Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
FLORIDA GOVERNOR ORDERS LESS TESTING IN STATE’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is suspending a test given to the state’s 11th graders. Scott said Wednesday he will issue an executive order that will suspend one of the standardized tests given to students. Scott said he is making the move in anticipation of the Florida Legislature permanently eliminating the test. Scott is issuing the order after Education Commissioner Pam Stewart completed an investigation into the number of tests given by school districts. Stewart is calling for a reduction in the number of tests.
COURT UPHOLDS FLORIDA LAW BANNING OPEN CARRY OF GUNS
An appeals court has upheld a Florida law banning people from openly carrying firearms purely for self-defense purposes. A three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal issued the ruling Wednesday in the case of Dale Norman. Norman challenged the law on constitutional grounds after his 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce on a misdemeanor charge for openly carrying a handgun in a holster.
VANILLA ICE CHARGED WITH BURGLARY IN FLORIDA
Vanilla Ice has been charged with breaking into and stealing from an abandoned home that is in foreclosure in Florida. Police in the Palm Beach County town of Lantana say the recording artist and home-improvement-show host had been renovating a home next to the victim’s house. They said in a news release that some of the items were found at his property.
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN FATAL WRONG-WAY CRASH
A South Florida woman pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter in a wrong-way crash on the Sawgrass Expressway that killed two 21-year-old friends. Kayla Mendoza apologized Wednesday to the families of the two victims, saying she’s heartbroken that she’s broken their hearts. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Mendoza will be sentenced April 24. Authorities say Mendoza was 20 years old and driving without a valid driver’s license when she ran head-on into another car. Marisa Catronio died at the scene of the November 2013 crash. Kaitlyn Ferrante died four days later.
DEAD PANTHER WAS BORN AFTER CRUCIAL INFLUX OF TEXAS COUGARS
A female panther found dead in the Big Cypress National Preserve leaves behind a genetic legacy crucial to the endangered big cats. A necropsy is pending for 16-year-old Florida Panther 191, which was found dead Friday. Mark Lotz of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says its mother was one of eight female Texas cougars released in Florida in the 1990s as part of a plan to bring panthers back from the brink of extinction.