5 Things to Know in Florida for Sept. 19

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

FLORIDA’S NEW UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS DUE OUT

New numbers are due out that could show whether or not Florida’s unemployment rate continues to remain stagnant. The jobless rate in July was 6.2 percent. That’s the same rate it has been for much of the year. The state’s rate is slightly higher than the U.S. rate. Florida in July had nearly 600,000 people out of work. Economists say the rate has remained flat in 2014 because people are re-entering the job market due to an improving economy.

US SEEKS PRISON SENTENCE CUT FOR HOUSE CANDIDATE

5 Things to Know in FloridaFederal prosecutors want a judge to reduce the prison sentence for a former U.S. House candidate who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in a case linked to Republican ex-Rep. David Rivera. A hearing is scheduled Friday for Justin Sternad, who prosecutors say deserves credit for cooperating extensively in the Rivera investigation. Sternad was initially sentenced to seven months after pleading guilty to several charges.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE ON SECRET EVIDENCE

The Florida Supreme Court is holding a hearing on whether secret evidence should have been used in a landmark trial on redistricting. A judge earlier this year ruled that state legislators broke the law in 2012 when drawing up a new map for Congress. Part of that decision was based on emails and documents taken from a Gainesville political consulting firm. The evidence was heard at the trial, but it was kept from the public under a previous court order.

OCALA POLICE OFFICER TO GET BODY CAMERAS

All Ocala police officers will soon wear cameras on their uniforms. Police Chief Greg Graham says the cameras will improve city policing by making interactions between officers and the public more transparent. Right now motorcycle officers are wearing the cameras, but a unanimous vote by the City Council approved funding to buy more for the entire force.

ORLANDO MAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Police say a 75-year-old central Florida man ran a human trafficking ring by recruiting women prisoners and then using them as prostitutes once they were released from prison. State and local authorities say Richard Rawles recruited female prisoners from the Lowell Correctional Institution State Prison for Women in Ocala. Once they were released, Rawles took them to Orlando, where he forced them to work as prostitutes.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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