Sunday, April 18

Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT


Florida marks 100,000th coronavirus infection

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida health officials say more than 100,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The state reached the milestone Monday. Public health officials have reissued advisories urging social distancing and mask-wearing, and some businesses are reevaluating their decisions to reopen. More than 3,100 people in Florida have died from COVID-19. Over the weekend, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Health Department to reissue advisories urging Floridians to consider wearing masks to help keep the virus from spreading. DeSantis has not indicated any intention of retreating from reopening the state, however. Three months of closures have damaged the economy and left hundreds of thousands out of work.


Planning for summer beach days? Docs share virus safety tips

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Americans have never been more ready to get out of the house and bask in the sun. Warm weather beach destinations are the most popular vacation searches, with Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and San Diego among the top considerations. Tripadvisor says 50% of travelers are looking to book a one- to five-day trip this month, suggesting massive pent-up demand for sand and surf. But the craving for a beach getaway coincides with recent spikes in coronavirus cases in beach havens like Florida, Texas and the Carolinas. Experts say a beach trip is low-risk as long as you follow some basic precautions.


Ex-CIA director, defense secretary Gates: US is paralyzed

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Former CIA director and defense secretary Robert Gates believes the U.S. government is paralyzed by political polarization and careerism, which has allowed China, Russia and other rivals to make inroads internationally to America’s detriment. Gates told a Florida group Monday that partisanship has that resulted in the federal government being unable to tackle major issues such as the coronavirus outbreak. He said congressional members fear taking any stand or making any compromise that could harm their re-election chances. He said President Donald Trump understands the threat China poses economically, but undercuts his position by harming the U.S.’ standing with its allies.


Twin babies found alive in apartment with dead Florida woman

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a Florida woman was found dead inside an apartment with twin babies. Broward Sheriff’s officials said they received a call about a shooting just before dawn Monday and arrived at the Pompano Beach apartment to find the woman dead. Investigators said the twin girls were related to the deceased woman, but declined to say how. No other details were released. The twins were taken into custody by state child protective investigators.


Judge: Florida school shooting trial off indefinitely

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The death penalty trial of the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school is off indefinitely because of restrictions related to the coronavirus. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said Monday in a hearing held remotely that it’s not even clear when the courthouse will reopen to the public. It’s been closed since March 16. Nikolas Cruz is charged with fatally shooting 17 people and wounding 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018. His lawyers say Cruz would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors reject that.


Bea, the giraffe, gives birth to baby boy

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — It’s a boy for Bea, a giraffe at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay who gave birth Friday. The Busch Gardens zoological team made the announcement on Sunday, a couple days late, but on an appropriate day: World Giraffe Day. Park officials say Bea is a 14-year-old reticulated giraffe, an endangered species with only about 15,000 remaining in the wild. Their numbers have been declining because of hunting and encroaching development. The birth was a longtime coming — 15 months, to be exact. Bea gave birth twice before, to Binty in 2014 and Amani a year later.


Judge: Man in Giuliani associates’ case can’t block evidence

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge says a man charged with conspiring with associates of Rudy Giuliani to make illegal campaign contributions can’t stop prosecutors from using materials he sent to his lawyers as evidence against him. Judge J. Paul Oetken ruled Monday in the case in Manhattan federal court against David Correia. Lawyers for Correia tried to get the materials suppressed. They argued that the materials were protected by attorney-client privilege or should be considered a work product between an attorney and his client. But the judge said Correia had sent nothing to support the notion that the two notebooks, a hard drive, a computer and a smartphone were created in preparation for his defense.


Deputies: Man fatally shot wife, 21-year-old son in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff’s officials say a Florida man is accused of fatally shooting his 57-year-old wife and 21-year-old son. The shooting happened early Sunday at their home near Orlando. Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a shooting and found the bodies of Jodie Rivera and Matthew Rivera. Officials say both had been shot. Deputies arrested 59-year-old Smith Rivera who is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. An arrest report says he fired a gun at another person in the house, but that person was able to get away.


Sheriff: Man threatens to shoot up Black Lives Matter rally

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff’s officials have arrested a 22-year-old Florida man after several threatening social media messages targeting Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Sarasota County sheriff’s officials said in a news release that Quintin Adkins was arrested last week after an “old friend” alerted authorities to his Instagram and Snapchat messages. An arrest affidavit says Adkins threatened to attend a demonstration and shoot everyone. The sheriff’s office said several videos showed Adkins in a car pointing guns at passing cars. He is charged with one count of written threats to kill. He was released on bond Friday. An attorney wasn’t listed on jail records.


No record set, but new Florida COVID-19 cases stoke worry

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is reporting nearly 3,500 more new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, a dip from the record-breaking numbers of recent days. The rising number of new cases has prompted health officials to reissue advisories urging social distancing. Some businesses are also reevaluating their decisions to reopen. The latest numbers were a drop from the record high of 4,000 new cases reported the day before. To date, Florida has now head more than 97,000 Floridians infected with COVID-19. The number of deaths has now eclipsed 3,160, including the 17 additional deaths announced by health officials on Sunday.

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