5 Things to Know in Florida for March 26

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

Stepmom charged in death of 3-year-old Florida boy

Police have charged a woman with aggravated manslaughter in the death of her 3-year-old stepson, whose body they say she hid in a box in the laundry room. The boy’s father, Nelson Osceola, was also charged Wednesday, with child neglect. Authorities said Analiz Osceola pretended Ahizya Osceola was missing last week, prompting a massive search by authorities that ultimately led them back to the family’s home. Child welfare officials had been warned repeatedly of potential abuse involving the boy, including twice last year.

Florida may no longer hold back 3rd graders who fail test

Florida may stop holding back third-grade students who fare badly on the state’s standardized tests. A Senate panel on Wednesday agreed to suspend the policy until the state’s new standardized test is independently validated. The state this year switched to a new test that replaced the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Senators included the provision in a major testing bill that is moving this session. They also agreed to suspend a graduation requirement until the test is validated.

Universal tests metal detectors at rides

Universal Orlando is testing the use of metal detectors at its high-speed rides to make sure passengers aren’t carrying cell phones or selfie sticks that could fly out of their pockets. The first metal detector was set up Wednesday at the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder says the decision to try out the metal detectors was done for safety, not security. He says no single incident precipitated it.

American in United Arab mirates Facebook case returns to US

A Florida helicopter mechanic whose Facebook post complaining about his employer in the United Arab Emirates got him arrested has returned home to the United States. Ryan Pate got off a plane Tuesday and hugged his fiancee and mother at the Tampa International Airport. Pate, of Belleair Bluffs, was arrested last month in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich Emirati capital. He was accused of making a Facebook post during a visit to the United States that disparaged Arabs and his employer, Global Aerospace Logistics.

Deputy recovering after stabbing in Southwest Florida

A 26-year-old woman is being held without bond on charges that she stabbed a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy who responded to a noise complaint at a southwest Florida home. Tiffany Garcia faces charges of aggravated battery and assault on a law enforcement officer. Deputies say Garcia stabbed Corporal Racquel Shott in the leg on Monday. Shott was released from the hospital on Tuesday.

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