is on the air. Black News Channel began airing this week, launching with an image of the National Museum of African American History & Culture followed by a recap up of the Oscars. The network is aimed at an audience that's considered under-served in the media. It follows years of planning for former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, who likened the launch to giving birth to a child. It is also made possible by the backing of billionaire businessman and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
BC-US-SCHOOL SHOOTING-PARKLAND WIDOW
Parkland widow renovates home, preserves memories
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — It was a bittersweet moment when representatives of the TV show “Military Makeover" surprised Parkland, Florida, shooting widow Debbi Hixon to let her know they were going to renovate her entire home. The show aired Friday on the two-year anniversary of her husband Chris Hixon's death. Hixon and 16 others were killed on Valentine's Day 2018 when a mentally disturbed gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The athletic director died running into the school, trying to help students. The home has a bright new kitchen, wood floors and other fancy updates. But the most important things to Debbi are the the things that were there before the renovation even started: mementos of Chris.
Police: Mall shooter found dead from apparent suicide
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man accused of shooting and killing a former Under Armour coworker at a Florida mall has been found dead from an apparent suicide. Orlando police say a jogger found Daniel Everett's SUV in Fort Pierce on Friday and contacted local police. Officers responded and found the body in the vehicle. Fort Pierce is located on Florida's Atlantic coast, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Orlando. Everett was fired Monday morning from an Under Armour store at Orlando International Premium Outlets. Police say he returned that evening and fatally shot store manager Eunice Marie Vazquez.
Man charged with trespassing near Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man was arrested after officers spotted him hiding near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The Palm Beach Post reports that police charged 38-year-old Allen Cox on Thursday with violating a previous trespass warning that prohibited him from being near the property. Cox told Palm Beach police officers that he had been sleeping in between the bushes and privacy wall of the private club so he would be safe. He also told officers that he had no home address. Authorities say Cox acknowledged that he had been given a previous trespass warning but that he preferred jail to seeing his parents.
Hurricanes prompt Spirit to move operations control center
MIAMI (AP) — Spirit Airlines says it is moving its operations control center from South Florida to just outside Nashville, Tennessee, after recent hurricanes forced the low-cost carrier to temporarily move some staff during storms. Officials say the move will bring 345 jobs to Tennessee over the next five years. Spirit spokesman Field Sutton says about 240 positions are being moved from the Florida headquarters, which has about 1,000 employees. That will leave fewer than 800 workers in Florida. But Sutton says the company expects to be back up to 1,000 Florida employees within two years when they move into a new building in Dania Beach.
Florida 'red flag' gun law used 3,500 times since Parkland
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida law that allows judges to bar anyone deemed dangerous from possessing firearms has been used 3,500 times since its enactment after a 2018 high school massacre. But the law is being applied unevenly around the state. Supporters say the measure is needed because the suspect who authorities say killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland two years ago was able to buy guns despite a history of psychotic behavior. Opponents say it violates the right to bear arms and the right against unlawful seizures of property. An Associated Press analysis shows the law is being used unevenly around the state.
Jury in Tennessee convicts 4 for operating 'pill mills'
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say four people have been convicted in a Tennessee federal court of illegally distributing more than 11 million prescription opioid pills. The U.S. attorney's office in Knoxville says Sylvia Hofstetter was convicted of charges including racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy. Three other defendants were convicted of maintaining a building where drugs were involved. Prosecutors say millions of tablets of oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine generated more than $21 million of revenue for four Knoxville-area clinics. The drugs sold had a corresponding street value of $360 million. The defendants face up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced.
Feds: Florida doctor stole $26M to fund political ambition
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Federal authorities have accused a Florida vascular surgeon of bilking the government and health insurers of more than $26 million to possibly finance his political ambitions in his native country of Ghana. Earlier this month, a federal grand jury unsealed a 58-count indictment against Dr. Moses deGraft-Johnson. Authorities say he falsely billed insurers and the government for work he did not actually perform. In court documents filed Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida, prosecutors allege that the doctor's ultimate professional goal is to one day become the president of Ghana.
Police: Florida man attacked two girls with machete
LAUDERHILL, Fla. (AP) — Police in South Florida say a 47-year-old man attacked his young daughters with a machete before running from the home. The attack happened Friday morning in Lauderhill, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Police tell news outlets the girls _ ages 10 and 17 _ were taken to a hospital with wounds on their upper bodies. Police say the man also tried to attack his estranged wife, but she wasn't injured. He later turned himself in and is expected to be charged with attempted murder.
Florida probes domestic violence agency that paid CEO $750K