5 Things to Know in Florida for Nov. 19

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

DEAF INMATE CLAIMS INNOCENCE IN 1981 TAMPA MURDER

5 Things to Know in FloridaFlorida’s parole commission will consider the case of a deaf man who supporters say didn’t commit the 1981 murder he’s serving a life sentence for. The case to be considered Wednesday involves Felix Garcia, who was convicted of murdering Joseph Tramontana Jr. during a Tampa robbery. But Garcia’s advocates say his brother framed him for the crime that he committed. Frank Garcia has since recanted his testimony and said his brother wasn’t involved in the murder.

FLORIDA WANTS GAY MARRIAGE BAN KEPT INTACT LONGER

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking to keep intact the state’s ban on same-sex marriage until ongoing appeals have finished. A federal judge earlier this month decided to keep Florida’s ban in place through Jan. 5. That means no gay weddings can take place for now. But Bondi’s office on Tuesday asked the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to keep the stay in place beyond that date.

EX-EXEC OF HEALTH FIRM GUILTY OF MEDICARE FRAUD

A former top executive at a South Florida health care company has pleaded guilty for his role in a nine-year, $67 million Medicare fraud scheme. Christopher Gabel of Davie, former chief operating officer at Hollywood Pavilion LLC, pleaded guilty Tuesday to health care fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

$40M SETTLEMENT REACHED IN SUIT OVER FAX ADS

A Jacksonville-based company has reached a $40 million settlement in a class action lawsuit over claims the company sent unsolicited fax advertisements to consumers. A federal judge will still need to approve the settlement by Interline Brands Inc. over charges that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits companies from sending fax ads to customers it doesn’t already do business with.

MAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY TRAIN

Authorities say a central Florida man died after being hit by a train over the weekend. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports that 26-year-old Charles Lewis Ricks Jr. was hit in Lakeland Sunday evening. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died later that night. A sheriff’s spokeswoman says a CSX train engineer saw Ricks sitting inside the tracks and blew the horn several times, but Ricks didn’t look up or acknowledge the train until right before impact.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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