5 Things to Know in Florida for Jan. 24

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

FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FALL

Florida’s unemployment rate continues to drop. New numbers released Friday show that the state’s unemployment rate for December was 5.6 percent. That’s dip of 0.2 percent from the previous month. The state’s unemployment rate matches the national unemployment rate.

CAR FOUND IN FLORIDA CANAL TIED TO ’78 MISSING PERSONS CASE

Officials say they’ve recovered from a South Florida canal a car that a young couple was in when they disappeared more than 30 years ago. The 1969 Dodge Cornet car was spotted Wednesday by a South Florida Water Management District employee who was doing routine maintenance work in Sunrise. Authorities ran the vehicle identification number and confirmed it was connected to the missing-persons case of Dana Null, 15, and Harry Wade Atchison III, 19.

MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING MONEY FROM SOUTH FLORIDA RETIREES

A 47-year-old man is accused of forging signatures to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients who lived in Century Village in Pembroke Pines. Ariel Luis Hernandez appeared in Broward County court Thursday to face two charges each of grand theft from a person 65 or older and misuse of personal identification. Bond was set at $300,000. He was also ordered to stay out of Century Village.

APPEALS COURT REJECTS CHALLENGE TO FLORIDA TEACHER LAW

An appeals court is rejecting a challenge to a state law that required teachers to be evaluated based on test scores. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday ruled against six teachers who had challenged the law with the backing of the Florida Education Association. The entire court ruled on the lawsuit. Judges split 10-3 on whether the law was constitutional.

BELLA MENTE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP AT KEY WEST REGATTA

Minneapolis skipper Hap Fauth has led Bella Mente to an IRC 1-class championship at the Quantum Key West sailing regatta off the Florida Keys. With twice-Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, Maryland, calling tactics, Bella Mente won the final two races Friday. Numbers, with Gunter Buerman of Highland Beach, Florida, at the helm, finished two points behind Bella Mente for second place in IRC 1 during the 10-heat, five-day regatta. Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris of Framingham, Massachusetts, was third.

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