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BC-ELECTION 2020-SANDERS-FLORIDA

Sanders comments on Castro could pose hurdles in Florida

MIAMI (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gained momentum from victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, but may have hit a speed bump in Florida by praising Fidel Castro in an interview. On "60 Minutes," Sanders said “it's unfair to simply say everything is bad" about Castro, and praised his literacy programs. That might not go over well with Florida's sizable Cuban American and Latino communities, including many exiles from authoritarian leftist regimes. With nearly one in five Florida voters of Hispanic origin, some political analysts say Sanders has work to do to mend some political fences.

OBIT-KATHERINE JOHNSON

Pioneering black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies

NASA says pioneering black mathematician Katherine Johnson has died. She worked on NASA’s early space missions and was portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures,” about black female aerospace workers. In a Monday morning tweet, the space agency said it celebrates her 101 years of life and her legacy of excellence and breaking down racial and social barriers. Johnson was one of the so-called “computers” who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits by hand during NASA’s early years. Until 1958, Johnson and other black women worked in a racially segregated computing unit at what is now called Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Their work was the focus of the Oscar-nominated 2016 film.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGENCY-INVESTIGATION

Florida nonprofit's CEO given millions in paid time off

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida House committee is investigating why the president of a nonprofit domestic abuse agency was compensated $7.5 million over three years. Board members for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence testified that they twice approved more paid days off for former agency CEO Tiffany Carr than there are days in the year. One year Carr received 465 paid days off and another she received 620 paid days off. Carr later cashed in the accumulated days off when she resigned. The board members said they thought the paid time off was in hours, not days.

GROVELAND FOUR

Monument erected to remember injustice of the Groveland Four

TAVARES, Fla. (AP) — Seven decades after four young black men were accused of raping a white woman in a case now seen as a miscarriage of justice, the central Florida county where their case took place has erected a monument in their honor. The monument honoring  the Groveland Four was unveiled Friday during a ceremony at the Lake County Historic Courthouse. The granite memorial for Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas features a bronze plaque imprinted with a written account of the men’s ordeal. It was prepared with the help of the men's families.

SEXUAL BATTERY ARREST

Florida man accused of raping woman lured with job prospect

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida say a man dragged a woman unconscious to his truck and raped her after luring her to a restaurant with a job opportunity. The woman told Ormond Beach police that she met 43-year-old Jason Minton while at work, and they set up a lunch meeting to discuss a position at the company that employed him. Police say surveillance footage shows Minton dragging the woman unconscious through the restaurant's parking lot to his truck. Detectives say he took her to an unknown location and raped her, then drove her back to her car, where she was found later.

STOLEN PUPPY FOUND

Stolen at Florida pet store, puppy is taken to fire station

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Officials say an English bulldog puppy that was stolen from a Florida pet store was found a day later after it was dropped off at a fire station. The puppy named Oscar was returned to the pet store in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in good health. WPLG-TV reports authorities are still looking for the two men who stole the chocolate English bulldog. The men posed as customers and were caught by surveillance cameras walking out of the store with the puppy. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials say a woman dropped off the dog at a fire station saying it had been stolen.

FATAL RV FIRE

Florida man found dead in RV fire

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Firefighters say a man was found dead in an RV fire in Florida. The Orange County Fire Rescue says the fire destroyed the RV in an Orlando neighborhood, but not a home next to it. Firefighters say they arrived six minutes after receiving the call to find the vehicle engulfed in flames and heavy smoke. The man was found dead inside. Firefighters found hazards at the scene such as several propane tanks. The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating what caused the fire.

GEORGIA-FATAL CRASH

Family of 5 killed in collision with wrong-way I-95 driver

MIDWAY, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia State Patrol has identified five family members killed when their SUV was struck head-on by a Lexus traveling the wrong way on Interstate 95. The patrol says Sara and Nathan Robinson and their three children Stephen, Rebecca and Alexander were killed just after 2 a.m. on Sunday. The family was from Portsmouth, Virginia. Liberty County sheriff’s officials said officers had received reports of a white Lexus traveling southbound in a northbound lane of the Interstate shortly before the crash. The driver of the Lexus also was killed. His identity hasn't been released. That car had Florida plates.

MANATEES RESCUED

Injured manatee, calf rescued in Florida waters

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A female manatee and its calf have been rescued after wildlife specialists found them injured in Florida. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the pair is being treated for wounds and infections at the Miami Seaquarium. The mother was found Saturday with boat strike wounds. The female calf has a wound on her underside. Rescuers initially spotted the mother on Tuesday swimming sideways, which indicates lung damage. On Wednesday, they swam away and disappeared. After Saturday's rescue, both were started on antibiotics, and veterinarians will drain liquid or air from the mother's chest.

WORKER KILLED

Worker killed from 16-story fall down Florida condo roof

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — Officials say a worker was killed from a 16-story fall down the roof of a Florida condo building. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the cause of the accident is still under investigation. The 38-year-old man has not been identified by authorities. News outlets say the man was part of a roofing crew working on top of Silver Shells condominiums in Destin, a beach in the Florida Panhandle.