Five Things to Know in Florida Dec. 15

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

CONJOINED TWINS BORN IN JACKSONVILLE

Michelle Brantley had been “excited but nervous” about the scheduled birth of her sons later this week. However, family members say Brantley went into labor early and the boys were born shortly before midnight Friday. Brantley’s sons were named Conner and Carter. Relatives say they had surgery Saturday to repair some organ damage. Brantley has said the boys were expected to remain conjoined for the time being.

JEB BUSH SPEAKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA AMID NEW 2016 HINTS

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is scheduled to give Monday’s commencement address at the University of South Carolina. In a television interview aired Sunday in Miami, Bush expressed confidence that he “would be a good president,” adding that he was in the process of writing an e-book about his time as governor. He also said he would make public about 250,000 emails from his time in office, in an effort to promote transparency and to “let people make up their mind.”

TWO KEY WEST POLICE OFFICERS DISCIPLINED AFTER DEPARTMENTAL INTERNAL REVIEW OF DEATH OF MICHIGAN MAN IN CUSTODY

One will receive a five-day suspension without pay for actions including inappropriate remarks made to co-workers, relatives and the employees of a cupcake store about Charles Eimers’ death Dec. 4, 2013. The other received a letter of reprimand for engaging in “an unauthorized vehicle pursuit” of Eimers. Police Chief Donie Lee said the disciplinary actions announced last week concern policy issues that “had absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Eimers’ death.” Eimers’ family is suing the city and 12 officers in federal court for wrongful death.

FLORIDA CONTINUES TO LEAD THE NATION IN FORECLOSURES, EVEN AS THE RATE OF FORECLOSURES DROPS

New figures released last week by the research firm RealtyTrac show that Florida once again had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate in November. Florida has been at the top of the list for 13 of the past 14 consecutive months. But Florida’s foreclosure rate is trending in the right direction: downward. In November, Florida had a 15 percent annual decrease in foreclosure activity and a 4 percent monthly drop.

GRASS CARP RELEASED INTO SOUTH FLORIDA CANALS TO EAT INVASIVE HYDRILLA

The South Florida Water Management District will release about 24,400 grass carp into canals in Fort Lauderdale and Homestead this week. Officials say the farm-raised carp are sterile and do not spawn. The fish eat hydrilla, an invasive plant that is clogging canals that the district needs clear for flood control. Hydrilla is a rapidly growing aquatic plant with no natural predators in Florida.

 

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