5 Things to Know in Florida for Sept. 24

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

FSU PICKS POLITICIAN AS NEXT SCHOOL PRESIDENT

Florida State University is hiring powerful state Sen. John Thrasher as its next president despite significant opposition from people on campus who contended he isn’t qualified for the post. The FSU board voted 11-2 Tuesday to hire Thrasher over three academics, pushing aside objections from FSU faculty who cited his lack of education credentials. Thrasher, a former state House speaker and chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign, also drew criticism after he sidestepped questions during a campus forum about climate change and evolution.

UCF MOVING AHEAD WITH PLANS FOR DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

The University of Central Florida is moving ahead with plans for a multimillion dollar expanded campus in downtown Orlando that the UCF president called “a game changer” for the school and the community. University President John Hitt announced the joint initiative with Valencia College during a Tuesday breakfast with community leaders. Hitt said the expansion would bring in 10,000 students from the two schools to study downtown.

FLORIDA MAN ADMITS TO KILLING FAMILY IN 911 CALL

With an edgy yet calm voice, Donald Spirit told a 911 dispatcher he had just killed his six grandchildren, including a baby, and would wait until authorities arrived before going to his back porch and killing himself. He placed the call Thursday from his mobile home in the rural north Florida town of Bell after killing his daughter, 28-year-old Sarah Spirit, and her six children: Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Destiny Stewart, 5; Brandon Stewart, 4; and Alanna Stewart, who was born in June. The dispatcher asked Spirit what kind of gun he had, and he told her it did not matter.

SPACEX DRAGON ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION WITH 3-D PRINTER

The International Space Station accepted another SpaceX shipment Tuesday, this one containing the first 3-D printer ever launched into orbit. Two days after blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the SpaceX cargo ship, Dragon, arrived at the space station. German astronaut Alexander Gerst used the robot arm to grab the capsule.

DEPUTY HIT BY TRUCK WHILE DIRECTING SCHOOL TRAFFIC

A north Florida sheriff’s deputy is recovering after being struck by a truck while directing traffic outside Oakleaf High School in Orange Park. The incident happened Tuesday morning when a pickup truck driven by an 18-year-old girl was dropping off two students. Deputy Daniel Eshelman was hit in the legs and knocked to the ground.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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