5 Things to Know in Florida for May 17

5 Things to Know in FloridaYour daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE REMAINING FLAT

The state’s jobless rate for April was 6.2 percent, or a slight dip from March when the rate actually went up. But that means the unemployment rate has been the same rate for most of this year. There was an estimated 599,000 people out of work in the state. Florida did gain 34,000 jobs last month and trailed only Texas and California in the number of jobs added in April.

DARDEN ANNOUNCES PLAN TO SELL RED LOBSTER FOR $2.1 BILLION

Orlando-based Darden is setting Red Lobster adrift, but betting that it can still turn around Olive Garden’s fortunes. The company said Friday that it would sell its seafood chain to investment firm Golden Gate Capital in a $2.1 billion cash deal. Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster have been losing customers in recent years, even as they changed their menus and marketing campaigns to win back business.

LATEST SCOTT AD SEEKS TO SOFTEN HIS IMAGE

Republican Gov. Rick Scott is opting to soften his image instead of attacking Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist in a campaign ad that features his two-year-old grandson. Scott acknowledges in the ad that he hasn’t had a great relationship with the media in the ninth ad since Crist announced he would challenge Scott.

FUGITIVE SUSPECT IN 2007 TRIPLE-MURDER EXTRADITED FROM HAITI TO SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Wesnel Isaac was arrested Saturday by Haitian national police in Carrefour, Haiti. Deputy U.S. Marshal John Kinsey says U.S. authorities flew to the Caribbean county Thursday and returned to Florida with Isaac. Isaac was ordered held without bond Friday on multiple charges, including second-degree murder, kidnapping and failure to appear. Authorities say Isaac was one of part of a group that killed three men in September 2007 after a robbery at a Bonita Springs drug house.

BAHAMAIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY IN FAILED SMUGGLING VENTURE THAT KILLED 4 HAITIAN WOMEN

Naaman Davis pleaded guilty Thursday in Miami federal court to charges of smuggling resulting in death and helping aggravated felons re-enter the U.S. He was among 11 people found clinging to the hull of a boat that capsized early on the morning of Oct. 16 in the waters off Miami. The victims died beneath the boat. According to court documents, Davis was drinking rum and smoking crack-cocaine the night the smuggling boat he was driving from the Bahamas to South Florida capsized.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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