5 Things to Know in Florida for June 21

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

FLORIDA’S NEW UNEMPLOYMENT RATE EDGES UP

New unemployment numbers for Florida show that the state’s rate in May was 6.3 percent, up slightly from the April figures. This is the first time in many months that Florida’s jobless rate matches the national jobless rate.

3 CHARGED WITH FEEDING BEARS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA

Three people in central Florida face charges for feeding bears and other wildlife in an area where a woman was mauled by a bear in April. The charges are second-degree misdemeanors. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that one person in the woman’s Lake Mary neighborhood pleaded not guilty Friday. Two others in nearby Longwood pleaded no contest and were sentenced to 6 months’ probation, 25 hours of community service and a $200 payment to the commission’s wildlife alert hotline.

SCOTT APPROVES VOUCHER EXPANSION

Middle-income families in Florida will get a chance to receive a private-school voucher under a significant expansion of the state’s existing program signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. He signed the bill (SB 850) on Friday. The $300 million program already serves nearly 60,000 families, but the new law would broaden who is eligible to receive vouchers.

HOT GRITS ATTACKER CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER

A Florida man has been charged with attempted murder after throwing a pan of hot grease and grits at a man who was on his front porch. Edward Holley told investigators that he had gotten into an argument with Darryl Blacknell on Tuesday night. When he saw Blacknell on his porch the next day, he says he took the hot pan from his stove and threw it on the man.

MISSING BOATERS FOUND

The U.S. Coast Guard has found two boaters who’d been reported missing after they had not been heard from since leaving Mexico on a 63-foot catamaran. Coast Guard officials say an aircrew spotted 40-year-old Thomas Rota and 37-year-old Megan Rota north of the Dry Tortugas on Thursday evening. There were no reports of injuries and no further word on their conditions.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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