5 Things to Know in Florida for Oct. 4

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

FLORIDA PRISON OFFICIALS HIRE OMBUDSMAN

Florida prison officials are hiring an ombudsman to oversee the treatment of mentally ill inmates in the wake of abuse allegations and cover-ups. Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews said Friday that up to 20 percent of the 100,000 Florida inmates have been diagnosed with a mental health condition requiring treatment. The ombudsman will work with about 1,000 inmates with severe mental illness who are admitted to inpatient units. DOC officials in recent weeks have also fired nearly 50 prison employees, including several over abuse allegations that they punched and beat inmates.

MANY FLORIDA VOTERS WON’T SEE LONE CAMPAIGN DEBATE

5 Things to Know in FloridaFlorida’s three candidates for attorney general are holding just one debate, but many voters in the state won’t get a chance to see it. Attorney General Pam Bondi is scheduled to debate Democrat George Sheldon and Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer on Monday. The debate is being taped in Tampa and will air at 7 p.m. on Bay News 9 in the Tampa area and on News 13 in Orlando. It won’t be seen on any television stations outside of central Florida.

CASINO HEAD PUTS UP MONEY TO DEFEAT POT AMENDMENT

A billionaire casino magnate is putting up more money to defeat a proposal to legalize medical marijuana. New campaign finance reports filed Friday show Sheldon Adelson has donated another $1.5 million to the group that wants to defeat the constitutional amendment that will be on November ballot. Adelson, a high-profile Republican donor and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., has given a total of $4 million to the Drug Free Florida Committee.

AUTISTIC PLAYER SCORES TD FOR HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

An autistic teenager got his wish on a central Florida football field. On Thursday night, 19-year-old CJ Williams suited up for Winter Park’s Lake Howell High School football team and scored a touchdown on a specially designed play at the end of the first half. The team edged Clermont East Ridge High School 10-7. Williams also took the final snap of the game, taking a knee and sealing the team’s first victory of the year.

BOY RESCUES FAMILY FROM BURNING HOME

Officials credit a 12-year-old Jacksonville boy for waking up his mother and four siblings after smelling smoke in their house. The family escaped before the fire engulfed the house early Friday. Fire department spokesman Tom Francis told the Florida Times-Union the cause of the fire is under investigation by the fire marshal.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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