5 Things to Know in Florida for Aug. 15

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday.

5 Things to Know in FloridaFLORIDA’S NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS DUE OUT

The new jobless numbers for July will show whether the state’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national rate. Florida’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in June. That was higher than the national rate at the time, although the U.S. rate edged back up. Florida’s unemployment rate has remained roughly flat for the first half of 2014.

US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GRANTS FLORIDA 1-YEAR EXTENSION OF NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND WAIVER

The waiver will give Florida flexibility from certain parts of the federal act in exchange for a state-specific accountability plan. No Child Left Behind has been due for reauthorization since 2007, but Congress has not been able to agree on what changes should be made. In turn, the U.S. Department of Education began granting states relief from the act that required all students to test proficient in math and reading by 2014. Under the waiver, Florida has streamlined plans for its lowest performing schools and focused attention on the state’s most vulnerable students.

MURDER SUSPECT TESTIFIES HE FOUGHT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA STUDENT AND LEFT HIM ALIVE AFTERWARD

Taking the stand in his murder trial Thursday, Pedro Bravo said Christian Aguilar was still alive the last time he saw him. Bravo faces murder, kidnapping and other charges related to the slaying of Aguilar in 2012. Prosecutors have painted a picture of Bravo as a jealous ex-boyfriend who followed a girl to Gainesville to win her back, only to find she was dating Aguilar. Bravo said he came to Gainesville seeking a fresh start.

NEW CHIEF JUDGE SELECTED IN STATE’S 4TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Circuit Judge Mark Mahon will become the new chief judge for the Jacksonville-based 4th Judicial Circuit. The results of a secret ballot were announced Thursday. The circuit’s 54 judges selected Mahon over Judge Lance Day. The position opened up when Chief Judge Donald Moran announced that he will retire in January. He has served has chief judge since March 1993.

MARLINS HOLD OFF DIAMONDBACKS IN EXTRA INNINGS

Marcell Ozuna doubled home Garrett Jones with the winning run in the 10th inning, and the Miami Marlins topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Thursday night. The Marlins had trailed 3-0 early, then chipped away. Giancarlo Stanton had three hits for Miami, giving him four multi-hit games in his last 10 outings. Brad Penny, pitching at home for the Marlins for the first time in more than 10 years, allowed five hits and four runs in five-plus innings.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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