5 Things to Know in Florida for Feb. 24

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

TRIAL OPENS FOR MAN CLAIMING POT WAS FOR MEDICAL NEED

A South Florida man is using a medical necessity defense in a trial on charges of illegally growing dozens of marijuana plants on his property. Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the case of 50-year-old Jesse Teplicki of Hollywood. Teplicki says the 46 plants seized by authorities two years ago were not for distribution but for his own use, to fight symptoms related to the eating disorder anorexia.

MOFFITT CANCER CENTER WINS GRANT FOR OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH

Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is receiving a $250,000 grant to continue research into ovarian cancer in older women, for whom the disease often is more aggressive. The money comes from the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research. On Monday, the partners also announced a campaign aimed at raising another $1 million in support of ovarian cancer research at Moffitt.

MAN ARRESTED FOR FATAL SHOOTING AFTER A FIGHT OVER $5

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a 2012 killing where the victim was shot after a fistfight over $5. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reports that 29-year-old James Hiawatha Russell has been arrested for the slaying of 39-year-old Philippe Foster on Nov. 14, 2012. Police say Foster was fatally shot after he won a fistfight over the money against Russell.

2 YEARS IN PRISON FOR GALLERY EMPLOYEE WHO EMBEZZLED

An Orlando-area art gallery employee has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling more than $1 million. Jeffery Hall, of Maitland, was sentenced Monday to federal prison. Hall pleaded guilty to mail fraud in November. Hall worked at an Orlando-area art gallery with locations in other parts of Florida. Prosecutors say he diverted proceeds from the sale of artwork to his personal bank accounts.

OFFICER ON PAID LEAVE AFTER HITTING HOMELESS MAN

A Fort Lauderdale Police Officer has been suspended with pay after a video surfaced on YouTube that showed him pushing and slapping a homeless man at a bus terminal. The incident happened Monday afternoon at a bus terminal in Broward County. Detective Tracy says Chief Franklin Adderley will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The video shows the officer holding the man’s arm before throwing him to the ground. The officer then tells the man to get up and can be seen slapping the man in the face.

 

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